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The Saigons 

YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- British: HVS 4c

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 180'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- British: HVS 4c [details]
Page Views: 3,375
Submitted By: jeremyadams on Feb 25, 2007
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You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (77)
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The Saigons, a concatenation of "Still in Saigon" and "Miss Saigon", is two interesting pitches of 5.8 face climbing. Mostly less-than-vertical, the Saigons challenge leaders to mantel and trust their feet (albeit over excellent gear).


On the left side of the Thin Air face, uphill from the face's namesake route. Rap with two ropes from the bolt anchors atop pitch one, or finish up pitch two before traversing the Airation ledge to the right. A trail through the woods leads to the road, 300 yards from the summit, or you may choose to climb one of the Airation Buttress routes.


Pitch one is well protected with bolts and fixed pins. It is not unreasonable to only place 2-3 pieces in its entire 130 feet. Pitch two protects well before its bulge crux. Patient leaders will find clipping its post-crux bolt casual.

Photos of The Saigons Slideshow Add Photo
Alex pulling the crux of the second pitch Miss Saigon 5.8+
Alex pulling the crux of the second pitch Miss Sai...
Alex kendral high up on the saigons...
Alex kendral high up on the saigons...
AJ doing a little sport climbing on Cathedral Ledge
AJ doing a little sport climbing on Cathedral Ledg...
Alex following Miss Saigon...
Alex following Miss Saigon...
Comments on The Saigons Add Comment
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By L. Hamilton
Aug 16, 2007

One 70m rope is enough to descend in two rappels. We were able to reach the ground (barely!) from the first belay. With a 60m, some downclimbing would be needed.

By eric larson
From: aurora, co
Jul 20, 2008

This was a great route.. this can be done on a single 60m... lowering off the first pitch requires you to swing to climber's left and reach a ledge at the end of your rope.. then a dirty, but easy/safe downclimb for about 10 feet lands you on the ground, uphill of the belay. Don't forget to knot your rope!

By john strand
From: southern colo
Mar 26, 2009

f/a strand/cody june '82 (Still In Saigon) second pitch Tom & Haydie Callaghan

By Chris Graham
From: Bartlett, NH
Aug 7, 2009
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c

Not really sure why this one only gets 2.5 stars? This is probably my favorite "after work" evening cruises up the Thin Air face. Fun moves, good rock, great protection and an exciting finish all make this a fun outing.

Jun 13, 2010

Great route! Led it this morning with Doobie as my second. used 8 quick draws and a .50 camalot on 1st pitch. #2 camalot and 5 quick draws on second pitch. The "bulge" was a solid 5.8 move in my head. I agree, it deserves more than 2.5 stars!

By hasan
From: portland,me
Aug 27, 2011

The second pitch has pitons tucked in. It's easy to assume that theres nothing and run it out because the climbing is easy but you soon find yourself in no fall zone so keep eye out for them. The steep crux is easy to protected with a bd#2 before it. Small but good crimps to a bolt then a bomber a mantle to a beautiful belay ledge.

By Barrett Stetson
Aug 5, 2012

Was surprised that neither the old or new guidebook seems to mention the fact that you won't make it straight to the ground from P1 rings with a 60m. Anyone ever rap off the end of their rope there? Even with our 70m we had about 10' or so before ground (going straight down), so I went back up a bit and came down far left and could just hit the top of the dirt gully. Really fun face climbing though, P1 protects super-G at cruxes and P2 is still G, but if you fell from the crux before clipping the bolt it did seem like you might not be in for a totally clean fall (some slab below), but maybe not an ankle breaker either?

By lee hansche
From: goffstown, nh
Aug 9, 2012

At cathedral i never assume i can get back down with one rope unless told otherwise... i havent heard of anyone rapping off their ropes here but thats why i put knots in mine...

I normally lower my partners then rap with a single 60 meter rope (with knots in the end) and scramble/solo the last 20 feet or so to the ground... be careful though :)

By Tony Telesco
From: Boston, MA
Oct 31, 2012

Just climbed this last weekend and although it was quite good, I think it's worth noting that a couple spots up high on P1 get very interesting when wet. Inexperienced leaders or those for whom 5.8 is the limit would do best to save this climb for dry days with no seepage. Also worthy of note given all the rappel banter about this climb is that a single rap with 2 60m ropes gets you to the ground (just barely).