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The Precipice aka The South Wall
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YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 100'
Original:  YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b [details]
FA: unknown
Season: Closed sometimes for Peregrine Nesting
Page Views: 5,447
Submitted By: Jonathan Steitzer on Feb 22, 2010  with updates from JSH

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (48)
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Start of Gunklandia -- discontinuous orange cracks...

Annual Trail Closures to protect Peregrine falcons MORE INFO >>>


Gunklandia is a local classic, with 3 fun pitches and a little bit of spice at the end. It starts a little down hill from old town.

The first two pitches are commonly combined into one and follow an easy corner system and crack to a spacious belay ledge with rap anchors. From here up and to the right takes you to a bomb bay chimney which puts the sting in the tail of this scorpion.

Have fun.
- - - - -- - - - - - - - - -

[Maine Admin. note: The "Direct" variation ( 15 ft of unprotected 5.9 on P1) probably should be listed here as only a variation, but it has it's own route listing. R Hall. If anyone has a photo of someone climbing it it would be greatly appreciated if you posted it. I will make it the "lead" photo for the "Direct". ]


The dead log mentioned in the guidebook is no longer there. Location should read: Directly above granite steps, at a pair of striking orange cracks, 40' downhill from Old Town.

Follow the finger cracks up to get to a little ledge, then a larger crack leads you up to the belay ledge and the end of the second pitch.


Small and medium nuts.

Photos of Gunklandia Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: The starting finger cracks
BETA PHOTO: The starting finger cracks
Rock Climbing Photo: Charlie working the finger cracks.
Charlie working the finger cracks.
Rock Climbing Photo: some people say the start's the crux, but I defini...
some people say the start's the crux, but I defini...
Rock Climbing Photo: Charlie Racking up for his lead.
Charlie Racking up for his lead.

Comments on Gunklandia Add Comment
Show which comments
By GMBurns
Sep 21, 2010
rating: 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c

P3 felt WAY harder than 5.7. Not sure if it was the correct place to go, but we did the crack in the corner, between the 5.9 flake above us to the left and the 10ish crack on the face to the right.
By Costigan
Oct 2, 2010

I climbed this route a few weeks ago as well. I felt that the the moves off the ground were quite trivial, but I got smacked around trying to gain the wide crack off the optional pitch one belay ledge. Pitch two (or three) follows a wonderful tradition of New England sandbagging. Overall Gunklandia is great route that left me more than a little humble.....I hung on 5.7 :)
By Dom
From: New Brunswick Canada
Apr 25, 2011

I'm confused. Is the pitch 3 chimney part of this route or is that what they call Gunklandia direct?

Anyways the chimney is harder than 5.7. like GMburns said
By Keyan P
From: Brooklyn, NY
Aug 26, 2011
rating: 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c

agreed, the short chimney section was awkward and felt more like a 5.9
By Derek Doucet
Oct 19, 2011
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

No, the Chimney is not Gunklandia Direct. It is the last pitch of Gunklandia. Gunklandia direct is a variation on the first pitch, starting about 20' of the standard start.
By Peter Lewis
From: Bridgton, Maine
Oct 30, 2014

Yeah, um, that last pitch chimney---such a little sandbag...if this is 5.7, then the second pitch of Chitlin is 5.8. (Hint: none of this is right.) Expect to be spanked. First pitch (or two, depending on how you do it), is wonderful and true to the grade; the direct start is an awesome two-move wonder.
By Robert Hall
From: North Conway, NH
Aug 3, 2016

Hey the guidebook. Your have to put 2 & 2 together since there's two references, but in the first ref. (on the page by the writer of the first guidebook to the area) it is explained that (to paraphrase) " I rated the climbs one or two grades lower so that when the "gunkies" showed up they'd get burned". Then on another page, the current guidebook author states "I've pretty much kept the originally assigned grades". Now, since "gunkies" are kind of famous for doing poorly on cracks, what do you think they'd do with the ratings of a crack climb named "Gunklandia"?! eh?

So...if the route is old, or if it's new and the FA-ers were "locals" you can pretty much be sure it's "sandbagged" by today's terminology!
By Justin Irving
Sep 26, 2016
rating: 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Great climb, found the wider crack section after the optional pitch 1 belay tricky as well, and there's a somewhat loose large piece of rock in that section that got the blood flowing.
By Ryan Murphy 18
From: maine (bar harbor)
Oct 12, 2016
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

I didn't have very much fun on this one. The rock quality is not awesome near the top and felt pretty sandbagged, also not a big fan of that big moving flake.

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