Approach as described on main page under Getting There
to reach the west base of the North Gossip. The technical climbing begins atop the roundish pedestal in an initially shallow, right facing dihedral.
The route reaches the summit of the North Gossip in three pitches of sandy climbing. With the exception of the final pitch and two opening moves of first pitch, everything else can easily be aided thus minimum free rating of the route would be about 5.9 (with MUCH C1 terrain). The route begins in a shallow, right facing dihedral at the western base of the North Gossip (the dihedral becomes more distinct 20-30 feet higher). Don't confuse this with another shallow, right-facing dihedral just left of this one (that's Crystalline Entity
III 5.9 A3).
5.10 C1 or 5.10+, 120 feet. Mantle up to a tiny stance 8 feet above the start (5.9). Move up the funky crack in the dihedral for another 10 feet till the crack opens up to thin hands. Pass an intermediate belay (fixed pitons) and enjoy the stellar hand crack above (to about #3 Camalot). Jam and stem your way through several bulges in the dihedral. Going is not terribly sustained and there are many rest stances. The crux of the pitch hits at the top at the final bulge - sandy OW crack (up to #5 Friend). Finish pitch on a good ledge with fixed anchors.
5.10 C1 or 5.11, 110 feet. Continue up the crack (hands to thin hands). Going starts 5.9-5.10- and gets progressively harder. Midway up the pitch as the crack system closes down to thin fingers, step left 5 feet to an adjacent (also very thin) crack system and follow it (5.11) to the base of an easy chimney (5.7). Move up the chimney and finish pitch in the huge, flat opening between the North and Middle Gossips (gear belay or move right 30 feet to fixed anchor atop Lyon-Trautner
5.7, 60 feet. Walk back towards the North Summit pinnacle. Mantle sandy slabs (5.7) toward the wide chimney on the right (NOT the overhanging squeeze on the left/west side!!). Climb the easy (5.6-5.7) chimney (no pro) to the summit. The chimney splits the North Gossip head into two halves. Fixed anchor are on top of the left (west) half.
Do a single rope rap to the flat notch between North and Middle Gossips. Move back towards the fixed anchors mentioned above (top of Lyon-Traunter
). Do TWO DOUBLE rope raps down Lyon-Traunter
to the base. There are actually two fixed belays that can be used for rapping below the inter-summit notch (we used the lower of the two for the third and final rap). Single rope raps MIGHT be feasible but that's UNTESTED!!
Note that I've read some nightmare stories about pulling stuck ropes when rapping the West Face line (in principle doable as two double rope raps from the summit to the deck).
It of course depends on how much you're planning on aiding. We aided through the pitch 1 bulge and about the upper 2/3rds of pitch 2 (with almost no back-cleaning). Take this info. or leave it - not really fishing for a critique here. For this, a conservative rack included:
Single blue Alien.
Double green, yellow, red Aliens.
Single yellow-green hybrid Alien was nice but probably not essential.
Triple #0.75-#2 Camalots.
Double #3 Camalots.
Single #3.5 Camalot.
Single #4 C4, #5 Friend, #4.5 Camalot.
A few (2-3) tiny-small nuts.
Whatever else you want for some simple C1 aid (aiders, fifi etc..).
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