Monday, June 01, 2009

Guidebook: Gunks - Layback (5.5), Ursula (5.5), In the Groove (5.6), Birdland (5.8), Yellow Belly (5.8), Bonnie's Roof (5.9)

Click here for all 'Gunks posts
Click here for all Guidebook posts
Click here to return to the 'Gunks Route Index

Layback (5.5) - Two pitches - Trad - Gear anchors

- Approach
: Walk along the Near Trapps trail, about 40 feet past the large roof system to a chimney below another roof system that is about 20 feet up.

- Pitch One (5.5) - Trad - Gear Anchor - 60 Feet: Climb the chimney to the block. Move left around the block and layback to the top.

- Pitch Two (5.1) - Trad - Gear Anchor - 60 Feet: Traverse right to
the nose, and then move up and right through the notch. Probably the best pitch I have ever done at the grade.

- Descent: Walk off to the right. If you get to a spot where you have to scramble down into a gully to the right, then stay left and walk about 15 feet to the easy path down. If you scramble into the gully then that is OK. It's just a more difficult scramble below that ends up in the same spot as the path.

Ursula (5.5) - Two Pitches - Trad - Gear anchors

- Approach
: Take the third path after the overhanging / roof Andrew Boulder. At the top of the path, turn right and find the small, right-facing corner that is about 25 feet right of the massive right-facing corner that makes up Bonnie's Roof. There is a small roof about five feet off the ground below the small corner.

- Pitch One (5.5) - Trad - Gear anchor - 80 feet: Climb the moves to the left of the low roof and head up the corner. Follow the thin crack right of the orange rock (crux) and move up to the small arrow-shaped roof (above a larger roof mid-way up this section). Traverse right to the arrete / pillar and move up the notch to the ledge.

- Pitch Two (5.5) - Trad - Tree anchor - 100 feet: Start on the left of the ledge and pull the slick, awkward, overhanging, and off-angle foot and hand holds to better holds (crux). Follow the jugs to the top. Be aware that there is still a fair amount loose rock on this second pitch.

- Descent: Rap with two 60m ropes to the ground or twice with one rope (there is a rap anchor at the top of P1)

In the Groove (5.6) - One pitch - Trad - Gear anchor

- Approach
: Take the third path after the overhanging / roof Andrew Boulder. At the top of the path, turn right and walk uphill past a free-standing pillar to an open book capped by a rectangular roof about 25 feet up.

- Pitch One (5.6) - Trad - Gear anchor - 140 feet: The Williams guidebook lists this as a two-pitch climb, but climbing this in two pitches is really unecessary. Climb the corner (if dry - if not, the face isn't that difficult and may be better protected) up to the roof and step left on good feet. Clear the first overhang and move to the second one that is up to the left a bit. The Williams guidebook also notes that the first overhang is the crux. It isn't. The second overhang is. Clear that and climb the path of least resistance to the top (likely filled with lichen and better-than-expected climbing) with a few committing and dynamic moves at the very top.

- Descent: Walk left about 15 feet to the Ursula rappel (see above).

Birdland (5.8) - Two pitches - Trad - Bolted / Gear anchors

- Approach
: Walk a few minutes along the Near Trapps trail until you get to a shady strip of clean rock. Walk uphill until you get to an open book capped by an arrow-shaped roof. Birdland is the blank-looking face to the right of the book with right-facing edges about 25 feet up.

- Pitch One (5.8) - Trad - Bolted anchor - 90 feet: Most people start in the corner on the left, but I like the juggy start to the right of that (I think it is actually easier). Gain the horizontal ledges and move right to the arrete. Move up and fade left to the right-facing edges. Step left and pull on the edges to a decent stance (mental crux). Traverse right to the arrete on faint feet and hands (crux) and follow the crack to the top, stepping right to the bolted anchors at a good ledge. It is advisable to place a directional at the top of the crack for the second.

- Pitch Two (5.8) - Trad - Gear anchor - 115 feet: Move up left from the anchors (first crux) and follow the jugs to the series of overhangs / notches above. Clip the two pins and pull the first roof to a marginal stance. Step right out to thin crimps and pull the second roof (crux). For the 5.8 finish, walk right along the good ledge, pull the final overhang, and then walk left to the ledge. For the 5.9 version, don't walk right but instead climb the final roof section that is directly above (it is easier than it looks if you can hold off the pump).

- Descent: Walk right on the path for about 50 feet, downhill a bit, to where the path splits. Head right at the split to rap slings that are high on a tree. Two 60m ropes are needed for this rappel. Otherwise, continue down the path to walk off.

Yellow Belly (5.8) - Two pitches - Trad - Gear anchor

- Approach
: Walk in a few minutes on the Near Trapps trail to a right-facing corner with a small tree about 20 feet up. The left-facing corner and roof of Yellow Ridge is directly to the left, and there are a few boulders, one large, to the left of Yellow Ridge on the ground.

- Pitch One (5.8) - Trad - Gear anchor - 70 feet: Climb the face to the right of the right-facing corner, past the tree, and up to the overhangs. Step right and climb around / above the first overhang. Then step left back into the corner and clear the second overhang using the obvious layback to the top and a good ledge for belaying.

- Pitch Two (5.8) - Trad - Gear anchor - 90 feet: Climb up the arrete from the anchor and find good foot holds. From here, make a decision: either go up the face, traverse left into the corner and climb the corner, or traverse left into the corner, move up a few feet, and move back right to the face. I did the latter. I stepped up, moved into the corner, made two moves to good footholds and sparse but good hand holds. I then traversed all the back to the arrete and found surprisingly solid finger holds that allowed me to get my right foot up. From there, follow the jugs up to the squeeze pod. Once in the pod, trust the slick feet and holds out left under the roof and move left to around the arrete. Hold on to semi-crappy holds until a jug can be gained up in the left-facing corner. Follow the corner up and step right over where the roof was. Angle up to the right to the belay ledge.

- Descent: The Alphonse rap station will be a few feet to the right. You must have two 60m ropes to get down because there is no intermediate station below. Otherwise, walk along the path to the right for the walkoff.

Bonnie's Roof (5.9) - Two pitches - Trad - Gear anchor

- Approach
: Take the third path after the overhanging / roof Andrew Boulder. At the top of the path, turn right and head to the massive right-facing corner that leads up to the large roof at the top.

- Pitch One (5.9) - Trad - Gear anchor - 130 feet: Climb the face or the corner to the ledge below the massive right-facing corner. Climb the corner to the first roof. Move left on the jugs (crux) and head straight up before finishing the crux on the right at a good rest stance. Finish the corner to the obvious belay ledge directly below the roof.

- Pitch Two (5.7) - Trad - Tree anchor - 50 feet: Step up left on the left side of the ledge and traverse left about two moves. Then step down to better hand and foot holds. Move left to the arrete, reach around the corner and move straight up the arrete to where the arrete meets the large roof. Step right and traverse up and right to the top (rap anchor tree).

- Descent: Rap all the way to the ground with two 60m ropes. It is possible to do two raps, but only with a 70m rope if you rap off the first-pitch anchor.

No comments: