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Unfortunately MP doesn't have the option of rating this 5.4+. In the Gunks, this means that it's a 5.4 that's particularly gripping. Probably a tough lead for a 5.4 climber so I've called it 5.5.
P1: Start one of two ways: up the corner about 8 feet to an undercling right (5.6) or up flakes about 10' right of the corner (see beta photo). Both lead to a good ledge about 25' up. Then up the corner (steep!) to an overhang - swing left on jugs and pull onto a small ledge with an anchor (fixed pins). Belay here or continue up to the GT. Be careful with runners if you want to go all the way to the GT.
P2: Step left and climb up horizontals to an easy flake. Then head up to a fixed pin, aiming right for a crack system that leads to the GT. This part is very nice exposed 5.4 face climbing.
At the GT, step off a big block to the face just left of the huge roof. Climb about 20' up and then work right (crux) below one roof and above the other. Spectacular! At the right end go up a crack to the top. 5.4.
From the GT, you can rappel (two ropes; there is a mid-anchor, but it's really not pretty) from a tree to the right over Drunkard's Delight. From the clifftop, descend via the Uberfall Descent.
An obvious right-facing corner just right of the Jean roof, and left of Drunkard's Delight. Scramble up behind a block to start.
Standard Gunks rack
Amit at the end of the traverse on the third pitch...
BETA PHOTO: Another view of the 5.6 block
start of pitch one
Paul Deagle - Sixish looking down from first belay
May 30, 2007
rating: 5.4 4a 12 IV VD 3c
Great route with nice rock and a nice variety of climbing on it. Overhangs, flakes, jugs, horizontal jug pulling on a face, roof traverse with a little pull to deal with. Does demand a lot of a 5.4 leader particularly in the area of rope management.
Not sure it belongs in the 5.5 category with Ursula, Jackie, RMC, etc. On the other hand you, or least I, could make a case for making Horseman a 5.4. Also not sure it is any harder than Gelsa, maybe not as straightforward, but not any more difficult. All said and done folks probably best to pay attention to what John says since he has at least 20 years experience on me.
Jeremy if I may ask, why only 2 stars.
Aug 7, 2009
The third pitch traverse is great fun! Bring some smaller cams.
|By Mike Holmes|
From: Norwich, VT
Sep 5, 2009
Anybody have a sense of what the rating is by skipping the 3rd pitch traverse and just going straight over the upper roof (not the huge lower one)? I did that a year ago and it was a lot of fun, but certainly felt harder than 5.4.
|By Janine Connell|
Jul 6, 2010
I second Mike's question. Any rating opinions?
I followed the pitons at the third pitch instead of moving right and ended up pulling an overhang that felt much harder than 5.4 or even the 5.6 variation of the first pitch. I think I topped out somwhere between Jean and Sixish. I'd give the overhang move a 7 or 8 but that's the perspective of the new trad leader who has unknowingly gone off route and only had a bent old piton protecting the move.
Aug 30, 2010
This is one of my favorite routes, and it's really pretty easy to link P1 and P2 - just clip almost everything at & around the traverse with a 2' runner, then take care to mostly place stuff to climber's right until you've gotten to the P2 crack.
However, with a newer second, definitely do NOT link the pitches ...
Sep 30, 2010
Just climbed this yesterday. Absolutely fantastic climbing, one of the best routes at its grade anywhere. The second pitch is fabulous- steep rock, good holds, decent pro, great views and exposure. I found the crux on P3 to be harder than anything on Horseman, and IMHO it's solid Gunks 5.5
Nov 7, 2011
I enjoyed leading it today and didn't think getting thru the notch in P3 was that hard, provided you can reach a certain hand-hold, and have the strength to hang out and feel around to find it -- and it less than 5ft5in tall, some extra footwork.
Seemed like the vertical crack at the crux on P1 didn't like to hold my stoppers. Next time I'll try just sticking some cams into it.
|By Kevin Heckeler|
From: Upstate New York
Mar 8, 2012
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ MS 4a
From bottom to the top of P3, this is a varied, fun, and sometimes exposed adventure.
Pitch 1 starts with a left-facing (corner) 5.6 move that I find to be reachy, and I have a long reach. But the hands are there and feet become obvious once you commit to the move. A .3 C4 slotted under the obvious hand at the crux helps protect the move.
|By Barrett Stetson|
Aug 26, 2012
Found all pitches to be pretty fun and the protection to be G with the exception of the pitch 3 traverse. I kind of got a 00 mastercam in, but my girlfriend said when she cleaned it only one lobe was in. Not really a big deal since the traverse has good feet, but if you have a second who might get nervous on a traverse with a swing, might be scary for them. Might not be great with 2 seconds either. Going up through the notch felt awkward for the first move to me but was well protected and easy after initial move. No rap when we reached the top, ended up heading climbers left a ways and going down Baby since no one was on it.
|By Meghan Spiro|
Sep 16, 2012
I did not enjoy this climb. I did the 5.6 variation of the first pitch, which was the only good part. I'm 5ft 4in and did not find the crux reachy at all. Key feet made for a very fun move. I think off-sets would have been beneficial for gear in the rest of the corner, along with very long runners.
Jun 6, 2013
After leading it again today, still one of my favorite less-than-5.6 climbs in the Gunks: for the variety of situations, and the fun of the non-difficult moves on positive holds.
Using double-ropes carefully made it easy to protect both me and my follower well on P1 and P3.
From: Albany, NY
Aug 21, 2013
rating: 5.4 4a 12 IV VD 3c
For what it is worth (which isn't much), I did not find the "5.6" move to be reachy either. Overall, I found this to be an exciting lead, with more than adequate protection.
|By Charlie Kelly|
Nov 1, 2013
For those worried about the P3 traverse, before committing into it you can get a shallow but decent .75 slotted in the horizontal where your feet end up traversing. It is a very reachy placement but would protect you almost entirely from the swing. Once under the notch there are bomber nuts to be had.
P2 may be my new favorite pitch of 5.4 in the gunks.