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Le Gourmet 

YDS: 5.4 French: 4a Ewbanks: 12 UIAA: IV ZA: 10 British: VD 3c

Type:  Trad, 4 pitches, 285'
Original:  YDS: 5.4 French: 4a Ewbanks: 12 UIAA: IV ZA: 10 British: VD 3c [details]
FA: Larry Griffin 1965
Page Views: 7,888
Submitted By: vfv on Apr 13, 2010

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (113)
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The view from the flake top out on the last pitch ...


Pitch 1: Climb ramp up and left to the right facing corner and continue up the corner to a ledge. There are bolts just to the left on the ledge below Front C. (70 ft)

Pitch 2:Traverse RIGHT (diagonally up) to an arete and climb the arete up to Old Man's Traverse Ledge. (100 ft, pg-13)

Pitch 3: From the southern end of Old Man's Traverse Ledge climb up to the left side of the Critter Wall to a flake below southern facing chimneys (beginning of Critter Crack).

Pitch 4: Climb the right most chimney to the spectacular top (85ft)


Begin just to climber's left of where the upper West Face Trail meets the rock (left of Traffic Jam Rappel) at a ramp which leads left to a prominent right facing corner.


At the top, look east directly behind you to a chimney which leads down to the summit ledge. The chockstone at the top is slung with a rap ring. Step down into the chimney and then rap or lower or downclimb through this chimney (40 ft) to the east facing summit ledge.

Photos of Le Gourmet Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Mike getting a solid lead on Le Gourmet.  Don't le...
Mike getting a solid lead on Le Gourmet. Don't le...
Rock Climbing Photo: Eric following the last pitch. Fun mix of chimney ...
Eric following the last pitch. Fun mix of chimney ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Here's a pic of the loose rock I mentioned in the ...
Here's a pic of the loose rock I mentioned in the ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Le Gourmet..
Le Gourmet..
Rock Climbing Photo: Old rap station atop the first pitch?
Old rap station atop the first pitch?
Rock Climbing Photo: Jon topping out on the final pitch of Le Gourmet.
Jon topping out on the final pitch of Le Gourmet.
Rock Climbing Photo: Carson Purnell on the pitch #2 traverse.
Carson Purnell on the pitch #2 traverse.
Rock Climbing Photo: More wet rock! May 6, 2012
More wet rock! May 6, 2012
Rock Climbing Photo: Mike leading the blocky last pitch of Le Gourmet
Mike leading the blocky last pitch of Le Gourmet
Rock Climbing Photo: Pat leading up the last pitch of Le Gourmet.
Pat leading up the last pitch of Le Gourmet.
Rock Climbing Photo: On the first pitch of Le Gourmet.
On the first pitch of Le Gourmet.
Rock Climbing Photo: Start of Le Gourmet.  Ramp leading up left to the ...
BETA PHOTO: Start of Le Gourmet. Ramp leading up left to the ...

Comments on Le Gourmet Add Comment
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By Brendan Cathcart
Dec 28, 2014

Some poor soul had to ditch a nice #2 omega link cam on pitch 1. I tried to work it out for about 15 minutes with no luck. Go get it!
By Andrew G
From: Silver Spring, MD
Apr 20, 2015
rating: 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c

It seems like most parties skip the 2nd pitch in favor of Front C and the 4th pitch in favor of Critter Crack. Can't recommend both alternates (5.6) enough!
By ColeT
From: Cincinnati, OH
Jul 26, 2015

I agree with andrew, much more fun this way. Also pitch 3 confused me and outs kinda a joke
By Davis13au
May 23, 2016

There is a loose basketball sized block on the last pitch about 20 feet from the top out on the flake. It's on the interior flake or the flake just to the left of the main right hand wall. From below it looks like a nice big horn on top of the flake. It moved quite easily when I grabbed it. I moved around it and tested it from above and it seems pretty free. If it released it would be bad news for anyone below, on critter crack, Old Man's ledge and countless routes below. I know not many people climb the last pitch of Le Gourmet (It's actually pretty fun, a great intro to trad lead and has a great top out) so it may not get a lot of hands on it. It might need to be trundled in a controlled manor unless it's somehow locked into that spot.
By anotherclimber
Jun 7, 2016

A nice starting climb at Seneca. There is now two stuck cams on the first pitch. (none of them are mine) We opted not to do the second pitch as the protection is really sparse and the guide book agrees and mentions it. We did Front C 5.6 instead for the second pitch which was excellent and very fun! You should know that you are expected to scramble between the second and third pitch heading upward to the right and then when you get into a recessed notch, upward to the left behind a large wide flake and all the way to the very left side of the critter wall underneath the chimneys. I didn't know this and lead it making the whole climb more time consuming.

Also be advised that the guide book says nothing about what the anchor/belay station is at the top and where to go. If you stay somewhat in the chimney or just outside of it, you'll veer to the left a bit as you follow it and when you top out you'll see to the left a medium sized boulder at the top of and between two large section of flakes, like a two foot wide channel. That's the anchor. I choose not to use it as the anchor looked sketchy with carabiners that are triaxially loaded. I would have had to leave gear behind as you need a permanent anchor to rappel down that channel to get to the summit ledge.

I should have checked here to double check against the guide book, as I thought the boulder was someone's bail gear and climbed higher until I realized there was nothing and had to down climb and remove my protection as I went. I should have gone with my own intuition going straight up a short crack near the top as the chimneys veer left. It brings you into a large notch in the wall where you can create your anchor and top belay. Then it's a short scramble down the other side to the summit ledge. That's a much better way of doing the route, although there is a crux right near the notch that is probably 5.6 or 5.7. You can see this notch in the top right of Davis13au picture titled "Mike leading the blocky last pitch of Le Gourmet". You can also see a top down picture from the notch in BrendanCathcart's picture titled "Eric following the last pitch. Fun mix of chimney and crack." Both pictures show you how the chimneys veer left and a short crack goes straight up to the notch.

The loose rock is still there that Davis13au mentioned.
By Duff Duff
Jul 9, 2016

Awesome time! Front C definitely best way to go. Above description is pretty spot on. To get down we rapped the chimney to east side then had last person grab rope and downclimb chimney. Walking north you can tag the summit as them come back to notch facing west. A short downclimb to the Conn's West Rappel tree with a sling and rap rings. One 70m JUST made it to ledge 80' off ground and short walk north to 2nd rappel rings (there's a rappel station in between but we didn't see it). Good to know a way off if just have a 70m in case!
By repka
Jul 4, 2017

The rappel off the top slings is tricky because you have to turn around the corner between two chimneys. While you rap, be ready to carry the bulk of the rope and make sure not to drop it until you're past the rocks choked in both of these chimneys. Do not tie the ends, otherwise if you accidentally lose them, they might get stuck. Once you're down, be sure to move away, closer to the exit from from the last chimney so when you pull the rope it doesn't get stuck.

In other words, I should look into practicing some down-climbing a bit.
By Mashanya
Jul 17, 2017

No normal anchor on last pitch and rope drag is crazy if you will go into the chimney.

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