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Stirrup Trouble 

YDS: 5.10b French: 6a+ Ewbanks: 19 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b PG13

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 70'
Original:  YDS: 5.10b French: 6a+ Ewbanks: 19 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b PG13 [details]
FA: FA: Bill Goldner, early 60's. FFA: John Stannard, 1973
Page Views: 4,931
Submitted By: Tony B on Mar 6, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (56)
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At the last crux. You can escape to the right.


Perhaps a double entendre in the name? I am not sure. A good route with poor gear in places, it is unique. I found this to be a rough introduction to the Gunks.

The route starts 15' left of P38, a more-popular climb with better protection.

P1: Climb up off of a boulder on unprotected moves (5.10-) to gain a crack, which is climbed to a horizontal. Follow the horizontal left for a few body lengths to a rift in the small overhang and climb up to some roofs above. Wander left through some small roofs, then up and right up a face to reach the top of the cliff.

Descend via Radcliffe just to climbers' right, or the Uberfall Descent.


Not that great. I felt pretty runout in a few places on insecure moves. Falling would be a pretty bad idea. Take a light rack with a normal range of nuts and cams and see what you can tinker in.

Double ropes are useful.

Photos of Stirrup Trouble Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Undercling the roof. Just keep going--it gets easi...
Undercling the roof. Just keep going--it gets easi...
Rock Climbing Photo: Pulling onto the slab, yet another crux.
Pulling onto the slab, yet another crux.
Rock Climbing Photo: Finishing the traverse. When you stand up here, yo...
Finishing the traverse. When you stand up here, yo...
Rock Climbing Photo: Traversing left is the third crux. What makes it h...
Traversing left is the third crux. What makes it h...
Rock Climbing Photo: Reaching the horizontal after the second crux. You...
Reaching the horizontal after the second crux. You...
Rock Climbing Photo: Placing an Alien after the first crux. You can als...
Placing an Alien after the first crux. You can als...

Comments on Stirrup Trouble Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Apr 11, 2017
By Ivan Rezucha
From: Fort Collins, CO
Mar 7, 2006

I've always thought this was the least likely looking route for the grade. It looks impossible. Five 5.9 cruxes, with the final crux usually the most difficult for me. The moves off the ground are dangerous, since the small nut you get is less than bomber. Then an excellent nut protects the second crux, the mantle/layback to get stood up on the ledge. If you're short, it could be real trouble there. You can traverse right for a better rest where the stretch between feet and hands is less. Traversing left past a small loose block in the crack is hard, and pulling onto the slab is another crux. The undercling layback left is scary, but not 5.9 once you've done it once or twice. The final ceiling can be desperate, because you're pretty pumped by now, and the finger holds are just pebbles. Belay by wrapping the rope around a very large (10' diameter?) block on top.

I once led this in my leather Peuterey ice-climbing boots and tied in with a bowline on a coil. It wasn't meant to be that way, but my ice-climbing partner was several hours late picking me up at the Trapps, and someone wanted to climb, so what could I do?
By Ron Olsen
From: Boulder, CO
Mar 8, 2006

Swain's guide says the following about the route name:

"Legend has it that Goldner did stir up trouble when he aided this line. It was supposedly being saved for a free ascent!"
By Monomaniac
From: Morrison, CO
Oct 16, 2007

An excellent route. I did this the same day I did Nosedive and Retribution, and I found it to be by far the best, and also the hardest. This seemed very sustained, though there are many rests, none of them are super great (except the rest below the big roof traverse). This felt pretty scary to me, perhaps because it was the first 5.10 of the day, and my first day trad climibng in several months.

I used a #0 Metolious TCU and a #6 BD Micro nut end-to-end for the first crux. I wasn't really psyched on either of them. I used a #2 TCU at the first horizontal to protect the '2nd crux', but I wasn;t too psyched on that either. I think using a nut as Ivan recommends would be better.

The crux for me was the mantle to the horizontal about 15 feet up. This wasn't really that hard once I did it, but I hesitated for a long time, pondering my gear and the big block that I would land on if I blew it. SPOILER ALERT: for the matle, I threw my right foot up first, with my hips sagging left of the 'line', then underclinged the black chip with my right hand, and pushed it out. Not hard once you commit.

The route traverses a lot, so it seems like even if you're not that far from good gear, any fall would be ill-advised.

I didn't have any difficulty with the roof undercling, but I can see how this would be hard for others. Good body tension and foot coordination is important here. I was a little surprised at the top. I figured it was over, but I found the finaly moves to be thought-provoking. This is a really engaging route that keeps your attention the entire way.

There is no fixed anchor.
By slim
Jun 8, 2009
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b R

i'm used to staring at crack lines, so it took me a while to figure out where this goes. once you start climbing, it just kind of keeps leading you along until you think you have dead ended, then a passageway appears, usually traversing to another avenue. very interesting. some slippery feet, paddling them up to the next grippy rock, hand traversing, a little of everything. be careful of a loose horizontaly block about 1/3 of the way up. double ropes helpful, as well as some fitness for placing gear in awkward positions.
By JohnWesely
From: Red River Gorge
Jul 22, 2010
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

What is with the R rating on this thing. It is G/PG at the worst.
By slim
Jul 22, 2010
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b R

if i remember correctly, i gave it an R due to the amount of cruxy traversing back and forth above a huge boulder/flake sort of thing. coming off at several of these spots would likely be serious cratering. it didn't really bother me too much, as the route is relatively easy, but for a climber climbing at their limit this would probably be a serious route.
By JohnWesely
From: Red River Gorge
Jul 27, 2010
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

There is bomber gear at both the start and finish of both traverses.
By Jon Clark
From: Philadelphia, PA
Aug 9, 2010
rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b

Not R, especially when compared R rated routes in either the Williams or Swain book. I think PG is accurate. Sure the move off the block is a bit spicy, but you still have all of your reserves at this point. Take a full rack. There are plenty of placements. Bring lots of slings.
By Chalu Kim
Sep 20, 2010

Protect the 2nd horizontal crack carefully. There is a flaring that makes active cam pop. It will hold body weight but any significant lateral force will make Metolius #1 pop.

The best is to use a nut. I cleaned a few pebbles inside to make nut placements safer and bomber. This crack placement makes the route R.
By Coz Teplitz
From: Watertown, MA
Nov 1, 2010

I think this route is one of the best 5.10 pitches I've done at the Gunks! As Ivan commented, 5 different cruxes, each one different than the others. The finish - unexpected crimpy out on the nose - was just awesome! In my book, the variety puts this route in the same league as Fat City, Doubleissimma, and the other super-classic 10s at the Gunks.

I would call the route PG - there a few times when you have to do moves without a piece above your head, but you're never that far from your gear when you are making challenging moves.
By Jaysen Henderson
From: Bronx NY
Jul 1, 2011
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13

SO MANY CRUXES!!! All I'd add is to make sure you have a number 1 or 2 camalot for the top because tha'ts all you can get in before the final crux moves. But it's definitely not R. A green c3 is very useful for the beginning, even a purple you can get in before you start so if you take a spill you wont fall the 20 feet to the ground opposed to the boulder you start on. Just so many goddamn cruxes -- this is both a mentally and physically demanding route. AWESOME
By cjdrover
From: Watertown, MA
Sep 5, 2011
rating: 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

Not R, PG or PG-13 at the worst. Blue alien or a green c3 protects the beginning.
By Steven Amter
Oct 23, 2013

I did this climb with Rich Gottlieb when I was getting back into climbing. Though admittedly I was not in the best of shape, I found it very hard (even) for a gunks mid-5.10, and think the current grade is still a sandbag.
By EricBacus
From: Germantown, NY
Nov 3, 2016

Very fun climb.

The start has 10 feet of heady R 5.9ish moves. Nothing that a solid 10 leader should worry about. The rest of the climb has super obvious G/PG gear at stances. I felt the move on P38 was harder than anything on Stirrup. I think some of the comments above make the climb sound way more dangerous than it is.
By SethG
Mar 10, 2017

I don't want to discount Jon Po's experience as he relates it above. I'm sure he is correct about everything he says. But I think there are many G/PG routes in the Gunks where you might see similar results if you fall in the same way as he describes falling on Stirrup Trouble. I don't think what he describes is unique to this route, or that Stirrup Trouble should be considered especially dangerous as a result.

As for the part of Stirrup Trouble that most people get stressed about-- the first move-- I found it possible to get on the wall, place a cam over my head, and then step back down to the block and evaluate the piece before stepping up again. Having done this I felt reasonably well protected for the opening move and thought there was ample gear all over, literally almost everywhere, for the rest of the climb.
By Jon Po
From: Mahwah, NJ
Apr 11, 2017
rating: 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b PG13

I went back and redpointed this thing the other day. I agree with Seth after my second dose. The first time I read the sequence wrong and got too high above my gear. When done correctly, it's protected much better. Getting off the block is the scariest part for sure but the holds are pretty positive.

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