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Union Jack 

YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a

Type:  Trad, Alpine, 5 pitches, 400', Grade III
Original:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: Paul Ross, Ben and Marion Wintringham, Micheal Hartrick, Al Rubin
Page Views: 6,870
Submitted By: John Peterson on Aug 24, 2007

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (43)
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Another of Ben on the damp First Ascent 1973


Just left of Vertigo is another excellent route.

Locate the left facing flake of P2 to determine the location of the route.

P1: (5.6) Up a crack and then left (100')

P2: (5.9) This is the crux - go delicately up and left, aiming for a finger crack / layback that ends in a bulge just below the belay ledge. Exciting! (100')

P3: (5.8) Find an excellent flake up and right from the belay - this leads up about 120' to an excellent ledge below an ominous looking cave / overhang.

Although the guidebook has more pitches (5.7 and then easier), we rapped at this point - the chimney above didn't look very inviting.

Not sure if you can rap on a single 60m rope - we needed 2 50s to get down.

Not as much good climbing as Vertigo but well worth doing.


About 15' left of Vertigo.


An extra finger sized cam or two might be nice.

Photos of Union Jack Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Eddie Booph looking up through the bomb bay chimne...
Eddie Booph looking up through the bomb bay chimne...
Rock Climbing Photo: Ben and Marion Wintringham on the first ascent.. c...
Ben and Marion Wintringham on the first ascent.. c...
Rock Climbing Photo: Tim Mijal on an afterwork lap of Union Jack
Tim Mijal on an afterwork lap of Union Jack
Rock Climbing Photo: Unknown climber in yellow on Union Jack taken from...
Unknown climber in yellow on Union Jack taken from...
Rock Climbing Photo: First ascent June 1973
First ascent June 1973

Comments on Union Jack Add Comment
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By lee hansche
From: goffstown, nh
Aug 25, 2007

i would love to get a description for the rest of the route...
By John Peterson
Aug 25, 2007

The guidebook says you go up the 5.7 bombay chimney at the back of the alcove then up a 5.6 crack to easier ground. Can't vouch for this since I haven't done it though. It appeared that the majority of climbers on the route bailed after P3.
By Jay Knower
From: Campton, NH
Mar 24, 2009

Union Jack is definitely not as classic as Vertigo, but it's worth doing nonetheless. I thought it was a bit generic, compared to other Cannon climbs.
By Goodhue
From: Boulder, CO
May 26, 2009
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

From the top of the 4th class after the third pitch, I climbed underneath the overhanging chimney. Started on the left side of the face, clipped a fix pin, and traversed right on good but sketchy holds, with a nasty fall potention (R?). Then up into the chimney which wasn't as hard as it looked.

From the top of the chimney you can go right up a short 3"-4" crack and you will shortly be at a bolted rap station. can do what we did and find a way more or less straight up, pulling 5.8 handcracks and get to another ledge with a bail anchor and rap from there. I may have been off route here...Meh.
By kevin neville
From: Somerville, MA
Jun 20, 2013
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13

The fourth pitch is 5.9 (5.7R) according to the guidebook; it seemed the crux pitch to me. I climbed past the fixed pin, backed it up, then straight up (delicate and a bit scary; a marginal 00 Metolius might have held?) before traversing right. Goodhue's lower traverse might be better, but sets up a hard swing.... And then a cool move to get into the bombay chimney. P5 has a nice layback ~5.7, and then we rapped.

Double 60s gets you to the ground from the top of P3 if you angle a bit south.
By Matt Conroy
Aug 19, 2013
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

A good route, well worth doing. Pitch 4 was wet when I got to it so I opted for the lower traverse as well. It went without too much trouble but I wouldn't have wanted to fall. It should be noted that after traversing one has to climb up through a series of loose blocks. I protected beneath a large flake that seemed solid only to have the whole thing shift when I later pulled on the top of it.
By Brianna Bemel
From: Somerville, ma
Jun 27, 2016

Beware, the "anchor" at the top of P2 is a bit sketchy for rapping — old cordelette attached to 2 pitons (one was backed up with a small nut) that moved up and down a little during my partner's bounce test.
By Joe Mucci
From: Chattanooga, TN
Sep 7, 2016

I would agree Brianna completely about the anchors at the top of pitch two. Before revisiting the route this year, I haven't been on it in over ten years. The crux pitch moves are fantastic and I also enjoy the upper pitches. It has a true Cannon feel to the route. This year we decided to bail after the second pitch. I didn't feel that safe rappelling off them let alone going into pitch 3 with the hollow flake and questionable gear off the belay.
By ndchu
Aug 27, 2017
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

On pitch 3, before you reach the larger left-facing flake, you first encounter an odd flake/column feature that you can see through by looking behind it. It's something of an hourglass if looked at straight on, with good holds on the sides and on the top. It looks sketchy, and it is. My follower pulled out on it, and heard a big crack. The feature will likely fall if you pull out hard on it, which would really suck as the leader. I used the feature delicately and mantled onto it and set feet high (rock is good in compression). I think you can also gently reach out right to join the flake earlier on.

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