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Bloody Mary 

YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: E1 5a

Type:  Trad, 6 pitches, 500'
Original:  YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: E1 5a [details]
FA: John Turner, Dick Strachan, and Dick Wilmott 1959
Page Views: 8,910
Submitted By: Chris Duca on Dec 16, 2007

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BETA PHOTO: Crux ? Here or higher up on P2 ?

  • Access is limited in the spring and summer due to peregrine falcon nesting; so there are some closures. Checking with the Adirondack Climbers Coalition or the NYDEC can provide the closure status.
  • Peregrine closures and approach trail issues MORE INFO >>>

  • Description 

    Paralyzing positioning, sustained climbing, and impeccable rock make this route one of Poke-O's finest vertical jaunts.

    As you climb, remind yourself that for 15 years, this route stood as the hardest climb in the Adirondacks.

    Pitch 1:
    Begin roughly 100 feet to the right and uphill from Gamesmanship, and roughly 100 feet to the left of The Fastest Gun. Spot the curving dihedral high on the route (the 2nd pitch), this is what you are aiming for.

    Climb the broken corner and hand cracks to the left of the corner to a nice belay ledge below the massive, curving dihedral.(Note: You need to build an anchor here). (5.6 / 40 feet)

    Pitch 2:
    The gem of the route. Climb off the belay ledge and into the dihedral. Continue up the sustained corner until you reach a welcomed rest mid-pitch. Aim for the small, left-facing corner. Gain this and climb it with similar difficulty to a semi-hanging belay at chains. (5.9+ / 110 feet)


    Pitch 3:
    If you want to continue...climb the tight dihedral until easier rock is reached. Belay here at another small ledge. (5.8 / 80 feet)

    Pitches 4, 5, and 6
    Scramble over some loose, dirty rock to gain the upper pitches of Gamesmanship (5.7 PG/R), or continue out right to meet up with The Fastest Gun (5.10).

    If you plan to go to the top of the cliff. Use the same rap station as Gamesmanship or The Fastest Gun. Both require two 60 meter ropes for rappelling.


    The route is located 100 feet to the right and uphill from Gamesmanship, and roughly 100 feet to the left of The Fastest Gun. Spot the curving dihedral high on the route (the 2nd pitch), this is what you are aiming for.


    A nice size rack with doubles in the #.75 to #3 Camalot size. An additional #3.5 or #4 is welcomed, too. Double ropes, or a tag line, many long slings, and as with all routes on Poke-O, a good assortment of stoppers and RPs is always nice to have in the quiver of protection.

    Photos of Bloody Mary Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: Running P2 out to the belay
    BETA PHOTO: Running P2 out to the belay
    Rock Climbing Photo: Stepping Left
    BETA PHOTO: Stepping Left
    Rock Climbing Photo: Above on P2
    BETA PHOTO: Above on P2
    Rock Climbing Photo: Mark M on P1
    BETA PHOTO: Mark M on P1
    Rock Climbing Photo: Sheila at the crux
    BETA PHOTO: Sheila at the crux
    Rock Climbing Photo: Sheila Matz belays - allowing me to take photos !
    BETA PHOTO: Sheila Matz belays - allowing me to take photos !
    Rock Climbing Photo: Mark studying the overhang at the start of P2
    BETA PHOTO: Mark studying the overhang at the start of P2
    Rock Climbing Photo: Bloody Mary
    BETA PHOTO: Bloody Mary
    Rock Climbing Photo: Not over until it's bloody over
    Not over until it's bloody over
    Rock Climbing Photo: Bloody no hands rest.
    Bloody no hands rest.

    Comments on Bloody Mary Add Comment
    Show which comments
    By paulmadry
    Aug 6, 2009

    I have trad climbed probably 500-1000 pitches of 5.8-5.10 in different states. The 5.9+ pitch of Bloody mary is my #1 in terms of "aestheticity". Do it! The third pitch is ok.
    By Derek Doucet
    Aug 3, 2010

    With a 70m rope, one can rap from the top of P2 back to the belay ledge atop P1. From there, look to the climbers' left end of the ledge and you'll find another anchor, reachable with some brief, though exposed, scrambling. This allows one to climb and descend P 1 and 2 with a single 70m rope.

    P2 is very good. The pitches above are definitely not.
    By Jeffrey Gagliano
    From: Pennsburg, PA
    Jul 18, 2011

    While I haven't climbed a 1000 or so routes in this range, I have been on many a route all over the US at this grade. IMO, P2 of BM will rank in your top 3, if not the first spot in most awesome 5.9 pitches evah. The climbing is ridiculous for the grade. Not for the difficulty (it's not over rated), but for the shear "What the Whiskey Tango Foxtrot am I DOING HERE?" factor.
    Note: This does not apply to followers of the pitch.

    BTW: P1 would be a fright-fest for the 5.6 leader.
    By Greg Kuchyt
    From: Richmond, VT
    Jun 12, 2012
    rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

    To refine the gear recommendations...linking P1 and P2 I found stoppers plus a single rack from micro cams to a #3 with doubles in .5-2 allowed me to sew the climb up (lots of slings/draws obviously). A single three worked fine, much to my amusement as I brought two 3s and a 3.5 and had some extra weight at the P2 belay. If you belay at the P1 ledge, an extra 3 and a 3.5 or so would be helpful.
    By Daniel Israel
    From: Montreal, Quebec
    Oct 21, 2013
    rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

    I had to place a lot of gear and go back down to reclaim some gear. Very nice climb, I can see why people like it so much, but for me it was definitely overwhelming.
    By Dan Flynn
    From: MA
    Aug 23, 2017
    rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

    Linked 1+2 with double ropes, minimal gear on 1, made it into a soul journey of stemming and layback for 50 m. This is a beauty.

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