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The Climbing Club • View topic - Weekend at the Gunks

The Climbing Club

at the University of Washington
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 Post subject: Weekend at the Gunks
PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2006 7:41 pm 
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UW Climber

Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2006 2:42 pm
Posts: 40
Location: U District
As some of you may know I'm out on Long Island for the summer and as the Gunks are only about 3 hours away I finally headed out there for the first time, and also my first time trad climbing. On Saturday we started off with two awesome 2 pitch routes, Maria 5.6 and City Lights 5.7 PG, apparently Gunks PG means nothing for 30 feet except for a nut behind a hollow flake. Both of these climbs are classics, 2 or 3 stars. After that Eric (the guy who was leading) and I moseyed on over to the rest of the group where I proceeded to top rope a 5.10b/c roof called Slightly Roddy or Almost Roddy. It's rated R for good reason as it's basically 15 feet of slab into a V3 roof with no protection that will keep you from decking unless you want to use the greasy sloper instead of the one jug.

After that we sat around for awhile and decided to put up a top rope on Trapped Like A Rat (5.7), Eric led this but desperately clipped a rusty piton as he fell from the first move of the crux. I asked him if he though I could pull the move, when he said 'yes' I racked up and headed off to have my first experience climbing above gear. With some effort I pulled through the crux where I found the head of the piton bent down at a 45 deg angle and shifted out about 1/8 of an inch. I quickly plugged in a zero and finished the last third or so of the climb fighting the pump. After that I led my first full pitch of trad on Horseman, a classic 5.5 up a right facing corner with a hand/smear traverse around to the face and anchors.

On Sunday we were only there for about half a day, I followed Laurel, a nice 5.7 and then top roped a line just past the 5.9 next to Laurel which I estimate goes at 5.10b and then finishes on the top of the 5.9. After that I lead Rhododendron a classic 3 star 5.6 and I even got to practice my pisspoor crack technique.

Rhododendron along with the second pitches of both City Lights and Maria were my three favorite pitches of the weekend, although Trapped Like a Rat is also up there because a) it was my first time leading on gear and b) it's sustained 5.7 that feeds into a very bouldery 4 or 5 move V2 crux and then it goes into shallow fingers 5.7 to the top, and the entire way up it requires varying and interesting technique as well as inventive rests to fight the pump. Maybe I'm just not used to climbing with 5lbs of aluminum strapped to my ass though. In the guidebook I believe it's called the most underrated 5.7 at the Gunks.

Other high points of the trip included watching Dan's 9 year old son Josh follow 5.6s and .7s and make them look like 4th class, almost getting lost in the Bronx on the way there and getting lost in the Bronx on the way back to Long Island. According to the guys in my car I'm officially a New Yorker now because I passed a guy on the right through an intersection, but really I was just dodging the bus that seemed intent on mowing us down.

Pictures to come as soon as I get Photoshop reinstalled on my computer so I don't blast the forums with 2000 pixel photos.


Last edited by Max Kawaky on Sun Jul 16, 2006 7:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2006 7:46 pm 
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Jer-Bear

Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2003 11:45 am
Posts: 314
Location: Seattle
rad

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climbing isn't a hobby, its a lifestyle. its one step above bum and one below pimp.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2006 10:01 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2004 1:26 pm
Posts: 293
Location: Boulder, CO
Nice, the gunks sound awesome. A v2 crux on 5.7 would be quite the sand bag since v2=5.11a-ish.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 4:19 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2006 2:42 pm
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Location: U District
After thinking about the route some more I think if I were top roping it I would probably call it V1 but I think a combination of things made it feel like V2 at the time. It was my second to last route of the day so I was already tired and it was a very power-endurance crux because the first 1/2 of the route is very sequency so I was already feeling pump in my left arm and I neglected to rest for more than 10 seconds at the ledge before the crux. Also, the only option I could find for protecting above the crux was an awkward kneebar/dropknee-stem on the exiting move of the crux, after that it two parallel shallow dirty thin fingers cracks for 10 or 15 feet to an ok tricam placement. The guy who pounded that piton in 40 years ago had some serious brass balls. Also I thought V2=.10a/b? At any rate the consensus amongst the experienced Gunks climbers I was with was that it's a Gunks 5.8 which translates to normal person 5.9.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 10:31 am 
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2006 5:13 pm 
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UW Climber

Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2006 2:42 pm
Posts: 40
Location: U District
Saturday was crowded at first, we waited on Maria for some guys to rap down and then they didn't get on Maria until we were setting up the rap so they waited for us to rap by too. But by 11ish it started raining, couldn't do much about it being 1/2 way up on City lights so we just waited on the belay ledge for a little bit and then finished the route once it cleared, when we got back down to the ground there were half as many people even though it only rained for maybe half hour to 45 minutes. Sunday wasn't too bad at first because we got to the parking lot by about 7, but by 9 it was getting packed although we were at the closest area to the parking lot where the carriage road goes right up to the base of the cliffs like at exit 38.

Re: the hard cruxes, I was just stating what it felt like to me at the time, the actual grade is probably easier, and consistent with the rest of the Gunks. I'm a bit out of shape and I'm not used to being entirely horizontal throwing heel-hooks on 5.7s or even mid .10's. I think there's also a lot of inconsistency on the equivalency between V grades and YDS grades, so maybe I shouln't have bothered with calling them V? cruxes, just the way they were so bouldery it felt appropriate. It's also possible that I seriously botched the sequences, but it sure didn't seem like it at the time, and the guys watching me said it looked like I had found the best sequence, at least on the .10b/c.

Anyways, here's some pictures:

Looking up at Maria, the route traverses accross a little ledge system over to the bottom of the left facing corner, p2 goes up the corner and then 20 ft or something of < vertical face climbing to the top.
Image

Looking down from the belay ledge on Maria
Image

Looking out on the valley, damn haze precluded any really awesome views
Image

Eric setting up the 60m rappel, damn those Mammut 7.5mm doubles are sweet
Image

Getting set for the crux of Trapped Like a Rat
Image

Starting off on the crux sequence, the top piece is afformentioned rusty piton
Image

Horseman goes up the obvious corner and then traverses out and around to where the rope is coming down from
Image

Steve approaching the offwidth at the top of Laurel
Image

Somewhere in the middle of Rhododendron
Image

Dan folling and cleaning Rhododendron
Image

Francisco rocking the crux of Rhododendron
Image

Josh striking a pose at the top of Rhododendron
Image[/img]


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