The Foil is a quality spire slightly dwarfed by its huge neighbor to the left, The [Saber]. The rock quality of The Foil can at times be less than superior. However! There are super cool pitches here and there and The Foil also holds one of the best and narrowest summits in the park. Standing room only!
Descent- rap off the back of the summit spire with one 50 or 60m rope into a notch. Then do a easy pitch to the ridge behind The Foil. From there follow the descent gully to the east.
Find your way to Sky Pond and hike up the talus towards the Cathedral Spire group. The Foil is the slender spire to the right (east) of The Sabor. The [Rossiter] topo seemed to be pretty accurate for the South Face route 5.9s, and the new [Gillett] guide lists a new route The Poc Club 5.11+.
The South Face of The Foil starts out a lemon, but the upper half is classic. Being a solid 5.9 leader is a good thing on a few of the pitches on this route. Start up the lichen covered ledges and hit the sandbag 5.7 chimney above. By way of the Rossiter topo, we almost linked the 1st four pitches in two with a 60m rope. The only runout section on the runout pitch felt to be around 5.7/8? with a strenuous, well-protected, 5.9 section after that.Just make sure you traverse left in the right spot ...[more]Browse More Classics in CO
This spire gets 3 stars for the summit alone. The quality of the South Face route, is probably 2-3 stars. This is a great option if you want to avoid crowds on the Petit. The serious rating is probably accurate, but you get good pro, and then only traverse about 15 feet to easier terrain. Bring some extra webbing for the rappel, just in case.
As I remember, the pitches are all fairly long and are as follows (though its been several years):
1) From up high in the gully, angle in from the right below some steeper rock, and into a long chimney. Face climb and chimney, then belay above a small overhang.
2) Step out right on the south face and face climb up beautiful metamorphic rock, until an obvious and large ledge appear again on your left. Pro can be a little run out, but easy climbing on great rock.
3) Climb a left-facing corner above the ledge to its top where it again joins the south face on your right. From another ledge or stance, climb up a crack in the face to a sloping ledge. The crack continues up at this sloping ledge onto steeper terrain. Place a good cam (#1 camalot ?), then traverse right 15 feet, keeping your feet on the sloping ledge. Gain easier ground on the SE corner of the spire and belay wherever seems best.
4) Climb easy corner systems up the SE corner of the spire, then move back left below the summit block, and obtain the summit by jamming a steep, 4" crack, that goes at about 5.8. This is a glory pitch, to be sure.
5) Rappel, then climb a short, moderate pitch up the north side of the nearby gendarme, across from the Foil. Has anyone ever set up a Tyrolean here?
I also remember the guide book we used seemed pretty accurate.
We did the direct rappel straight off the notch off the north side from the summit of the Foil. 4 200 ft rappels got us to the base of Poc Club and a short scramble to our packs at the base of South Face. AWESOME ROUTE. INCreDIBLE SUMMIT.