Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Shockley's Ceiling 5.6

Shockley's Ceiling is one of the classic routes at the Gunks for a number of reasons.  It follows a "bold natural line" and is composed of "an imposing ceiling and exposed corners".
Another reason for its fame is that the climb sits directly above a hairpin corner in the road below.  Frequently tourists stop here to watch climbers so you always have an audience.
Bill Shockley and Doug Kerr did the first ascent in 1953.  Bill Shockley went on to win the Nobel Prize for inventing the transistor (Shocking!!).
Pitch one starts by mounting some large blocks and follows into a chimney to gain a large belay ledge (60 feet, 5.4).
Pitch two traverses up and right below a large right facing corner shaped somewhat like a large  flake. Once on the outside of the flake, take an airy step left to the outside of the corner.  Follow the face to a small alcove to belay (130 feet, 5.5). 
Pitch 3.  Above is the beautiful white ceiling split by a right-leaning crack known as Shockley's Ceiling.  "Climb to the base of the ceiling, tell yourself it is only 5.6 and crank it.".  Climb the corner to a second ceiling above described as small but awkward.  Leo found this ceiling more challenging than the first.  
The other difference about this climb for me was that there was no fixed belays and no rappel stations.  This made it more committing.

No comments: