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Beginner's Delight 

YDS: 5.4 French: 4a Ewbanks: 12 UIAA: IV ZA: 10 British: VD 3c

Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, 250'
Original:  YDS: 5.4 French: 4a Ewbanks: 12 UIAA: IV ZA: 10 British: VD 3c [details]
FA: Hans Kraus, Roger Wolcott, Del Wolcott, 1948
Page Views: 18,825
Submitted By: John Peterson on Feb 27, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (221)
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Looking down the 2nd pitch


My personal favorite at this grade. Often very busy though.

Start left of Minty: from where the trail hits the cliff, walk about 50' left past the thin crack of Snooky's Return to an obvious right-leaning crack.

P1: Either climb the crack (harder) or corners just left to a ledge. Continue up and step right and then up to a good belay (even with the top of Snooky's). 5.3, 75'. It's possible to walk right to the rap anchor there if you need to descend.

P2: Climb up the big corner above. About 40' up, it's easier to work left onto the face instead of staying in the corner. If you find the moves are harder than 5.4 you need to go left. Work left on a ledge system to a right-facing corner - climb up this to a comfy belay on the GT ledge. 5.4, 120'.

P3: Climb up a left-facing corner about 10' to a roof, clip an old pin, and avoid it around to the right. Then up easy ground to another roof - step left at this one (spectacular exposure) and then up to the top. 5.3, 60'.

Rappel from a tree at clifftop; there are bolted anchors at the GT ledge and at mid-cliff, so a single 60m will do.

Be very careful of climbers below, if you rappel, remembering that climbers have the right-of-way.


Light Gunks rack.

Photos of Beginner's Delight Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Starting out the roof on P3. Very fun moves.
Starting out the roof on P3. Very fun moves.
Rock Climbing Photo: Beginner's Delight, Pitch 3, just after steppi...
Beginner's Delight, Pitch 3, just after steppi...
Rock Climbing Photo: Simon Thompson at the top of the final pitch of Be...
Simon Thompson at the top of the final pitch of Be...
Rock Climbing Photo: NOT Beginners Delight. If you go past the correct ...
NOT Beginners Delight. If you go past the correct ...
Rock Climbing Photo: start of pitch 3
BETA PHOTO: start of pitch 3
Rock Climbing Photo: pitch 2
BETA PHOTO: pitch 2
Rock Climbing Photo: p2, 5.4 variation.
BETA PHOTO: p2, 5.4 variation.
Rock Climbing Photo: P1 of Beginner's Delight
BETA PHOTO: P1 of Beginner's Delight
Rock Climbing Photo: Jennie Chung topping out Beginner's Delight on...
Jennie Chung topping out Beginner's Delight on...
Rock Climbing Photo: Zach coming up P1 of Beginner's Delight.
Zach coming up P1 of Beginner's Delight.
Rock Climbing Photo: Starting P3
Starting P3
Rock Climbing Photo: 2nd pitch traverse (5.3 version)
BETA PHOTO: 2nd pitch traverse (5.3 version)

Comments on Beginner's Delight Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Oct 16, 2017
By Jim O'Brien
From: Branford, CT
Dec 7, 2007

The pitch 1 belay is tough with a light rack; used up my 1, 2 & 3 cam on the anchor-
By Tim Schafstall
Apr 2, 2008

This a wonderful climb on all three pitches, not actually 5.4 (5.3 is consensus rating) but a bit trying w/some routefinding difficulties for a 5.3 leader.

You can combine P1 and P2 w/ a 60M rope if you're an experienced leader, have a follower who won't fall at the P1 crux (near the start of the route) and use long slings.
By divnamite
From: New York, NY
Apr 28, 2008
rating: 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c

I still can't find the original route (5.3) which is supposed to go diagonally across the face. I was in a hurry so I wasn't paying close attention, but it seems there are no protection on the face. I went up the 5.4 route which is go up the corner and then traverse left. If someone has a nice big photo of original route, please let me know.
By Brian
From: North Kingstown, RI
Apr 24, 2009

On pitch 2 the original route starts diagonalling left about twenty feet up. Look for a traverse with good feet. Once you go out about 15 feet you will see a piton clip that and diagonal across the face where you will find a few pitons to clip. This pitch is why it is rated PG. Many beginning leaders go straight up the corner on pitch 2 (better gear). They use slings that are too short putting a 90 degree bend in the rope when the start the traverse resulting in really bad rope drag. If you are going to do this variation use 2 ft slings all the way and a 4 ft sling in the apex of the corner.
By doligo
Nov 9, 2009

I only found the first piton on P1 and after that just ran out all the way to the belay station - climbing is easy but there were a couple of committing unprotected moves. Watch out for people rappeling on Blueberry Ledges - a guide dropped his client on my head while I was belaying my second.
By Gunkiemike
Jul 11, 2010

It's also possible to move out left just a few feet above the first belay. The rock is nice and the moves are interesting (5.4ish). The gear is good and the rope drag potential for the pitch is dramatically reduced.
By kenr
Oct 29, 2010
rating: 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c PG13

This time I tried leading the traverse with two ropes. Made me feel completely free to place lots of small cams and stuff further along the traverse without exposing the second to extra swing. So really the only part of the climb not well-protected for me leading was like the first 25 feet or so into the traverse (when I was exposed to swinging back and hitting the corner).

P1 lower half: The obvious crack has a move with pretty thin feet. Starting to L of it, then weaving around a bit. (The upper half of P1 could also be reached be scrambling up a ramp from its left, without climbing the lower half - which was the original route).

P1 upper half: The obvious L-facing corner is harder, has an awkward mantle move (5.4?) but perhaps more interesting. The face to the right of the corner seemed easier.

Overall climb difficulty: Perhaps if you're very careful to find the easiest way at all times, might be able to avoid all the 5.4 moves and go the whole way at 5.3
By Kevin Heckeler
From: Upstate New York
Nov 22, 2010
rating: 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c PG13

This is not a good beginner's lead. That said, it's not a horrible climb but probably my least favorite "classic" climbed thus far.

The opening moves up the crack are fun, the next corner above (about 25 feet) is also fun and sometimes awkward.

  • *edit upon return climb 10/2011** For the lead climber a fall during the traverse could be extremely dangerous, resulting in a very bad swing into the large left facing corner just ascended. Much less of an issue for the follow since they would just swing across the face below the belay.

That said, the traverse is easy and if you look hard and have small cams (aliens, metolius masters) there appeared to be a few opportunities to protect the traverse. Also, the end of the second pitch is on the GT ledge above the traverse, and to move up you leave the traverse before reaching the right facing corner, and during that continuing ascent there's gear. I still wouldn't send a first time 5.3 leader up this router (the bottom crack is stiff, probably more like 5.5), and traverses are something best learned as a follow first.
By David Ford
From: Cambridge, MA
Jul 19, 2011

I tried linking the first pitch with the last pitches of Friends and Lovers as Williams recommends, but found the climbing to be dirty, loose and not particularly well-protected. Better to stick with the normal route!
By Tom D
From: New York
Aug 3, 2011

Great climb. However, I agree with everyone else who said they do not recommend it for beginners or those whom are not 100% confident. The traverse on pitch 2's 5.4 var can definitely result in injury. There are 10ft gaps of no pro.
By Burghschred Aliberti
From: Bend, OR
Sep 12, 2011
rating: 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c

Super fun climbing! This was my first multi-pitch trad lead and it was perfect. Just enough challenge with route finding, rope management, exposure and getting good gear. The moves are all super easy and solid, just delightful. Todd Swain's guidebook was a bit hard to follow for this route, I ended up doing the 5.4 variation traverse without knowing it. Still super (fun)easy climbing, but a bit hard to protect. I found a bomber #2 bd hex placement midway across the traverse where I couldn't get anything else in (don't have any cams that small). Careful on the last part of p2, the guidebook I had said to step around the corner onto the face. The face there is broken and what appear to be good jugs are mostly very loose blocks. Stick to the corner from the end of the traverse up to the GT ledge. P3 should not be missed, it is simply excellent.
By NYClimber
From: New York
Jul 27, 2012

A great climb.

Watch P2 traverse with rope drag. My quickdraws weren't enuff to reduce rope drag enuff and wound up with hand blisters I had to pull so hard to get the rope up to belay with! Don't make the same mistake! Use full length runners up the left-facing corner to Coffin Rock belay.

Great view and def P3 has spectacular exposure!
By Simon Thompson
From: New Paltz, NY
Dec 1, 2013

After climbing this a bunch of times I have to say it still stands up as my favorite climb around this grade in the trapps. Great moves and positioning throughout. Do yourself a favor and climb this in the moonlight sometime.
By Barrett Stetson
Apr 27, 2014

I wish I'd just gone straight all the way up the corner and done the traverse at the top. I'm not sure where the diagonal route goes, but I ended up all over the place trying get gear in to protect the second. Also didn't think the anchor building options at either belay were that spectacular, which would probably suck if it was your first lead. Overall didn't find this climb to be all that anyways.
By Nick Hamilton
From: Philadelphia
Oct 14, 2014

Finally got a chance to climb this yesterday. Second and third pitches are pure joy. Exciting and thoughtful climbing that was never scary. I think I started the leftward traverse on P2 about halfway between the belay and the top of the corner, placing none of my own gear but clipping a stuck yellow Alien, and two pins along the way. Wonderful position, and never felt harder than 5.3.

The third pitch is an easy romp. The moves you make to go left out of the second corner were a thrilling surprise. You're shrouded in shadow in that little corner, then you pull on delicious jugs to swing around onto the face and are greeted once again by a wonderful breeze that you had forgotten about since leaving the last belay. SO GOOD.
By Dan Africk
From: Brooklyn, New York
May 18, 2015

This was a fun climb to follow, and would make a really great early lead. But I don't think it's the best choice for a first lead. The first two pitches both required gear anchors, and tricky ones at that- placement options weren't great at either belay (otherwise, it's very well protected). This route requires lots of trad draws, especially on the second pitch, a couple double-length ones would help also. Lots of very exposed but juggy moves for the grade, beautiful climb!

Two raps with a 70 meter rope, a 60 would probably do also. But this is such a crowded route, you're better off combining ropes with the next party behind you, or walk off via uberfall. You'll almost certainly rap on top of other climbers, so if you must rap, lower your ropes gently and give plenty of warning!
By Stephen Waud
From: Burlington, VT
Oct 5, 2015

Great route! For this noob, calling p1 and p3 both 5.3 seems bizarre. p1 was totally cruiser while p3 had some good spice to it.

As of 10-4-2015 there's a fixed tricam on the higher traverse out of the p2 corner and fixed red camalot stuffed into the last roof.
By Jon Po
From: Mahwah, NJ
Nov 1, 2015
rating: 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c

Let's be honest.. A fall off almost anywhere on the second pitch would probably be catastrophic.. I think is very safe to call is R.. A great great climb none the less!!
By Simon Thompson
From: New Paltz, NY
Nov 3, 2015

P2 protects fine IMO. You may have to make a move or two up from the best line to place gear. Poke around and you'll find some good stuff.
By Phredward
From: Brooklyn, NY
Nov 11, 2015
rating: 5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a

There's a large, stuck nut at the first belay which looked both new and solid.

I found 2-3 stuck nuts on the second pitch as well.
By Joshua Wise
From: Mountain View, CA
Sep 20, 2016
rating: 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c R

This beginner, carrying a light rack, was somewhat less than delighted on the second pitch :-) I found myself getting pretty run out and scared in the corner even before the traverse (hanging out in the top of the corner staring down at a #3 C4 a few body lengths below was an exciting moment, to be sure). Then, not knowing that the traverse was 'supposed' to be runout, I did find my scared factor continuing to increase...

So maybe beginners might want a little more than a 'light rack'. But, on the other hand, this all did mean that seeing the tree anchor at the end was truly delightful indeed!
By Nikki Neve
From: East Hampton, CT
Sep 7, 2017

I climbed this with a solid partner. I climbed first pitch with zero effort. We swapped for pitch 2 and she ran out of gear after sewing up the 2nd pitch due to the steepness of it and difficulty. It's a long, steep route so bring a substantial rack if you don't want to face running out of gear and/or being runout with risk of getting injured. A very, very fun climb!
By LB Edwards
From: Brooklyn, NY
4 days ago
rating: 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c

There is a stuck black tricam on the traverse if you take the higher route. This climb certainly isn't for the beginning trad leader, but definitely one to hit with some experience with roofs and traversing. Fun climb.

Also found a #11 BD nut to the left of the ideal belay area. Was loose and very easy to get out - maybe forgotten about.

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