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The Petit Gully 


Type:  Trad, Mixed, 6 pitches, 800', Grade III
Original: M5+ [details]
FA: Unknown. Steve Su and Bruce Miller in 2009, but was likely climbed before that. Additional information would be appreciated.
Season: January through April.
Page Views: 2,982
Submitted By: Chris Sheridan on Jan 16, 2011

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Kevin Landolt tackling a killer snow mushroom on t...


The Petit Gully follows the prominent gully to the right of the south face of the Petit Grepon. The route offers a lot of everything with classic gully groveling and steep, sometimes overhanging, drytooling as well. In March and April, there's the potential for some actual ice as well.

P1: Start at the lower right side of the south face of the Petit Grepon. Climb and obvious weakness up to an overhanging chockstone. Pull the roof and belay at a fixed anchor. 100 feet, M5.

P2: Traverse left, then climb up a low angle chimney, then tunnel behind a chockstone. Belay to the left of the gully below a crack system. 180 feet, M4.

P3: Climb the crack system left of the gully proper, then run the rope out to a belay high and left. 200 feet, M5.

P4: Climb the gully up to a massive chockstone, passing it on the right, then continue up easy snow with a few short steps to a belay on the right. 200 feet, M5.

P5: Climb a short, left-facing corner past then past a fixed rappel station. 80 feet, M5+.

P6: Climb up and right, then towards the end of the pitch, cut back left to finish at the notch between the Petit and the Saber.

From here, it is easy to descend the route with about six rappels. Traverse onto the south face of the Petit for the last two rappels.

Alternately, one more pitch of mostly snow will get you to The Gash, by dropping down the other (west) side from the notch, then traversing north. From there, you can continue to the summit of the Shark's Tooth or The Saber. Continuing up to the summit of the Shark's Tooth would yield a total of about 10 pitches of excellent mixed climbing and make for a fantastic outing. If you make it to The Gash or above, the best way down is likely to rappel Alaskarado.

As an aside, the route also lends itself to adapting some Yosemite speed climbing tactics (such as short fixing) to the alpine realm. For instance, after leading the steep first pitch, the leader can fix the rope and start rope soloing up the easier terrain above while the second cleans the first pitch on jumars.


Stoppers, cams, hexes, and a few pins. In early spring, there may be more ice and screws could be useful.

Photos of The Petit Gully Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: 5/5/2013. About 5 days after 2 feet of snow fell o...
5/5/2013. About 5 days after 2 feet of snow fell o...
Rock Climbing Photo: Gil Weiss on the traverse from the top of the Peti...
Gil Weiss on the traverse from the top of the Peti...
Rock Climbing Photo: Kevin Landolt leads up pitch 5 of The Petit Gully....
Kevin Landolt leads up pitch 5 of The Petit Gully....
Rock Climbing Photo: Chris Sheridan on the third pitch of the Petit Gul...
Chris Sheridan on the third pitch of the Petit Gul...
Rock Climbing Photo: Chris Sheridan on the first pitch of The Petit Gul...
Chris Sheridan on the first pitch of The Petit Gul...
Rock Climbing Photo: The Cathedral Spires showing The Petit Gully.
The Cathedral Spires showing The Petit Gully.

Comments on The Petit Gully Add Comment
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By Bernard Gillett
Jan 17, 2011

Hi, Chris - you asked for help regarding the FA info. I'm pretty sure Harry Kent and Keith Lober (?) did a winter ascent of Petit Grepon in preparation for (or around the same time as) their winter ascent of the N Face of the Eiger (I think they were the first Americans to do that face in winter; something like that; this would have been maybe back in the early '80s). Or maybe Kent and Donahue (the elder) were the ones who did the Grepon (it was definitely Kent and Lober together on the Eiger). Obviously there's a lot of terrain back in there, so Steve and Bruce may have done something new, but I have a recollection that Kent and partner basically followed the gully on the right to the top and descended the Gash. Harry was part of the vanguard that ventured onto the bigger faces in RMNP in the middle of winter; they did a bunch of gnarly stuff back in the day.

You could always email Harry through his website (; he's one of the friendliest guys on the Front Range and will be happy to help you verify whether I'm putting you on the right track.
By scott rourke
Jul 26, 2011

We continued to the top of Shark'stooth...beautiful, warm March day (three years ago?). But, I forgot to drink during the route and really paid for it on the way out.
By claytown
From: Boulder, CO
May 7, 2013

Climbed this route on 5/5/2013 after 2 feet of snow fell on the park the week before. Lots of unconsolidated snow in the gully and pretty much no ice at all made for exciting snow wallowing cruxes around the chockstones. Our conditions were quite different from all the other posts I have seen. Might be good shape in the next two weeks. Hot afternoons will probably shed a bit down the gully for the next little while.

The last rap station down the south face of The Petit was completely buried under snow, so we had to leave some tat, a nut & two biners. There was more tat about 30' above the second to last rap ledge on the way down. Booty for someone!

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