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a. Beginning of cliff to Gelsa
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Grand Central 

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

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 160'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: Bonnie Prudden, Hans Kraus, Dick Hirschland, 1947. FFA: Jim McCarthy, 1963
Page Views: 3,211
Submitted By: John Peterson on Mar 11, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (66)
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Melissa at the overhang


A great climb with lots of variety.

Start about 20' left of Layback, at a clean corner with two cracks.

P1: Climb the easy corner to a roof. Traverse 10' or so left around the roof (optional belay), work your way up 10 to 15' to a horizontal, then head back right around the nose. Above, a thin crack (crux) leads up. The pro is a bit tricky to place. Suddenly a big jug appears and you're up to a belay below the final overhang. 5.9, 120'.

P2: A short pitch through the overhang takes you to the top. 5.8, 40'.


Small wires at the crux. Double ropes are useful.

Photos of Grand Central Slideshow Add Photo
start of Grand Central
BETA PHOTO: start of Grand Central
Unknown climber at the crux bulge on p. 2 of Grand...
Unknown climber at the crux bulge on p. 2 of Grand...

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By Kalil Oldham
From: Brooklyn, NY
Jun 20, 2011

The climbing above the crux section is run out. Not the crux itself, but the (easier) climbing above it. Gear was sparse. I built an anchor in the alcove because of rope drag. The first move into the roof is exciting - a bomber left hand jam but then a dynamic move to only a decent right hand. Bump higher and it's all over. I can understand why the previous pitch is rated more difficult, but for me, this was the hardest single move on the route.
By BrianRH
From: Jersey City, NJ
Jun 29, 2011

Spoiler alert: go under, not over the tree on the first traverse.

Rope management may be the crux on this. I linked the two pitches with doubles once, but I don't recommend it due to drag (not to mention sheer weight of the ropes) and the ugly potential consequences of coming off the 2nd pitch crux with lots of stretch in your rope.
By rgold
From: Poughkeepsie, NY
Apr 21, 2013

"...Above, a thin crack (crux) leads up. The pro is a bit tricky to place. Suddenly a big jug appears and you're up to a belay below the final overhang. 5.9, 120'."

It isn't hard to do this as a single pitch with double ropes and no drag, but there is a trick: only clip the right rope up to the first roof (of course use a long runner under the roof), traverse left and pass the left rope in front of the tree. (You have to untie to do this of course. I just clip the left rope to me with a biner, unclip it and pass it around the tree, and then tie in with it at the "optional belay" stance after I've stepped past the tree.)

Use the left rope on the one or two pieces you place for the left-hand face. After traversing back right, revert to clipping the right rope, and don't use the left rope again until you get to the alcove and are climbing the final bulge. (By the way, the "bomber hand jam" referred to above depends on your hand size. The jam I get isn't even remotely bomber and once, on an extremely humid day, came flying out mid-move.)
By Pawel
From: NJ
Jun 10, 2013
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

What a creative route! But in all fairness, I think the overhang move on the last pitch is solid 5.9 for short people (short being less than 6 feet).

Single rope beta: either split it up in three pitches or run it out from the tree to the nose where the crux starts. Otherwise, the rope drag will spoil the very fun crux.
By christopher adams
Sep 22, 2014

Does anyone ever head right at the top of the p.1 corner instead of left?
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