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This is a great route, it has 8 pitches and is slightly runout on easy terrain at the top. It is very crowded and in my opinion not nearly as good as the slightly harder and more sustained Culp-Bossier on Hallett Peak. Give yourself plenty of time to do this one as four rappels are required to reach the ground. The summit is awesome and the upper pitches are high quality. The first few pitches aren't as fun and kind of mungy.

From Charles Vernon:

Approach by parking at the Glacier Gorge juntion trailhead (about a mile before Bear Lake) and follow the signs for about 4 miles to Sky Pond. Scramble up talus to the base of the Petit, which is overshadowed by the Sharkstooth. The Saber will be prominent to the right.

P1 - Aim for a groove in the center of the steadily narrowing South Face, and climb that for a long easy pitch to a grassy ledge.

P2-enter a giant chimney in the center of the face and belay on top of a chockstone (5.6, 100 feet).

P3-Take the left-slanting line out of the cave and belay on a large ledge below a smaller chimney (5.7, 140 feet).

P4-Climb the chimney, then traverse right to a belay below the right end of a roof (5.6, 120 feet).

P5-Head straight up at 5.9, or pull around to the right on easier rock (spotty pro either way). Climb up a steep crack, into a left facing corner with a beautiful finger crack, and proceed to a ledge on the east side of the Petit (sustained 5.8, 120 feet).

P6- climb up, head right and then back left to a small stance on the southeast arete--the Pizza Pan Belay (5.7, 130 feet).

P7-climb the crack above the belay to a ledge, and climb straight up the wall, then slightly up right to belay just below the ridgeline (or on it if you have enough rope) (5.7, 160 feet).

P8-gain the ridge, then follow it up to the spectacular summit (5.6 or 5.7, 80-90 feet).

Descent: rappel off of fixed anchors at the northest corner of the summit. Either swing right to a ledge after about 140 feet, or continue on to more hard to see bolts further down. If taking the first option, look for a deep chimney to the north, and climb it up to the saddle between the Sharkstooth and the Saber. From there, descend the 3rd class gash to the north, the hike out the drainage, following a trail which rejoins the Sky Pond trail, thereupon taking the appropriate direction depending upon where your equipment is. It is also possible to traverse east behind the Saber from the saddle and desend a gully (possibly necessitating a short rappel or two), which leads to the talus above Sky Pond-- though I haven't done this.

One more note of caution--some guidebooks describe a "5.4" variation to the right of the first five pitches of the route which purportedly bypasses the crux and leads straight to the south face. That is completely bogus--I have searched in every conceivable spot, and there is no way to bypass the traditional crux at 5.4 from the so-called "second terrace". Don't count on it. Alternate descent description 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 feet.

  2. Rap from two Fixe ring anchors just past the terrace to a pair of Metolius rap bolts. ~160 feet.

  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' feet.

  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.


Route History:

There is no known route history.


Located in Rocky Mountain National Park approx:
Lat/Long: 40.339892,-105.769813

Route Grade Citations

5.8 III Community registered grade
III 5.8 Rock Climbing Colorado
III 5.8 Rock & Ice Climbing Rocky Mountain National Park - The High Peaks -
III 5.8 Rocky Mountain National Park: The Climber's Guide: High Peaks

Route quality

Route quality

Overall quality score: 100%

Lead Styles

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Comments keywords

good great fun bail

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