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Bird Cage 

YDS: 5.10b French: 6a+ Ewbanks: 19 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 100'
Original:  YDS: 5.10b French: 6a+ Ewbanks: 19 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b [details]
FA: FA: Dick Williams, Steve Arsenault, & Wilber Cain - 1971
FFA: Henry Barber & Bob Anderson - 1972
Page Views: 9,502
Submitted By: Josh Janes on Feb 23, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (85)
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Climbing the initial dihedral of Birdcage. Photo C...


Bird Cage is a great climb on a great section of the cliff. It takes the most central, obvious line in the Birdland area -- which is identified by a huge corner. The face that makes up the right side of this dihedral is Birdland; the corner itself is Bird Cage.

P1: Ascend this corner at challenging 5.8. Once you get to the roof, place pro (sometimes a fixed wire here), traverse out right, and get horizontal. A long reach will get you through it. Rap from a fixed anchor above, or use the Birdland bolt anchor directly to the right.


Standard Rack.

Photos of Bird Cage Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Getting horizontal.
Getting horizontal.
Rock Climbing Photo: Full view. There is a fixed nut or two at the crux...
Full view. There is a fixed nut or two at the crux...
Rock Climbing Photo: vintage shoes!
vintage shoes!
Rock Climbing Photo: Todd Mummert underneath the roof.
Todd Mummert underneath the roof.
Rock Climbing Photo: The corner on the first pitch makes for fine bridg...
The corner on the first pitch makes for fine bridg...
Rock Climbing Photo: Getting a foot up.  Ain't over yet.
Getting a foot up. Ain't over yet.
Rock Climbing Photo: just plain fun!
just plain fun!
Rock Climbing Photo: Going over the ceiling on Birdcage. The last pro h...
Going over the ceiling on Birdcage. The last pro h...

Comments on Bird Cage Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jul 31, 2016
By Rodrigo Cid
Aug 21, 2006

Without giving much beta, the thin delicate traverse under the roof is the crux.
By J. Nickel
Jun 2, 2008

When I led this route a year or two ago, there was no good anchor above the roof to rappel from. Recently, I led up the corner and traversed right to the Birdland anchor, skipping the dramatic roof moves. This was a really good pitch at about 5.9+ and allows for an easy descent. I think that it would also be possible to continue up the second pitch of Birdland from above the roof.
By Josh Dulberger
Sep 15, 2008

The 2nd pitch of Birdland up and to the right and is under-appreciated - it's nice 5.8 climbing, good pro, interesting corner/roof moves.
By Eric8
From: Maynard, MA
Aug 8, 2009

of the few routes i have done at the gunks this was my favorite a little bit of everything
By BrianRH
From: Jersey City, NJ
Nov 22, 2010
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

Climbed this last week. the two fixed wires under the roof at the crux are completely blown now. Just in case you were thinking about it. Still a classic.
By Michal Pasniewski
May 14, 2011

Yeah, the wires are broken, and moreover they take up valuable space for pro . You can place DMM peenut #4 and #6 just left of the wires ... if your hands are long enough (spicy moves there). Above the roof, a gray alien fits; camalot #3 is a solid horizontal piece and camalot #2 later if you wish.
By Beth McLendon
From: Gunks, NY
Aug 24, 2011

Two of the three rusty nuts that were there have been cleaned. There's a new fixed one in there now which looks fine and you can back it up on either side.
By Will Stat
Nov 11, 2012
rating: 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

There are presently two good fixed nuts under the roof that can be clipped with the same biner, and another old one with a rusty broken cable.

Use a 24" draw with another tripled draw to extend it 8" more to clear the roof - the 24" draw alone will give you serious drag on the lip.
By carl al
Jun 24, 2014
rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b

I tested out those nuts this weekend. Still two fixed ones that looked decent and held my flailing whippers. The left one is a blown out old rusted thing.

I would highly recommend two double shoulder-length draws for the roof. I got the rope pinched and pumped out.

I'm still confused on the beta over the roof? High left foot and just then just a huge pull?
By Steve Hazel
From: Philadelphia, PA
Jul 20, 2014

Climbed this yesterday - hard and super fun route. Left a BD small purple nut left of the traverse b/c it looked like a good spot to have pro if the fixed wires and pin blow. But when I got to them all the fixed pro looks like its in good shape. You can get good pieces in every 5' or so (which I did and ended up back cleaning). I used small wires up to a #2 BD C4. Roof felt like the crux, the traverse was no problem. Definitely want to extend the pin and wires or you'll have to pull the roof twice like I did.
By rocknice2
From: Montreal, Quebec
Apr 15, 2015

As of April 12 2015, there is only a single nut [Metolius Curved nut] under the roof. The nut looked OK [slightly better than marginal] but it did have some broken rock near it. Two broken wedges still remain and block valuable crack space. At this point I wouldn't call the pro 'bomber'.
By Moritz B.
Apr 19, 2015

The dihedral is more like 10- instead of "challenging 5.8" but have a shot, a see for yourself. Fun climb.
By GabeO
From: New Haven, CT
Jun 1, 2015

I agree with Moritz B: The corner is sustained and technical. 9+ or 10- for sure.
By SethG
Jun 1, 2015

I say the corner is just plain 5.9, the traverse is 5.10b, and the roof is harder than that: 5.9+.
By losbill
Jun 1, 2015

Okay Seth, I'm confused.

...and the roof is harder than that: 5.9+.

Are you applying North Conway route grading and implying the roof is harder than 5.10b? Or am I misinterpreting your comment and you are grading the roof as a Gunks 5.9+? I assume the latter but always keep an open mind. I only question it since you are usually very precise and correct in your sentence structure. You haven't had a glass or two of wine before posting by chance?

Champagne Bill
By SethG
Jun 1, 2015

losbill, don't you know that 5.9+ is harder than 5.10b?

Sure seems that way to me!

I think the roof is 5.10 minus, to be honest.
By Sean McAuley
Jun 2, 2015

My unnecessary 2 cents:
Sustained climbing with 4 sections that are all pretty similar in difficulty but may feel easier or harder depending on your size and skill set:
Sustained techy corner
Thin traverse
Tough pull into the roof
Big roof

As for myself, I find the corner and roof pretty simple and the traverse delicate. The crux for me is simply getting my feet up under me at the roof, though some of my smaller partners make this look elementary. One of the most bang for your buck single pitches in the nears. Lets just hope that when whatever existing fixed nut at the crux inevitably rusts out it gets replaced before the cable breaks again and you're left with another perfect placement that's unusable.
By stephen arsenault
Jul 31, 2016

Funny that I never knew we were doing a 1st ascent, since Dick Williams never mentioned it, back in 1971. Don't really remember the climb, since it was a long time ago.

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