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#9952 - 09/26/03 03:28 PM Layback PG?
MurphysLaw Offline
gumby

Registered: 03/12/02
Posts: 2308
Loc: Hudson Valley, NY
After an extended layoff, I'm working my way back up the grades again. Took a hooky day on Monday, and hit the Nears for some classic moderate action:
Led Gelsa, Layback, and Disneyland.

Layback has to be the hardest, most intimidating 5.5 (at least the start; both the chimney and face variations) at the Gunks.
Hawk, Ursula, Horseman, and Frog's Head are all cake in comparison, IMO.

The layback was way fun, the 2nd pitch gets a solid vote for Best 5.3 Climbing at the Gunks, but the unprotected starts are both NOT fun.

I backed off the chimney, didn't feel like making that last unprotected (I don't own a #4 camalot, or is there something else I may have missed?) move up to the chockstone for the first gear opportunity.

I guess one could say that in a chimney "you are your gear", but it was too cramped for me (5'10") to feel any sense of security in there.

The face variation isn't any better gear-wise, and also felt pretty stiff for 5.5. Got my first gear (green alien) in a vertical pin scar just below the horizontal, and then you get a (manky) pin and can slot a bomber nut before you traverse futher right to the chockstone and back on the route proper.

I dunno, I'll admit I'm rusty, but being 15+ feet off the deck before getting gear feels like more than PG to me.
I was very glad I wasn't a 5.5 or 5.6 leader when I tried this.
_________________________
"Flailing?" "Flail on!"

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#9953 - 09/26/03 03:42 PM Re: Layback PG? [Re: MurphysLaw]
learningtolead Offline
old hand

Registered: 04/16/02
Posts: 981
Loc: a wanna be kerhonkson-er
Just admit it, Mike. Daddyhood has made you a wuss!

Seriously, though, IMO sometime the start of layback feels easy and full of friction and other times it feels slippery and tenuous. It's worth it though to get up to the rest of the climb. I think the first gear I got was a big cam (#2 camalot?) at the chockstone.

I still think Ursula is scarier. There was one move on the first pitch that I whimpered on--I think it's height related.

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#9954 - 09/26/03 03:45 PM Re: Layback PG? [Re: MurphysLaw]
Retn2Rock Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 01/29/02
Posts: 295
Loc: near New Paltz
I followed this in the spring and haven't gone back to lead it because of the pro in the beginning. I agree with you - scary. I'm not solid enough in chimneys (read "technique = flail") to feel I could do that without pro. I thought I'd do the face next time, but again, looking at it from the ground once more, it was too close to my abilities to lead without pro.
I loved the climb, tho!
-Chris

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#9955 - 09/26/03 03:47 PM Re: Layback PG? [Re: MurphysLaw]
groundhog Offline
member

Registered: 04/19/01
Posts: 137
Loc: southern NJ
I have just the opposite reaction - put me in a chimney & I'll do anything! I have trouble staying out of them - no matter how the route looks, I always seem to go for the chimney. Layback is on my list to do again, also after a somewhat lengthy layoff - its tough to get back to where you were.

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#9956 - 09/26/03 03:58 PM Re: Layback PG? [Re: groundhog]
edk Offline
addict

Registered: 05/06/02
Posts: 441
Loc: allentown, NJ
Quote:

I have just the opposite reaction - put me in a chimney & I'll do anything! I have trouble staying out of them - no matter how the route looks, I always seem to go for the chimney. Layback is on my list to do again, also after a somewhat lengthy layoff - its tough to get back to where you were.




You need to hook up with Steve Cherry! you guys could sniff out every off-width / chimney around. and warn the rest of us to stay away!.


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#9957 - 09/26/03 04:10 PM Re: Layback PG? [Re: MurphysLaw]
Mark Heyman Offline
old hand

Registered: 12/23/99
Posts: 1123
Loc: South Jersey (Pinelands)
Layback has to be the hardest, most intimidating 5.5 (at least the start; both the chimney
and face variations) at the Gunks.


I recently did Layback for my first time. Did the face start cause a freind said it was harder and the route only 5.5. Yeah, I thought it was pretty stiff for 5.5 but only PG. You'll probably only get hurt from 15ft.

Hawk, Ursula, Horseman, and Frog's Head are all cake in comparison, IMO.

I mostly agree though I have never done Ursula.

The layback was way fun, the 2nd pitch gets a solid vote for Best 5.3 Climbing at the Gunks,

Yeah, it's up there.

but the unprotected starts are both NOT fun.

I dunno, a little hard and scary, but I'd do the face start again after I try the regular start next time.

15+ feet off the deck before getting gear feels like more than PG to me.

How bout very PG?

Mark


Edited by Mark Heyman (09/26/03 07:42 PM)

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#9958 - 09/26/03 05:28 PM Re: Layback PG? [Re: learningtolead]
Julie Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/16/00
Posts: 2082
Loc: SoCal
I *like* Ursula a lot - it's a good warmup in that area - but to me it's a 7 in disguise. It was one of my first leads, both in the Gunks and in general, and ... phew it was hard! Even now, it gives me pause. And with more miles under my belt, only now do I see that the pro in the first 25' ain't the greatest - you have to be very careful about the direction of pull, and the chance for lifting out, when placing nuts in that crack.

Actually, speaking of that first time I led it ... I made that scary move with a black alien, shallowly placed and vertically oriented, at my chest. Ah, the stupidity we all manage to survive ...

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#9959 - 09/26/03 06:25 PM Re: Layback PG? [Re: Julie]
MurphysLaw Offline
gumby

Registered: 03/12/02
Posts: 2308
Loc: Hudson Valley, NY
LTL - Daddyhood (and not climbing much) has made me a wuss I guess.

Do I at least get some non-wussified bonus points for 'scrambling unroped' (strat says it's too easy to call p1 soloing) up Easy O to set up my TR solo on SoEO yesterday?

Mark H - <<falling 15 feet means you'll probably only get hurt.>> (parapharasing)

I'd be more likely in agreement if that fall didn't have such an abrupt end to it. 15 feet to the deck is a whole different ballgame than a 15-footer higher up.
I can only hope you never have to find this out for yourself.

Julie - agreed Ursula is fun. And thoughtful - less than obvious moves and gear.
I've only followed it, but found it very easy, I ran up it in my approach shoes.
Ya get to that very thin seeming corner crux (where you can easily do 5.7-ish moves if ya don't look around), but there are "hidden" (not obvious - think stemming) foot and hand holds that make it a legit 5.5.

I felt a whole lot more "comfy" leading the chimney start of Sundown, and the crazy-runout start to Annie Oh than I did on the start(s) of Layback the other day.
(which proves that LTL is probably right - D'OH!!!!! )

Ah, the stupidity we all manage to survive ...

From your lips to God's ears.

I may be be the Poster Child for that


Edited by MurphysLaw (09/26/03 06:33 PM)
_________________________
"Flailing?" "Flail on!"

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#9960 - 09/26/03 06:48 PM Re: Layback PG? [Re: edk]
Fraser Offline
old hand

Registered: 08/15/02
Posts: 700
Loc: New Canaan, CT
you guys could sniff out every off-width / chimney around. and warn the rest of us to stay away!.

I don't remember Layback being that bad - must be getting old...

Anyway, Is there a list of chimney's/offwidths worth doing in the Gunks?

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#9961 - 09/26/03 06:55 PM Re: Layback PG? [Re: Mark Heyman]
Chas Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/22/01
Posts: 1754
Loc: Flagstaff
In my book, a start with the first piece of gear for 15ft is still PG. Just put it into context , for it to be R, if you fall, there is a very high probability of being seriously hurt.

For it to be R you would have to make that first piece much higher yet (ok, you can totally disagree with me).

Some of the routes I have done have 3 bolts (of slab climbing) in 120ft and it is still called PG (the most obsene rating is a slab route that is 400ft long with bolts at the belay which are 150ft apart, and a single bolt on each pitch with the slimiest climbing and being given only PG/R.

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