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g. V3 - Middle Earth
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YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b

Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, 230'
Original:  YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b [details]
FA: Art Gran and Pete Vlachos (1965)
Page Views: 4,599
Submitted By: Tim Schafstall on Apr 17, 2008

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (89)
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Josh Byford in the midst of the Wisecrack crux.


Wisecrack is somewhat of an oddity amongst Gunks routes: it follows a vertical crack system, and you'll probably find yourself making a few real crack moves on it!

From Optimistic: You know how people say about some climbs, "this is a great route for someone just breaking into the grade?" Well, this is a great route for someone just breaking OUT of the grade.

P1 - Climb the obvious left-facing flake and crack system, heading for the overhang at a notch above an alcove. Surmount the overhang (some layback, some jam), then continue up the crack and face.

P2 - Scamper up easy (but loose and vegetated) ground to the GT ledge.

P1 and P2 can be combined into a long 60m pitch. If you're only climbing P1, you'll want to either set a belay or a good directional, then aim rightwards towards the rap tree on Middle Earth.

P3 (description courtesy of Brian) - Start below the huge right-facing corner capped by a roof, well left of the good ledge. Make a bouldery move up onto the face, head up into the corner and eventually out left around the arete, and pass several easy overhangs on your way to the clifftop.

Rappel Middle Earth - be careful of loose pebbles, and climbers below you. It's also easy to walk just a bit north (right) to the bolted rappel line at Arrow.


Wisecrack follows a broken crack system between Absurdland and Middle Earth. Start halfway down a steep slope at the left edge of a nice white face; step right across a slab into the crack system.


Standard Gunks rack; crux(es) well-protected.

Photos of Wisecrack Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Easier fun climbing above.
Easier fun climbing above.
Rock Climbing Photo: Melissa on Wisecrack
Melissa on Wisecrack
Rock Climbing Photo: A delightful spot to slot in a nut.
A delightful spot to slot in a nut.

Comments on Wisecrack Add Comment
Show which comments
By Denis O'Connor
Jul 18, 2008

I've heard it said that there is no tougher 5.6 in the Gunks. And I would agree.
By gblauer Blauer
From: Wayne, PA
Jul 27, 2008

I thought the top of the first pitch, at the top of the crack, going out onto the face was the hardest move for me.

Crux at the bottom is fairly simple once you figure out the move. We rapped off Middle Earth
By losbill
Nov 18, 2009

Gail I agree with you regarding the crux. I sailed through the bottom and spent a fair amount of time working out gear and moves up top. I ran it up to the GTL. My partner took one look at P3 and decided it wasn't for him, wasn't for me either.
By Brian
From: North Kingstown, RI
Jan 4, 2010

Regarding pitch 3 - I don't remember any run-outs and it is a fun pitch and only 5.5. Pitch 3 goes up the big right facing corner just left of the Middle Earth/Bombs Away Dream Baby recess. I seem to remember some pins on it under the overhangs.
By Optimistic
From: New Paltz
Apr 17, 2011

You know how people say about some climbs, "this is a great route for someone just breaking into the grade?" Well, this is a great route for someone just breaking OUT of the grade. I'd call it more educational than fun: gear is fairly tricky to place (lots of flares and crystals to deal with) and the moves are a little awkward.

I'd agree that the move at the end of the crack is a bit of a surprise as well, and gear is below your feet (so far as I could tell) when you pull the move.

[Edit: the above remarks refer to the first pitch. Higher didn't look too appealing.]
By EricBacus
From: Germantown, NY
Aug 28, 2013
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

Good first pitch, all G and interesting moves. I would save yourself from doing the dirty, not-fun rest of the climb.

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