Type: Trad, Alpine, 9 pitches, Grade III
FA: B. Culp & B. Beal, 1970
Page Views: 26,645 total · 98/month
Shared By: Tony B on Jan 11, 2002
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC

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Description Suggest change

Find the rock as for the East Face, but move up from Sky Pond toward the Southwest corner of the South Face. The route finishes as for the South Face, so you still get the famous finish, although some of the crowds can be avoided.

P1: (Standard start) Scramble up to the center of the face on a left-facing system, about 50-60 yards to the left of the South Face route. This 200' 5.easy pitch will land you on a ledge contiguous with the beginning of the chimney pitch of the South Face.

P2 & 3: Move a ways to the right and climb an obvious, left-facing corner system for 2 pitches, belaying as you please on 5.6 terrain with many potential belays. This system leans to the left and then back right and can be seen from Sky Pond, although it is less distinct as you move up. These pitches can be combined with some simul-climbing.

P4: From the ledge at the top of P3, move a little left and climb up flakes and cracks to the shoulder of the Petit, a long pitch rated 5.7 or so. There is no definite crux. This will place then next belay on the airy shoulder of the Petit.

P5: Climb a long pitch of 5.8 cracks and corners, which are mostly left-facing. This is the line of least resistance up the shoulder of the Petit to the next belay, just to the right of the arete. This is a great pitch for scenery and exposure. There are a few 5.8 cruxes.

P6: Climb further up the ridge until you step right into a vertical crack. There are two options here, either are likely the crux of the climb. For the left version (6a), the crack will pass a 5.9 roof. The moves are difficult with a pack on and are not that well-protected. Put a few pieces in before arriving at the roof for back up. Crux pro was a 3" cam but was some ways below me, as I was carrying a very light rack. I do not recall what other gear could have been placed higher. Climb up this crack through the roof (see picture of Darrin Livingston approaching the crux). For the right version (6b), the crack is protects reasonably (and has 2 fixed wires) and comes up to a small roof with an undercling and finger crack above it. Either way, step left after the roof back to the arete and move up to the next ledge to belay.

P7a: Move over on said ledge to the Pizza Pan belay of the South Face route and follow the South Face to the spectacular summit!

P7b: You can continue up through a small bulge and double cracks above and then angle right to the obvious notch below the overhanging summit blade and belay on the east side of the notch.

Variation: Skip the first three pitches by starting on the very southwest corner of the Petit, in the gully, making your way up to and through the big left-facing dihedral (5.10b) for a very long pitch to the ledge at the base of pitch 4.

Protection Suggest change

Standard light alpine rack - nuts & hexes with a few cams. Make sure you take plenty of 2' slings, as the route wanders like any other alpine route.