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b. Gelsa to Moe (closure)
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To Be Or Not To Be 

YDS: 5.11d French: 7a Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII ZA: 25 British: E5 6a R

Type:  Trad, 80'
Original:  YDS: 5.11d French: 7a Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII ZA: 25 British: E5 6a R [details]
FA: Russ Clune (TR, 1983) Russ Raffa, Russ Clune and Lynn Hill (Lead, 1983)
Page Views: 3,175
Submitted By: Chris Duca on Mar 18, 2009

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (32)
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To be or not to be. It has R section but protectab...


A fantastic face climb that keeps comin' at ya!

Lock-off moves on razor edges get you off the ground, after which you can expect technical and demanding climbing all the way to the anchor. This route demands stamina, fingers of steel and a penchant for cryptic sequences.


The route is 50 feet left of the Birdcage corner, on the face with the obvious face hold down low. Use the same anchor as Farewell to Arms.


This route is easily and often TR'd (but see gear beta below in the comments).

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By Jon Clark
From: Philadelphia, PA
Oct 1, 2012
rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a X

As far as the pro goes ... The first two pieces are larger camalots. Unfortunately you have to pull the first crux before you can place the second piece. You are in the groundfall zone for these moves. If you blow it here it would be very ugly as you would deck from 30+ feet. The second crux is protected well enough by the second piece (although it would be a big fall). The last crux is well protected by smaller finger size gear.
By Will Stat
Nov 13, 2012
rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a X

I worked this on tr and didn't particularly enjoy it. Its a nice white face but my main beef is that many of the holds seem to be uncharacteristically sharp, particularly a recently broken hold at the top crux. It came off to me as a less fun version of the sting (especially if you want to lead it). The gear options are pretty marginal - if this route were at any other area there would be a bolt or two in the middle of the climb. Multiple chances to deck on 11+ climbing.
By Morgan Patterson
From: CT
May 16, 2013
rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a X

Where'd the 11d come from? I've never heard this referenced as 11d...
By Jon Clark
From: Philadelphia, PA
May 17, 2013
rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a X

It was 11d BITD and the original line exited to the left near the top. The 12a supposedly comes from the direct finish which is how it is commonly climbed. I think the other cruxes are in the same ball park difficulty wise.
By gblauer Blauer
From: Wayne, PA
May 29, 2013

Hard climb. Sharp crimps, big moves, technique required.
By Simon Thompson
From: New Paltz, NY
Jun 4, 2013
rating: 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a R

Top roped this yesterday and couldn't quite get past what I believe is the upper crux. It is definitely the most difficult section, though the moves below are technical and small. The sharp and tiny holds force you to really use your feet well. Takes some very small gear... would be a tough lead. Congrats to those who have led this!
By Wade Spiner
Jul 26, 2015

I just led this ground up the other evening after rehearsing with the gear a couple times. I placed a piece of gear between the two good cams that would've kept me off the ground while doing the lower crux moves. Great route. For those looking to step it up a notch I recommend doing El Kabong to the right. A bomber orange quad anchor was put up in May 2015
By Nicolas Falacci
From: Pasadena, CA
Oct 8, 2015

Defintely 12a with the direct finish -- which is how you really have to do it now. Surprised by all the comments about sharp holds ... from what I remember there a couple sharp edges above the "bear hug" opposing side-pulls section and then a couple sharp edges for the final crux ... which are the final moves.

Otherwise, I find this a fantastic route in terms of moves and quality of rock.

If you want to bump it up a littler harder from this route, try Slammin the Salmon ... a but under-rated. I found it just a letter grade or two easier than Survival. Crux is sustained ... final crux is a tweak monster!

El Kabong ... from what Russ Raffa indicated that's a bit more to the right ... like right of Transcon? Or is that Diva? I tried the TR just to the right of To Be and no one called it El Kabong. Either way, I didn't much are for the route just right of To Be.

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