Saturday, June 30, 2007

Trip Report: Petit Grepon, South Face 5.8+

2007/06/28 Petit Grepon, South Face
Grade IV, 5.8+
5 mile approach, +2870’
8 pitches
Jill Salva & Dave Holliday

With the urge to get my Alpine-Face on, I invited Dave for a day of climbing at altitude on the South Face of the Petit Grepon. He’s been getting out a lot this year, logging more than 325 pitches of technical rock in 2007.

You can refer to The Mountain Project web site for the standard South Face ascent and descent details.

Our adventure begins at 2:45 am with Dave arriving at my home. With a standard Alpine rack, and 2-60 meter, 8.5mm ropes we toss our stuff in the car and head up to Rocky Mountain National Park.

Soon enough, Dave and I are on the trail and in just two hours, twenty minutes we hike from the Glacier Gorge Trailhead to the base of the Petit Grepon. There is already one party climbing the route. Under clear blue skies we get ready to start the climb.

We enjoy the climbing and advance quickly up the route. Near the summit we see some low clouds building, then the skies go electric. With the rock audibly sizzling, we quickly and effortlessly tie our ropes together and setup the first of a series of rappels. Once safely down to our big packs, we change into trail shoes and begin our 5-mile hike out.

The Petit Grepon, South Face is a stellar rock route with great holds and amazing views. Just be sure you get an early start.