Gunky (5.8, 2 Pitches)

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 42.76038°N / 108.80518°W
Additional Information Route Type: Trad Climbing
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Time Required: Half a day
Additional Information Rock Difficulty: 5.8 (YDS)
Additional Information Number of Pitches: 2
Sign the Climber's Log


Belaying Michelle from the Top of P1
Belaying from the Top of P1

Of the three multi-pitch trad routes on Sandstone Buttress, this is the best. Until the last 50' or so, it's pretty sustained at the grade, so this probably isn't for someone breaking into multi-pitch 5.8. However, it is well-protected.

Gunky is two pitches and 200' with bolted belays. A set of rap anchors halfway up actually enables climbers to break it up into three pitches, though I'm not sure why one would do that unless multi-pitch practice was a goal or the rack was too small.

This route offers a lot of fun moves, a creative placement or two, and an interesting crux.

Getting There

From downtown Lander, follow signs to Sinks Canyon State Park. It takes about 15 minutes to reach the park boundary.

Sandstone Buttress is the first large formation on the right after you cross into the state park. There is a large parking area, with trash cans and an interpretive sign about Sinks Canyon; right across the road is a group area with restrooms and an elephant kids like to climb on. You can't miss this unless you're blind or so absorbed by your phone that you might as well be.

If you have reached Sinks Canyon the other way, from WY 28, then note that Sandstone Buttress is the last formation on the left before you leave the state park.

Follow trails up to a ledge. Walk along the ledge until you see an obvious, beautiful corner (which you probably saw from the road, anyway). If you reach two 40' crack routes with chains and rings for anchors, you have gone a little too far.

Route Description

P1-- 5.8, 150'. Head up questionable but easy rock and gain the crack system. Your first placement will be fairly high. In July 2018, there was a permastuck .75 not far past it with the sling still in good condition; clipping that saved me a piece. Pass the rappel bolts 100' up. You can belay from here, but if you still have enough gear, continue on to a big ledge with bolts and chains and belay from there. If you do that, go ahead and clip a sling to one of the rappel bolts and save an extra piece of pro. The crux of this pitch and the route is a roof along the way. I won't spoil the fun of figuring it out, but I will say that the advice on MP of a medium stopper just above the roof is correct. You should see it; throw it in and go.

P2-- 5.6, 50'. Go up on easier ground to bolted anchors. 

Descent-- Walking off is easiest and safest. A trail takes you back down in something like 10 minutes. However, you can rappel all the way down with two 60s or in two raps with one 60 or longer.

Essential Gear

I had a set of nuts, hexes, and cams. If you don't have or use hexes, you might want a second set of cams. The route will take a #4 if you want to carry one.

External Links

The MP page has some good user comments.



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