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Ursula T 

Bonnie's Roof 

YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a

   
Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 250'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: FA: B. Prudden & H. Kraus - 1952

FFA: D. Williams & J. McCarthy - 1961

FFA (Direct): I. Rezucha & J. Pofit - 1975

Page Views: 22,040
Submitted By: Josh Janes on Feb 28, 2006

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What a fun arete!

Description 

In 1937 Bonnie Prudden shattered her pelvis in a skiing accident. A doctor told her, "You will always limp; no more skiing, climbing, dancing. And no children." Nothing like a promise like that to stir a climber to great things: fifteen years later she made the historic first ascent of Bonnie's Roof, after the legendary Hans Kraus backed down and handed her the sharp end.

Bonnie's Roof is a really enjoyable climb that launches up the most obvious right-facing dihedral in the Trapps. The Bonnie's Roof access trail is the next one after the High Exposure access trail, about a 17-min. walk from the Uberfall, and a 13-min. walk from where the East Trapps Connector Trail meets the carriage road.

P1: Begin by jamming and stemming through several bulges to a high belay below the roof. One of the early bulges checks in at 5.9 and is the crux. This long pitch can be broken into two if necessary. 5.9, 130'.

P2: Traverse left across the steep face to the arete, following obvious chalked holds and gear placements, then head up to the top. 5.7, 50'.

P2 (Direct): Bonnie's Roof Direct is a highly recommended variation that continues up into the roof, slightly right, and then pulls through the roof at a steep thin hands crack (5.9++) -- wildly exposed!

From the top, rappel with two ropes. With one rope, you can walk back to the High Exposure rap line, or head right to rappel over Ursula.

Protection 

Standard Rack


Photos of Bonnie's Roof Slideshow Add Photo
airy
airy
Rich Goldstone approaching the first of the roofs. The crux for me was always getting to this point. The roof itself is easy, although intimidating, with huge holds.
Rich Goldstone approaching the first of the roofs....
Mauro beneath the second pitch of Bonnie's Roof Direct.
Mauro beneath the second pitch of Bonnie's Roof Di...
After the traverse... some gear please!
After the traverse... some gear please!
Gene Smith on P1 below the crux, and unknown climber finishing P2.
Gene Smith on P1 below the crux, and unknown climb...
nothing new here... just another classic shot from one of the most photogenic pitches in the Gunks (Bonnie's Roof, pitch 2)
nothing new here... just another classic shot from...
p2 of Bonnie's Roof <br /> <br />
p2 of Bonnie's Roof

Rich Goldstone above the main roof. It's 5.6 or so through here.
Rich Goldstone above the main roof. It's 5.6 or so...
Tricia Fusco approaching the P1 crux.
Tricia Fusco approaching the P1 crux.
Taken from 9+ variation for pitch 2 of Bonnie's Roof.  Fantastic!
Taken from 9+ variation for pitch 2 of Bonnie's Ro...
Unknown climber on Bonnie's Roof during our Gunks reunion.
Unknown climber on Bonnie's Roof during our Gunks ...
Christa entering the crux of Bonnie's Roof.
Christa entering the crux of Bonnie's Roof.
Manny contemplating the moves up the arete on P2 of Bonnie's roof.
Manny contemplating the moves up the arete on P2 o...
Heading up the arete on P2.
Heading up the arete on P2.
Rob and I on the belay ledge. Amazing views and such a great climb.
Rob and I on the belay ledge. Amazing views and su...
The famous traverse
BETA PHOTO: The famous traverse
Bomber hold at the top 5.7 pitch... I was told to stop and pose for the shot. Try looking down all that exposure.
Bomber hold at the top 5.7 pitch... I was told to ...
Rich Goldstone racking up at the base of Bonnie's Roof. Rich was (is?) a strong gymnast and was known for his climbing feats of superhuman strength.
Rich Goldstone racking up at the base of Bonnie's ...
Brian pulls through the bomber finger locks at the crux of Bonnie's Roof Direct.
Brian pulls through the bomber finger locks at the...
Tricia Fusco approaching the P1 crux of Bonnie's Roof (5.9) <br /> <br />Cropped version of a photo by Denis O'Connor.
Tricia Fusco approaching the P1 crux of Bonnie's R...
Pulling the roof on the direct finish
Pulling the roof on the direct finish
Old style is the new new style
Old style is the new new style
First did this route in the 90's.  Shirt and helmet probably from the same time....
First did this route in the 90's. Shirt and helme...
im not going to lie - i led this though a friends gear haha - p1 had me feeling pumped!
im not going to lie - i led this though a friends ...

Show All 39 Photos

Only the first 24 are shown above.

Comments on Bonnie's Roof Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jun 24, 2014
By GoBotRocker
From: Spfld, Ma
Jul 4, 2006

Man O Man, what a sweet long 1st pitch. I got to lead the direct variation the 1st time and fell in love with it. The Direct finish has great gear and will keep your attention until the top. I remember looking over my shoulder 1/2 way throught those roofs and the exposure was awesome.
By Cory B
Nov 9, 2007

I can't believe the first pitch is harder than 5.8. Do you really think it deserves a 9+?
By eric larson
From: aurora, co
Apr 22, 2008
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

absolute must do, gunks classics, especially when finished via the direct line!

5.8 or 5.9 who cares.. this route is simply fun-friggin-tastic and should be done by all who climb 8's and 9s
By Paul Hunnicutt
From: Boulder, CO
May 1, 2008
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

The direct finish is so awesome. The gear is bomber and you can place a piece below and above the roof before you commit. Too bad the thin crack was so short though.
By Jay Harrison
Jan 17, 2010

Absolutely awesome route.
Some pull-off hints:
You can get a no-hands rest just below the P1 crux roof. This is tres good for setting pro before tackling the pump. I won't go into details, but it takes a bit of flexibility with the legs...
The Direct finish P2 is the only 5.9+ move I know that you can protect standing on a ledge without needing handholds. Face outward and fit a cam in that lovely crack above your head, sliding it up, away, and down just a tad. Tada! Bomber pro.
Get a good stem after pulling the initial roof and you can do the same for the last one, though it isn't quite as comfortable.
By stredna
From: PA
May 19, 2010

do the direct in one long shot! its not bad
By Jason Halladay
Administrator
From: Los Alamos, NM
May 19, 2010
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

The exposure on leftward traverse out to the arete on P2 of this route rivals that of High Exposure and is definitely wild and fantastic. From the belay ledge atop P1 it looks improbable and thin to traverse out that way. It turns out not to be difficult and extremely airy. Simply awesome.
The first pitch is great but this second pitch makes the climb.
By Steven Cherry
Jun 28, 2010
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Bonnie's Direct is my favorite 5.9 in the Gunks.

The guidebooks have had confusing ratings in the past, but the current guidebook gives the first pitch 5.9, the regular (traverse to arete) finish 5.7, and the direct finish 5.9. I don't see how any harder numbers can be justified; I don't think p1 is as hard as Ant's Line or p1 of the Spring, and I don't think the p2 roof is harder than MF p2, or Commando Rave.

As others have said, though, regardless of the numbers, this is one of the best of the best climbs the Gunks has.
By Larry S
Aug 15, 2010
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Great Route! Be weary of some loose flakes on the wild traverse on the second pitch (regular finish). They are marked, but I didn't notice either of them till i put a hand on them.
By Robbie Flick
From: Denver, CO
Sep 5, 2010
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Awesome route. A favorite at The Gunks for sure!

We climbed to the belay station under the big roof and my partner tried to take on the direct variation. He backed off, and instead went around the corner, following some chalked holds. It made for an easier, but still high quality finish.
By JeanGClimbs
From: Reading, VT
Oct 28, 2010

Deserving of all 4 stars. This route is an intimidating onsite, but the moves are much easier than they look from the ground. Indeed, the quality of the entire route is stellar no matter the rating numbers.
By J Antin
From: Denver, CO
Nov 2, 2010
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

A must do! This route is Classic.
By Steve Pulver
From: Williston, ND
Dec 23, 2011

I see the FA, Bonnie Prudden, passed away two weeks ago. I had no idea I lived next to her.
skiinghistory.org/index.php/20...

article says she had 30 FA's in the gunks
By rogerbenton
Jan 4, 2012

R.I.P. Bonnie, thanks for all the great lines.
Love this route!
By lucander
From: Stone Ridge, NY
Feb 8, 2012
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

One of the best 5.9's on the east coast. It's too bad for visitors that so many large groups toprope the first pitch and tie up this destination climb.
By Andy Laakmann
Site Landlord
From: Bend, OR
Oct 17, 2012
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Wow, what a great two pitches. The direct finish is simply superb. Bomber gear all the way, so don't hesitate to give it a go!
By Ben Brotelho
From: Albany, NY
Dec 3, 2012

Perhaps it was the conditions at the time (wet and cold), but I thought the first pitch was harder than the direct last pitch. It was also at night so the exposure of the direct finish was diminished too.
By Benjaminadk
From: Lake George, NY
Mar 17, 2013

This route is pretty much as good as it gets.

I'm glad to see the rappel beta here, which the guidebook doesnt mention. We rappelled from the station directly on top of the climb thinking we would use the station about twenty feet right of (and at the same height as) the p1 crux. Price is wrong. The upper roof is so big i was free hanging, way way too far away to reach. So i rappelled all the way to the knots still hanging in space. Luckily, I was able to fashion a grappling hook out of two 4' runners and a #3 cam and snagged a boulder to pull myself onto the ledge 25' off the ground. We made an easy down climb from there. It made for an interesting finish to a classic climb. DO NOT RAP BONNIE'S ROOF WITH ONE ROPE!
By JSH
Administrator
Apr 8, 2013

I've worked on making sure every route has FA & descent information -- nice to see it noticed ;-). Glad you got down ok in the end.
By ARMoss
Aug 17, 2013
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

The direct finish on the second pitch makes this climb. Still a good route otherwise, but a bit of a one-hit wonder - a little 5.8 climbing to a 5.9 move and then cruiser up to the top of the first pitch. The second pitch crux may come in a little harder than the first pitch, but you couldn't ask for better pro, a cleaner fall, or better exposure...
By rogerbenton
Aug 20, 2013

FYI- that little rattly block on the P2 traverse (that always had chalk "X's" on it) is gone.
By JonP756
From: Mahwah, NJ
Nov 4, 2013
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

Second Ursula rappel anchor was looking very sketchy and making scary ripping noises as of November 4th, 2013.. Traverse to High Exposure rappel or use double ropes!! P.S. Bonnie's Direct is certainly the hardest 5.9 I've encountered in the Gunks.. The Direct finish would easily go at 5.10a in most areas!
By Seth Hogan
From: Frisco, Co
Jun 22, 2014

Gear list suggestions? See the main Gunks page for our idea of a Standard Rack - Admin
By jdrago
From: Rosendale, NY
Jun 24, 2014

Hey Seth you don't need anything special. It eats nuts anywhere you want them really.
By SethG
Jun 24, 2014

Big blue-- # 3 Camalot is shweeeet at the P1 crux.