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Blueberry Ledges 

YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ ZA: 11 British: MS 4a PG13

Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, 200'
Original:  YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ ZA: 11 British: MS 4a PG13 [details]
FA: Willie Crowther and Gardiner Perry, 1958
Page Views: 2,235
Submitted By: Taino Grosjean on Apr 2, 2007

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The third pitch...pretty nice climbing.


Just to the left of Beginner's Delight lies this obscure route. You rarely see people on it, as you have Asphodel to the left and a plethora of starred routes to the right.

There are reasons why people generally aren't on it.

The Gray Dick has this rated at 5.5- PG; the book lies horribly. I would rate this at 5.5+ to 5.6, PG-13 to R. I placed in total, for three pitches, 15 pieces of gear -- that's 15 pieces of gear in 200 feet, and I used five on the first pitch (70 feet). Admittedly, the last two pitches go a true 5.3 so I didn't need much on them -- but the crux first pitch is extremely run-out and wanders back and forth. The crux might be easier if you're taller, but a friend of mine on Beginner's Delight watched me pull through it and thought it was a 5.7 or harder.

P1: Aim for an obvious left-facing corner below a roof about 50' feet up. Step up and right onto the top of the block, then up to a long ledge. Find some gear, traverse left, and belay at its left end.

P2: Climb the corner, head up and left to another corner, then up to the GT ledge.

P3: Finish up the left-facing corner on the left.


Approximately 50 feet left of Beginner's Delight, atop a ledge with a 3rd/4th class scramble up a ramp to a large tree about 20 feet off the ground. You actually share the 2nd pitch belay ledge with Beginner's Delight; BD is on the right, BL is on the left.

Descent: Rappel with double ropes off the Beginner's Delight rap station -- doubles will reach the 4th-class scramble below and will avoid the manky stations in between. With one rope, walk 50 feet to climber's right to the Minty / Snooky's Return rappel line, or walk off via the Uberfall Descent.

It would not be in your best interests to use the Beginner's Delight rappel with one 60M rope; you'd have to rappel three times, and the last rappel is off a tree only slightly larger than my upper arm. Scary stuff. If you have one rope, use the Minty rappel.


P1: scarce, tricky, and barely adequate to make PG-13. A very small cam or a large Lowe-Ball protects just below the crux (or reach far right to place a #3). At the belay ledge, use ingenuity to build an anchor, and tell your second not to fall.

P2 & 3: fairly straight-forward climbing, typical Gunks. These two pitches go at a true 5.3, no sand to be found, and protect at around PG; the cruxes of both pitches protect well.

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By Tim Schafstall
Apr 2, 2008

I don't recall the crux being that hard or the gear being that sketch (albeit definitely PG), but this climb was historically seldom done so there was no chalk and route finding was tricky (the book description is vague). It would be easy to get off route. This might change now that it gets a star in the new Williams' Guide.

P3 is boring and has some loose rock. Better just to finish on P3 of Beginner's Delight.
By Dana Marie
From: Cold Spring
Sep 14, 2009

I have to agree with Taino...I thought the first pitch was run out and the grade a little underrated-although I could have been off route too because the way was not abundantly clear.
By divnamite
From: New York, NY
Nov 10, 2009
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a PG13

Pitch 1 is ok, nothing to write home about. Where is the belay on pitch 1? Right above the roof?
Aug 8, 2010

I'd agree that the fist pitch is rather ... airy, as far as pro goes. There's none for the first 40ish feet, then once you've made the enjoyable moves out/onto the hanging arete, you have to make several steep moves again before you'll get gear. So, not a route for a 5.5-6 leader.

Link-up: Because I apparently didn't quite have my fill of airing it out (or because I perhaps forgot to turn left}, I continued straight up the face after the ledge on P1. I then considered heading diagonal and left up to a pine tree (that had no slings), but the deathly loose and lichened corner below it made me reconsider. I ended up making a belay just below, and then finishing up the last right-facing corner of, Beginner's P2. The face moves up to that point, between Blueberry and Beginner's P2, were in the 5.6-7 range and, well, ... just don't fall. However, this is a good, straight link-up option, which would even go in one rope if there's no one on Beginner's. It also sets you up to finish on Beginner's, which is a better P3.

Final note - it really seemed like I was reaching for the same pieces of gear over and over again, so consider doubles in green-alien and green thru yellow camalot sizes.
By Gunkiemike
Sep 10, 2013

I think this route climbs best via Dick's V1 variation. A long pitch from the starting ramp to the belay (gear) at the GTL, but a decent line. It's NOT 5.3 however. As others have noted, the initial 40 ft are not adequately protected, and the V1 bit, while mostly clean and aesthetic, will have you making thin face moves above tiny gear (think "smallest cam you carry"). Squarely in 5.5 territory there. P3 is a welcome cruise (5.3) after the work to get there. So is it worthwhile? Yes...if you fancy a 5.5 PG-13 line. Not for the new 5.5 leader however.
By micah richard
From: Litchfield, Connecticut
Jun 30, 2014

First pitch moves before the roof are not protectable. the holds are positive, but you will hit the ledge if you fall. After the (hard for 5.5.) roof, traverse left on obvious 35 foot ledge all the way to the climbers left. The pine tree that the grey dick book lists as the belay tree does not exist. Perhaps the tree and roots along with the dirt peeled right off the cliff? The second pitch goes directly straight up through overhang with finger crack. Easy jug haul to gain the g.t. The 3rd pitch is fun , but about as hard as the uberfall decent route. Watch out for loose blocks in corner below final roof. Also ,the entire underside of the big final pitch roof is actually a huge flake that is almost totally detached. It's incredible how little is holding it there. Not to be taken lightly! It's like the size of a half sheet of plywood and 4-6'' thick! if you dislodge this thing , you will die! You don't have to touch it to do the route. However, I'ts only a matter of time before this thing kills someone. Best to avoid this pitch altogether, or roll the dice!
By Ron Birk
From: Boston, MA
Oct 19, 2014

I thought the gray Dick description is very good assuming you remove the word "pine" from the first pitch description. After the overhang and little more you traverse left to the first tree for 35' and the rap station there. From there you continue the next two pitches and all matches perfectly, except the tree is not a pine tree.

There is a pine tree higher up way above where you traverse on the first pitch. Don't go there! You will be off route and it's much harder with no protection.

The gear was all G/PG in my opinion throughout the three pitches and I just started leading Gunks 5.5s and felt very comfortable on all three pitches. Enjoyed this climb a lot.

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