New Route on Mt Gayley
(Right Face, Grade II, 5.8)
4 Aug 2004 - by Myles Slaughter
Scramble rock to the right of the snow that leads into a steep gully on the
right side of the East face. Two pitches, of 4th/easy 5th-class, and then
3rd/4th go up rock ledges from the right side of the snow shortly before it
enters the gully. The third pitch moves left and then straight up on a
sometimes shattered pillar that joins with the left wall of the gully (the
gully itself eventually peters out against the NE ridge as that ridge curves
toward the summit). Psychological crux is on this pitch on flakes in a loose
chimney just before a belay ledge (5.7). The fourth pitch tunnels under or
goes over a block and then takes cracks on the right side of a clean corner
(5.8), then straight up to a belay at the top of an easy rubble strewn ramp.
A mostly fourth-class, with a couple of low fifth-class moves, goes a short
distance up from the belay onto the wall to climber's left before making a
rising traverse right on clean ledges, then up to a flake and block strewn
ledge. A final fourth-class pitch ends directly on the summit. Four of the
pitches were around 55 meters, and two were about 50 meters.
The first three pitches of this route are particularly loose, so take care
to shelter the belayer. We had no ice axes or crampons, so we stuck to rock,
but another option is to take the snow (which appeared to be in good
condition) directly into the gully to reach the rock higher up.
Myles Slaughter and Gene Vann
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