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Gothics SF or Diagonal on Wallface?
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Jul 17, 2012
Epic free solo with a pack on
Going into the high peaks this weekend with three others. We want to do something big and backcountry, and I was wondering what would be better suited for two teams of two so that we can move efficiently.

Gothics Sf, gothics arch route I believe it is called (5.6 800 something feet.) Has advantage of walk-off on nice trails, and is slabby so might accomodate two teams better.

or Diagonal on Wallface (5.8 800 something feet again.)
I have both Mellor's book and the Lawyer/Haas book.

All four of us are competent with multi-pitch systems and know how to move fast...will be swapping leads often
Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
Joined May 4, 2011
700 points
Jul 17, 2012
I haven't done Gothic Arch, but Diagonal would work fine. You can almost climb two parties side-by side on the first 4 pitches, and the last two have big ledges in between each pitch to get sorted out. If you're used to moving fast, and share the raps, it will be a long but do-able day trip.

The downside to Diagonal is that you probably won't be alone. Again, passing is easy, so it's probably ok, but odds are good that you'd have Gothics SF alone to the 4 of you.

I say do one on Saturday and one on Sunday, then report back.
Auto-X Fil
From NEPA and Upper Jay, NY
Joined Aug 1, 2010
46 points
Administrator
Jul 17, 2012
The backcountry routes are nice and dry right now. The South Face of Gothics, Big Slide, Porter, and so on. Just need a few degrees cooler! Jim Lawyer
Joined Feb 19, 2006
1,307 points
Jul 17, 2012
Epic free solo with a pack on
Auto-X Fil wrote:
I say do one on Saturday and one on Sunday, then report back.



'tis the plan thus far...the crux is getting the old man to submit to the plan!
Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
Joined May 4, 2011
700 points
Jul 18, 2012
Epic free solo with a pack on
Jim Lawyer, or anyone else reading this:

We are thinking about doing the necessary risk variation start to diagonal...any advice/ beta on route-finding for these pitches?

Also: has anyone linked the last two pitches? They're relatively short and seem to be right in line with each other which would make this reasonable. Any advice?

thanks! Looks like the weather is on our side for this trip!
Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
Joined May 4, 2011
700 points
Jul 18, 2012
Trap Dike
I haven't done Gothics, but I did the Diagonal a week ago or so and it was phenomenal. The length of the last pitch is misleading, I found it to be longer than the advertised 80 feet (more like 100+, though I could be wrong). The first 5.8 pitch is very round-about ... you climb up, go right, then up through a chimney, then onto a nice big ledge - I love linking pitches and those are two pitches best done separately. There is also a lot of variety on P2-P4. I was also the only party on a Saturday/Sunday (we slept on the huge P4 ledge on a Saturday night - also highly recommended). Dave Schultz
From Saratoga Springs, New York
Joined Sep 11, 2011
329 points
Administrator
Jul 19, 2012
Ben Botelho wrote:
Jim Lawyer, or anyone else reading this: We are thinking about doing the necessary risk variation start to diagonal...any advice/ beta on route-finding for these pitches? Also: has anyone linked the last two pitches? They're relatively short and seem to be right in line with each other which would make this reasonable. Any advice? thanks! Looks like the weather is on our side for this trip!


Regarding Necessary Rick, just what's in the book. Everybody climbs the start differently, and route finding here is difficult. I don't recommend linking the last two pitches: the second-to-last pitch goes around a roof, and you might want short runners there (which would cause drag later). You can link (or simul-climb) all the other pitches, though.
Jim Lawyer
Joined Feb 19, 2006
1,307 points
Jul 19, 2012
I'll second not linking the last two.

Pitches 3 and 4, on the diagonal, are very easy. You'll probably be happy making up time there by simuling or running it out, and you can carry a simul right around the 4th class ledge to the base of the final two pitches. That's what I'll do next time.
Auto-X Fil
From NEPA and Upper Jay, NY
Joined Aug 1, 2010
46 points
Jul 23, 2012
Epic free solo with a pack on
Ended up doing Wallface as a party of 3 on Saturday, from the LOJ trailhead. Took about 12.5 to 13 hours for the entire day car-to-car, and everything went pretty perfectly for such a big climb. Only shared the climb with another party of 3 behind us. First time on that cliff and I am definitely returning someday...so good.

The approach/bushwack did kick my ass quite a bit, and we all ended up sleeping in a little late on Sunday morning, so I went and climbed some random slide (we think the finger slide) on Giant with my dad, then went and did Tilman's Arete followed by an awesome swim in the pond.

Fun weekend..there was even birthday cake and singing for me, and a lot of great food and beer. The ironman did make the beer walls camp a little crowded, but we held our spot down for the two days and had a really nice spot.
Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
Joined May 4, 2011
700 points
Jul 23, 2012
Thanks for the report! Nice weather, huh? Auto-X Fil
From NEPA and Upper Jay, NY
Joined Aug 1, 2010
46 points
Jul 23, 2012
Epic free solo with a pack on
Great weather! There were some dark clouds on Saturday that got me a little worried, but they turned out to provide some awesome shade while on the Diagonal. Didn't even get sunburnt.

Every pitch was fun, all the belays were super comfy (except for the one on top of the ramp, but that was a short-lived belay anyway), the views were excellent, and all the raps went smoothly.
Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
Joined May 4, 2011
700 points
Oct 23, 2012
Sorry to dig this up, but can anyone give some info on the decent? Follow the ramp or go straight down? Double ropes required or suggested? I would really prefer to rap it with a single 70 even if it means a bit of scrambling or leaving some webbing. DannyUncanny
From Vancouver
Joined Aug 27, 2010
78 points
Oct 23, 2012
Chapel Pond
I made the descent using double ropes and four full 60m rappels.

Here is a photo of the bolted rappel anchors that you will use from the top of the route. I rapped straight down, not along the ramp.

Bill Sacks
From Sacramento, CA
Joined Jan 2, 2012
406 points
Oct 23, 2012
Epic free solo with a pack on
definitely recommend bringing double ropes. Climb on halves if possible, or trail a tagline to rap with Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
Joined May 4, 2011
700 points
Oct 23, 2012
Epic free solo with a pack on
also: have fun it's a great route! Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
Joined May 4, 2011
700 points
Oct 23, 2012
Yeah definitely don't do the ramp raps. With two ropes you can make 4 easy raps down the cliff. See the Adirondack Rock guidebook by Jim Lawyer and Jeremy Haas. Simon Thompson
From New Paltz, NY
Joined Apr 7, 2011
888 points
Oct 25, 2012
I agree: get the magnificent Lawyer/Haas book, and bring two 60m ropes. We climbed on a single and used a skinny cord as a tagline. All pulls were clean. Auto-X Fil
From NEPA and Upper Jay, NY
Joined Aug 1, 2010
46 points


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