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By erasingthetraces
May 26, 2013
Katahdin

I'm looking for a partner in the Gunks who can climb on weekdays. Would love to head to New Paltz Tuesday evening and camp until 5/31. Mostly looking to follow up to 5.9, TR some 5.10 and maybe lead 5.6-7. I've been climbing for a few months and looking to gain experience . Have had the fortune of some very good instruction on rope skills, have references for skills learned. No car, but can meet at bus stop in New Paltz, at the cliff, or in the city and split cost of rental car.


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By Gunkiemike
May 26, 2013

Closest I can come to that is tomorrow, sorry. And I realize it's a holiday so most folks have things to do.


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By Dana Bartlett
From CT
May 26, 2013

PM sent.


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By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
May 28, 2013
Rumney

5.6-7 are not beginner's grades for leading at the Gunks. (fwiw)

But I have met some exceptional climbers who dove in at 5.6-7 there. If you're exceptional then I guess the grade doesn't actually matter.

The weekdays are awesome at the Gunks, good luck finding someone! :)


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By jose Rodriguez
From Denver
May 28, 2013
Clear Creek Golden, CO.

HI there,

I will be at the Gunks on Tomorrow eve climbing all day on thursday my jose if you have found a partner yet shoot me a text or call me at

646-338-8562.

Cheers,
Jose


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By Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
May 28, 2013
Epic free solo with a pack on

Kevin Heckeler wrote:
5.6-7 are not beginner's grades for leading at the Gunks. (fwiw) But I have met some exceptional climbers who dove in at 5.6-7 there. :)


extrapolate


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By Jon Clark
From Philadelphia, PA
May 28, 2013
onsight soloing Atman

Kevin Heckeler wrote:
5.6-7 are not beginner's grades for leading at the Gunks. (fwiw) But I have met some exceptional climbers who dove in at 5.6-7 there. If you're exceptional then I guess the grade doesn't actually matter. The weekdays are awesome at the Gunks, good luck finding someone! :)


Give me a break. Only exceptional beginners are capable of leading beginner level climbs?


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By turbotime
From CT
May 28, 2013

I think leading those classic Gunks 5.6-5.7 lines is less about being an exceptional climber and more about being comfortable leading what might be an exposed climb and being able to place gear you trust.

Most anybody can pull themselves to the top of these 5.6-5.7 routes, it is more a matter of doing so safely while feeling comfortable and confident in ones abilities.


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By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
May 28, 2013
Rumney

turbotime wrote:
I think leading those classic Gunks 5.6-5.7 lines is less about being an exceptional climber and more about being comfortable leading what might be an exposed climb and being able to place gear you trust. Most anybody can pull themselves to the top of these 5.6-5.7 routes, it is more a matter of doing so safely while feeling comfortable and confident in ones abilities.


^^^ This [although I'd argue 'gear that holds' is more important than 'gear I trust'... ;-) I've followed many new climbers who place great head gear that wouldn't hold a 1 foot fall]

There's certainly easier 5.6 and 5.7 routes with safe falls (assuming the leader is placing good gear). But the grades at the Gunks are everywhere (as is common climber's knowledge). I would not blindly suggest sending a new leader up just any 5.6-7 there. It's just not that simple. Too many ledges, awkward stances/placements, potential pendulums into corners, etc on most sub-5.8 routes and a single blown piece could seriously hurt or kill someone.

It's never bad advice to heed caution. Especially when inexperienced. Not everyone on MP is coming out of a gym TR'ing 5.11b, nor does everyone subscribe to learning to lead on the sharp end. New climbers are rarely the best judges for their own abilities, how could they? What frame of reference do they have? There's no finish line so there's no need to race. This advice is not unusual. The fact there's been any resistence is, frankly, a little scary.


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By Gunkiemike
May 28, 2013

Jonathan Clark wrote:
Give me a break. Only exceptional beginners are capable of leading beginner level climbs?


I won't reply to this (above) comment specifically, but I understand where Kevin is coming from and I agree with that perspective. The OP has been climbing "a few months" and wants to lead 5.7. She's been placing gear for, what, maybe a few WEEKS? That's a bit of a scary situation - falls aren't clean on 7's, and new leaders all too often (nb - not aiming this at the OP, whom I've never met and know nothing about) don't have the judgement needed to evaluate their own gear OR to avoid falling. As was pointed out above, one blown piece and the consequences can be severe.


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By erasingthetraces
May 28, 2013
Katahdin

This is all great advice. Whether I can or can't jump in to leading at 5.6 or 5.7 in the Gunks, it's a way better idea to start at a lower grade or do a mock lead than find out I can't the wrong way. I'll climb a couple days this week, see how it goes and the climbs I want to do will still be there next time.


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By lucander
From Stone Ridge, NY
May 28, 2013
Lucander off the GT Ledge on p. 2 of Keep on Struttin.

Will you folks quit bickering and go climb with tradigan21?


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By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
May 29, 2013
Rumney

lucander wrote:
Will you folks quit bickering and go climb with tradigan21?


Sure, just call my boss and tell them to pay me for the rest of the week while I go climb... ;-)

Tradigan, if you want specific suggestions for some leads in the 5.4-5.5 range that are not gimmes but can be sewn up just ask. I find doing 5.5 at the Gunks is either too easy or more than I expect. 5.fun is usually around 5.3 , and at this point I feel like I can solo much of those routes. But 5.5 is generally the grade at the Gunks I (and many other experienced Gunks climbers I know) suggest for beginning leaders. And really just specific 5.5 and 5.6- climbs. Since you're climbing during the week there's no shortage of quality options in that grade (Horseman, Frog's Head (5.6-), Sixish (5.4+), Middle Earth, Rhododendron (5.6-)). Then if you feel good, there's equally easy to sew up 5.6 routes. I'd stay out of the Nears for this trip. Lots of traversing and rope drag scenerios. Having the Trapps during the weekdays is plenty of climb time and route possibilities, no need to venture to the Nears.

The reason most experienced climbers suggest starting leading on easier stuff is that effectively the new leader is soloing the pitch, because their gear is suspect much of the time (may or may not hold a fall). It's kinda like ice climbing in that respect, place gear but don't fall. lol At some point your follows will stop commenting on bad placements and you'll know you're doing better. If your follows aren't saying anything, find someone to climb with that gives a shit.


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By T.L. Kushner
May 29, 2013

I'll probably be heading up this evening and climbing thursday and friday. i'd love to meet up and show you around to some easier classic climbs.

also, if anyone is going to be around any of these days and wants to get on something in the more 5.9-5.10B range, give me a call. my number is (nine-oh-ate) 397 3183


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By rgold
From Poughkeepsie, NY
May 29, 2013
The traverse out to the Yellow Ridge on the Dogstick Ridge link-up.  Photo by Myriam Bouchard

I agree with other posters who have suggested that 5.6-5.7 in the Gunks is not a good level for someone with only a little trad experience to begin leading. And the issues go well beyond whether the gear placed is good or not. Gunks climbing is steep, and many of the climbs, easy or not, have things to hit if you fall too far. In my experience, relatively new leaders fail to get gear in and run it out when they get a little stressed, and this is as much or more of a problem than how good the gear is, because no gear isn't good period.

So in addition to gear placement skills, there is a host of mental attitudes about performance under duress that has to be learned. The acquisition of these attitudes is enormously dependent on the individual, which makes it nearly impossible to make blanket recommendations. I'd still say that Gunks 5.7 is a very questionable choice for a relatively new leader, unless they are mentally very "mature" in the climbing sense, and very few new leaders are.

The mention of Frogshead as a possibility gives me the shivers. Over the years, there has been a stream of accidents on the crux bulge when the key protection nut lifts out under rope tension. The leader has to understand the effects of rope geometry very clearly and has to (1) construct placements that won't lift and (2) make sure there is a redundant non-lifting backup piece as close as possible. A relatively large number of new leaders have failed at (1); those who also failed at (2) had very nasty accidents.

Another accident-prone route to avoid is High Corner.


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By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
May 29, 2013
Rumney

rgold wrote:
The mention of Frogshead as a possibility gives me the shivers. Over the years, there has been a stream of accidents on the crux bulge when the key protection nut lifts out under rope tension. The leader has to understand the effects of rope geometry very clearly and has to (1) construct placements that won't lift and (2) make sure there is a redundant non-lifting backup piece as close as possible. A relatively large number of new leaders have failed at (1); those who also failed at (2) had very nasty accidents.


Well stated. I did that relatively early on as a leader, and as you suggested, it seemed obvious to backup the nut. I also didn't find that move as hard or heady as the next one (with smaller/smeary feet, iirc). I've done the climb a few times since and most able bodied climbers seem to breeze through it whether on the sharp end or not. Just want to clarify my recommendation wasn't blind, but respect when people report issues I haven't seen. The ledge below the first crux is definitely worthy of noting and planning for.

Is there a opposing nut placement that can be used at that first bulge? Been long enough I don't remember the exact gear placement...


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By chris_vultaggio
May 29, 2013
Chris Vultaggio leads the title route at Five and Dime in Yosemite. <br /> <br />Photo by Bill Roehrich

lucander wrote:
Will you folks quit bickering and go climb with tradigan21?


...seriously. DL I may be up friday with a tasty brew in hand if you're around.


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By Tony Lopez
From NJ
Jun 1, 2013
Easy Rider

I climbed with Miss Radigan on Thursday and Friday.
She had her hands full following Bunny and Andrew on Thursday. Bunny was quite wet and she lost some skin getting started. The heat was unbearable by the time we topped out on Andrew so we decided to cool off with a swim and then hung out in town.
On Friday we climbed the first pitch of Easy O and the first pitch of Beginners Delight before she called it a day. We hung out at split rock for a while before she headed home.
I think tradigan should rack up some mileage following easy routes for a while before leading anything.


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