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a2. The Uberfall - right
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Unknown aka Ken and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance 

YDS: 5.10+ French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 20 British: E3 5b

Type:  TR, 1 pitch, 50'
Original:  YDS: 5.10+ French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 20 British: E3 5b [details]
FA: ?
Page Views: 540
Submitted By: Optimistic on Nov 4, 2014

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (3)
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The first crux. We all climbed the route clean on...


Interesting and continuous face climbing up the broad "nose" just right of Ken's Crack. Boulder up to a big horizontal, then begin a series of crimpy balancy moves up to a final slabby bulge at the top.

Obviously, given its location, this must have been done many times, but it's not in the Williams Guide. The Gunks App calls it "Ken and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" but no FA is listed. Two cruxes of fairly similar difficulty at about 15' and 25'.

The route goes essentially straight up from the start (below) to the anchors with one brief jog right at about 30'. Any hold on Ken's is too far left.


Starts about 6 feet right of Ken's, behind the big block to the right of the start of Ken's. A rope dangling from the top of Ken's without directionals will fall directly over this route.


Toprope. Might well be leadable, but I think you would need a very large piece (#6 C4? Bigger?) to protect the first crux and then you'd definitely have some heads up sections higher up.

Photos of Unknown aka Ken and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: The face to the right of the crack is a fun TR.  5...
BETA PHOTO: The face to the right of the crack is a fun TR. 5...

Comments on Unknown aka Ken and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance Add Comment
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Nov 5, 2014

This sounds an awful lot like Phoebe. Can you describe how they're different?
By Optimistic
From: New Paltz
Nov 5, 2014

Phoebe is about 20-25 feet right of Ken's, about 6 feet left of Boston, and has a bolt about 12 feet up. "Unknown" is not Phoebe.

Ken's as you know diagonals left to right as it ascends. If you drop a rope from the top of the cliff where Ken's tops out, allowing the rope to drop straight down, it'll be directly over this route and quite a ways from Phoebe, which I have done several times and which we had completed just before setting Ken's and "discovering" this route.

I kind of wanted to call it "Ken's Direct" but I thought it would be pretty impertinent to me to name a route that probably had its FA in about 1960.

I edited the description, which hopefully will clarify things a bit!
By Gunkiemike
Jun 9, 2016

This is a TERRIFIC line. Start in the pit behind the block and weave up, left, up, right, up, up.

Varied footwork, good crimps, continuous thoughtful moves. All in all I think it's a much better route than Phoebe just to the right. (Disclaimer - I've only TR'ed it. I think it would be a serious if not dangerous lead) I don't believe it's 10+ though. More like 9+, possibly 10a if reach is an issue.
By Optimistic
From: New Paltz
Jun 9, 2016

Glad you enjoyed it Mike! I'll have to hop on it again and see if it seems easier now. Of course Junior, over by Laurel, is "5.9+" so that would put this route in good company. I've still never ever seen anybody on this route, which is funny because the 800 people per day toproping Ken's are in a better position to do this than they are to do Ken's...
By Mark Berenblum
May 23, 2017

This is listed in the Gunks App as Variation 1 on Ken's Crack (climb #70) and is named "Ken and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance". That topo has an excellent photo showing that this is, in fact, a distinct line to the left of Phoebe's.
By Optimistic
From: New Paltz
May 23, 2017

Thanks for the update, edited the name. FWIW the Gunks Appers called it 10c, so I guess there's a range of grade impressions on this route.

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