Climbing - - PERFECT TENS -

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.”

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