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Grease Gun Groove 

YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b

Type:  Trad, 80'
Original:  YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b [details]
FA: Gary Hemming, Art Gran, Roger Chorley, 1958
Page Views: 4,125
Submitted By: John Peterson on Mar 11, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (107)
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BETA PHOTO: First few moves of the climb.


WARNING: a ground-nest of yellowjackets is in the blocks immediately opposite the start of the route. Avoid those blocks, and put your packs down well to climbers' right.

An excellent 5.6 pitch that marks the leftmost of the densest, highest quality climbing in the Nears. Beyond this the rock quality drops dramatically.

Start about 100' left of Birdland, at a slabby left-facing corner above a chest-high bulge.

P1: Make a tough bouldery move over the bulge into the corner. Continue up the corner, go right under a roof, and climb a steep wall capped by a small roof (pin) to a tree with a rap anchor. Good climbing all the way up. 5.6, 80'.

There is a second pitch but I've never done it or seen anyone on it.
(Several comments below: "a safari" - ed.)


Standard Gunks rack

Photos of Grease Gun Groove Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Mark Mooradian nearing the top of the first pitch.
Mark Mooradian nearing the top of the first pitch.
Rock Climbing Photo: a nice view of the 5.8 crack/roof variation...
a nice view of the 5.8 crack/roof variation...
Rock Climbing Photo: starting up
starting up
Rock Climbing Photo: further up on P1
BETA PHOTO: further up on P1
Rock Climbing Photo: Grease Gun Groove
BETA PHOTO: Grease Gun Groove

Comments on Grease Gun Groove Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Sep 5, 2017
By jeremyadams
From: Mount Joy, PA
Jan 5, 2007

The second pitch is a safari. I gave it a go one time and found myself pulling on vegetation while my feet were skittering off dirty holds. It's too bad, really, because the rock was not awful, although the moves are not particularly memorable.
By monk
Jul 17, 2008

There's an interesting roof variation to GGG. The variation can be seen from the ground. About 3/4 the way up to the top, to the left of the regular route, you will see a roof with a crack. Traverse over to the roof and pull it at the crack. This variation is not in my (Swain) guidebook. It is well protected and goes at about 8+.

One word of warning. I told a friend about the variation and he warned me about a possible loose block up there. I don't remember any questionable rock.
Jul 20, 2008

There is indeed a loose block above - as in, you're standing just after having pulled - the crux roof on the variation. It's fairly loose, but fairly obviously loose. You'll want to place pro to protect follower(s) climbing through the roof, so take care to place it well above the loose block and you'll be fine.
By gblauer Blauer
From: Wayne, PA
Jul 27, 2008

The first pitch is fun, with the crux move right off the ground. The gear is great, the moves even better. I found the second pitch fun as well. It's not too well traveled, so beware of grassy ledges, lichen etc.

There are two variations to this climb, a 5.10 and a 5.8. The 5.10 traverses left before you climb on the pedestal and climb the corner, clear that and climb the 5.8 variation over a small roof. Both variations protect well.
By Spiro
Oct 10, 2008
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

stop at the first pitch, second pitch is a safari.
By Mark Roth
From: Boulder
Apr 7, 2011

There is a fun 5.11 variation a few feet right of the start. Might as well top rope it while you are here... Really just a tall boulder problem, and being tall is also helpful.
By Neil Steinert
From: Hamilton
Jun 17, 2012
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

I liked the 2nd pitch (it is grassy with lichen). The first pitch is better and more cruxy in my opinion.
By Benjaminadk
From: San Pedro, California
Nov 10, 2014

The 5.8 variation is cool. Didnt notice the loose block today but it may still be there. Very good gear and monster jugs and a no hands rest after. On the easy side of gunks 8. No harder than Shockley's crux and kind of similar now that I think about it.
By Amanda Friedman
Aug 12, 2015
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

My first 5.6 lead! Great route and plenty of places for gear. A few big moves but good hands the whole way
By Torren
From: Newark, DE
Oct 14, 2015

I climbed both pitches last weekend. Pitch one is pretty awesome and pitch two was ok. P2 is pretty grassy for the last 30 feet. However, if it is your last climb of the day it makes for an easy walk off back to the west trapps lot if you don't leave stuff at the base. I just ran it out though the last bit so climbing was not that much slower then rapping down and walking out from the base.
By rogerbenton
May 1, 2016

TONS of gear available on 1st pitch.
Would be a good one to send a new leader up (provided they can climb comfortably at the grade) just because there are so many gear placement opportunities.
By David Kerkeslager
From: Brooklyn, NY
Sep 5, 2017
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

I'm not sure why people are so excited about the protection on this climb, as there's definitely ground fall potential at the beginning crux and only mediocre gear for the next few moves. Granted, it's not a far fall, but definitely enough to sprain/break an ankle. If you're climbing hard enough to consider this a G, you're climbing hard enough that this climb will bore you.

If this is a climb at your grade, I'd do the beginning of this when you're bouldering in the area. The nice (V0+ or V1-) boulder problem at the beginning is the most fun part of the climb, and that's better protected by a boulder pad than by gear.
Sep 5, 2017

You can absolutely protect the first move, and I do every time.

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