Best 5.9 in the Universe

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Andrew Klein

Novice climber
CA
Topic Author's Original Post - Oct 16, 2002 - 01:46pm PT
I climbed 3rd Pillar on Dana a few weeks ago and another climber in the area said the last pitch was touted as the "best 5.9 in the universe." I'll admit it was a great pitch (with good exposure, view, variety) but probably not the best 5.9 in the universe or even California. My favorite "5.9" pitch in Yosemite is probably the "double crack pitch" on Half Dome to Big Sandy. My favorite 5.9 pitch in Cali is "Flowers of High Rank" at Suicide (as you can see I am partial to cracks). In any case, what is your "best 5.9 pitch?"
Texas Speed

Novice climber
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 16, 2002 - 02:09pm PT
I don't have many Yosemite climbs under my belt, so I will go with a Washington classic. Godzilla at Index, WA. Not the best position, but excellent sustained 5.9 climbing.
ak

Novice climber
vacuum of the midwest
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 16, 2002 - 02:22pm PT
The first pitch of Nutcracker is probably my favorite 5.9, or the 3rd of Commitment- although it's really just that way funky roof move, and then 5.8 lieback to the top.

As far as best in the Universe, I have to break the rules and go with the 5.10 first pitch of Serenity Crack. Those old piton scars are awesome, and then that beautiful crack system.
Wide Crack Lover

Novice climber
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 16, 2002 - 02:32pm PT
3rd pitch of the Ebutt of LCR
(not MCR- LCR)
AJ

Novice climber
so cal
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 16, 2002 - 02:48pm PT
FLower of High Rank was a dream climb for me as a kid. I remember watching my dad lead it and thinking it looked like the coolest thing in the world.. and it is :)

Godzilla at Index, yeah, very close second. It's also Pitch 1 of Slow Children, my favorite 5.10 anywhere. Pitch 3 is the standout- a perfectly uniform 100' finger crack, with a crux final move. The pitch is like the crux of serenity crack, but for a full pitch.

Gripper (P3 is 5.9) and Reed's Direct in the valley are fun.

The Needles deserve mention, but not too many 5.9s. Airy Interlude and Thin Ice are fun 5.10 minuses. Trade routes, yes, but popular for good reason.

All these routes have great protection, by the way.
Cheers, AJ
Single-digit hack

Novice climber
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 16, 2002 - 03:12pm PT
Recompense, Cathedral Ledge
Directissima, Gunks
Whodunnit, Tahquitz
Open Book, Tahquitz
Steck-Salathe, Sentinel (5.9d)
Crest Jewel, North Dome (really 5.9)
South Face, North Dome (ditto)
Reed's Direct
Said & Done, Granite Mtn (with Beaver Cleaver exit, include last P of Reunion for added difficulty)
dufas

Novice climber
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 16, 2002 - 03:47pm PT
my favorite 5.9's:

third of Igor Unchained (Needles)
second of Reed's Direct
third of White Punks on Dope (Needles, may be 5.8)
third of Scimtar (Leap)
third of Innersanctum (Needles)

may be a trend here for third pitches.
Karl Baba

Novice climber
Yosemite
Oct 16, 2002 - 09:39pm PT
FYI The first pitch of Serenity used to be rated 5.9 (my first 5.9 lead!, an hour after my first 5.8 lead, Bishop's terrace)

Moby Dick Center used to be 5.9 as well and gets my vote along with Reed Direct, and stuff like it.

That first pitch of the Stovelegs deserves it more though due to the exposure and history along with bomber jams.
radical

Novice climber
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 17, 2002 - 12:29pm PT
Wow what a great list of climbs. Although I am not sure there is any one pitch on Whodunit or Open Book that compares to the best of Yosemite.
That first pitch of Whodunnit is quite the pitch though.
Igor is nice to, but the third pitch I thought was way harder than 5.9
I think the 3rd pitch of the Rostrum is definitly up there. They call it 10b, but it was easier than a lot of valley 5.9
Another great 5.9 pitch is North Overhang in Josh. That thing scared the crap out of me.
But the best for me are Reeds and the 3rd pitch of Gripper
Karl Baba

Novice climber
Yosemite
Oct 17, 2002 - 12:45pm PT
Third pitch of the Rostrum is awesome but used to be rated 10d! Many Rostrum pitches got downrated. The first couple moves on that third pitch are kinda hard but you don't think about it when you're there since you have plenty to worry about up higher!

PEace

Karl
jc

Novice climber
CO
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 17, 2002 - 12:58pm PT
my favorite 5.9 pitches:

Combining P1+2 of the Green Spur, Eldorado Canyon
P2 of Central Pillar of Frenzy, MCR
the 2nd to last pitch of Astroman- after all the hard stuff below, you feel like a hero here

and, of course...

the last pitch of the 3rd Pillar of Dana
demented

Novice climber
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 17, 2002 - 01:33pm PT
y'all are missing it.
the answer is every inch of lucky streaks
AJ

Novice climber
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 17, 2002 - 01:45pm PT
On the Lamb, in Tuolumne
JL

Novice climber
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 17, 2002 - 01:51pm PT
Don't forget Hot Buttered Rump at Suicide. Nothing quite like it, though it seems more like 5.10d than 5.9 (guidebook rating).
WC

Novice climber
Flagstaff, AZ
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 17, 2002 - 01:54pm PT
As far as the valley goes my personal favs are 2nd pitch of Reeds Direct and Moby Dick Center. (though I guess MD Center is rated 10a due to it's start)

Outside of the valley my three favorite 5.9s are:

1. Dr. Rubo's Wild Ride, Sedona AZ. Fun 4 pitch route. The 5.9 crux is a #2 camalot size crack that climbs through a small bulge, then continues for another 50-60ft. One of the few Sedona routes without an offwidth/chimney. (though Sedona's 5.9 offwidths and chimneys shouldn't be missed!)

2. Cosmosis, Boulder Canyon. Great route that certainly kicked my butt...

3. Generic Crack, Indian Creek. Lots of perfect hands (#2 camalot) with two technical pods to break up the hand jams. (I have seen this route also rated 10-.
demented

Novice climber
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 17, 2002 - 03:52pm PT
i concur on y9ur comment- hot buttered rump feeling 10d..

but it DOES NOT belong on this list

the list it belongs on is
5.9 squeeze jobs that spank well-protected low angle thin crack weeinies like myself
dufas

Novice climber
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 17, 2002 - 03:55pm PT
for demented's list of 5.9 squeeze fun, add the first of English Breakfast Crack.
rhodomaster

Novice climber
otto, nc
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 17, 2002 - 05:49pm PT
Dopey Duck at Shortoff- 200' of steep jug bliss!
quart

Novice climber
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 17, 2002 - 09:58pm PT
Commisioner Buttress-1st pitch.
clustiere

Trad climber
Durango, CO
Jun 5, 2007 - 02:30am PT
single digit hack sooo right on!!!!!!!!!!!
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