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The Three Gossips
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Be There or Be Talked About T 
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West Face T 

West Face 

YDS: 5.11 French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E4 5c

   
Type:  Trad, Grade III
Consensus:  YDS: 5.11 French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E4 5c [details]
FA: FA Allen Steck Steve Roper 1970 FFA Glenn Randall Jeff Achey 1982
Page Views: 3,198
Submitted By: Andrew Gram on Mar 16, 2002

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view of pitch 2

Read about Anchor Replacement and Restrictions in Arches National Park MORE INFO >>>

Description 

The West Face climbs the most obvious dihedral on the west(away from the road) face of the three gossips, and climbs to the head nearest the road. The correct dihedral is a stellar looking handcrack with no visible fixed anchors from the base. Be careful to find washes to reach the base-there is a lot of crypto soil and not much of a trail.

Pitch 1 - climb fingers and hands through some bulges to a big bulge just before the anchor. There are some fixed pins at a ledge halfway up the pitch. 5.10 or awkward C1, 100'

Pitch 2 - climb a varied crack over a bulge, move left one crack system, and head over a bulge to a 5.7 squeeze chimney. 5.11 or C1. I placed everything from a blue alien to a 5 camalot on this pitch. 130 feet, belay between the heads of the gossips. The anchor is about 30 feet to the right of the pitch, but a good directional can be set up with large cams.

Pitch 3 - climb a sandy poorly protected slab 5.7 to the big chimney. Tunnel in and climb unprotected to the top 5.5 70 feet, a few medium cams is all you get.

A single rope rap gets you to the shoulder. Walk over to the station, and two double rope raps put you on the ground.


Protection 

1 set stoppers, lots of small to large cams. If aiding, bring many 2.5 and 3 friends or you will have to backclean a lot. Several large pieces are very helpful.


Photos of West Face Slideshow Add Photo
Pitch one of the West Face route.
Pitch one of the West Face route.
Looking down the summit chimney.
Looking down the summit chimney.
George Armstrong on West Face. <br />Photo by Todd Gordon.
George Armstrong on West Face. Photo by Todd Gordo...
BETA PHOTO
Lori Graf on West Face Route. <br />Photo by Todd Gordon.
Lori Graf on West Face Route. Photo by Todd Gordon...
Jumping over the chimney to the other half of the summit which is slightly higher.
Jumping over the chimney to the other half of the ...
Cyndie Bransford on Three Gossips. <br />Photo by Todd Gordon.
Cyndie Bransford on Three Gossips. Photo by Todd G...
great views from the top
great views from the top
Allen Ottman thinking the climb wasn't enough of a rush. We linked the West face with The Penguins and The Pickle and a twelve pack of PBR that day. Good day in the desert.
Allen Ottman thinking the climb wasn't enough of a...
Summit Cap of the North Gossip.
Summit Cap of the North Gossip.
Bill Kiah coming up the final chimney.
Bill Kiah coming up the final chimney.
Small but good holds for exiting the chimney.
Small but good holds for exiting the chimney.
The beautiful 1st Pitch.
The beautiful 1st Pitch.
hard pull onto the 1st belay ledge.
hard pull onto the 1st belay ledge.
Start of the West Face Route.
Start of the West Face Route.
in the squeeze finishing off pitch 2
in the squeeze finishing off pitch 2
Me on the top after leading the summit chimney.
Me on the top after leading the summit chimney.
JUMP! Photo by Pete K.
JUMP! Photo by Pete K.

Comments on West Face Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Nov 18, 2012
By Andrew Gram
Administrator
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Mar 28, 2002

The intent was to show that it is easily done at C1. The 5.11 section is really short, so the route is no problem to do at 5.10 with a few moves of aid or even almost all C1 for good clean aid practice on Entrada sandstone.
By Anonymous Coward
Mar 29, 2002

I don't know about "easily aided at C1"!! I do remember us both doing quite our fair share of bitching on it. -Cali Dirtbag
By J. Hickok
Sep 12, 2002
rating: 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a

We made one rappel on double 60m ropes to get all the way back to our packs at ground level from the ledge between the Gossips' heads.

Excellent route! Hard to free the crux flared finger section. It wouldn't be so bad if you hadn't just completed the offwidth right before!
By Stan Pitcher
From: SLC, UT
Nov 7, 2002

This route worked me when I did it a couple of years ago - its really a great climb though. Make sure you have a big cam for the top of the first pitch!
By Anonymous Coward
Nov 20, 2003

We had a hell of a time pulling ropes on the rappel off the summit of the West face route (back down the West face route). Bring a knife and some webbing and lengthen the anchor so it hangs over the edge.
By Brad Brandewie
May 13, 2006

More pictures and a TR at piquaclimber.com/past/gossips/...
By Ben Kiessel
Oct 31, 2006

I don't know what our problem was, maybe we only brought one 60 meter rope when we climbed this, or maybe it was really windy. But we didn't rappel all the way to the ground from the saddle and got our ropes stuck. I ended up having to pendulum over to the route on the right, and climb a good 30' up, to get our ropes unstuck. It was horrible, be careful while rappelling/pulling ropes.
By Andrew Gram
Administrator
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Nov 1, 2006

We also got our ropes stuck, and it was no fun at all.
By toddgordon
From: Joshua Tree, California
Apr 25, 2007

I found something rather curious when I climbed this route in May, 1984 with Lori Graf;....at the crux (5.11) thin section, there were maybe 3 "fixed" stoppers; so I just aided on them through the whole crux (I was able to climb the rest free, but this section was too hard for me...). Glen Randall and Jeff Achey did the first FREE ascent of this route only 2 years before, in 1982;.....I was wondering if these stoppers were left over from their free ascent, and if they were placed by this team. I've also done the Lyon-Trautner Route (to the right) and D. Raleigh's Speak No Evil on the front side;....this W. Face route is by far , the cleanest and best way I've found to the top of the North Summit.
By Sam Lightner, Jr.
From: Lander, WY
May 11, 2007

Yesterday, the anchors on this route were replaced by the ASCA. You will now have three 1/2-inch bolts (at each station) with painted chain to get down. I placed the anchors in better spots, but the rap from the top all the way to the top of pitch one still has serious drag issues. This is almost unavoidable due to the number of bulges the rope has to pass over. I tried it both ways, just to be thorough, and found that rapping down the chimney from the top made for the drag... If you rap the outside of the bulge (you will see when you get there) it might be better. In any event, I recommend you do it in three raps... one to the saddle (50 ft), one to the top of P1 (110ft), and one to the ground. Do it that way and your pulls will be as smooth as John Daniels and as easy as Paris the day she gets out of jail.
By Spencer Weiler
From: SLC, UT
Nov 18, 2012

Pitch 1-Great hands for the majority of it. Use your #2 camalots wisely. Save 1 #3 camalot for top bulge, and optional #4/#5 camalot for over roof although I found it inhibits your hand/fist stacks. Even yarding through that section seemed hard. No face holds to speak of.
Pitch 2-Starts off with hands, narrows to thin hands. You can use all your .75/#1 camalots here as you won't need them later. Another tough OW bulge protects with #4 camalot, or use uber thin crack to the left with some face holds. Crux comes here where its pretty dang small gear over a bulge. I placed a red c3 here. Pretty flarey, would be scary to fall on gear there. More thin fingery stuff lands you in the easy squeeze for 30 feet to the anchor on the shoulder directly above squeeze.
Pitch 3-Sandy slab protected by #1 camalot gets you to chimney. 90% runout but super easy and secure.

Gear(camalot): 1 each green/red c3, doubles .3 to .5, at least triples .75 to #2, 2 #3, 1 #4 for sure, and a #5 will get used though not critical.
Descent: I can attest that we got down with 1 70m rope no problem. Pitch 3 is super short to shoulder, pitch 2 is the worrisome one, but we had 5 feet to spare(prob 34m), and pitch 1 had 20-30 feet to spare. Easy pulls, thanks sam!