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BETA PHOTO: Solid line is the version of the SE corner that we...
This route is a nice outing and represents several possibilities in a general area. This is on the S.E. corner of the Saber, left of the Kor Route and Right of the SW corner. The climbing can be generally summarized as good moves on good rock and occasionally lacking protection, but not where it matters. Cruxes are reasonably well protected and also vary in difficulty upon the precise line taken.
P1-2, 5.6, 500': Make your way up the SE end of the Saber on moderate and easy terrain (5.6, tops) to the big ledge form where start the various technical routes. This is generally done with some soloing or simul-climbing but represents at least 3 belays without any. You can also climb Snively-Harlin (10b) to get there.
P3, 5.8, 80': Same as for the first 'hard' pitch of the Kor Route. Move out to the right of the ledge and to the base of the short, shallow, broken left-facing corner, which is only about 50 feet tall when viewed from below. Climb this to its end and a little past to reach a ledge above. This pitch is best run directly into the next pitch and can easily be done as such if you have the rack for it and placed (or did not place) to avoid drag.
P4, 5.10, 100': Step left into a long right-facing corner, and climb this up to a ledge and belay (as for the SW corner, remarkably!).
P4a, 5.10, 100': (Alternate option A) Step slightly right and climb up the face for a bit into a second right-facing corner, this one a hanging corner with a small roof below it. It ends after perhaps 10 meters, and you climb up and left into an easier corner and face, which joins the standard pitch 4.
P4b, 5.10, 100': (Alternate option B) Continue out and right on the ledge from the belay of P3, climbing face just to the right of the arete. This can be climbed to a ledge near the end of your rope, with some cracks just to the right of the arete. If you do this, you will be forced into a alternate pitch for P5 as well- see the "Razor's Edge" variation route.
P5, 5.9, 160': Join the SW corner route for this pitch. Climb up and left to a left-leaning crack and then continue below a large roof, going left under it to a left-facing corner, then up the corner to a sloping ledge. Better yet, follow the more direct line "Razor's Edge" for a very long pitch and to the summit, having climbed the variation of P4 which accesses it.
P6, 5.9, ~150': Climb up and right on cracks and face to reach the right-facing corners nearest the SE edge of the face. The Kor route is to the right and around the corners, out of sight. This pitch may be continued until you reach a suitable belay, or run out of rack or rope.
P7, 5.9, ~120': Continue up the corner system to the low-angle summit edge of the rock. Find a belay here, and DO NOT try to go to the initial summit's anchors, and the terrain is low angle and rough and will give horrible drag, even unprotected (I have done this a few times, with terrible results).
P8, 5.easy, R, 70': Romp up the low angle ledge with the Petit Grepon on your left and the now strikingly beautiful 'Foil' on your right. Go up and over the initial summit to a belay or rap station on its North side.
Begin the descent from this anchor or continue with a single rap to the notch and continue to the somewhat distant True Summit which is accessed by Kor Route.
See details in description.
A standard alpine rack, erring on the heavy side. Stoppers, cams from thin to 3.5" and lots of slings. If you take enough gear, there are virtually no sequential pitches that can not be combined with a little improvisation.
Someone rearranged the infamous top anchor since I did in May. They have added some cord on a second pinnacle and bound this to the sling I put on the summit. While this is probably stronger than how I left it, they removed the good fixed stopper on the right (BD #8 or 9). This anchor still needs a little more work. The two slings are presently joined with a third sling which is rapped from. There are single points of failure in this that could still produce "very exciting" results, or in the case of the adjoining sling, deadly ones. The stopper should be replaced and tied into the anchor and/or the slings should be made redundant, particularly the low one from which the link is hanging.
Sorry I did not do this- I took gear to make it happen, but a storm was coming in, and speed was our most immediate concern.
By Brian Story
Nov 14, 2006
I climbed the upper 5.9 pitches that Tony describes and found them to be superb crack climbing. We climbed the first 5 pitches of the Kor Route including the classic 5.8+ dihedral pitch to a big grassy ledge. From there, we moved up various cracks to belay at the base of the "stepped roofs" as described in Rossiter's guide (8). The next superb pitch moved just east of the arete and followed a splitter finger crack dihedral into to a handcrack, and we belayed at the top of a semi-detached block/roof (9). One 8ish pitch got us to simul-climbing terrain, the summit, and the walk off.