From: Joshua Tree, California
May 3, 2007
Hello Brad;...I'll try to be more specific;...I know that this route doesn't get probably all that much;...so here's what I can remember. I climbed the route with Tony Sartin in March of 1993;...so it was awhile ago. ...I'm not sure when Duane and Lisa Raleigh did the F A.......Cam Burns Select book says they did the climb in winter of 1994... so SOMEONE 's notes are messed up....(Probably mine...)....This was one of Tony's early desert sandstone trips.....he got the bug and has returned many times since....(He's on the cover of Desert Rock III along with Kevin Daniels on the Sundevil). When
Tony and I did this route, we had NO info about the route;....in fact, we didnt' know if the route had ever been done before. We could see the crack system from the road;.. that was all we needed. I'll guess about the rack we took;....probably 3 or 4 of each size cam, one set of stoppers, and probably 15 pitons, ...and a bolt kit (which we didn't use, because the route HAD been done before.....)....Both books say to take 2 sets of Lowe balls;...we took none.....Cam Burn's book has a photo of where the route goes AND a topo.....and the loose block is noted in the topo too! We rapped the back side, which you are already familiar with. I remember some of the rock being very soft and funky. There was one section up high where there was a very thin and beautiful crack;... and Duane and Lisa had placed a few bolts next to the crack;...it was one of those beautiful hairlines which would scar up really badly and really fast.... so that was a bit wierd, but cool in a way....it was on a very steep (overhanging) section of rock too;... this bolted section is NOT shown in Cam burns topo, nor mentioned in the route description. Also up high, Tony set a few cams behind a multi-ton block, and when he weighed the rope, the block MOVED!....would have probably taken up both out......(Told ya;... them desert towers are dicey at times....) Tony ended up taking the trail line and securing the WHOLE block to the wall with the trail line!.....good thinking! The route is good , and the Gossips are cool;....beautiful summit, fantastic formation, not too big but not too small, and close to the road as well. The climbing was difficult enough for us, but not terrifying. We had a great time. If you go do the route, you will love it! Look how organized Tony has the ropes and stuff at the belay.....he's the MAN!