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e. The Mac Wall (Something Interesting)
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Mother's Day Party T 
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Redirectional Idealism T 
Scene of the Climb T 
Something Boring T 
Something Interesting T 
Star Action T 
Still Crazy After All These Years T 
Tequila Mockingbird T 
Three Pines T 
Tough Existence T 
Tough Shift T 
Try Again T 
Welcome to the Gunks T 

Three Pines 

YDS: 5.3 French: 3+ Ewbanks: 10 UIAA: III ZA: 9 British: VD 3a

Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, 160'
Original:  YDS: 5.3 French: 3+ Ewbanks: 10 UIAA: III ZA: 9 British: VD 3a [details]
FA: Hans Kraus, Roger Wolcott, Del Wilde, 1941
Page Views: 20,675
Submitted By: Guy H. on Feb 21, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (343)
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Starting pitch 3, next to the dangler


Though it has some competition, this is the best 5.3 at the Gunks. It is the steepest 5.3 that I have ever been on! This area, the Mac wall, is another destination area, since there are a number of high quality routes nearby. One of the three old pine trees is now missing due to an ice storm in 2002.

The Three Pines access trail is about a 5-6 min. walk from the Uberfall, and a 1-2 min. walk from where the East Trapps Connector Trail meets the carriage road. The trail arrives just below MF.

Start below a corner system 30' left of the obvious crack of Something Interesting, at a short right-facing blocky corner with a small tree on a ledge at ~8'. Two huge pine trees can be seen above.

P1: Angle up and left into a left-facing dihedral. Follow this crack to a large ledge with a pine tree. 5.3, 60'.

(It is straightforward to combine P1 and P2 - just take care to keep your rope away from pine sap.)

P2: Continue up the right-facing dihedral with a large fat crack to your left. Finish on a large ledge with a bolt anchor. 5.3, 50'.

P3: Re-establish your belay about 30' to the right, below the next left-facing corner system. Climb the blocky left-facing dihedral above, using the "diving board". Step right (or straight up the short hand crack -- 5.6), then work up the face above. 5.3, 50'.

Descent: Walk back left to a big pine tree, and find a set of bolts; three rappels with one rope using bolt anchors.


Standard Rack.

Photos of Three Pines Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Approaching pine #1 on pitch 1
Approaching pine #1 on pitch 1
Rock Climbing Photo: Love the steepness on 5.3
Love the steepness on 5.3
Rock Climbing Photo: picture from the anchor/rap station at the top of ...
picture from the anchor/rap station at the top of ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Starting P3. All the way to the right.
Starting P3. All the way to the right.
Rock Climbing Photo: Stephen starting out on 3 pines
Stephen starting out on 3 pines
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking down at the 2nd belay while heading up the...
BETA PHOTO: Looking down at the 2nd belay while heading up the...
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking down while climbing the first pitch
BETA PHOTO: Looking down while climbing the first pitch
Rock Climbing Photo: Some steep 5.3!
Some steep 5.3!
Rock Climbing Photo: The corner of P2
The corner of P2
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch three
Pitch three
Rock Climbing Photo: Climbing the 2nd pitch up to the GT ledge.
BETA PHOTO: Climbing the 2nd pitch up to the GT ledge.
Rock Climbing Photo: I happened to be up there the day after the pine f...
I happened to be up there the day after the pine f...

Comments on Three Pines Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated May 19, 2016
By Adam Catalano
From: Albany, New York
Mar 28, 2006

This route tends to close for much of the summer due to Peregrine nesting on the ledge atop pitch 2. There is already signs of frequent bird activity as of March 27, 2006, so bag it soon if you're interested. FYI - Something Interesting also closes because it uses the same ledge and rap station.
By Puzman puziss
Sep 9, 2009

Not sure if its the BEST 5.3 at the Gunks (my vote would be for Beginner's Delight or Minty), but it sure is a fun route. Great pro the whole way, great exposure on the 3rd pitch, hard to believe its a 5.3. My first trad lead ever. Watch for rope drag on 3rd pitch.
By Mike McLean
Jun 26, 2010

I agree with the 3rd pitch rope drag issue brought up by Puzman. Belay from the right side of the ledge to avoid it.
By David Ford
From: Cambridge, MA
Aug 9, 2010

Fun route. Recommend doing at least one of the 5.6 variations on the third pitch to limit the otherwise mind-boggling rope drag. Alternatively, make another belay once you complete the traverse to the ledge. Communication with your second from the top of p3 may be difficult.
By kenr
Oct 29, 2010
rating: 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c PG13

Can be kinda tricky to get off the ledge at the start of P3. Especially for less-tall climbers who aren't accustomed to taking high steps.

If have any doubt about the ability of your second, best to split P3 into two, stop and belay just above the exciting traverse, so you can talk to your follower(s).

There are two possible left-facing corners that could be climbed to start P3. I've usually taken the left of the two, because I found that I could protect it with a stopper and oppositional. Of course placing pro means that I've committed my second to climb the same corner that I chose.

Most recently I tried the (more obvious) right corner to start P3 -- seemed a little easier to get off the ground, a little more interesting climbing moves -- but definitely I was higher off the ledge before I could get in some solid pro.
By Joseph D'Agostino
Oct 22, 2011

Took my first Trad lead on it today. Really nice, and it wasn't too busy. Many stances with which to place gear really solidly. Then again, its a (5.3). Thanks to Tony Lopez for all the help in getting me on my first Trad multi-pitch lead!
By Nathan Stokes
Oct 22, 2011

Led the 2nd and "4th" pitches today. We did the 3rd pitch from the chains at the top of the second pitch to the ledge above the Dangler. That made communication easy for both of the upper pitches. Did the 5.6ish finish straight up the face (with the pin) to top out. Great climb, though the crack on P2 was a bit wet
By marcin
Oct 28, 2011

It was a first trad lead for me in the Gunks. Great holds, lots of space to place gear. After each pitch, very comfortable ledges to prepare an anchor. Great climb for new leaders to practice.
By S. Neoh
Oct 28, 2011

Photo of 'Pitch Three' shows The Dangler in a whole new angle :)
Not sure if the new angle makes it look harder or easier :):
By Andy.C
Apr 22, 2012

We did a 2.5th pitch by traversing across the GT ledge to underneath the Dangler and setting up another belay station. I would highly recommend bringing walkie-talkies for this one, as the 3rd pitch goes up and around making nearly impossible to communicate with your follower esp when it's windy.

The first half of the 3rd pitch was great - lots of exposure but the holds were all there. For those without walkie-talkies, I would recommend setting up another belay station right after coming around the left-facing corner.

I also thought the final 15 feet up the grey face was much harder than a 5.3 - not as many footholds and jugs. I belayed the follower from the pine tree. Has anyone belayed from the bolts on the last pitch?
By AndyGriffin Griffin
May 24, 2012
rating: 5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a

I've done this climb more times than I care to admit. It's a great climb that can be ruined by overcrowding. I like to bring new climbers up it, but I like to do so at 7AM or earlier so we can get on it first and have it to ourselves.

I usually link P1 and P2 if crowds allow, they are both short and straight. If I'm doing the traditional finish, I like to split P3 and belay at the ledge with boulders right after the crux traverse. This allows me to talk new climbers through the crux and reduces drag.

If you can climb 5.6, going straight up the corner and then up the slab with the pin is much more fun than the wandering 5.3 P3.
By Edward Jenny
Aug 6, 2015

This was my first multi-pitch trad lead at the Gunks. Great choice with lots of pro and good holds. The step around on pitch 3 was airy but took a bomber hex right before the move. The guidebook talks about traversing right after pic three but that ledge was all overgrown. I thought the 5.1R option of walking up the slab to the chains was easier.
By Justin Meyer
From: Madison, WI
May 19, 2016

The description says this is right of Something Interesting ("Start below a corner system 30' right of the obvious crack of Something Interesting...") but I think it is left of Something Interesting. I'm new to the Gunks so maybe I'm missing something. Does the description need to be corrected?
Sometimes it takes new eyes to see those types of mistakes! Thanks, corrected -- Admin

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