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Westward Ha! T 

Westward Ha! 

YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 150'
Original:  YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b [details]
FA: Jim McCarthy, Harry Daley, Hans Kraus, 1962
Page Views: 7,536
Submitted By: John Peterson on Feb 28, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (37)
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Eric Ratkowski nearing the top of the corner on a ...

Partially closed.


Westward Ha! is definitely one of the best 7's at the Gunks.

The top of the route is quite close to end of the carriage road that ends on top of Millbrook. This spot can be located by a place where the trail leaves the cliff edge and ascends a short rocky band to the road. Instead of going up, follow a climber's trail (past an ominous "go away" sign) for a couple hundred feet.

Look for a rappel tree just down from the cliff edge. Rappel about 150' down to the ledge at the base of the route. You'll see everything as you come down. The obvious corner just right of the rap is most of it.

NB - the old rappel tree, which was almost directly over the route, died in 2013. Read older directions and comments with that in mind. The new rappel is a bit more to climbers' left.

P1: Climb through broken rock and a small overhang to a good ledge with a tree. This leads to a perfect corner system - lots of pro and exposure. A small belay ledge is found at the top. 5.7, 130'.

P2: The second pitch is short - up a face and short crack to the ledge with the rap tree. 5.7, 40'.


Standard Gunks rack.

Photos of Westward Ha! Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Tricia on the face above the corner.
Tricia on the face above the corner.
Rock Climbing Photo: Mark Mooradian at the top of the corner.
Mark Mooradian at the top of the corner.
Rock Climbing Photo: Gail topping out on Westward Ha.  Photo by Seth
Gail topping out on Westward Ha. Photo by Seth
Rock Climbing Photo: Gail pulling one of the crux moves on P2 of Westwa...
Gail pulling one of the crux moves on P2 of Westwa...

Comments on Westward Ha! Add Comment
Show which comments
Jun 15, 2009

It's possible, and in fact a great idea, to rap only to the tree that's above the rotten rock on the first described pitch. Then you can link the rest of the first pitch with the second pitch, for one long pitch of continuous climbing. Doing it this way increases the exposure / feeling of being alone on the cliff at the crux of the second pitch, which is really just fantastic.
By Jamie Givens
From: Brooklyn
Jul 28, 2009

I agree, about doing the corner and last pitch as one, but I would still do the first part. We did the first section to the ledge and tree as one pitch, then the corner and 'second pitch' as one pitch. It seems more logical this way. Great climb!
By Meghan Spiro
Oct 21, 2012

I think the meat of the climb is the corner and face climbing (starting from the tree up). This is THE BEST 7 in the Gunks (in my opinion). You can split up the pitches or do it in one. If you split it up, communication with your belayer is better.
By Simon Thompson
From: New Paltz, NY
Apr 12, 2013
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Because we had nothing but a 1980 guidebook to go on and in our hungover state neglected to check Mountain Project... getting to this route was a true adventure for us. We approached by hiking to the top of Millbrook, then continuing down the Southern flank to where it was possible to downclimb/tree swim/rappel to a prominent tree ledge. We mistakenly ended up on the lower of the two main ledges that traverse the cliff so we had to climb a pitch of unstable(scary) rock and some of the largest lichen flakes I've ever seen just to get to the base of the climb.

The corner portion of this climb is fantastic and yields some of the most consistent and enjoyable 5.7 climbing anywhere. Unfortunately our guidebook told us to traverse right at the end of the corner so we ended up getting slightly off route. For the final pitch we climbed up a short corner/chimney to an outside corner and were able to make a fun and easy traverse back left along a typical Gunks horizontal jug. This put us back on the standard finish to the route. We saw no rap tree at the top but in hindsight we probably passed it on a lower ledge without realizing.
By Ben Brotelho
From: Albany, NY
Apr 15, 2013
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Quite the adventure was a fun day nonetheless and a good break from the typical weekend crowds at the Trapps. Our only companions on the cliff were many massive turkey vultures, and giant lichen flakes. The off-route traverse was actually a highlight of the climb for me.
By SethG
Apr 23, 2013

The rap tree is dead. It still has fixed gear around it, but I would avoid it. There are other ways to rappel in. We used a pair of trees about 40 feet left/south of the Westward Ha tree. These trees are a bit higher up but a 60 meter rap still makes it to the ledge. Or you can find a spot to build a gear anchor for your rap and clean it on your way out.
By Benjaminadk
From: San Pedro, California
May 29, 2013

as of 5-27-2013 there is no longer anything fixed on the dead Westward Ha! rap tree. i think everything about this climb is outstanding. the moves, the remote setting(by gunks standards), the exposure, its sustained at its grade and takes great gear.
By gtluke
Nov 3, 2014

For what it's worth, I climbed Westward Ha! on just a set of nuts and 2 tricams placed passively.Used no cams at all. The pro is that good. It is very sustained climbing the whole way though. There are good stances to place gear when you need it. I rapped down from a tree 20ft climbers right and behind the boulders. I used a 70m rope to rap down. A 60m would surely make it to the pine tree you should probably start on, the climbing below that pine tree is unremarkable and weird.

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