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Unsorted Routes:

The Blackout 

YDS: 5.9- French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 16 British: HVS 4c

Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, 160'
Original:  YDS: 5.9- French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 16 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Dick Williams, Dave Craft, and Dick DuMais
Page Views: 3,173
Submitted By: Tim Schafstall on Apr 2, 2008

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (51)
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Tricia at the end of the hand traverse on pitch 2.


The Williams' Guide says to beware of the "R" rated 5.8 section before the P3 crux, but I did not find it to be too bad.

This is a great route, often open, but it does share the P1 belay of Betty.

P1 - Climb the bulge, then go up to and follow a thin crack that diagonals left (crux) and up to a ledge and belay tree.

P2 - Move up to an overhang then diagonal right on the face past a right-facing flake/corner to another overhang and fixed pin. Move right some more and up a crack (crux) and face to the belay/rap tree (shared with Matinee).

P3 - Up right on easy ledges, then up the slightly runout face, aiming for the bolt (replaced in 2015; the book says 5.8 R for this section). Tricams and RPs can be used if you are old school and eschew the bolt. Pull the small overhang (crux), and up the face to the top.

Rappel from the bolted anchor (2015) atop Betty, to climber's left, or walk off via Radcliffe, or the Uberfall Descent.


At a nose/bulge, 20 feet right of the wide crack of Betty.


Standard Gunks rack. Tri cams essential if you want to be old school and not clip the P3 bolt.

Comments on The Blackout Add Comment
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By gblauer Blauer
From: Wayne, PA
Aug 16, 2009

Found P1 to be lackluster, ran it together with P2. P2 was exciting and fun, a nice traverse leads to the tree/belay. P3 has an unprotectable scramble up ledges to the face. Climb the face (no pro) and get to the bolt. Clip it, back it up and pull an easy 9 roof. This climb was better than I expected. Walk left to the Betty belay.
By Gunkiemike
Sep 9, 2010

If you go up to the P1 belay tree on Betty (as described here), you've gone too high.
By David Stowe
Sep 10, 2010

There is actually a tree that is in the middle of the first pitch of Betty and acts as a good belay for the second pitch of the Blackout. I would think that is the belay tree that is being mentioned in the description and not the belay tree that is at the top of the first pitch of Betty. That second pitch of the Blackout is a fun and sneaky little pitch of 5.7.
By Tim Schafstall
Sep 15, 2010

Fixed the description. I always went to the Betty tree, then up the Betty corner and on from there. Seemed more fun, but I'll submit to the majority.
By A Terray
From: San Diego, CA
May 25, 2011

P3 5.8R section was not bad. I got a green alien in a little left of the line - made the runout to the bolt seem a little more safe.
By Simon Thompson
From: New Paltz, NY
Nov 7, 2012
rating: 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c

The first two pitches are fun with a few balancy moves. If you're confident leading 5.8, the run out to the bolt on P3 shouldn't be much of a problem. There is a good hold to clip from but you definitely wouldn't want to blow it there. I thought the crux roof was pretty easy for Gunks 5.9 but really fun nonetheless. Also, we climbed under and directly out of the first roof on P2. It was fun as hell but I thought the rock was somewhat questionable.
By Kurtz
Jun 15, 2014

The description seems to indicate that you go right around the both roofs on P2. Is this correct? I found it seriously sketchy on the right side of the first one. Tough moves and no pro. I backtracked and went around the left side. Then hand traversed under the second roof to its right side. This Photo mentions the hand traverse and you can see the first overhang beneath her.

The Grey Dick seems a bit muddled too.
By Simon Thompson
From: New Paltz, NY
Jun 16, 2014
rating: 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c

The roof directly above the belay on P2 can be pulled directly but the pro is bad and rock questionable. Better to scamper left around the first one, make a awkward and reachy move to the right, and then continue up moving R past the other 'hangs.
By cliffmama
Jul 9, 2015

Today the bolt on the last pitch of The Blackout was replaced with a new, safer one, by Christian Fracchia of the Gunks Climbers Coalition.

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