Jobi Gabrielli gets horizontal on Stan
nard’s Roof ( 5.10b), an 18- foot reach of faith that sums up what the Gunks are known for: great but strenuous gear, an “I guess, here it goes” attitude, and a quirky history. John Stannard established
Surprise Roof at 5.9 in the early 1970s and named the route for a surprise awaiting those who followed. Back then, a 150- pound detached block rested precariously on a great hold at the lip of pitch two, just waiting for some unlucky fool to dislodge it and decapitate anyone unfortunate enough to be below. Surprise!
Nowadays, a jug hides somewhere at the end of that blind reach; with the “surprise” gone, the climb has been renamed and upgraded to 5.10b. Don’t worry if you lob off— after all, as Stannard mused, “New things are done by simply trying them again and again until one succeeds.”