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Secteur Free Tibet
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Free Tibet T,S 

Free Tibet 

YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a

Type:  Trad, Sport, 5 pitches, 450', Grade II
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a [details]
Season: Spring/Summer/Fall
Page Views: 582
Submitted By: Dan G0D5H411 on Jan 31, 2012

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (1)
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BETA PHOTO: Free Tibet starts on the potruding buttress on the...


If only for the top pitches themselves, Free Tibet would be a short but classic line. Unfortunately the first pitch detracts from the line as a whole.

P1(5.7, mostly low 5th class) Follow the line of bolts as it zig-zags in a general rightward direction past dubious rock. Belay on a dirt pedestal from bolts that are up and right of a large bush. This pitch is a rope stretcher and should be carefully managed for drag. 175ft

P2(5.9) After a lack-luster start, the second pitch begins to develop some interesting characteristics. Follow the bolt line upwards with a slight traverse left to navigate a tricky, slab crux. 100ft

P3(5.8) From this point on, Free Tibet climbs parallel to the large dihedral on your left as it diagonals in a righward fashion. Follow pockets, ledges and bolts across the featured face. 100ft

P4(5.9) The first of two spectacular pitches! A few harder moves lead you a smile-inducing traverse right on perfect runnel pockets. 60ft

P5(5.10a) From the belay, continuous climbing past thin pockets and interesting sequences leave you to contemplate an overhanging dihedral above. Start cranking through the buckets and move left over the final roof. Traverse right on the narrow ledge to the final set of anchors. 100ft


Follow the first approach option to the Free Tibet Secteur, dropping down into the Gorge from Chalet Malines along the Sentier Martel. The line is obvious when viewed from the opposite rim of the Gorge, but not so clear on the approach. From the low point of a toe/narrow buttress that potrudes from the main cliff line, walk up and left to find the line of bolts.

From the top of the climb (the last anchor) walk right following a barely perceptible trail through the weeds and bushes. This will cliff out in certain sections and will take some time to navigate as it winds up through various gullies and one 4th class band to reach the rim of the Gorge. From the rim, walk in a slight leftward direction to reach D23. Hike or hitch a ride from a friendly tourist back to Chalet Malines.


10 draws with extra long runners. Double ropes come in handy drag-wise. The first couple of pitches have some longer runouts between bolts on easy but loose ground. A VERY light rack might help alleviate any anxieties about the rock quality.

Photos of Free Tibet Slideshow Add Photo
Looking down on the last 2 pitches.  The final roofs are hidden in shadows above the climber.  Down and to the left of the climber, the 4th pitch follows the arcing line of pockets that straddle the line between the streaked rock and the gray face.
Looking down on the last 2 pitches. The final roo...
General route and belays of Free Tibet.  Walk off right until possible to scramble up a loose gully.
BETA PHOTO: General route and belays of Free Tibet. Walk off ...
Following the magnificent fourth pitch.
Following the magnificent fourth pitch.
Staying right of the large dihedrals on pitch 3.
Staying right of the large dihedrals on pitch 3.
Pulling the final roof moves to gain the narrow ledge.
Pulling the final roof moves to gain the narrow le...

Comments on Free Tibet Add Comment
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By manuel rangel
From: Tempe, Arizona
Oct 1, 2013

I think the last pitch was awful committing. A lone bolt about 30' above on a slab puts you in no fall territory. I would have done another route had I known that. It isn't worth the trip.

It is mostly well bolted but for the finish; the roof is easier than it looks.