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The Last Will Be First 

YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b

   
Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 230'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b [details]
FA: Ants Leemets and Elmer Skahan, 1965
Page Views: 3,778
Submitted By: adrenalated on Apr 23, 2007

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (77)
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BETA PHOTO: You know, looking at the photos in both Williams' ...

Description 

A highly under-rated route, The Last Will Be First is one of my favorite 5.6's in the Gunks, and an excellent test-piece for the 5.6 leader. Pitch 1 features great, sustained, thoughtful face climbing above gear on clean rock, and pitch 2 has a fun overhang.

The route is a short ways left of High Exposure. The start is on an easy, low-angle face with some grassy ledges about 10-15 feet up - look for a vertical crack about 30-40 feet above.

P1: Climb up the easy lower rock to a crack. Follow the steepening crack to its top, then continue up and right across the clean face to an overhang below a left-facing corner. Pull the overhang and climb the corner to its top, where it is capped by another overhang. Escape right and continue up to a small ledge with the stump of a dead tree. Step right and climb easier rock to the GT ledge. 5.6 PG, 160 feet.

P2: Walk left about 20 feet to the first small left-facing corner. Climb the corner to a horizontal, then diagonal up and left to the notch in the overhang. Make some fun moves to pull to overhang, then continue up the slightly dirty corner about 10 feet before diagonaling up and right on easy, broken rock to the top. A worthwhile pitch. 5.6 PG, 70 feet.

Descent: Rappel from the bolt anchor back to the GT ledge (your ropes land directly at the start of P2, so be sure to call before you throw them). On the GT ledge, another bolt anchor appears to climber's left, from which two 60m ropes will get you to the ground, or a single rope will get you to a third bolted rap station. This a popular area of the cliff, so watch where you throw your ropes.

From the clifftop (and other routes), you'll need to scramble down a bit to reach the bolts. Look for the notch where the climb finishes.


Protection 

The gear is good the entire way, although not always immediately obvious. There are some committing moves above gear. Doubles in the smaller sizes can be helpful (pink tri-cam, 0.5 and 1.0 Friends).



Photos of The Last Will Be First Slideshow Add Photo
At Last! I'm putting this up mainly because on at least two different occasions after reading the route description in the grey Williams Guide I've ended up at the base of <a href='/v/lost-and-found/106555418'>Lost and Found</a> thinking that it was the start of Last Will be First.
BETA PHOTO: At Last! I'm putting this up mainly because on at ...
Me leading P2 of The Last Will Be First.  You can see there's ample gear leading up to the crux overhang if you stay close enough to the corner.   <br /> <br />EDIT:  I now think I was probably NOT on-route for The Last Will Be First, although the route I took was well-protected and nice!  Check out the next photo, where I put in the lines for where I think the routes actually go.  Let me know what you think.
BETA PHOTO: Me leading P2 of The Last Will Be First. You can ...
Third pitch starts up the left-facing corner.  Pro is available, just wasn't placed by this leader to minimize rope drag.
BETA PHOTO: Third pitch starts up the left-facing corner. Pro...
Comments on The Last Will Be First Add Comment
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By losbill
May 30, 2007
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

Repeated High E and did Moonlight and The Last Shall Be First for the first time on Sunday. P1 is nice and long featuring consistent 5.6 climbing on clean rock with a number of interesting moves above gear. P2 is a little bit of a one trick pony with the moves over the overhang. Overall the exposure and position certainly don't rival Moonlight or High E. However the sheer number of quality moves on P1 make this climb deserving of 3 stars.

By Tim Schafstall
From: Newark, DE
Apr 2, 2008

Indeed a great route and hard for the grade. Beware of the runout at the start of P2, and be aware that a second will have a difficult time regaining the rock (without some lowering) if they fall on the P1 crux.

By Spiro
Apr 19, 2008
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

great climb, do not hesitate to do it!

By JSH
Administrator
Jul 31, 2009

Great job with the description - totally agree on quality, and that it's a good 'testpiece 5.6'

By SethG
Jun 7, 2010

Great route. I have to disagree with the comment above about the second pitch being run out to the crux. So long as you stay within reach of the corner to your right there is plenty of gear. I posted a photo showing how much I sewed up the second pitch up to the crux, and I could have placed even more gear if I'd felt like it. If you move further left it is true that you'd have a harder time placing much gear before the overhang. (Edit: I now think I was off-route! Further to the left of where I went is Unholy Wick, and The Last Will Be First actually goes further to the right. Check out the photos I posted and tell me what you think.)

Two high quality pitches. I thought the crux was actually the short thin section at a bulge below the corner and overhang on the first pitch.

By SethG
Dec 5, 2011

I returned to The Last Will Be First and did the correct second pitch.

There are no runouts, it is well-protected and fun.

I'm also not sure I understand Tim's comment above about the first pitch. It would not be hard to get back on if you fell off at the crux. The overhang is not large and there are no traverses. Honestly, I think he may have been thinking of the wrong climb.

I think this is one of the best 5.6 climbs in the Gunks! Sustained, good moves on good rock from the bottom of the cliff to the top.

By Kevin Heckeler
From: Upstate New York
Apr 8, 2012
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b PG13

I did the second pitch exactly as described here and there was definitely a section of ground fall/ledge fall between my second piece and just before the crux. Fortunately it's 5.4-ish climbing with decent hands/feet. Gear after that is good. I'd give Pitch 2 a R rating.

Pitch 1 was long and I had to be creative to conserve cams and draws. Add a little spice with some runouts between pieces, but mostly PG (~15 feet). I'd only recommend someone solid climbing at 5.8 (self-confident) lead this. Not a good beginner's climb, especially if you add Pitch 2. With the amount of runout between good placements I'd put this climb in the "do not fall" category. It's an excellent climb despite!

By Logan Schiff
From: NY, NY
Aug 28, 2012
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

Only did the first pitch, but I really enjoyed it. Climbing is no harder than 5.6 but some of the gear placements are tricky/thin and there is a good amount of climbing above gear. Wouldn't recommend it as an entry level 5.6 lead climb. Bring a good amount of draws/gear since the pitch is quite long.

By A.wilk
From: MA
Jun 25, 2013
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b PG13

P1 has a lot of committing 5.6 moves over gear and is fun all the way through.

P2 is very spicy until the overhang. You can wiggle in small pieces here and there but for much of the face below the roof you are in ledge fall territory. The crux and rest of the climb protects well, however.

By JD1984
From: Worcester, MA
Jan 30, 2014

I don't remember there being much pro for the first 35 feet of climbing but this is certainly one of the better 5.6 climbs in the Trapps. Makes for a nice approach to the last pitch of High E when the area is packed with guides on the weekend. This route is often empty!