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Phil Brown at the end of the crack about to traver...
The South Face Crack is an easy, adventurous route in a spectacular backcountry setting. The route is straight forward to follow and would be a great introduction for those wishing to break away from the crag scene. While this line may not be the cleanest (some loose rock and intermittent grassy areas) it is still a worthwhile excursion that will reward you with breathtaking views from the summit.
The crack is pretty easy to find, just keep walking left across the slabs until you reach a foot sized crack near the middle of the face.
Pitch 1 - Climb a low angle foot crack for about 150ft, belay at 2 pitons.
Pitch 2 - Continue up the crack for about 100ft until you reach a ledge at the headwall.
Pitch 3 - Traverse down and left to an island of trees. 75ft
Pitch 4 - Not really a pitch, continue scrambling left across the grassy slabs to reach the trees.
From here bushwhack up and right to the summit. Instead of doing this, we bushwhacked up and left and found ourselves at the base of the left hand slab near the summit ridge. We climbed a slab dihedral with an expando flake 5.6ish (fucker gobbled a .75 camalot..now fixed) for about 100ft. The bushwhack from the top of the slab to the summit ridge was horrendous. We got raped by spruces, I have scars on my arms.
This climb would make a very long day out, we hiked in the first night and crashed just below the summit of Pyramid off the trail.
To reach the south face of Gothics most parties will enter from the Ausable Club. From the summit of Pyramid (6.1 miles from the trailhead), you can see the entire south face. Descend into the col between Pyramid and Gothics. Bushwhack down a drainage ditch and skirt over across the bottom of the slab. The bushwhack may take up to an hour.
Protection is good, but you may find yourself at times excavating dirt filled cracks for placements. Small rack upto #3 camalot.
Mike Tomaselli on the final pitch of the Original ...
The first pitch of Gothics south face crack
The south face of Gothics from the summit of Pyram...