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Obstacle Delusion 

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

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 130'
Original:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a PG13 [details]
FA: Dave Loeks and Claude Suhl (1973)
Page Views: 2,542
Submitted By: Tim Schafstall on Apr 24, 2008

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (45)
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This is a great climb. It's an excellent choice if you have someone who can easily follow 5.9 but still needs some easier climbs to lead because P1 is only 5.4, but nice climbing.

P1 - Climb the flake or the face just right of the flake to the large ledge and a belay below the 2 overhangs (5.4).

P2 - Climb up to the right side of the first overhang, then step up and left (scary, crux) to a stance below the second overhang. Step left again, then climb a short red/orange corner to another stance and diagonal up and right to the pine tree belay/rap.


About 150 right of High Exposure, at the left side of a 15-foot high, right-facing flake, just left of the Alpine Diversions crack, and just right of Third Trapps Chimney.


Standard Gunks rack.

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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jun 17, 2014
By Fat Paul
From: Central, NJ
Nov 24, 2009

Power through the first roof at the small horizontal crimp and up the runout face above. Move left on the clean orange face below a nice horizontal crack. Aim for the bush at a thin seam and up to the pine tree belay. Small cams needed to protect this route. A new favorite!
By Chris Duca
From: Havertown, PA
Mar 31, 2011
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a PG13

I feel like it is pretty easy to get off route on this one and land yourself on some 5.10 climbing. Anyone agree?
By Dana Bartlett
From: CT
Apr 2, 2011

Hi Chris,

Could you explain? The original start is 5.10 and the way the climb is commonly started now is 5.9. But either you choose, the lines converge fairly quickly and it's hard for me to imagine any 5.10 up there.


By blah blah
Apr 5, 2011

I recall pulling pretty hard around the first roof of the "second" pitch... It's a pretty big roof, and I traversed to the right hand side of the roof... nevertheless, I was slapping at some marginal/ok holds... I would put it at 5.10.. (I can't think of any 5.9 that compares).
By Chris Duca
From: Havertown, PA
Apr 18, 2011
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a PG13

It's been a while, Dana, but I recall a shallow corner close to the arete that took some mighty small brass wires. pulling the roof seemed way more difficult than the neighboring 5.9, Insuhlation. And from what I recall, doesn't one of the variations go at 5.10?

By Dana Bartlett
From: CT
Apr 20, 2011

I don't remember a shallow arete that was/seemed to be 5.10, but that doesn't mean you aren't right. But now that I think of it, I suppose the first roof on the second pitch (mentioned in a previous post) was a bit hard for 5.9
By Alex Mitchell
From: Cincinnati, OH
Oct 29, 2012

Such a great route! A per pump fight. Not really any hard moves just super overhung. I did not think it was that runout. I was able to get gear every 8 feet or so. Just a bit hard to place gear because of the pump.
By wonderwoman
May 1, 2013

I didn't think this was PG-13. Maybe PG?
By divnamite
From: New York, NY
Jun 3, 2013
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13

For me, the crux is route finding. First pitch is simple enough. The first roof of the second pitch is harder than a 5.9 and protection after the roof isn't as easy to place.

I climbed what Chris Duca described, the shallow red corner on the left of the arete, because of all the chalk marks. It was definitely harder than a 9.
By Simon Thompson
From: New Paltz, NY
Nov 24, 2013
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Easily linked both pitches with two ropes and running out most of the first pitch. The crux is pretty standard gunks 5.9 steep overhang and face. Overall the last 50ft are somewhat sustained. One of my favorite routes!
By Michael Schneider
Apr 26, 2014

See comments for Teeny face RE Martine face.
By Pawel Janowski
From: WA
Jun 8, 2014
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

By far one of the best 5.9 at the Gunks and one of my favorite lines period: a cool roof problem followed by thought-provoking, sustained 5.8ish moves to the top. Much more interesting than its sister, Insulhation.

I don't understand the PG13 rating though. The entire climb is super well-protected with cams and c3's. G in my book.
By Michael Schneider
Jun 17, 2014

We did not have small springy things back in the day. If you were short, the length between placements was often more 'R' than 'pg'.

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