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Upper Washbowl Cliff
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Butterflies are Free T 
Feet of Fire T 
Flashdance T 
Hesitation T 
Northern Revival T 
Overture T 
Partition T 
Prelude T 
Weekend Warrior S 
Wiessner Route T 
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YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a

Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, 300'
Original:  YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a [details]
FA: P1: Patrick Purcell & Don Mellor P2-P3 Don Mellor, Bill Dodd, & Jeff Edwards
Page Views: 3,187
Submitted By: Greg Kuchyt on Nov 18, 2009

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (21)
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Last pitch of Overture! Doesn't let up for a secon...


General: Lawyer and Haas write that Overture is "a masterpiece of route finding" and no description could be better. Pitch 3 offers a mentally demanding and committing exposed line that will not disappoint. Pitch 1 can be avoided by linking the first pitch of Prelude with Pitches 2 and 3, thus maintaining the 5.8 grade.

Pitch 1 (5.10a):An unprotected boulder problem start leads to a short, shallow, and thin left-facing corner with a bolt at the end of the corner. At the top of the corner, exit working up and left to another bolt. From the second bolt, climb up on easier (5.8ish), albeit unprotected, terrain to a two-bolt anchor (shared with Prelude).

Pitch 2 (5.6): From the belay, work left to the large, low-angle, left-facing corner. Climb the corner to where it meets a short vertical step and work left to the obvious crack. An uncharacteristically hard move gains the low-angle rock above. Continue up, trending left, past another vertical step to a large ledge to build a gear anchor.

Pitch 3 (5.8): From the ledge, drop down to the climber's left (consider protecting the second here with a #00 TCU size micro-cam) and traverse over to a lone bolt on the low-angle face to the right of the arete. Make a committing move up on the arete until you can see a left-rising ramp appear. Make a highly exposed, highly committing move around the arete and onto the ramp (good protection) to gain the small corner formed by the ramp. Climb the ramp to gain a second, much welcomed, bolt. Move left from the bolt, into the prominent corner. Continue to the top, on easier terrain to build a gear anchor.

Note: On pitch 1, it is possible to escape climber's right into the first pitch of Prelude at the second bolt and above the second bolt after a short unprotected section (the latter being a good way to tame the stretch between protection after the second bolt).


Start: The approach through the talus brings you roughly to the main corner for Hesitation. Approach as for Hesitation, but follow the wall to climber's right until you come to an obvious rockfall runout. You should see an obvious, large rock fall scar with a "zig-zag" roof up to the right of the climb. This route shares its start with Prelude.

Descent: See the Upper Washbowl Cliff page for descent information for the cliff.


A single set from #00 Metolius TCU size to hand-size pieces. Doubles in the TCU sizes might not be the worst thing for Pitch 3. Stoppers.

Pitch 1: 2 bolts, 2 bolt anchor
Pitch 3: 2 bolts

Photos of Overture Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: p3 nice fall day.  Matt Nuaman.
p3 nice fall day. Matt Nuaman.
Rock Climbing Photo: Royce going through the business on Overture, fina...
Royce going through the business on Overture, fina...
Rock Climbing Photo: Simon at the first bolt on p3
Simon at the first bolt on p3
Rock Climbing Photo: Simon on the thrilling last pitch of Overture
Simon on the thrilling last pitch of Overture
Rock Climbing Photo: Simon pulling the step on p2
Simon pulling the step on p2
Rock Climbing Photo: Higher E
Higher E
Rock Climbing Photo: Dennis on the final pitch of "Overture"....
Dennis on the final pitch of "Overture"....

Comments on Overture Add Comment
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By Greg Kuchyt
From: Richmond, VT
Nov 18, 2009

I tried to separate opinion from fact in the route description, so here is my opinion.

Pitch 3 is heady and has a high deal of exposure. Being solid at the grade (same goes for your second) is probably advisable. The gear is solid, but care should be taken to think about protecting the second in various spots. There is potential for everyone to go for a bit of a ride if one were to pitch at key moments on the climb without gear. With all that said, enjoy the wild experience and exposure this great route affords.
By Matt Glue
From: Boulder, CO
Aug 8, 2011

It's been a couple of years since I followed this. I have yet to return to lead it but Greg is right. I've never felt more exposed in my life. High E at the Gunks doesn't even come close. Be ready for a thrill, and bring your prusiks!
By john gregory
From: Lebanon, NH
Oct 10, 2011

dont be intimidated by the other posts. this route is of moderate exposure and the scarry(?) dihedral stepover can be avoided by climbing higher on the arete (also easier). If you are a well experienced 5.8 climber and comfortable relying on microcams, then you will find this route to be very fun. I think the 5.10 1st pitch is mostly a slab pitch, and the crack to the right is much more rewarding and esthetic. the 2nd pitch should be rated a 5.7, and the third pitch atleast a 5.8+ or .9. it offers a variety of challenging, atypical, but awesome climbing moves. highly recommended.
By Greg Kuchyt
From: Richmond, VT
May 19, 2013

Pitches 1 & 2 of Flashdance make for a really good approach to the Overture ramp. This provides a more technical/harder approach for those looking for a fuller climbing experience. I highly recommend it as the way to approach pitch 3 of Overture. Additionally at the end of the ramp I find it's best to build the belay below the dinner table ledge as it sets you up better to belay the leader for the last pitch.
By Benjaminadk
From: San Pedro, California
Sep 29, 2013

agree that pitch 2 is harder than 5.6. pulling that crack through the overhanging face is the hardest move on the prelude to overture linkup in my opinion. pitch 3 is a gem. exposed and committing with odd, but fun moves. I think that 5.8 is fair. It is never strenuous and the feet are mostly good. the extreme exposure and small gear make it heady but not harder. also, agree that falls in a couple spots for either the leader or follower would be bad news. but its totally worth getting on. when a climb is good but doesnt remind you of any other climbs you have done its something special.
By Dom R
From: Estes Park, Colorado
Sep 7, 2014
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Possibly my new favorite multi in the ADK. What a fantastic climb, we did the prelude/overture linkup and it did not disappoint. If it were more popular and if the actual route was the linkup not the 10A start then this climb would easily be on the Adirondack classics list on this site. I do not think the second pitch is at all harder than 5.6 what more can you ask for then a bomber jug and jam there? If anything I'd call it 5.6awkward or short-hand 5.6ADK I mean have you climbed the wiessner route on this cliff? Regardless have fun on the third pitch, it's amazing and that dihedral really is bottomless. Prelude is pretty great too.
By Dom R
From: Estes Park, Colorado
Oct 14, 2014
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Just led High E this weekend, I concur that overture has way more exposure. The thing is, you're forced to look down while climbing the third pitch.
By Jon Po
From: Mahwah, NJ
Jun 24, 2015
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

Don't underestimate the "unprotected 5.7 boulder problem start" especially if the feet under the bulge are wet! Otherwise an exquisite route! Good gear the whole way! Get on it! The 5.10a first pitch is really more of a variation then a different climb. I ended up climbing that to avoid the soaking wet crux corner of Prelude. I would also recommend climbing the crack about 1 foot right of the arete on the second pitch. It doesn't really increase difficulty but it jacks up the exposure wayyyy high! Don't forget to really protect your second for the "step down" off the second belay. Having a confident follower is a good idea for this one!

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