| Petit Grepon - South Face
Not really a report but thought some might find it interesting...
July 11, 2013
Other Parties en route: 1
I'd wanted to climb this route for years but had always been a bit nervous it was above my level. It felt so good to finally get up and get the opportunity to experience this climb. We were very lucky to only have one other party on the route and we had most of the route to ourselves. Here are my thoughts on the climb...
Approach: Cruise up to Sky Pond while trying not to get eaten alive by mosquitos. Savy parties will take advantage of the "fire trail" short cut as it saves a significant portion of time. Once at Sky Pond the Petit will practically reach out and slap you in the face so it's impossible to miss. Now simply make a straight line to the lowest point of the rock, and try to find something to do to your packs so they don't get eaten by vermin.
P1 - 5.4 - From the toe of the rock, amble up easy terrain following a bit of a crack system. Dodge small patches up running water, pass a slightly steeper bit, and reach a large ledge. Some simul-climbing required. 240'
P2 - 5.6 - Move the belay left to be immediately below a large and obvious chimney. Work up into the cave-like chimney while trying not to get your shoes wet. Sneak out under the ominous chockstone above you and belay on top of it. 100'
P3 - 5.7 - Move into the obvious wide crack above and squeeze into it. Jam up the steep pseudo-awkward crack until you arrive on another ledge. 130'
P4 - 5.6 - Climb another obvious chimney above. Very few actual chimney moves are required and the climbing is fun. Exit the chimney and work up a steep face that angles back right. You will arrive at a small ledge with a few pitons/webbing. 130'
P5 - 5.9 - Make tricky moves straight up above the belay, dodge a roof to the right, and continue up an obvious crack system. The climbing is tricky and sustained throughout. Gain another large ledge and belay. 130'
P6 - 5.7 - Scramble up easy terrain while trending slightly right. When the terrain allows, climb straight up and angle slightly back up to the left with tricky route-finding. Use your judgement, this is the route-finding crux of the climb. Meander up steepening terrain and appear at a tiny stance on the arete. The "pizza pan" belay is marked by a piton and is rather exposed. 130'
P7 - 5.7S - Climb straight up past some unique crystals and arrive at a small ledge. Sling a fixed hex and work up whatever looks easiest. The climbing is steep and the pro is not abundant. We climbed up close to the left edge and wondered if we were off route. Arrive at the summit ridge. 130'
P8 - 5.6 - Walk across the summit ridge and climb straight up the final fin. Great exposure and fun moves land you abruptly on the tiny summit. 70'
Thoughts: After reading some comments on mountainproject about people being disappointing by the route, I was concerned. To the contrary, I found this to be an EXCELLENT route. I enjoyed every pitch and found the climb to be very memorable. My theory is that the weekend crowds may ruin the experience for people due to lines and waiting around. Lastly, the pitches to and above the "Pizza Pan" belay require the trickiest route finding of the climb. On both of those pitches, I found myself on terrain that felt harder than 5.7 and did experience some runouts up to 20 feet between placements.
TCUs: 0 - 4
C4s: 0.4, 0.5-2(x2), 3, 4
Offset Mastercams: 0 - 2
Single set stoppers
2 60M ropes (or tagline) are required for the rappelling descent.
"When you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you."
- Friedrich Nietzsche.
A few more photos can be found here...