Type: Trad, Alpine, 8 pitches
FA: Chris Revely, Bob Wade, 1974
Page Views: 27,518 total · 99/month
Shared By: Joe Keyser on Aug 31, 2001
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC

You & This Route

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Description Suggest change

The Southwest Corner goes up the obvious, sharp arete/corner on the Saber, and runs parallel to the South Face route on the Petit Grepon. Follow the approach for the Petit, and start about 100 yards right of the South Face route. There are actually a lot of different ways you could start the route, so, just pick a decent looking line, and aim for a big ledge about (at least) 400 feet up. The guidebook calls this section fifth class, I don't know about that, but it's easy enough that you can mostly simul-climb. Either way, move fast since this is a somewhat long route. Continue up to a broad ledge with an obvious, left-facing dihedral. The dihedral is the crux first pitch of the Kor Route (5.8+)....

Pitch one: the crux, starts on face, moves in a thin, left-facing corner about ten feet to the left of the Kor Route's  first pitch. My partner, Dave, placed an RP in the corner, moved left and up a few feet, then continued up steep face moves to a nice 3 foot ledge, out on the corner about 150 feet up. From here, the route finding is more difficult. However, continue up the corner systems on the arete for about 7 more pitches of mostly 5.9 climbing staying pretty much out on the corner. There is some really cool exposure on this part of the route but also some loose blocks, so be very careful! The top of the route is at a block with some slings, which is where the rappel route starts.

Per Dan 60D5H411:

Pitch 1 & 2 (4th Class to 5.8?): supposed fourth class climbing takes you 400 feet up the green-tinted base of the formation. Perhaps there IS a 4th Class route, but we ended up doing this in 2 pitches due to the blocky (scary 5.7) roofs we pulled on each pitch. End on the obvious, large ledge about 10 feet to the right of a ramp that angles up and left towards the arete.

Pitch 3 (5.10): the money pitch. The crux pitch starts 10 feet left of a left-facing dihedral (start of Kor Route, I believe.) Angle up and left on blocky holds towards a bottomless, left-facing dihedral about 25 feet up. I was able to place 3 bomber cams before the dihedral. Sustained climbing for ~80 feet deposits you below an improbable looking crack directly on the face above. Traverse 10 feet left here to a spacious belay ledge.

Pitch 4 (5.8): take the left-facing dihedral above to a roomy belay on top the block pillar.

Pitch 5 (5.8/5.9): we traversed 15 feet straight left from the belay, then up and slightly back right via a thin seam to get to the base of the wide, left-facing dihedral. It also seemed possible to head straight up from the belay and traverse slightly left and up to reach the bottom of the dihedral. Grunt or finesse your way up the dihedral to a comfortable belay on the right.

Pitch 6: (5.8/5.9): the exposure pitch. Head up 15 feet on unprotected but easy ground until you can traverse left underneath a small overlap on red-ish colored rock. Step around the arete, and head up the left-facing dihedral. We ended up following purple to pink to the green belay in the beta photo I posted.

Pitch 7 (5.8/5.9): continue up one of the many finish options. We ended up traversing further left on green past a couple scary blocks and up a fun but lichen-covered dihedral.

Pitch 8 (5.easy): a short scramble up the blocky top to get on the spire summit proper. A giant slung flake and a smaller, slung horn at the back of the summit signals the start of the raps.

Protection Suggest change

Cams up to #4 (doubles on about 1,2,3), stoppers and RPs. Two 60 meter ropes for the rappels.