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 ADVANCED
The Penknife

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Southeast Face T 

The Penknife  


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Elevation: 12,000'
Location: 40.2844, -105.679 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 2,173
Administrators: Ben Mottinger, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: lucabrasi on Jun 27, 2006
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BETA PHOTO: The Penknife (front) and the Petit Grepon (rear) v...

Description 

The Penknife is the long-forgotten and overlooked spire directly north of the Petit Grepon summit. Its summit is just as high (if not higher) and much less crowded than the Grepon. Although short (2 or 3 pitches), the actual climb is really the final phase of a very long and exciting expedition through Loch Vale (read "getting there").

CAUTION: There is a lot of very loose rock on the Penknife! Check every handhold and especially anchors!

Getting There 

There is the "boring way", which consists of climbing the 8 pitches of the Petit Grepon south face, rappelling into the saddle of the two spires, and climbing the Penknife.

Then, there is the "epic route", which consists of hiking, glacier travel, class 4 scrambling, rappelling, and climbing. I strongly suggest staying overnight at the Andrew's Creek campsite (BC permit required and don't forget bug spray!!). Hike up the Andrew's Creek trail to Andrews Glacier. The Glacier is very steep in parts, crampons are recommended but not necessary. After the glacier ends, you must scramble up a HUGE talus field at the base of the Sharkstooth. Your objective is to reach the saddle between the Sharkstooth and the Saber, aka "The Gash". The talus field gets cliffed out in spots so be careful. At the top of the Gash you can see over the horizon into the "Sky Pond cirque". The Penknife is directly in front of you. Scramble down southeast to a ridge between the Penknife and the Saber. From here you will need to set a rappel down onto the grassy plateu on the east side of the Petit Grepon. Once on the grassy area, begin technical climbing.

Climbing Season



Weather station 8.3 miles from here

1 Total Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',0],['2 Stars',0],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',1],['5.7',0],['5.8',0],['5.9',0],['5.10',0],['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]


Photos of The Penknife Slideshow Add Photo
The Penknife (left) from the top of the Gash.
BETA PHOTO: The Penknife (left) from the top of the Gash.
The Penknife viewed from the ridge between the Penknife and the Petit Grepon
BETA PHOTO: The Penknife viewed from the ridge between the Pen...

Comments on The Penknife Add Comment
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By Mark Oveson
From: Louisville, Colorado
Jul 21, 2014
Highly recommended as a descent from the Petit Grepon. 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.