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#19127 - 04/01/06 05:28 PM Gunks versus Yosemite Valley climing ratings
fischerkd Offline
stranger

Registered: 09/10/03
Posts: 1
Loc: Portland, OR
Greetings -

I'm looking for opinions from folks who have climbed in both Yosemite Valley and the Gunks in the 5.6 - 5.9 range. While I was living in Jersey I climed a lot in the Gunks and led a lot of the classic 5.6 routes. I'm on the west coast now and have found the ratings in the Portland, OR area to be about 2 grades softer than the gunks - I'm leading 5.8 here. For the folks who have climbed in both Yosemite and the Gunks, what is your opinion as to the comparison of the route grading? Is a 5.8 in the gunks easier, harder, or the same as a 5.8 in Yosemite? I know, the rock is very different at Yosemite, the climbing is different, everyone has a different opinion as to a route's difficulty - I'm just looking for opinions as I plan my trip to Yosemite this fall.

Cheers,

Kevin Fischer

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#19128 - 04/01/06 06:14 PM Re: Gunks versus Yosemite Valley climing ratings [Re: fischerkd]
dalguard Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/22/00
Posts: 1515
Loc: CT
It's just such different climbing, I don't know how you can compare them. I don't remember thinking anything at Yosemite was easy for the grade.

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#19129 - 04/01/06 06:15 PM Re: Gunks versus Yosemite Valley climing ratings [Re: fischerkd]
mso4man Offline
journeyman

Registered: 06/28/01
Posts: 52
Loc: Where the wind blows strange
Hey man hows it hangin out west. I have done a bunch of both Vally and unks climbing and I will say that I feel that the grades on most things are 2 grades softer in the Valley than in the Gunks. Now that is certainly not to say that a 5.9 offwidth is 2 grades softer than 3 doves probably the opposite. Not many straight in cracks with no other options here but I would still say Kens crack would hold a 5.9 rating in the Valley. I would say our face and Valley slab are roughly equal and I will say that a 5.10 slab feels like 5.8 Gunks face. I would still get a feel for the rock and routes but if you were raised on Gunk rock you should have no too many worries.

I go out a couple times a year and am actually planning on moving to the Tahoe area in the next couple of months. Hope this helped.

peace

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#19130 - 04/01/06 06:34 PM Re: Gunks versus Yosemite Valley climing ratings [Re: fischerkd]
MarcC Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/10/00
Posts: 3532
A 5.8 Yosemite overhang will seem much easier than a Gunks 8 overhang. However, instead of the huge bucket you go for in the Gunks, you might well be going for a hand jam in the valley, so that might seem harder. OTOH, a valley 8 chimney or flaring offwidth might seem harder than a gunks 5.11. You might find 5.8 friction on Glacier Point Apron to be a lot of cool padding and pushing up a sea of granite or could be a terrifying, pants-staining experience, especially on one of the old-school routes where you find yourself 60' above a 50 year old 1/4" buttonhead bolt. (We were once on Goodrich to Coonyard's while some friends were on Angelica. I could hear my friend whimpering from two pitches away as he contemplated the unprotected crux 5.9 moves 90' above his last piece. We had no beta and there were no Supertopos in those days. At least he was in Fires and not his old EBs!)

Endurance on the crack routes also plays a factor. While the majority of gunks cruxes are very short and powerful, yosemite cruxes can go for many many feet and you find yourself gassing out of the final jams before the rest. A couple of examples:

>Reed's Pinnacle Direct, where the crux 5.9 pitch* consists of 120' of crack where no move is harder than 5.7.....nor is any move easier than 5.7.

>Lunatic Fringe, where the 10c crux is 15' of 1-1/4" rattly fingers.

[*: regarding Reeds, the vast majority of climbers do it as a 2 pitch 5.9 and don't do the poorly protected 5.10 off-width third pitch]

So in general you'll probably find that things that feel like the Gunks will seem a bit easier while the cracks and friction will seem hard at first. Be very wary of any chimney or off width rated "5.9"! The other thing to remember is that while you're sure to have a fun time at 5.6-5.9, there aren't that many quality routes below 5.9. Certainly not to the extent as in the Gunks.

Safety tip: climbing or even hiking along the base of El Cap, while rewarding, is incredibly dangerous. People drop all kinds of stuff off the wall all the time. I was once hit by a medium sized nut, a partner was nailed by a pulley, another partner got hit by a 3/4" angle piton, a piton hammer narrowly missed a bunch of us, and we came across fragments of what was once a fairly large boom-box. Wear a helmet.
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- Marc

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#19131 - 04/01/06 06:45 PM Re: Gunks versus Yosemite Valley climing ratings [Re: mso4man]
MarcC Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/10/00
Posts: 3532
Quote:

Not many straight in cracks with no other options here but I would still say Kens crack would hold a 5.9 rating in the Valley.



'Cause in the Valley you'd have to jam Ken's the entire way instead of using all the face holds and liebacks, and it's kind of an awkward size for most.
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- Marc

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#19132 - 04/01/06 08:31 PM Re: Gunks versus Yosemite Valley climing ratings [Re: dalguard]
empicard Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/29/01
Posts: 2957
Loc: LI, NY
Quote:

It's just such different climbing, I don't know how you can compare them. I don't remember thinking anything at Yosemite was easy for the grade.



if that were truly the case, then why are we using the same rating system?
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tOOthless

Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

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#19133 - 04/01/06 11:16 PM Re: Gunks versus Yosemite Valley climing ratings [Re: empicard]
drkodos Offline
addict

Registered: 05/02/04
Posts: 674
Loc: Chattanooga, TN
fischerkd, here is a better idea.


Instead of asking, go there and come back and tell us YOUR PERSPECTIVE.



That makes for much more interesting posts and threads that lead into actual dicsussions. The way you went about it, you just opened a doorway for people to come in and show off the fact that they have climbed at both areas --hey, ain't they the shit!

In the end, the only thing that matters is your own perspectives, views and devices you use to make decisions when you are 100 feet up a pitch out of sight of the belayer haviong the time of your life because you ARE SUCCEEDING OR FAILING on your own.

Try it!
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#19134 - 04/02/06 12:54 AM Re: Gunks versus Yosemite Valley climing ratings [Re: fischerkd]
fear Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 06/27/03
Posts: 221
Loc: New England
I find Yos stuff to be pretty much the same as Gunks ratings within a grade or so... It really didn't seem any easier to me.

True about the length of the climbs. You really need to haul major ass compared to the Gunks on longer stuff....

Get your finger,hand, and fist jams down cold and you'll have fun...

Except for anything marked "OW" for which I will need a rope gun and ascenders.

-Fear

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#19135 - 04/02/06 02:16 PM Re: Gunks versus Yosemite Valley climing ratings [Re: fischerkd]
GOclimb Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/26/01
Posts: 2362
Loc: Boston
I've only climbed a couple days in Yosemite, but I found everything I did a grade or two easier than at the Gunks. Mind you, I found J-Tree a grade or two *harder* than the Gunks, and there's clearly not a four grade difference between Yosemite and J-Tree, so there's probably something wrong with my brain.

GO

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#19136 - 04/03/06 05:23 AM Re: Gunks versus Yosemite Valley climing ratings [Re: fear]
drkodos Offline
addict

Registered: 05/02/04
Posts: 674
Loc: Chattanooga, TN
Quote:



Except for anything marked "OW" for which I will need a rope gun and ascenders.

-Fear





I am always willing to hook up with punters that want to hit the big stone and jam up some Off-With-Their-Heads type cracks. Good stuff.
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