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Best 5.5 in the Country?
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By Ryan Kelly
From work.
Sep 9, 2011
My kinda simian
rgold wrote:
You can't compare 5.5 in the Gunks to mountain 5.5's. Many of the Gunks 5.5 pitches would be graded 5.6 or 5.7 in a mountain context.


I was waiting for someone to say that. Word on the street, 5.5 Gunks is 5.9+ out here in the West.

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By Rob Rives
Sep 9, 2011
Crux pitch
+1 for the Great Arch of Stone Mountain! How could this not make one salivate?
Great Arch 5.5
Great Arch 5.5

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By OReid
From Denver, CO
Sep 9, 2011
preparing to rap over a crevasse; Mt. Waddington, ...
Upper Exum and CMC on Moran are good routes, but nothing compared to the classic ridge climbs in the northwest:

In the US:
NE Buttress of Goode Mountain: 5.5, North Cascades
W Ridge of Forbidden Peak: 5.6, North Cascades
N Ridge of Forbidden Peak: 5.0 (but I think 5.5-5.6 is more accurate

In NW Canada:
NW Ridge of Mt. Sir Donald: 5.4, Southern Selkirk Range
W Ridge of Claw Peak: 5.6, Waddington Range

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By J. Aloysius
From Seattle, WA
Sep 9, 2011
Chasm view
For Washington rock climbers, Midway on Castle Rock in Leavenworth may be the best 5.5 rock climb in the state. Three pitches of varied and interesting climbing, solid rock, great exposure and position above the Wenatchee River all combine to make a classic climb (not to mention the history of the climb as well). It was the first trad climb I seconded and when I went back to lead it, the step-across move from Jello Tower to the face definitely made my palms sweat!

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By -sp
From East-Coast
Sep 12, 2011
Buenos Dias!
Rob Rives wrote:
+1 for the Great Arch of Stone Mountain! How could this not make one salivate?


Wow, never seen that image, that looks fantastic.

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By YDPL8S
From Santa Monica, Ca.
Sep 12, 2011
Bouldering at right side of Sun Deck
Well, this one is only 5.4 but you can easily make it 5.5 by choosing one of many possible lines. Really lots of fun, remote, great views!

Wham Ridge.
Wham Ridge.

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By saxfiend
Administrator
From Decatur, GA
Sep 12, 2011
Relaxing at the P1 belay of Fruit Loops at Rumblin...
Jake D. wrote:
Horseman is cool but P1 of Bloody Bush is one of my favorite pitches. overhanging jug haul on 5.5 with tons of gear.

I'm surprised no one has yet mentioned Jackie at the Gunks. Fun climbing and nice exposure.

As others have said, Great Arch at Stone Mountain is a memorable 5.5. So is its neighboring route, No Alternative.

JL

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By Ryan Stefani
Sep 12, 2011
camhead wrote:
technical climbing starts at 5.0 like astrophysics started with geocentrism.


Very good.

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By sibylle
From Colorado
Sep 12, 2011
Stone of Ignorance.
West Ridge on Pigeon Spire, 5.4, a classic climb in the Bugaboos.

Ok, it's 5.4 and in Canada, but good!

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By lucander
From Stone Ridge, NY
Sep 12, 2011
Lucander off the GT Ledge on p. 2 of Keep on Strut...
Best 5.5's

Mountains: Upper Exum, Grand Teton and CMC Face on Mt. Moran. The first climb tackles the range's high point up a climb steeped in history, the second climb involves a canoe/kayak approach, lakeside camping, and tons of fun easy rock.

Crags: I guess the Gunks rules here. Easy climbs are steep, clean, and well protected like Horseman, et. al. I'll throw in Thin Air at Cathedral Ledge (5.5 in old guidebooks) in New Hampshire, but also nod towards the west coast with Right On at Joshua Tree. At 4 varied and sometimes airy pitches, this little climb feels like a huge adventure.

DL

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By Hmann2
Sep 13, 2011
the fridge leavenworth
Not a 5.5, but a 5.8 would be Panic Point on Monkey Face in Smith Rocks. A true headspace pitch!

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By JSH
Administrator
Sep 13, 2011
JSH @ home  photo courtesy of Gabe Ostriker
++ Horseman, and Jackie -> Classic, Double Chin, Gelsa, Middle Earth, Sixish, ... 5.5 is such a great grade at the Gunks.

Diedre, at Squamish, which *felt* like 5.5 or 5.6 to me.

The Grack.

Vegas should definitely be represented in the "date grade" range, so I guess that would have to be Cat in the Hat.

In Eldo, Wind Ridge.

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By Kai Larson
From Sandy, Utah
Sep 13, 2011
Tour Ronde North Face
What is the picture? Which route?


OReid wrote:
Upper Exum and CMC on Moran are good routes, but nothing compared to the classic ridge climbs in the northwest: In the US: NE Buttress of Goode Mountain: 5.5, North Cascades W Ridge of Forbidden Peak: 5.6, North Cascades N Ridge of Forbidden Peak: 5.0 (but I think 5.5-5.6 is more accurate In NW Canada: NW Ridge of Mt. Sir Donald: 5.4, Southern Selkirk Range W Ridge of Claw Peak: 5.6, Waddington Range




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By Mike Mu.
Sep 13, 2011
The Nose from the road
Kai Larson wrote:
What is the picture? Which route?

west ridge of claw peak

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By FrankPS
From Atascadero, CA
Sep 13, 2011
JSH wrote:
Vegas should definitely be represented in the "date grade" range, so I guess that would have to be Cat in the Hat.


JSH,

It already was - I submitted Solar Slab! But CITH is a good 5.6, also.

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By slim
Administrator
Sep 13, 2011
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.
Ryan Kelly wrote:
I was waiting for someone to say that. Word on the street, 5.5 Gunks is 5.9+ out here in the West.


can anybody actually name a 5.5 route that would be graded 5.9 in the west? fwiw, the softest 11- i've ever climbed was at the gunks.

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By Richard Radcliffe
From Louisville, CO
Sep 13, 2011
Chuck Norris can't climb 5.5. in the Gunks.

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By Shawn Mitchell
From Broomfield
Sep 13, 2011
Splitter Jams on the Israel/Palestine Security Wal...
slim wrote:
can anybody actually name a 5.5 route that would be graded 5.9 in the west? fwiw, the softest 11- i've ever climbed was at the gunks.

Pains me to say, Slim, you failed to attain sarcasmogasm.

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By Richard Radcliffe
From Louisville, CO
Sep 13, 2011
Line 4

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By lucander
From Stone Ridge, NY
Sep 13, 2011
Lucander off the GT Ledge on p. 2 of Keep on Strut...
I'm guessing that easy Gunks .11 was The Stand or On Any Monday?

Sorry in advance for the thread drift.

DL

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By slim
Administrator
Sep 14, 2011
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.
Shawn Mitchell wrote:
Pains me to say, Slim, you failed to attain sarcasmogasm.


not so sure... there are a lot of folks that say this as if it is gospel or something. i wasn't questioning ryan, i was questioning the folks that he is poking fun at.

lucander, good guesses for sure, but low exposure is the answer.

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By lucander
From Stone Ridge, NY
Sep 14, 2011
Lucander off the GT Ledge on p. 2 of Keep on Strut...
FWIW: Low Exposure is dowgraded to 5.10d in the "Grey Dick," our most recent and authoritative guidebook. Personally, it might be in the 5.10a/b range if you can fist jam a #3 camalot.

Now - let's hear about some more awesome 5.5s, I'm loving the pictures of crazy Colorado ridgelines!

DL

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By lucander
From Stone Ridge, NY
Sep 14, 2011
Lucander off the GT Ledge on p. 2 of Keep on Strut...
CMC Face (5.5), Mt. Moran, Grand Teton N.P.
CMC Face (5.5), Mt. Moran, Grand Teton N.P.

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By Ryan Williams
Administrator
From London (sort of)
Sep 14, 2011
El Chorro
lucander wrote:
FWIW: Low Exposure is dowgraded to 5.10d in the "Grey Dick," our most recent and authoritative guidebook. Personally, it might be in the 5.10a/b range if you can fist jam a #3 camalot. Now - let's hear about some more awesome 5.5s, I'm loving the pictures of crazy Colorado ridgelines! DL


#3 is good hands for any real man ;)

I just did a CA road trip and I was constantly finding myself looking at classic 5.5 to 5.6 mountain climbs and saying "yea I'll do that someday when I don't have anyone to climb with." In that sense there are plenty of routes at that grade I'd like to do, many of them have been mentioned already. But if I'm going to haul up a rope and gear I want to be on something a little more interesting than what basically amounts to 4th class with a few real climbing moves.

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By Paddy McIlvoy
From Hailey, ID
Sep 22, 2011
Cowboy Route, Bath Rock, City of Rocks. Rusty Baillie once told me that if you took anyone up it as their first climb, they'd be a climber forever. He's right. It's only really one and a half pitches, but it's awesome, exposed (somehow gymnastic for a 5.5) just protected enough, tops out on a great summit, with a cool downclimb to finish. I once spent a month in the city camped right across from Bath Rock, and soloed Cowboy for breakfast every morning. Never got old.

P.S.
+1 for the Upper Exum.

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