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Petit Grepon

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Neathawk-Collett T 
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South Face Variation: La Porte de l'Enfer T 
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Petit Grepon  


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Location: 40.28029, -105.6725 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Ben Mottinger, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Charles Vernon on Jan 1, 2001
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Description 

By now, this spire has perhaps the most popular alpine climb in the country. DO NOT--repeat, DO NOT do this climb on a weekend.

It has excellent climbing to an unimaginable summit. If crowded, there are many alternatives.

Getting There 

Park at the Glacier Gorge Junction Trailhead (a mile below Bear Lake), and hike five miles or so to Sky Pond (above Loch Vale).

Scramble up talus above Sky Pond to the Petit, which offers a steadily narrowing South Face and is overshadowed by the Sharkstooth to the West and flanked by the Saber on the East.

Possible Descents 

Andrews Glacier trail descent: per Paul Huebner: we did short rap down the back on the east side and traversed over to other spire behind it. Then we scrambled up to our left/west through chimney that opens up onto large ledge/ramp leading down to the base and back side of that spire. From there, we descended gentle snow field down to talus and continued on down the Andrews Glacier Trail (approach for Sharkstooth) to Loch Vale and on down to Glacier Gorge Parking lot.

Rap descent - per James Beissel: - All of the rap stations are bolted. If you are rapping off anything besides bolt you are screwing up.- You will need two 60m ropes- All of the raps are double rope rappels- Do not try to rap into the gully!!!- You should not have to downclimb at all

1. Rap from a Fixe anchor at the (climber's) right end of the summit. ~160 ft.
2. Rap from two Fixe ring anchors just past the terrace to a pair of Metolius rap bolts. ~160 ft
3. Rap from the fatty Metolius bolts to the big grassy ledge. ~160 ft. The next set of bolts are about 50' to your left at eye level, above a chimney of sorts. Addendum: it's exposed clipping the anchor.
4. Rap from the anchor over the void (homemade hanger + modern Fixe ring bolt). Pass up the grassy ledge (Second Terrace) at about 160ft. and aim for the big horn about 20' below you. There's probably slings around the horn. They'll help you spot the station, but you will actually be rapping from bolts below the horn. ~180' ft.
5. A 200+' rap to a big grassy ledge (First Terrace). The next bolts will be about 50' climber's right. Addendum: you may not reach this anchor, but there is a slung boulder at ~165' to make a short additional rap.
6. Another 200' rap to the ground off two Fixe ring bolts.

Climbing Season



Weather station 8.6 miles from here

4 Total Routes

['4 Stars',2],['3 Stars',2],['2 Stars',0],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',0],['5.7',0],['5.8',1],['5.9',1],['5.10',2],['5.11',0],['5.12',0],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Petit Grepon:
South Face   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, Alpine, 8 pitches   
Southwest Corner   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, Alpine, 9 pitches   
Browse More Classics in Petit Grepon

Featured Route For Petit Grepon
Darrin Livingston approaches the crux (P6a) of the Southwest Corner of the Petit Grepon.  Photo By Tony Bubb.

Southwest Corner 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a  CO : Alpine Rock : ... : Petit Grepon
Find the rock as for the East Face, but move up from Sky Pond toward the Southwest corner of the South Face. The route finishes as for the South Face, so you still get the famous finish, although some of the crowds can be avoided. P1: (Standard start) Scramble up to the center of the face on a left-facing system, about 50-60 yards to the left of the South Face route. This 200' 5.easy pitch will land you on a ledge contiguous with the beginning of the chimney pitch of the [[South ...[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

Photos of Petit Grepon Slideshow Add Photo
The Petit Grepon from the Gash
The Petit Grepon from the Gash
Climbers summiting the Petit Grepon, as seen from the Sabre in failing weather. Photo by T. Bubb 8/06.
Climbers summiting the Petit Grepon, as seen from ...
The Petit from the summit of the Saber.
The Petit from the summit of the Saber.
One of the premier alpine spires in the USA.  Weekdays and early starts will avoid the crowds.  Or do the uncrowded SW variation.  Or the Saber next door.  PREMIUM!
BETA PHOTO: One of the premier alpine spires in the USA. Week...
Petit by full moon.
Petit by full moon.
First rays of dawn, it's time to go.
First rays of dawn, it's time to go.
Le Petit @ sunrise.
BETA PHOTO: Le Petit @ sunrise.
From camp.
From camp.
Simon Thompson...his face a mixture of elation from topping out and worry from some storm clouds out of view of the camera.
Simon Thompson...his face a mixture of elation fro...
Summit photo.
Summit photo.
Good thing there is a cache of socks up there.
Good thing there is a cache of socks up there.
Evening before at Sky Pond.
Evening before at Sky Pond.
Chillin' near Sky Pond.  We made 7 of 8 pitches last September but retreated due to storms.  We're planning on tackling the summit this year at the end of June.
Chillin' near Sky Pond. We made 7 of 8 pitches la...
BriGuy on his way up!
BriGuy on his way up!
Climbing out of the cave, starting the 3rd pitch
Climbing out of the cave, starting the 3rd pitch
Coiling the ropes after the rappel.
BETA PHOTO: Coiling the ropes after the rappel.
Rappel #3.
BETA PHOTO: Rappel #3.
The formation at sundown.
The formation at sundown.
Photographer: Rob Walters
BETA PHOTO: Photographer: Rob Walters
Jayer Chung near the top of the last pitch.
Jayer Chung near the top of the last pitch.
Upper Petit Grepon southeast view.
BETA PHOTO: Upper Petit Grepon southeast view.
Sharks Tooth, Petit Grepon, and The Sabre. View from the south from Sky Pond. Summer 2001.
Sharks Tooth, Petit Grepon, and The Sabre. View fr...
Summit fin on Petit Grepon. Photo: Bob Horan.
Summit fin on Petit Grepon. Photo: Bob Horan.
Getting down via the newly refurbished rap stations.
Getting down via the newly refurbished rap station...

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Comments on Petit Grepon Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jul 21, 2014
By C. Archibald
Jul 17, 2014
CONDITION REPORT 
My shoes after climbing Petit on 7/15/2014.
My shoes after climbing Petit on 7/15/2014.


I left my shoes under a rock at the base of Petit on 7/15/2014. This is what I found after the climb! Be warned! The marmots here are very aggressive. They've probably been fed by too many dumb climbers!
By justin dubois
From: Estes Park
Jun 24, 2002
As of now the park is going OFF!!!!!!!I have not been to Loch Vale yet, but there is very little snow anywhere else and the Petit is a sunny place.
By S O'Farrell
Sep 5, 2005
The climb is unforgettable, but the descent could be epic if impatience is your best resource follow the 5 bolted rappels off the southeast side that wrap around to the south side, one scary reach from a large ledge and your home free. This climb is very cool, the best I've done in the park. The day I climbed it, not a soul in sight and the weather held up nicely, unfortunate fools the day before got hail the size of cherries.
By orin salah
Mar 26, 2007
Just climbed the South Face route last Tuesday, conditions were great. The route is 99% dry. We also talked to some folks who climbed the South Prow on Sharkstooth. Looks like it's in good shape as well.

Snow on the hike up is in grape shape, possible in boot's without snowshoes. You may desire crampons or an ice axe. Enjoy the early spring!
By Sunny Jamshedji
From: Mumbai, India
Jul 16, 2007
Just wanted to add my two cents concerning the descent. There are solid bolted rap stations for stretched 60m rappels (TWO ROPES!) to the base of the climb. We had a single 60m, and you can do it the grassy ledge, but we could not find intermediate rap stations for the last 400 feet. So, take two ropes and be happy!
By Paul Huebner
From: Portage, WI
Jul 30, 2007
When I climbed the South Face route in 1994, we did short rap down the back on the east side and traversed over to other spire behind it. Then we scrambled up to our left/west through chimney that opens up onto large ledge/ramp leading down to the base and back side of that spire. From there, we descended gentle snow field down to talus and continued on down the Andrews Glacier Trail (approach for Sharkstooth) to Loch Vale and on down to Glacier Gorge Parking lot. Made summit of Petit at 11, had cold beer we had stashed in creek near the Loch and were back at car at 3 PM, just ahead of huge raindrops. Course to do this you have to climb with your pack and take your approach shoes or boots, nothing new in the Mts.
By FatFistTim
Jan 3, 2008
Climbed up to the pizza belay ledge before having to bail. Winter conditions make for a cold and windy ascent. Bring plenty of warm layers and don't skimp on the small gear. Also, bring as many long trad draws as you have to reduce the high potential of rope drag. The third pitch (traverse) or as I call it "epic pitch" is less than desirable in the winter due to snow. Used a 70m to lead, and it reduced the amount of total pitches to 5 or 6. (To the top) Found good bivy towards the base of the tower a good distance up from Sky Pond. Better to take the Girlfriend up in the summer, LOL.
By Scott Matz
From: Loveland, CO
Sep 22, 2008
Me and Cale got off work Friday and had plans to head right for the Peton (Petit Grepon). After a ten hour shift of slinging steel, I figured it would be nessesary to pick up a six pack before the hike. Hitting the trail head at 7pm, we biveed near the Loch and finished in the morning. Getting to the base of Petit at 600. We scramble up the first two pitches in about an hour 1/2. The third and forth pitch is what slowed us down a bit. I lead the forth pitch and ended to the left of the ramp and pretty much screwed us from there. Sorry Cale. We both noticed the ramp to the right we should of anchored at. Being so far left, there was no pro on hard face moves for thirty feet. Our only choice was to traverse left and rap down to the grassy ledge, on the way over to the slings I had wedged my foot in a side crack made a small move and twisted the shit out of my ankle. I heard a crack and knew our time was done. On our way down we got caught by another team. We figured we'd let them pass by that time my ankle was killing me and decided to rap off. Pretty sketched, we called it a day. Very disappointed but content with our efforts. This was my first attempt of an alpine climb and ready to get back up there maybe before winter. I learned one brilliant mistake on an alpine climb could cost it for you. You betcha the hike down after that felt like an eternity.
By Cale Farnham
Sep 29, 2008
Sweeta ass route! Super exposed after the 3rd pitch, but bomber pro! Good job, Scotty, we'll get this one, we were a little rushed so be prepared! Weather was great but towards the end got a little sketchy, would love to do a winter ascent on this big guy!
By Clint Locks
From: Boulder
Jul 10, 2010
Beautiful hike in and the Cathedral Spires are AWESOME!

The climb was equally beautiful. You can reach the 1st Bench with a 60 meter, and, if you belay higher up in the chimney (25 ft, +or-) for the 2nd pitch, you can string 2 and 3 together, giving the leader an interesting chimney/5.7 crack to reach the second bench.

After the next chimney pitch, The climb goes vertical, beginning the real deal. Stellar climbing! Up higher, I don't know what the Gillett guide meant by 'sparse pro' on the upper 5.7 'meandering' east face pitch; I found plenty. The Pizza pan ledge at the end of that pitch reminded me of the Yellow Spur's arete belay. Very cool! Get comfy.

The final 5.6 summit pitch needs attention, as there really ISN'T good pro for THAT one. It's all there, however, and the summit is amazing! If the weather's holding, definitely spend a little alone time up there before pulling up the slack.

On the descent, watch for ropes sticking on the upper rappels. Also, rock fall is very possible (probable?), so be cautious. But that's all part of climbing, so really doesn't merit mentioning, generally. Whatever. ENJOY IT!
By justin hausmann
Aug 27, 2011
Do you need a standard rack to a #4 Camalot?
By Dave Polan
Jul 19, 2012
Rap description is right on, but slings are removed from block at the bottom of the 4th rap. Look for a big L-shaped block perched on the edge of the lower tiers of grassy ledges and the bolts are right below it. I spent a bit of time searching for them. From there you should reach the 1st terrace w no problem w two 60m ropes
By eythan
Sep 6, 2012
Really helpful description of the descent via the five or so raps. We missed the fixed rap rings for the third rap (be sure to keep looking climber's left around 160 feet) but continued for roughly 180 feet to a solid block that's slung with good webbing and a cold shut and rap ring. From there, it's about a 40 foot rap down to the large grassy ledge where you gain fixed rap anchors at the far end of the ledge (as described on MP site). For the fourth rap, note that there isn't any cordage currently on the horn, though it's pretty obvious and you will see the rap station just below it.

We climbed the Petit (south face) on 9/5 and had amazing weather and, even better, the whole route to ourselves all day!
By Nate Flynn
From: United States
Aug 12, 2013
We had the whole route to ourselves as well! And it was beautiful weather as well! August 2011!
By Mark Oveson
From: Louisville, Colorado
Jul 21, 2014
The spire directly behind (north of) the Petit Grepon is called the Penknife. Here's an alternate descent route for the Petit:

From the summit of the Petit, rappel 100' to the north and scramble down the very narrow ridge to the base of the south face of the Penknife. One moderate pitch with a 5.6 move or two gets you to the summit of the Penknife. Rappel to the north from slings to the saddle between Sharkstooth and the Saber. Hike and scramble north down the Gash to the Andrews Glacier trail.