Great route: Fantastic position, plenty of exposure, generally good climbing, all with great views. Whitney-Gilman is the unmistakable feature on Cannon Cliff. It is a long, exposed arete on the south side of the cliff that sweeps down to the base from above. The approach is logn (and the decent/return to the base of the climb and then car was brutal) but worth it. The start is easy to find - cross the final talus field leading to the base of the arete, scramble up the north side of the arete to a platform, and look for a good crack leading up the wall.
Pitch 1: Climb the crack (parts strenuous, especially starting off the day). Follow the crack to easier ground, and then scramble back left to belay at a huge ledge under a semi-detached pillar.
Pitch 2: Climb the crack formed by the pillar and wall (good layback, slippery feet). From the top of the pillar, continue up the face past a large, dirty ledge, to another good sized belay platform a little higher up.
Pitch 3: Fairly short pitch. Climb the wall up from the belay to a "V" shaped corner (somewhat awkward). At the top of the corner, continue up the wall past some blocky terrain. Belay in a great corner at the base of a slab split by two parallel cracks (4" and 2" cracks).
Pitch 4: The pipe pitch. Climb the cracks to the top of the slab and then step up and right around the corner (pipe embedded in the rock here). Clip some pins above the stance, and then pull over onto the face. Exposed and a little tricky, but fun. Belay on an exposed ledge right at the edge of the arete.
Pitch 5: Probably the longest pitch with some of the best climbing. From the belay, climb the arete to a slab. Traverse (feet) up and left to a prominent left facing corner below along a steep wall. Climb the corner, and then follow the knife-edge (sharp!) arete a few feet higher. Belay on a sloping platform with some feet stances. This belay was the worst on the route - loose and blocky, I placed four pieces and clipped two pins.
Pitch 6: We probably took the wrong line here. We worked to the left and followed a line of pins through some loose blocks. Looks like the actual route goes straight up from the belay. Scary pitch this far up over a less than ideal belay.
Descent: From the anchor on top of P6, find a small path that heads up and left. There is a little scrambling at first, but its fine. Follow the path up until it starts to curve left and level off. The path begins a quick descent along the south side of the cliff. We found a break in the trees, traversed over to a talus field, and worked back across to the base of the climb. Make sure you stay lower on the talus field until you get below the ridge or you'll get caught up in the various buttresses on the left side.
Whitney-G in Profile
Starting Pitch 1
Climbing Pitch 1
Starting Pitch 2
Looking Down Pitch 2
Start of Third Pitch
Looking Down Pitch 3
Start of Pitch 4
The Pipe Pitch (P4)
The P4 Belay
Pitches 5 and 6
The Fifth Pitch
The Fifth Pitch
Excelent climbing and exposure on this route. The entire route is six pitches long (Grade III), but the upper pitches are loose, so we climbed the first two pitches, traversed to Duet Direct, and rapped off. Duet climbs a corner on the Duet Buttress, the last buttress before Whitney-Gilman.
Pitch 1: Start up some smooth rock on the left side of the face of the buttress, below the left side of an overlap high on the face. Climb the corner (great cracks which offer good protection all the way). The crux is a layback section just below the overlap to the left. Once even with the overlap, there is a short chimney which tops out on a great belay ledge. There's a rap anchor on the ledge consisting of a fixed nut and hex.
Pitch 2: While technically easier than P1, P2 was spooky even on top rope. From the belay, climb up until you can step right onto the face (10 or 15 feet). Climb a large crack system in a shallow dihedral. While the pro is generally good, it is spaced out a little where the crack widens. Additionally, there are some spooky moves out onto the smooth face at a couple of places. Good exposure on this pitch and fun climbing. We found a sling that was sling around a horn at the top that someone bailed from. Wouldn't rap on it. We traversed up and left to the top of Duet Direct and did two double rope raps down to the ground.
Duet P1 and P2
Sticky Fingers (5.10b)
Sticky Fingers is the strickingly thin 45-degree angle finger crack to the right of Slow and Easy (the chains at the end of P1 are visible from the ground).
Pitch 1: Climb a steep face to the first rest in a large pod (good yellow TCU placement under the pod). The crux was exiting the pod - step as high as possible into the pod, smear the right foot on the face, and gingerly reach for a finger-sized opening in the crack. Swing around under, and then continue to work up, using small openings for the left foot. Continue up the crack to another large pod (tricky section just below it). Turn the corner on the right and continue up easier ground to the anchors.
Pitch 2: From the anchors, climb up to a ledge and clip the first bolt. Traverse to the left using a small, crescent shaped edge at eye level and a foot hold down and left. Ease onto the next ledge for a good rest. Pull up to another ledge above the first one (or traverse left), stand up and clip the second bolt. Traverse back right for the third bolt. I thought that the crux was moving above the third bolt. There are a couple of good hand holds, but the feet are really bad, and there are just a couple places to smear. Two bolt anchor at the top, one 50 meter rope will not reach the ground.
Sticky Fingers (10b)
Sticky Fingers (10b)
Slow and Easy (5.8)
Another great route located just around the corner from Duet. Slow and Easy climbs the right-arching hand crack to a good ledge with a two-bolt anchor. I thought it would be easier than it was, but there are some tricky sections, and it is sustained - resulting in three hangs on my part and some embarrassment at the top. The crack protects very well. I generally stayed above the crack, keeping both feet in it, and laybacking off the top. A couple pieces of pro were rather blindly placed that way. The face below is much smoother than it looks. The crux for me was near the top of the crack where it thins a little, and it gets harder to stand on top of it. Once at the final pod, head straight up to the anchors on easier rock. There were a couple of sections where the crack flares, making it a little more difficult. Good route.