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Three Doves 

YDS: 5.8+ French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 210'
Original:  YDS: 5.8+ French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Dave Ingalls, Al Rubin, Richie Petrowich, 1968
Page Views: 8,185
Submitted By: Tabo on Oct 3, 2006

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Tabo leading P1 of Three Doves 5.8+ (Gunks, NY)


A beautiful three-star route next to Annie Oh!, Limelight, and Arrow.

P1: 80 feet of classic climbing. The guide says to start on either side of large block; the right side seems easier. Wander up the face above, passing one roof by a notch on its left then moving right under the next small roof. Make a few cruxy moves up the face above, then follow low angle climbing back left to the belay ledge. Use one of several big trees to belay.

P2: 80'. More great climbing! From the tree, follow the path of least resistance to a ledge with a smaller tree ~40 feet up and left. There's not much pro if you go straight up (but it's more fun!); otherwise, head right and then back left for easier terrain and better pro. You'll find a nice move just below a pin, then a couple of thin moves after the pin to a nice rest, under the roof. Traverse right , then up the diagonal crack/notch to the chains. This pitch wanders a lot - beware of rope drag!

The 2nd pitch has some great moves -- it's one of the nicest pitches at the Gunks.

Rappel: Two 60m ropes get you within a few feet of the ground (with stretch - watch the ends). Alternatively, a single rap brings you down to the first pitch tree, and will keep you out of the way of other climbers.


Location: About 14 minutes down the carriage road, the carriage road turns gently right where a river of white rocks meet the road.


Standard Gunks rack. Rated PG; several solid 5.8+ moves above a fixed pin of uncertain reliability.

The pin on P2 has good gear several feet below it, and can be backed up with a small micronut.

Photos of Three Doves Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Virginie on 2nd pitch...
Virginie on 2nd pitch...
Rock Climbing Photo: The beautiful and blank second pitch of 3 doves. C...
BETA PHOTO: The beautiful and blank second pitch of 3 doves. C...
Rock Climbing Photo: Laurent on the traverse under the overhang
Laurent on the traverse under the overhang
Rock Climbing Photo: Laurent pulling the 2nd pitch crux
Laurent pulling the 2nd pitch crux
Rock Climbing Photo: 2nd pitch of Three Doves.  From here, the route br...
2nd pitch of Three Doves. From here, the route br...

Comments on Three Doves Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Sep 19, 2016
By Monomaniac
From: Morrison, CO
Jun 14, 2009

P.1 is nothin special, but p.2 is excellent, intricate face-climbing on stellar white quartzite.
By Tim Schafstall
Jul 22, 2009

The rock at the Gunks is not quartzite, it's quartz conglomerate.
But it is pretty and white ;-)
Jul 24, 2009
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

The pin on P2 seems ok to me, it's fairly sheltered by the roof above it.

P2 is one of those where you have to carefully consider the balance between rope drag, and protecting your 2nd. If you place a piece below the roof and sling it too long, your second will be unprotected at the crux, and will only have one chance at doing it. Doubles help with this.
By Dana Bartlett
From: CT
Oct 16, 2009

Just did this the other day for the first time since 1978. It seemed to be one of the easier 5.8s I have done this year. Ratings are strange.
By vanishing spy
Aug 22, 2011

#3 BD Micro Nut also backs up the 2nd pitch pin. Couldn't get my other nuts in. Astro Nuts or HBs may work too.
By David Stowe
Aug 24, 2011

Little brassie works well there.
By lin murphy
From: boulder
Nov 28, 2011

before the 2nd pitch pin, I put in a #2 blue master pro cam = green alien. Might have slowed me down.

I also agree that the Gunks are classified as a quartz conglomerate, a sedimentary rather than a metamorphic rock. But, some areas, like around Arrow, seem to be micro crystalline quartz, which suggests metamorphism. I have not researched this, but believe that what may have happened is that the quartz from the sand grains and pebbles went into solution and later precipitated as micro crystalline quartz, like chalcedony or jasper. This could have happened without the entire cliff being metamorphosed.

That is why the rock is so glassy and smooth, like quartzite, e.g, Unita climbing NE of SLC.
We also noticed on Disneyland that there are faulted glassy surfaces, slickensides, between the horizontal layers. So there has been some movement horizontally between the layers that causes glassy surfaces.
By Larry S
From: Easton, Pennsylvania
Mar 29, 2013

Weird crux pro beta - rather than a micronut, a BD #10 sideways locks in a few inches below the pin. Yeah, the one side is only half making contact, but it's pretty solid. I tried a #1 DMM peanut and it was too big for that seam.
By Luc-514
From: Montreal, Quebec
Oct 26, 2013

If you're climbing with doubles and want to protect your second on P2 you can clip your left rope to a #.75 with a runner and exit the rest of the route on your right rope. You can then walk left on the ledge where you'll find a chockstoned crack to set a directional above the crux.
By Andy Weinmann
From: Silver Spring, MD
Nov 4, 2013
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13

I really don't like to trust pins from only a little bit of outward appearances. You have no clue how deep it's set or the condition beyond what you can see. I equalized the pin here with a #3 Stopper just below it. Sounds like a brassie would've worked too. After this pro there's nothing till the roof...which is a decent little ways up there. A fun route that is challenging both physically and from a rigging standpoint for the second. Doubles would def help. If you're unsure of your second's ability to follow, def follow Luc's advice and place a piece as soon as you hit the roof...straight up from the pin.
By Logan Schiff
From: Brooklyn, NY
May 27, 2014
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Did this recently finishing out left on the Hawkeye roof. It's a little burly but does not increase the difficulty much (5.8+ or maybe 5.9) and adds a fun traverse and roof move that is well protected with a 3 or ideally a 4 c4. I see no reason not to finish this way as you get almost all the best parts of Three Doves with some added fun. You do need to build a gear anchor or walk up quite far to a tree.
By Robert Hall
From: North Conway, NH
Oct 28, 2015
rating: 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c

Re' the P2 pin, on the face: If it hasn't been replaced it probably should be as it is a short-thin Lost Arrow, placed on the 2nd or 3rd ascent in 1968.
By Systematic
Sep 19, 2016
rating: 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c PG13

If Friends and Lovers is 5.9R, then this is at least PG13. Good fun (but committing).
(I would agree with the Gunks App rating recommendation 5.9-)

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