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Savelli Express 

YDS: 5.13a French: 7c+ Ewbanks: 29 UIAA: IX+ ZA: 29 British: E6 6c

Type:  Trad, 8 pitches, 600', Grade III
Original:  YDS: 5.13a French: 7c+ Ewbanks: 29 UIAA: IX+ ZA: 29 British: E6 6c [details]
FA: Antoine Savelli in 2003
Page Views: 2,681
Submitted By: Tristan Perry on Aug 16, 2007

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This is a full length route up one of the proudest sections of the Ophir Wall. The pitches are well-thought-out and although it is possible to rap with just one 60 meter rope from bomber bolted anchors, having two ropes might be a good idea considering the area's reputation. The protection is mostly good, with a smattering of bolts on several pitches. Actually, some pitches have no bolts and some are exclusively bolt protected, notably the crux pitch. All the pitches except one are "moderate" and it is possible to pull through the crux pitch at A0. This is one of the best routes in the Telluride region, with consistent quality, length, and stunning position to its credit. The crux pitch is HARD for those who hope to free it. (Has this even had a second free ascent yet?) This route needs to see more traffic, so...get on it!!

It starts well to the right of the Post Office Crack, maybe 50 yards down from Sweet RPs.

The first pitch (5.11a) is short but fierce, protected by a few bolts and trad gear, with a funky crux sequence pulling through a V-notch in a small ceiling.

The second pitch is a 5.8 hand crack that leads to the Tennis Shoe Traverse ledge above. The first and second pitches could be linked easily.

The third pitch is airy and scary! Solid 5.9 climbing up laser cracks on a long, awkwardly slanting arete/corner moves straight above to a bolted anchor. Route finding may be tricky here, so watch out or you might not get where you want to be!

The fourth pitch is the money pitch...It's essentially a sport climb that busts through an intimidating series of roofs at 5.13a. You may be thinking...I'm cruising this! But the crux at the last roof is really some hard cranking, indeed! Fingers of steel may be the ticket here.

The 5th pitch features sparsely bolted face climbing, with little in the way of gear placements. Awesome climbing, but heads up!

The 6th pitch is another bolted pitch, probably 5.10a and really devious. It ascends the well defined arete, for another fantastic ropelength.

The 7th pitch kicks back to a lesser angle, so you know you're getting quite a ways off the deck. The rock quality deteriorates considerably here, on blocky 5.7ish ground.

The last pitch is a scramble to the top of the technical difficulties of the route, ending at trees.

This is a phenomenal climb, and a visionary effort for the first ascentionist. When more people climb this, it will surely get a reputation as a MUST DO climb at Ophir. This was put up in 2003 by local guide Antoine Savelli.

As a last word, be careful alert on the way up AND on the way down for the possiblity of falling rocks - they're everywhere and all it takes is one...have fun and be safe!


Looking at the Ophir Wall, it climbs the right side of the wall, through a huge roof system on clean (for Ophir!) rock.


Wires, Tricams, gear to 2".
1 60 meter rope is required.
Bolted rap anchors.

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By Bryan Gilmore
From: New England
Jul 2, 2009

Great way to get some mileage. You can easily link every two pitches, as in P1+2, P3+4, P5+6... Single set of cams to 3" and some wires.
By chris righter
Oct 10, 2012
rating: 5.13- 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E7 6c

There is actually one more pitch not listed in description above. It comes right before the crux pitch and falls somewhere in the 5.10 range. The crux pitch is a fun boulder problem at the 2nd lip encounter. It may be a little soft at 13-. Fun route.
By jeffro popko
From: montrose,co
Nov 9, 2012

One of the most classic routes on the western slope for sure. The crux pitch takes gear in the top half or else it's a 50ft runout to the anchors, still sparse though. Four stars the whole way.
By Antoine Savelli
From: Ophir, CO
Jul 29, 2013

Savelli Express: 1000 feet long, 850 feet high, Ophir Wall's longest and most difficult route, and 10 pitches long to the big pine tree. The second pitch avoids the crack, traverses left and goes straight up at 7a or 5.12a. The route goes free at 7c+/ 5.13a (one move). Short pitches can be linked in any desired combination. One 70 meter rope is sufficient for all rappels.

Extra care must be taken on the lip of the second roof if one desires to free the crux. A longer quick-draw is needed to avoid rope cutting on roof if taking a lead fall. Antoine will gladly provide a detailed topo at his house at the base of the Ophir Wall if needed for free naturally.
By Nick Niebuhr
From: Telluride, CO
Jun 26, 2017
rating: 5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c

Did this yesterday...what a great route! Thanks, Antoine! A 70m rope is good to have for one of the raps higher up. We were almost at the end of the rope. A set of C3s is also nice to have for a 40ft section between bolts on the last 5.10 pitch. Single rack of cams from 00 C3 to #2 Camalot plus a set of nuts and quickdraws is good. Not really worth it to go past the last 5.7 pitch. We linked pitches 1+2, 6+7, 8+9. There are 9 class 5 pitches including the short 5.10 before the crux that the description is missing. The Telluride Mountain Club has a PDF of Telluride Rock on their website, which has a good topo.

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