Type: Trad, 210 ft (64 m), 3 pitches
FA: Ivan Rezucha and Annie O'Neill
Page Views: 975 total · 13/month
Shared By: SethG on Nov 21, 2017
Admins: Morgan Patterson, RJ B

You & This Route

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Description Suggest change

I did this route because Dick Williams gives it a star in his guidebook. I was intrigued, since despite Dick's recommendation no one seems to do it. Though the route is surrounded by classics like Snooky's Return, Hawk, and Madame G's, it remains obscure. No one has added it to Mountain Project (until now), and it isn't even mentioned in the Trapps App.

The 5.10 grade runs so deep at the Gunks that even no-star tens tend to be pretty decent. I figured this route was worth checking out.

Having now done it, my verdict is "don't bother." I might return some day just to do pitch three, but if I do that I will approach this pitch by taking Hawk or Southern Pillar to the GT Ledge, thus avoiding the poorly-protected first two pitches of Reach of Faith.

Pitch one (70 feet, 5.4 R). This pitch climbs a low-angled face directly up to an obvious pine tree. The climbing is easy, but there isn't much gear. You may be able to excavate some placements if you clean dirt out of some cracks. I found it helpful to sling a few trees along the way. For me the primary challenge on this pitch was finding clean rock to stand on, as opposed to clumps of grass and pine needles. I combined this pitch with pitch two.

Pitch two (80 feet, 5.8 R). This is one of the scarier pitches of 5.8 I have led. Trend up and right from the pine tree, aiming for a patch of rock that is a lighter color than the surrounding rock. Pro is scarce as you head for this light patch of rock. Once you get there, you will find placements among the features/flakes. Unfortunately the features/flakes ring hollow.

Once you have put in some pro, head up and right just a move or two more and then traverse left for about ten to fifteen feet (crux, no gear). It can be hard to tell where to traverse. I chose to go directly left where I could see a line of hand and foot holds; my partner chose a different solution, going diagonally up and left. Whatever path you choose, be careful not to fall, as you will pendulum onto your gear in those hollow flakes!

After the traverse, the climbing eases through a notch to a pleasant belay ledge with a bush that has some truly comical ancient slings around it. You can build a gear anchor in the wall behind the bush.

Pitch three (60 feet, 5.10c). This pitch is better than the others, though it isn't without drawbacks. Head straight up and a touch to the right for about 20-30 feet to the GT Ledge. Then move left to an obvious tree growing out below a roof with a very thin crack running through it. Sling the tree for pro and then fight with the tree to get over the roof and onto the slab above. (This roof is maybe 5.9? Maybe 5.10a, because of the tree?)

Then move up to a second roof with an obvious diagonal crack running out the underside to the lip. Place some gear in the crack and surmount the roof where the crack meets the lip (crux). This is an exciting roof and there is additional good gear you can place over your head on the face before you commit to moving up.

Once you get over the second roof, scamper to the top of the cliff through a thick forest of lichen.

Location Suggest change

Just to the left of Southern Pillar, on the face to the left of Southern Pillar's corner.

Protection Suggest change

As noted above, the crux pitch is decently protected but the first two pitches have poor gear.