Roped Up

Gunks: Uber-classics and a stuck rope


On our way to the Sleepy Hollow area we almost got hit by a massive branch falling off a rotten tree above the carriage road. Me and Ben made a super fast flee-for-your-life dash forward, while Lidač calmly watched the falling wood landing few feet behind her.

Finding Casa Emilio was equally difficult as for the first time and our advance was marked by the classic “I am sure it was this way…”. Sending that we cruised up Betty and Belly Roll, one of the most enjoyable routes in its grade in the Gunks. Ben was the only one avoiding the delightful belly crawl up the sloped chimney, after learning from me getting stuck in it nearly for good. Bring big cams for this climb, you are not going to need them, but they make passing the chimney so much more amusing (for the onlookers).

Rescue mission was how we started the next day. Mike’s rope was left hanging on Strictly from Nowhere when all attempts to pull it down from the bolted anchors on the first pitch failed. As it turned out, a neat overhand-on-bight knot formed by some magic while they were pulling the rope after rappeling. We successfully retrieved the rope and enjoyed the morning sun on the rest of the route.

This day was marked also by Metod’s comeback after a long climbing vacation. Trying to impress him, we took him on No Glow, 5.9. He actually lead the first pitch, and followed the second without any problems, so at the end it was us (me and Ľuboš) who were giving a tip of the hat to his climbing prowess. On the way back, we managed to send Retribution, a short popular 5.10b pitch with a semi-reachy-semi-pumpy crux. Yupeee.