Grimace Face.....

Posted by: fear

Grimace Face..... - 08/09/06 03:44 AM

So tell me how this shitpile gets three stars in the new Gray Dick.....

P1 - 5.8PG... I can agree with that....

P2 - 5.8+PG .... Loose, friable rock, with no pro past the underside of the roof, key flake/hold will snap off anytime... Did I miss something here? Some funky/magical gear placement? How is this PG without a hammer and pins or a bolt kit?

We did TR the direct finish on P3. Don't worry, I snapped off 'most' of the loose stuff..... Other than that what was Dick drinking?


Posted by: RangerRob

Re: Grimace Face..... - 08/09/06 11:41 AM

Sounds like you may have been off route. I haven't done it yet myself, but I hear the last pitch is phenomenal. Funny how only in the Gunks does a route with a little loose rock become a "shitpile"

Posted by: Smike

Re: Grimace Face..... - 08/09/06 12:11 PM

Funny how only in the Gunks does a route with a little loose rock become a "shitpile"

Only in the Gunks does 99.99% of most routes employ that super solid Shawangunk conglomerate. Now the Dacks on the other handÂ…
Posted by: Kent

Re: Grimace Face..... - 08/09/06 01:27 PM

Fear...where does the direct finish on P3 go? From the top of the second pitch, the regular third pitch moves up and traverses left under an overhang. Move up where there is a left facing corner in the hang. Once above the hang move up and right over easier ground. It is a stellar pitch. P3 alone might warrant a 3 star rating for the whole climb despite the P2 choss pile.

There was once a large (coffee table sized) rock on P2 that would pivot a lot if you touched it. It either fell spontaneously or was trundled a few years ago. It was there on a Sunday and cratered somehow before the following Tuesday. The route is much safer now.

Edited to clean up my description a bit.
Posted by: fear

Re: Grimace Face..... - 08/09/06 02:30 PM

Instead of trending left towards Shockley's, the direct finish goes straight up the right side of an easy pillar and out right over the huge roof at an obvious weakness on the center/right.... One book has it at 10b which seems about right if you nail the sequence. A mandatory heelhook makes it a neat move.... I snapped off a large flake that probably made it somewhat easier before but not enough to change the grade... We only TR'd P3 though so I can't comment on the gear other than it would be "challenging". Heh....

P3, whichever way, is definitely the only "three star" pitch worth doing IMO... P1 was ok but certainly not memorable.

I should have clarified that only P2 seemed like a loose and creepy R-rated shitpile (only compared to other "3-star" Gunks climbs). Or maybe I missed some gear placements or was just offroute somehow.......

Check it out....

Posted by: crackers

Re: Grimace Face..... - 08/09/06 04:03 PM

I did the route a couple of years ago. i really liked the 2nd and 3rd pitches.

the 2nd pitch had fine, if a bit tricky gear. It felt like climbing alpine routes, where you have to remember to pull down on that hold so it will stay there. Maybe all of my placements are gone now...

the 3rd pitch is money.
Posted by: rg@ofmc

Re: Grimace Face..... - 08/09/06 06:14 PM

This is a rare case in which Dick has (the third pitch of) the route wrong, at least historically. I'm sure of this because I made the second ascent with McCarthy, a week or two after he made the first ascent with Robbins. The historical third pitch is what Grey Dick calls the 5.9 variation to P.R.; it is drawn in with a dotted line on the cliff photo. The pitch described as the third pitch of GAF is the original third pitch of PR, however, it was almost certainly done before Stannard did the 11d first pitch.

By the way, I've done the No Belle Prize variation and it scared the daylights out of me---I recall overhanging 5.10 moves 20, perhaps more feet up with a ledge fall in the offing. This was in the days before cams; perhaps Aliens would now make a difference.

As for pitch two, it seems to me that since 1966 rock has fallen off below the crux overhang, leaving a rather unstable (by Gunks standards) area below. You can't help but wonder whether any gear placed below the the overhang will simply serve to remove more rock if it is called on to stop a fall. This is speculative, of course, but the sensible thing, in my opinion, is to treat this as an R-rated pitch, although it is no looser than many pitches one might find in other areas.

The route sketch in Grey Dick has you heading too far to the right on pitch two. However, if you do go out that way, the rock is better and the hardest moves are, I think, quite a bit easier.
Posted by: Coppertone

Re: Grimace Face..... - 08/11/06 04:43 AM

I love the whole climb. The first pitch is mellow fun 5.8 with one slight runout.

The second pitch is great. It takes a little patience and cool head, but has good moves over that small overhang down low. You can get good gear in just under the roof in several spots and one is actually in solid rock. As was previously stated pull down and not out on the potato chip flake. You get bomber gear once past this spot. Once over that overhang move sligthly right and then straight up through a bunch of interesting moves. It is a litte run out a little higher up but the climbing is not that difficult. There is a good bit of loose rock on this pitch but I find that it adds to the charm of the route and helps to keep this fantastic route free of traffic.

The third pitch is great.

Everyones opinion will vary but I think this is one of the best 5.9's around. The rock quality is not as good as say Insulation nor are the moves as aesthic but still a great 3 pitch route.
Posted by: yme

Re: Grimace Face..... - 08/17/06 04:57 AM

p1 sling the block p2 good cams inside the "loose rock"(route finding anyone?) p3 lf corner w the piton? was i off route for the 10th time. for more fun checkout the blackout(59rrrrrrrrrrrr)
Posted by: rackrat

Re: Grimace Face..... - 09/12/06 01:30 AM

The Potato Chip flake under the roof is a bit sketchy, but it holds an orange Metolius well. It's more to protect the second on the traverse. The bomber natural chock that you can grab up inside makes a great anchor for the leader. I've loved this climb for years.
Posted by: Coppertone

Re: Grimace Face..... - 09/14/06 03:50 AM


The Potato Chip flake under the roof is a bit sketchy, but it holds an orange Metolius well. It's more to protect the second on the traverse. The bomber natural chock that you can grab up inside makes a great anchor for the leader. I've loved this climb for years.

Your putting gear behind a flake that may come off if you pull out instead of down, not a very good idea. And what traverse are you talking about? After that move you angle a hair to the right as get great gear which will protect your second just fine since you are always to the right of the flake anyway. Also the flake is over the little overhang on the second pitch not under it.
Posted by: Cornell Climber

Re: Grimace Face..... - 09/18/06 05:01 AM

Did this climb today for the first time. I led p1 which was straightforward 5.8 climbing. Gear was sufficient for a PG rating. My partner led p2. He started to pull through the overhang, but backed off. He stayed low and moved about 12 feet right, then up. Done this way the pitch is not R-rated. It was fun and the rock was decent. There was plenty of chalk along this route. I led p3 which is an impressive roof. I had to hang at the pin. Actually, I didn't have to hang, I could have onsighted the climb, but I'm a coward. Big roof on big holds. Lots of fun. This is what gives the climb three stars.

A side note... with Grim-Ace Face I have now climbed every three star route in William's Gunks Select rated below 5.10.
Posted by: rackrat

Re: Grimace Face..... - 09/27/06 04:48 PM

Ahh... sorry, recalling Ape Call, not Grimace.
Posted by: dalguard

Re: Grimace Face..... - 09/27/06 11:40 PM

Doesn't sound a lot like Ape Call either.
Posted by: Coppertone

Re: Grimace Face..... - 09/28/06 03:14 AM


Doesn't sound a lot like Ape Call either.

I think that is calling that small loose block that is kind of wedged in under the roof on the Ape Call the "potato chip flake'. And the traverse he is referring to I guess in the one move from right to left out of the corner which isn't even necessary as you can come at the overhang by going up the face and not in the corner. Either way both routes are good clean fun.
Posted by: SethG

Re: Grimace Face..... - 11/13/12 03:18 PM

Reviving this old thread just to say:

(1) The first pitch is a little bit scary. You get gear right at the 5.8 crux but then it is run out for a while and the climbing, while maybe not 5.8, is not trivial either. Dick suggests you sling a certain block but I couldn't figure out how to do it in a way that I thought would really work. One move after the block you do finally get some good pro but if you fall at the block and the sling pops off you are going to hit the bulge below.

(2) I don't know why people think the second pitch is so bad, maybe it has cleaned up a bit? Certainly some loose blocks right below the crux and some shaky flakes here and there but all of it easily avoided. I've seen a lot more loose stuff on classic pitches elsewhere in the Gunks. Fun crux, roof a little hard for 5.8+. I believe the initial reference to a "potato chip" above was regarding the crucial hold over the roof. It is a thin hold but I thought it was solid. There are a few nice steep moves after the roof. I liked this pitch.

(3) The third pitch is awesome. The pin is gone. If you are short like me you have to commit to the little finger-sized horizontal before you can place anything there and the placement is blind. But it's all you'll get. Great roof problem! And then you get to finish up a nice bit of Shockley's.
Posted by: Coppertone

Re: Grimace Face..... - 11/13/12 04:45 PM

Seth its been some time, but I recall on the first pitch that you cut out the runout if you have along sling(4 ft) and girth hitch the flake/block. As long as your slings are long enough this works well. For the finish on the last pitch it doesn't actually join Shockleys to the left but trends right on an independent line to the small ledge with tree and slings.
Posted by: SethG

Re: Grimace Face..... - 11/13/12 05:04 PM

The line in the photo does as you say, staying independent, but Dick has changed the description to recommend joining Shockley's. It is a good way to end it.
Posted by: Mike Rawdon

Re: Grimace Face..... - 11/13/12 05:15 PM

Dick has changed the line of the last pitch multiple times. I still think the "blue book version" is the best. IIRC that's now the last pitch of either PR or Mr. Transistor. It's a real steep arete, almost like an inverted staircase. Very pumpy and dramatic.
Posted by: RangerRob

Re: Grimace Face..... - 11/13/12 08:37 PM

For what it's worth, climbing the blocky 5.7 crack about 30 feet to the right is good alternative pitch to get you to the first belay.
Posted by: SethG

Re: Grimace Face..... - 11/14/12 02:56 PM

I did enjoy Grim-Ace's first pitch, good face climbing. And I did sling the block. I used a regular length single sling and MAYBE it would have held. It was around a nubbin that kept it in place. I didn't like it.

I had a triple sling on my harness but it didn't seem you could run a sling all the way around, it is hard to describe. I may have just messed up.

If you are comfy running it out a bit in 5.7 territory then the next move gets you bomber pro.