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#48005 - 09/20/09 02:37 AM Re: Breaking into 5.9-- short cruxes, good gear [Re: Frank Florence]
Mike Rawdon Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/29/99
Posts: 4276
Loc: Poughkeepsie
Pitch 3 of Arc of a Diver. Birdcage with the "Chouinard Variation" (escape to Birdland anchor instead of the traverse/roof crux), if you're good at stemming and reasonably tall. Raunchy (stay in the shallow R facing corner; stepping out left makes it easier than 9).

Standard advice for breaking into any grade - pro the heck out of the thing! On a climb like the Spring, it's easy to get too high above your gear in the first 20 feet or so, and your three pieces of gear is really only a single piece between you and the deck.

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#48006 - 09/20/09 04:03 AM Re: Breaking into 5.9-- short cruxes, good gear [Re: Coppertone]
pedestrian Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 2244
Loc: a heavily fortified bunker!
Originally Posted By: Coppertone
I don't know about Keep On Struttin as being anywhere near an entry level climb. The climbing on pitch 2 and 3 is fantastic, but runout in places and quite solid at the grade.


Maybe not entry level (and maybe even harder than 5.9 when done this way) but the gear is adequate where you need it, if you use the climber's right side start to the second pitch, below that little 0.4 camalot pocket. The third pitch is much easier than pitch 2. If you do the left hand start I agree the gear is nonexistent but the moves are more thoughtful and controllable.

Re Grand Central: let's just say I knew somebody was going to disagree with me on that, and I understand the reasons, but it was an early 5.9 lead for me and it felt reasonable. Micro nuts? I don't really remember needing much of 'em on the 2nd pitch, but maybe I was just really comfortable on that terrain (and this was years ago.) I remember simply focusing on the footwork, relaxing, climbing/traversing maybe just a few feet more between placements than I had previously been accustomed to, and then the route opened up and offered placement opportunities. There was one Alien that I had to jam a little bit, the trigger/stem was in the way and I had placed the one that would have fit better, earlier. The third pitch is only 5.8+ if you are tall enough to have no trouble reaching through the hand/fist crack.

Now, for a nice entry level climb for the solid 5.10 leader, how about Double Crack?


Edited by pedestrian (09/20/09 04:05 AM)

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#48007 - 09/20/09 05:19 AM Re: Breaking into 5.9-- short cruxes, good gear [Re: Coppertone]
Daniel Online   content
veteran

Registered: 05/23/01
Posts: 1515
Originally Posted By: Coppertone
Daniel I'm not sure that you found scary about the first pitch of Face to Face. There isn't much gear for the first 15 feet or so, but it is only about 5.5 climbing.


The start seemed very indistinct, so I may have been a bit off-route, but I thought it was solid 5.7 with no gear for more than the first 15 feet. My second (not as tall as I am) climbed at my ability level but fell before getting to the first piece of gear. There have been other instances where I didn't want to fall, but that was the only time I really thought I might get seriously hurt. But as I wrote above, perhaps I wasn't quite in the right place, which could have made a big difference. I'd be glad to defer to the consensus of others who have been on it.

In any case, p2 does, I think, have both a short crux with good gear, though one has to hang out a bit to get it in (which I found to be true on many other 9s at the cliff--decent gear, but much more strenuous to place than on the 8s).

I'll second the recommendation of p1 of Erect Direction for getting up to the GT Ledge for the other 5.9 climbs in that area. That's one sweet 5.8 pitch (and oodles of gear).

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#48008 - 09/20/09 12:04 PM Re: Breaking into 5.9-- short cruxes, good gear [Re: Daniel]
Mike Rawdon Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/29/99
Posts: 4276
Loc: Poughkeepsie
You definitely want micronuts for Grand Central.

If you like jamming, there are a few 9's at Lost City. Nothing like a vertical crack to allay your gear fears. Kinda hard to locate them online, so I won't get into that.

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#48009 - 09/20/09 05:07 PM Re: Breaking into 5.9-- short cruxes, good gear [Re: Mike Rawdon]
Cornell Climber Offline
journeyman

Registered: 07/12/04
Posts: 63
Threads like these always seem to turn into a "list every 9 at the Gunks" thread. I'll do my part...

Nobody has mentioned Arch Direct. Short crux with good gear.

When I talk to people about breaking into the 5.9 climbs, I first ask if they have done Birdland (with the direct finish on the second pitch), Three Doves and Modern Times. If you can comfortably send these 5.8+ climbs then you are more than ready for Grand Central (which is a bit runout at the crux, micronuts or not), Absurdland, Sente, No Glow and Roseland. All of these climbs are soft for 5.9. From there do Ant's Line, Arch Direct, Bonnie's Roof Direct, CCK Direct and Directissima. At this point you should be comfortable at the grade and can tick 5.9 to your heart's content. Save MF and Le Teton for last. When you send those, you are ready to start on 5.10.

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#48010 - 09/20/09 05:56 PM Re: Breaking into 5.9-- short cruxes, good gear [Re: Cornell Climber]
Aya Offline
old hand

Registered: 11/18/04
Posts: 754
Loc: Climbing somewhere
Screw that. I lead gunks 5.9 but I certainly do NOT lead Modern Times! It all depends on the kind of climbing you like.
Also think there's kind of a difference between say Roseland and Ant's Line (I would call that soft 5.9 too) which have great pro and certainly you can rest but are more sustained, vs like Bonnie's Direct or No Glow which are more or less one hard move with lots of easier climbing otherwise.
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#48011 - 09/20/09 07:11 PM Re: Breaking into 5.9-- short cruxes, good gear [Re: Aya]
rg@ofmc Online   content
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2472
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
Cornell is right; sooner or later you'll get practically every G or PG 5.9 climb in the Gunks, partially because the grading isn't precise anyway, partially because different individuals have different experiences on the same climb, and partially because some folks just have to mention their favorite pitches, whether or not they meet your criteria.

So here is what to do: get out your Williams guides, pick a 5.9 with some stars and a rating no worse than PG, and give it a try. If you don't like what you've gotten into, climb down and come back another day. Repeat, returning to your nemeses, until you've mastered the grade. You don't need any more information than that.

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#48013 - 09/21/09 01:01 AM Re: Breaking into 5.9-- short cruxes, good gear [Re: rg@ofmc]
AOR Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 08/27/04
Posts: 392
Originally Posted By: rg@ofmc
So here is what to do: get out your Williams guides, pick a 5.9 with some stars and a rating no worse than PG, and give it a try. If you don't like what you've gotten into, climb down and come back another day. Repeat, returning to your nemeses, until you've mastered the grade. You don't need any more information than that.


What's "easy" for one may not be easy for another. This is most likely the best advice to date for leading at your next level.

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#48014 - 09/21/09 03:06 AM Re: Breaking into 5.9-- short cruxes, good gear [Re: AOR]
Mark Heyman Offline
old hand

Registered: 12/23/99
Posts: 1123
Loc: South Jersey (Pinelands)
Originally Posted By: AOR
What's "easy" for one may not be easy for another. This is most likely the best advice to date for leading at your next level.


Certainly great advice if your asking on the web.
My first partner and I were always glad the other lead the pitch wed just followed.


Edited by Mark Heyman (09/21/09 04:06 AM)

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#48015 - 09/21/09 03:26 AM Re: Breaking into 5.9-- short cruxes, good gear [Re: AOR]
MarcC Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/10/00
Posts: 3532
Originally Posted By: AOR
Originally Posted By: rg@ofmc
So here is what to do: get out your Williams guides, pick a 5.9 with some stars and a rating no worse than PG, and give it a try. If you don't like what you've gotten into, climb down and come back another day. Repeat, returning to your nemeses, until you've mastered the grade. You don't need any more information than that.


What's "easy" for one may not be easy for another. This is most likely the best advice to date for leading at your next level.

Alternatively, you can try to find out which of the current 5.n climbs were rated 5.n-1 prior to the 1980 guidebook. Those would be the routes that are easy for their new grade and hence good starter climbs in that grade.
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