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#48022 - 09/21/09 01:16 PM Re: Breaking into 5.9-- short cruxes, good gear [Re: MarcC]
gunkie Offline
member

Registered: 07/19/00
Posts: 120
Loc: New Hope, PA
I think Grand Central is a good early 5.9 with good gear, if you're good at placing gear. It's not too strenuous around the 5.9 section and is a classic climb.

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#48026 - 09/21/09 02:53 PM Re: Breaking into 5.9-- short cruxes, good gear [Re: gunkie]
quanto_the_mad Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/14/02
Posts: 2628
Loc: brooklyn
Hmm... seems like my earlier reply got lost.

Wasp is a single 5.9 move and then 100' of 5.5G climbing. Pleasant, but not all that exciting.

Higher Stannard was a lot harder but I enjoyed it a lot more.

Sente... I dread the thought of climbing Sente, it's not for me.

The old "Breaking into the Grade" had 4 routes for 5.9, and since Marc mentions it, two of them were downgraded to 5.8+.

Groovy- short and sweet, but not for everyone. Watch the tat anchor, there's something sharp back there cutting the webbing. Bring some webbing and replace what's there.

Dirty Gerdie- thin and short, not very well protected.

The Spring p1 - not sure if that should be on the list, I wouldn't want to lead it.

Ants Line - haven't actually gotten around to it...
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#48027 - 09/21/09 02:58 PM Re: Breaking into 5.9-- short cruxes, good gear [Re: gunkie]
SethG Offline
old hand

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 709
Loc: NYC
Actually a lot of suggestions here, some variations on other climbs I never would have come up with myself. I'll sysnthesize the suggestions here.

Suggested routes that are easyish for 5.9:

Trapps, with the numbers from the Williams guide:

9b Nice 5.9
19 Red Cabbage
37 Apoplexy (with dissent. I have to agree with the dissent. Apoplexy is one of the very few climbs in the Gunks I've toproped, and while I thought the climbing was good, varied, and no huge problem, I thought the gear seemed really tricky.)
130 Arch V1 through roof aka Wick's Banana
236 Raunchy V1, 5.9 up the corner instead of to the left
274 Sente
310 Face to Face P2 (and P1 is either a good way to get there or a scary 5.7R)
311 No Glow P2
320a CCK Direct (except first roof off GT ledge is a poorly protected 5.8)
350 Ants' Line
353 Bonnie's Roof (standard 5.7 finish)
400 The Spring P1
429 WASP

Nears:

19 Inverted Layback
22 Grand Central (with dissent that small gear and a slight runout are required)
44 Roseland
53 Birdcage V1, escape to Birdland anchor after 5.9 section

Millbrook: Cruise Control

And apparently some vertical cracks at Lost City.

Some 5.8's have been suggested as good preparation for 5.9:

Birdland
Three Doves
Modern Times (with dissent)
Absurdland
Double Crack
Erect Direction P1 (which was suggested because it is good, not because it is a good lead-in to 5.9, but I did it recently and I thought it was pretty pumpy for an 8 and a great route)
Dirty Gerdie
Groovy

And it has also been suggested that these routes are not soft 5.9's but good mid-level 9's: Ants' Line, Arch Direct (Wick's Banana), Bonnie's Direct, CCK Direct, Directissima, and Higher Stannard. And that Le Teton and MF are to be saved for last as they are hard 5.9s.

And finally it has been suggested that one should just walk up to whatever and climb it if one can.


Edited by SethG (09/21/09 03:03 PM)
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#48028 - 09/21/09 03:04 PM Re: Breaking into 5.9-- short cruxes, good gear [Re: SethG]
quanto_the_mad Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/14/02
Posts: 2628
Loc: brooklyn
Inverted Layback? Yep, easier if you're shorter, but still, that's one heck of a committing move for a new 5.9 leader.

Might as well add (with dissent) to all the routes listed. grin


Edited by quanto_the_mad (09/21/09 03:05 PM)
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#48029 - 09/21/09 04:34 PM Re: Breaking into 5.9-- short cruxes, good gear [Re: quanto_the_mad]
Julie Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/16/00
Posts: 2090
Loc: SoCal
Lots of good advice here.

Mike, the initial corner of Birdcage then traversing right to the anchor is 5.9? That corner has always looked so appealing to me. I'd be psyched to get on it that way.

Nate wrote good honest caveats about why he listed GC, but here's another generality: people often list their first 5.N climbs, as they were working up the grades, but don't realize that even though that particular route was their first 5.N, they were in reality already a stronger climber than 5.N. Such as, saying a first 5.8 was Modern Times; it may have been someone's first 5.8, and gosh, it's safe, but clearly that person was already stronger than 5.8 to begin with. In other words, consider the source.

About Higher Stannard: the right-hand entry is reachy 5.9(+)R. I just found out yesterday that the left-hand start, which always looked approachable to me, is also too tall for me (if I get the left hand hold, I am too close to the wall to smear). I would like to think I'd be able to lead the route sometime, but now I'm thinking I'd have to scramble up Something Interesting and traverse in, and that would be ... pathetic. Arg.

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#48030 - 09/21/09 05:09 PM Re: Breaking into 5.9-- short cruxes, good gear [Re: Julie]
Jannette Offline

Cliffmama
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 10/03/00
Posts: 2225
Loc: Gardiner, NY
I think No Glow's crux is tricky if you're short. I'm 5'6" and can just barely (with walking fingers) reach the hold over the overhang. The run-out start off the GT ledge isn't hard, but it would be a nasty fall onto a ledge and that would make me too nervous. I won't lead that one.

I love leading Sente because it's more like a sport climb, but definitely not for those who don't like really thin face moves (hi Tabo!).

I second Mike's comments on The Spring. While the crack takes small gear, it didn't seem totally bomber to me and I have seen others have gear pop out of the crack. You're not far enough off the ground to avoid decking. I waited until I felt really solid on it on TR, then led it. Funny thing is a couple of months later I TR'ed it again and slipped off in the corner. Oops.

I'm surprised no one mentioned Golden Dream at Peter's Kill. Beautiful 5.9 crack, eats gear. If you find it hard, you can place gear and hang at every move. If that crack was in the Trapps, there'd be a long line.

If you don't get good gear behind the flake on Apoplexy, it's close to a ground fall if your belayer doesn't run like hell down the carriage road as you're falling. I've caught a big fall when the leader was standing just above the flake, and we both ended up suspended about a foot off the ground. Plus it's pumpy to place gear near the top. I'm chicken, I only led it with the gear pre-placed.

I agree with recommending Bonnie's Roof and Ant's Line - well protected, short cruxes. Just a little sustained on top if you run out of steam quickly. But with all that gear, you can hang and rest.

Since I'm also breaking into Gunks 5.9s (on good days), I find this thread very interesting.

Jannette

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#48031 - 09/21/09 05:36 PM Re: Breaking into 5.9-- short cruxes, good gear [Re: Jannette]
Julie Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/16/00
Posts: 2090
Loc: SoCal
No Glow is reachy, yes.

Spring - there's a finger pocket midway up to the rooflet, where no matter what I place (Alien, nut even tho there's no anti-zipper piece), it pops out later. There's bombproof gear at the rooflet. But like Mike said, our other friend Mike hit the ground from pretty far up, too. It's funny how some routes are closer to the ground than others; the Spring is definitely one of them.

Yeah, I'm thinking about re-re-breaking into 5.9s too these days. Maybe. If I get to climb more than every 3rd weekend.

Julie, whinier than usual today.

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#48034 - 09/21/09 06:43 PM Re: Breaking into 5.9-- short cruxes, good gear [Re: quanto_the_mad]
MarcC Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/10/00
Posts: 3532
Originally Posted By: quanto_the_mad
Wasp is a single 5.9 move and then 100' of 5.5G climbing. Pleasant, but not all that exciting.

IMHO there's a little more to it than that - like the 5.7+ bit that gets you up to the 9 crux, which I feel is more than just the one move. Also, if you carry a few big-ish cams, you can traverse to the right at the big horizontal and step down to the tree on the pedestal at the start of <the 5.2 to the right that I can't recall the name of>, saving the mellow trudge up to the GT. Obviously you risk killing your second if you don't set belay anchor quality pro at the start of the traverse.
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#48036 - 09/21/09 06:53 PM Re: Breaking into 5.9-- short cruxes, good gear [Re: Julie]
Coppertone Offline
old hand

Registered: 08/17/00
Posts: 1055
Loc: Newtown, CT
Are you all using the undercling on No Glow or is it that reachy even with the undercling? Hard for me to tell as I have a good reach. Even if a bit reachy it is extremely well protected there with pins that have been replaced within the last 6 or 7 years and plentiful gear options. Also the move off of the GT can be protected with a large nut/cam in the corner and can be extended. This would only be recommended if you have double. Probably allot of rope drag with a single.


On the Spring all you need is a first piece that is good for downward to protect one move. Once you reach the little overlap you can load up with multiple pieces of bomber gear in several locations. If the first piece lifts out once you sew it up with additional gear, so what. I have seen people have gear lift out but I have never had that problem. If you place all nuts you might have some issues, but if you mix it up it should not be a problem.

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#48037 - 09/21/09 07:04 PM Re: Breaking into 5.9-- short cruxes, good gear [Re: Coppertone]
Julie Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/16/00
Posts: 2090
Loc: SoCal
Yes, even with the undercling - reachy. IIRC, there's really almost nothing in between the undercling and the jug, and the feet are pretty undercut, so stepping up higher isn't a great option.

Spring: I've seen others' gear pop there, as well as my own (not always, I guess, but I think of it as always-suspicious). It's a weird little pocket - I honestly can't see why it pops, aside from rope movement. It does protect a move (and slinging it longer renders it pointless). Maybe a narrower C3 will be better for it, I haven't led it since we got ours. I guess I just think of myself as mostly bouldering until I reach the rooflet. It's fine if you know that's the case, but not quite a clear-conscience recommendation.

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