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Elevation: 11,856 ft 3,614 m
GPS: 40.28193, -105.67356
Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 54,238 total · 198/month
Shared By: Kurt Johnson on Dec 30, 2001
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC
Warning Access Issue: Closures DetailsDrop down

Description Suggest change

Towering over Sky Pond, just right of the Petit Grepon, is a massive spire named after its first route, "The Saber." Though most parties bypass it in favor of The Petit, it's truly an inspiring sight, taller and steeper than it's more famous neighbor. Layton Kor put up it's namesake Route in 1962, calling it 5.8. But don't be fooled - every pitch will feel a number grade harder, and it'll make the Petit's equally rated "South Face" route feel like a walk in the park. No need to worry about crowds either, thanks to the Petit. I'm willing to bet that even its two classics (The Kor Route and the Southwest Corner) have rarely been climbed more than once on the same day.

Descent: You can either climb all the way to the summit (which involves a lot of 4th and easy 5th class ups and downs) and down the back side into The Gash (may require some easy 5th class downclimbing). Once on the talus slope, you can either head down towards the Andrews Glacier trail and back out to the trail you came in on, or traverse east beneath a few smaller spires and descend the gully marked with a cairn, which, after one short rappel puts you back near Sky Pond. The other option is to do the rappel route which starts at the beginning of the summit ridge and which heads down the east face and eventually into the gully on the east side of the formation. It's a good and fairly straightforward route, and from what I remember, most or all of the anchors are slings around blocks or constrictions (except for possibly a couple that are bolted near the bottom) and are set up for double 50 meter ropes. There may also be intermediate slings put in place by retreating climbers who only had one rope.

Per Steven Moss:  the descent rappel is as follows as of July 2020, and all bolts are very close to original slung block locations. If using two 60m ropes. it is not necessary to use any intermediate slung blocks.
Rap 1 (110 feet). Start behind the summit block on the initial sub summit, and rappel trending about 30 feet to the right.
Rap 2 (120 feet). The bolts are on a left-facing slab close to the edge of the ledge.
Rap 3 (130 feet). Continue down to a ledge system.
Rap 4 (200 feet). Do a rope stretcher rappel to a huge, sloping ledge/chockstone.
Rap 5 (180 feet). Rappel free hanging down to the grassy or snowy approach gully.

Getting There Suggest change

From the Glacier Gorge parking lot, head up the trail to Sky Pond (about 3 1/2 miles..[actually closer to 5 miles]), and scramble up the talus to the base. If you find yourself at a rock that looks like the Eiffel tower with crowds of people on it, you've gone too far.

5 Total Climbs

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Location: The Saber Change
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Classic Climbing Routes at The Saber

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Kor Route
Trad, Alpine 10 pitches
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Southwest Corner
Trad, Alpine 8 pitches
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Southeast Corner
Trad, Alpine 7 pitches
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c R
The Pocketknife
Trad, Alpine 5 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Kor Route
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad, Alpine 10 pitches
Southwest Corner
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad, Alpine 8 pitches
Southeast Corner
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad, Alpine 7 pitches
The Pocketknife
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c R Trad, Alpine 5 pitches
More Classic Climbs in The Saber »

Sun & Shade Suggest change

Weather Averages

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Prime Climbing Season