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Midnight Cowboy 

YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: E1 5a PG13

Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, 250'
Original:  YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: E1 5a PG13 [details]
FA: Richard Goldstone and Dick Williams, 1968
Page Views: 1,126
Submitted By: lucander on Dec 6, 2011

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (4)
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P. 1 (5.9+) Climb the thin face and crack (crux) 20 feet to the first protection. Continue up the somewhat lichenated face to a belay atop the block above the slung anchor for No Recollection. Make sure that you have small gear, tricams, and know how to use them, this anchor takes creativity. (60 feet)

P. 2 (5.9+) Climb up and left about fifteen feet, then move up the steep bulge (crux 1) to a stance on a comfortable ledge. Continue up to a small, right-facing corner with an old piton (back it up). Climb the clean face to the right (crux 2) on incredible crimps to a stance. Continue up to the GTL, aim for the right side of the right-most tree for the cleanest rock. Belay here (good gear, but sketchy rock) or set a bomber directional and walk left 35 feet to a healthy belay tree.

P. 3 (5.9) This pitch is basically a variation to Simple Ceilings. Climb a low overhang, then pass a few smaller overhangs to a comfortable ledge at the bottom of a hanging right-facing corner (gulp) and an optional belay. Move up and out this corner (great pro) to an exposed perch and an optional belay. Continue up fifteen feet of easy rock to the top.

Descend by the anchor lines at Strictly or 3 Pines, or walk back to the Uberfall.


Start at a very thin right-slanting crack on the right side of the Nemesis Buttress.


A full quiver of gear including tiny cams, micro wires, and tricams. Build all of your own belays.

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By lucander
From: Stone Ridge, NY
Dec 6, 2011

This might be my favorite 5.9 at the Gunks. Each pitch is different, and it feels like a little adventure because you're building anchors all the way up. Run-out and a little spooky with a touch of lichen here and there, kind of like lots of outstanding but under-appreciated routes at Poke-O. Certainly a highlight of my season.
Jan 13, 2012

Dave, what's the PG13 part (the start?), or is it just generally necky?
By lucander
From: Stone Ridge, NY
Feb 8, 2012

You'll find PR-13ish sections on pitches 1 and 2. The start follows a right-slanting crack with a un-protected or poorly protected crux 10' up. The beginning of the second pitch has some suspect rock, make sure you protect in the good stuff. The crux pin is damn near useless, but can be backed up. Do so, because you're gunning it for a few body lengths through positive holds and a little lichen until you get good gear in a small right-facing corner.
By rgold
From: Poughkeepsie, NY
Oct 9, 2014

First ascent Richard Goldstone and Dick Williams, 1968. (I "discovered" the line and led pitches 1 and 2 so don't deserve to be left entirely off the FA credits!) thanks - added to route info - JSH

I don't know if new micro gear has improved the situation significantly, but if not the first pitch is more like R than PG-13, and as usual for Gunks 9+'s, it might be 10a. Pitch 2 had a really old pin down and left that might have indicated an aid ascent earlier.

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