Madame Grunnebaum's Wulst
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BETA PHOTO: The Madame G's buttress. The route ascends the mid...
Madame G's rivals High Exposure closely for the title of best Gunks 5.6. While High E has "the move", Madame G's has a longer section of sweet, steep 5.6 jugs up a massive, exposed and unique orange buttress formed by large left-facing (Southern Pillar, 5.2) and right-facing (Northern Pillar, 5.4) dihedrals on either side.
P1: Follow the thin crack to the tree. 5.4, 50'.
P2: Traverse right into a steep left-facing dihedral, with jugs and jams. At the top, traverse right and belay on a small stance at a horizontal crack. 5.6, 80'.
P3: Follow the chalk through multiple overhangs on huge jugs and steep terrain. Near the top, angle right through the final overhang and belay at bolts. 5.6, 80'.
You can combine P1/P2 or P2/P3. The best combination is P2/P3, because you'll skip the semi-hanging belay. Bring lots of long slings - both the climbing and the protection wander.
Descent: Rap twice down the Northern Pillar side of the buttress, from sets of bolts with a single 60m (or one long mostly-free rappel with 2x60m). The top bolts are somewhat hidden: peek around a large boulder on climber's right to find them. From the clifftop and other nearby routes, you'll need to scramble back down to the top of the buttress proper, then look for the bolts.
Pre-bolts, climbers had to rappel from the tree at the corner of the buttress - both getting on rappel, and the free-hanging rappel itself, were rites of passage for newer climbers.
Standard Rack; extra hand-size cams if linking pitches.
The Madame G's access trail is the first one after Minty, about a 9-min. walk from the Uberfall, and a 5-min. walk from where the East Trapps Connector trail meets the carriage road. When the leaves are down, you'll easily identify the orange buttress itself.
To start the route, come around the left toe of the buttress and start atop some boulders below a thin-crack system leading to a large oak tree.
|Photos of Madame Grunnebaum's Wulst Slideshow
Looking right to start of Northern Pillar and Guid...
BETA PHOTO: Madame G's upper pitches and rap.
Starting up the blocky, left-facing corner on P2.
Skytop and Smiley's Tower from mid way up Madame G...
Looking down the first rap on Madame G.
Johanna bustin' moves on Madame G's, Fall 2008.
Madame G's...at night...in the rain...priceless!
Climbing Madame G's on a rainy night.
Adrian on Madame G's, November 7, 2009
Climber following final pitch of Madame G's. Shot...
Climber at the hanging belay.
non necessary finish
Paul Deagle - Madam G's 5.6 view from hanging bela...
Paul Deagle - Madam G's Final Pitch looking down b...
Climber about 1/2 way up
|Comments on Madame Grunnebaum's Wulst
From: Spfld, Ma
Jul 4, 2006
Another awesome route, The hanging belay still gets my attention. My second climb of the new year, we did it on New Years day. The climb was bone dry until the top out which was covered with an inch or so of snow...
Oct 11, 2007
Best 5.6 in the Gunks. Love this climb
|By Jeff Welch|
From: Thornton, CO
Jun 15, 2008
I wasn't really impressed by the belay opportunities in the middle to the headwall. Better to take some extra runners and link P2 and P3 together.
|By Tim Schafstall|
From: Newark, DE
Oct 22, 2008
This climb is even better if you do P1 of Columbia, just to the left as you face the rock. That makes the climb 5.8 though. That arching crack of Columbia is a lot harder than it looks.
Oct 23, 2008
Definitely makes for a better first pitch. Regarding being harder than it looks, definitely!
|By J Antin|
From: Denver, CO
Aug 31, 2009
Climbed this at night during a rainy Gunks weekend - what a blast!
Jun 21, 2010
This is one of the climbs you gotta save for chilly autumn days and not do it in a 90-degree weather in June. I thought the corner of P2 was more challenging than the the bulge crux of P3.
Jun 21, 2010
I'm not sure why you need to save this route for the autumn, any more than any other route. It does get sun, just like most climbs in the Trapps. It is my favorite 5.6 in the Gunks. Did P1 Columbia and linked Ps 2 & 3 of Madame G today-- it was hot but still special!
Jun 22, 2010
The route stays bone dry as opposed to many other routes. In any case, I had huge expectations for this route (I'd never even followed it before), but not enjoyed it as much as other even lesser star .6s in the Gunks, so I blame it on the heat. I can see it being really fun on a crisp fall/winter day with sun warming you up...
|By Barrett Stetson|
Jul 31, 2011
Found P2 a good bit easier than P3. Maybe mostly mental, but also a little more burly? Had to get into more committing positions hoping the holds would be there but they always were. Hanging belay at the horizontal isn't that bad (all hand sized cams if I remember?), was kind of glad I stopped there rather than trying to run the two together (but 5.6 is also at my limit), although P1 and P2 might have been easily run together . Definitely a great fun climb!
|By Alex Washburne|
Nov 25, 2011
This can be done in a single pitch with 60m double ropes. Followed by a single rap off the top with said doubles, this is how you get 'er done at the Gunks!
Best single pitch at the Gunks? In my opinion, it's up there with double crack, doubleissima from ground to GT ledge, Directissima arete linked with high-E, CCK direct or Bonnie's direct from ground to top. As I said before... Get 'er done!!!