In Rocky Mountain National Park, a beautiful spire of rock overlooks Sky Pond in Loch Vale and stands at 12,001 ft high – the Petit Grepon! Part of the Cathedral Spires group, the Petit Grepon’s classic route winds its way up the South Face in eight pitches with a 5.8 rating (most of the climb is 5.7 or easier with a short 5.8 crux).
The route is named after a mountain, The Grepon, overlooking Chamonix in the French Alps. The name derivation being the Small (Petit) ‘greup’ (Grepon) meaning a steep rocky slope made up mostly of slabs.
Climbing on “The Petit”, as it is affectionately known, involves a beautiful scenic three hour hike past lakes, forests, waterfalls and high alpine meadows before a short steep scree hike to the base. There are abundant places to bivy around Sky Pond but the climb is often done in one long day going car to car – therefore good cardio fitness, solid climbing skills and an early morning are required.
The South Face route involves chimney, crack and face climbing, giving a diverse outing with breathtaking exposure. If one is lucky enough to spend some time on the summit (often a quick descent is in order due to weather) you will enjoy a large dining table size area dropping on all sides for hundreds of feet! As always the climb is never over till you are safe back at the car and on the Petit Grepon that will involve 6 long rappels.
So, in summary, The South Face of The Petit Grepon is a fun route, in a beautiful setting with amazing exposure. A must climb for anyone’s ticklist!
Call today to arrange your climb on the not so small “Petit!”
AMGA Certified Rock Guide