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#47995 - 09/19/09 12:09 PM Breaking into 5.9-- short cruxes, good gear
SethG Offline
old hand

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 709
Loc: NYC
Sorry if this has been done to death but if it has I can't seem to find it! There are similar threads I've found for 5.8 and 5.10 but not 5.9, and the "Breaking into the grade" section of the homepage is gone.

I've led some of the obvious "easy" 5.9s: Sente (5.9-, with bolts-- still a committing move up to the first bolt), Ants' Line (pumpy but great pro all the way), and Bonnie's Roof (crux has great pro and holds). I've also led Directissima and although the 5.9 pitch is short I wouldn't recommend it to a new 5.9 leader, mostly because I fell twice at the crux move! (I later learned the trick.) And you're moving sideways from an awkward gear anchor, which caused me some concern. And the crux is protected by pins, although I did find a good placement a few feet below the pins to back them up.

I'm looking for other good ideas, thanks!
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#47996 - 09/19/09 12:48 PM Re: Breaking into 5.9-- short cruxes, good gear [Re: SethG]
caver Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 01/11/03
Posts: 260
Loc: High Falls
Disclaimer: I'm sure many will argue whether a climb is "easy" or has good gear, so any answer will always receive nay sayers, but here goes anyway......a few in the Uberfall....Nice 5.9 climb, Red Cabbage, Apoplexy,

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#47997 - 09/19/09 01:45 PM Re: Breaking into 5.9-- short cruxes, good gear [Re: caver]
pedestrian Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 2244
Loc: a heavily fortified bunker!
Roseland. Plug and chug, closely spaced small wires in the corner, followed by the pin and bomber midsize cams on the traverse. Couldn't ask for better gear. Yet still, somebody placed bad gear and managed to deck on it a year or two ago...

Directissima should have a little bitty wire in the seam next to those pins, if you want to hang out and fiddle it in...

Grand Central has PGish runs between gear, but reasonably easy moves, I thought.


Edited by pedestrian (09/19/09 01:48 PM)

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#47998 - 09/19/09 02:26 PM Re: Breaking into 5.9-- short cruxes, good gear [Re: pedestrian]
Coppertone Offline
old hand

Registered: 08/17/00
Posts: 1055
Loc: Newtown, CT
No Glow. Combine with the first pitch of Face to Face and you have a great climb no harder than easy 5.9.

CCK Direct. Good gear and great climbing. One move a little off of gear at the notch just above the GT but that climbing isn't hard and the rest of the climb is superb.

First pitch of the Spring. Nice corner/dihedral that is well protected.

Wasp easy 5.9. Gear is a little tricky in the first few feet but it is there and then it is G after that.

Higher Stannard. A little bouldery at the start with no gear for one move, but after that great technical climbing with good gear.

I would have to disagree with Apolplexy as the flake can freak people out. The climbing to gain and clear the upper overhang is also challenging and not straight forward. The gear there can also be a little tricky if you don't know it. That climb has seen many falls.

I would also disagree about Grand Central as the second pitch is solid 5.9, traverses around the corner out of sight of your belay and had a pretty good runout on non trivial ground if you are not good with micronuts. A superb climb, but may want to make the entry 5.9 leader wet themself.


Edited by Coppertone (09/19/09 02:26 PM)

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#47999 - 09/19/09 06:05 PM Re: Breaking into 5.9-- short cruxes, good gear [Re: SethG]
Daniel Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/23/01
Posts: 1515
I'd recommend No Glow. Also p2 of Face To Face. which is 5.9; the third pitch is 10b in the latest Williams guide, but one can avoid it by angling right to finish in a 5.5 corner, which is the version in older guidebooks. (I found p1 of Face To Face pretty darn scary; better to use p1 of No Glow to get to the GT Ledge if you want to do p2 of Face To Face.)

I'd avoid Land's End, not because it's a bad climb, but because despite the 5.9- G rating I could not find neither the "-" nor the "G."

I agree with Pedestrian more than Coppertone on Grand Central. It's a little run out at the crux if you're looking for really good gear, but one can get several pieces before starting the sequence and I thought the moves were OK; good practice for just keeping it together as you look for the next placement.

CCK Direct is a fantastic line, but I thought it was pretty PG in places. Definitely don't want to blow it at the 5.8 overhang above the GT Ledge.

This may seem like an odd choice, but I loved Keep On Struttin'. It's got some very strenuous cruxes, but once one gets up to the first roof above the GT Ledge I thought the gear was good (good test for hanging out to get the gear in). Of course, every time I've done the climb it's taken me about 10 minutes to figure out how to get up to the first roof again....


Edited by Daniel (09/19/09 06:25 PM)

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#48000 - 09/19/09 06:50 PM Re: Breaking into 5.9-- short cruxes, good gear [Re: Daniel]
ianmanger Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 04/25/03
Posts: 319
Originally Posted By: Daniel


I agree with Pedestrian more than Coppertone on Grand Central. It's a little run out at the crux if you're looking for really good gear, but one can get several pieces before starting the sequence and I thought the moves were OK; good practice for just keeping it together as you look for the next placement.


the question was about breaking into the grade, short cruxes, good gear. I don't think GC fits this bill precisely because of the 'keeping it together' requirement. The crux isn't hard, but you do have to go for a while. No Glow, no question. btw, as if it needed saying _yet_again, if you look at Swains' "book of whoppers" and see 5.9G against Amber Waves of Pain, consider that this is a huge and potentially dangerous sandbag. Getting gear at the crux is strenuous and gave rise to the name. gray Dick has this as at least 10a.
Le Teton.. short crux, good gear, wild.

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#48001 - 09/19/09 07:26 PM Re: Breaking into 5.9-- short cruxes, good gear [Re: ianmanger]
Daniel Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/23/01
Posts: 1515
Originally Posted By: ianmanger
the question was about breaking into the grade, short cruxes, good gear.


Well, once you've covered the few obvious early 9s then one has to start looking at other good 9s to do. I don't think there are more than a handful of climbs that exactly fit the criteria, so I don't see a problem with offering others with the appropriate caveats. I think SethG can figure out which ones to tackle.

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#48002 - 09/19/09 11:28 PM Re: Breaking into 5.9-- short cruxes, good gear [Re: Daniel]
Coppertone Offline
old hand

Registered: 08/17/00
Posts: 1055
Loc: Newtown, CT
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. Once you hit the large flake in the middle of the face about 15-20 feet up it takes great gear all the way. That pitch is a wonderful pitch of 5.8 face climbing.

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. Don't do pitch one it has terrible gear, allot of loose rock and bad climbing. Pitch one of Erect Direction is an excellent option to reach the GT in that area.

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#48003 - 09/20/09 12:38 AM Re: Breaking into 5.9-- short cruxes, good gear [Re: Coppertone]
SethG Offline
old hand

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 709
Loc: NYC
I appreciate all the suggestions. I actually rapped down No Glow yesterday and I thought the second pitch looked really cool. The 5.5 R part didn't look bad. I may give that one a try soon.

A couple weeks ago I was talking with someone who'd just led MF and he said Le Teton was the most sandbagged 5.9 he'd tried...
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#48004 - 09/20/09 02:13 AM Re: Breaking into 5.9-- short cruxes, good gear [Re: SethG]
Frank Florence Offline
addict

Registered: 01/05/00
Posts: 528
Loc: moved to Bend
If you ever head out to Millbrook, check out Cruise Control. The pro seemed more like G than PG to me.

Grand Central is a great climb. Bring a couple of small brass nuts to cover the PG section on the second pitch. Another route in the Nears to consider is is Inverted Layback, although the consensus seems to be that this is easier if you're shorter. It protects well.



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