Best all time 5.9 would have to be Birdland at the Gunks.
This is an uber classic - most readers who are climbers have probably already ticked this one. I think it is now listed as 5.8+ but the first time I led it, I figured it was pretty close to 5.9
Curry's Diagonal, Veadauvoo, Laramie WY
|vedauwoo, Laramie Wyoming|
The stone is incredibly tough on the fingers - one climb is called "Sex never did this to my hands" which sort of sums it all up. Although famous for off-width hell, Vedauwoo also has elegant face climbs, some classic hand and finger cracks and some interesting boulder problems - all set within a magical place.
Curry's Diagonal is one of the most prominent lines just off the main parking area - a proud crack with a "thank god" tree set in the middle of the line for bomber protection for the final run to the top.
Foops! Tragic that this is now closed (except for the most creative and persistent)
Tie: Sultans of Swing, New River Gorge
My small contribution to hard trad pieces in the New. We rated it 12b(r) but after returning there 15 years after my first ascent I got shut down on the first crux sequence. This was after flashing some other 12a/b at the new. I think our grade might have been a bit soft. I'd love to hear from anyone who has repeated this thing...
Guillotine , American Fork
Middle Cathedral, Little Cottonwood