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Southwest Corner - 5.10a

Average Rating = 3.00/5 Average Rating : 3.00 out of 5
Route sequence (left to right): 1
Route Summary | Ascent Notes (2)
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standard rack, 3.5 friend
Consensus Ratings
  Difficulty 5.10c
  Safety Rating PG13
  Exposure 4.00/5
  Rock Quality 3.00/5
  Scenery 4.00/5
  Fun Factor 4.00/5


The Southwest Corner is a very steep and dramatic route with great views of the S.Face route on the Petite Grepon. It doesn't get a whole lot of traffic but is very worthwhile. I recommend beginning the route by telling everybody on the trail or at the bivy sites that you are heading for the S.Face of the Petite, then laughing at them as they scurry frantically up steep talus to beat you, while you casually stroll to base of this nearby route. Pitches 1-3 are mostly easy, slabby affairs with many variations, which funnel into a 5.6 or 5.7 move to gain a large ledge at the end. Here the real business starts: from the left side of the ledge, climb blocky, runout, steep rock with some potential for route-finding issues to gain a shallow left-facing corner. This corner has some marginal rests, and no move is harder than .10a, but there are many such moves, the pro is thin, and the sequences are tricky. An excellent but mentally taxing pitch. Traverse left from the corner's top to a good belay ledge. P5 is quite easy (ignore the Rossiter topo which is way off)--continue up the obvious corner system, eventually trending right to belay on a good ledge. P6 is devious and then burly: traverse left, then back right up flared thin cracks, gaining a large, wide left-facing corner (mostly protected with thin cracks to the left). Solid 5.9. P7 is the best and most exposed of the route: from the good belay ledge, traverse down and left to the arete (the actual SW corner of the formation!), then climb up on and left of the arete for a very long 5.9 pitch to one of many belay spots. P8 can be done a number of ways; it is rated 5.7 but most parties encounter 5.9 climbing as they continue weaving up the corner for another very long pitch. From here, a short, easy, and mostly horizontal pitch gains the summit of the South Buttress. From here, continue to the true summit, or begin the raps. We climbed this route using double-rope technique which was very helpful on pitches 3 and 5-7, not to mention handy for the raps. On the descent there are wonderful opportunities to ambush unsuspecting tourists with snowballs!

Submitted by: takeme on 2004-11-18
Views: 1118
Route ID: 45605

2 Ascents Recorded

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  Difficulty 5.10c
  Safety Rating PG13
  Rock Quality
  Fun Factor
Onsight Onsight ascent by: bneumann on 2006-07-03 (View Climbing Log)

3 out of 5 stars Saber

After the 4th class bottom the start was exciting. A traverse to exposed ground and 5.10 climbing right off the bat. I remember the 5.9 pitch 5? to be a little on the loose side- even for an alpine route. T-storms gropple and rain High up-2nd to last pitch. Traversed around right to the rap route to avoid resembling lightning rods. Rapped down in the rain. The last rap in a waterfall. Blue lips right before the fourth of July.

Added: 2007-12-02

Red Point Red Point ascent by: takeme on 2003-06-30 (View Climbing Log)

0 out of 5 stars Ascent Note

Awesome, exposed route. Josh got off route on the crux and made a pitch that's already stiff for .10a that much harder. After that it's pitch after pitch of steep, spectacular climbing in the 5.8-9 range. A bizarre, scary episode occured as we started the rappels. I traversed easy ground to the first anchor (all anchors consist of slings fixed around natural horns or threads) and prepared to clip in. I hesistated and checked the block the sling was around--it was completely detached and would have pulled off had I weighted the slings. I checked the long "backup" sling that ran out of sight around a corner, presumably attached to a nut or piton...when I looked around the corner, I saw that it was attached to nothing! We could think of no explanation other than some sicko deliberately set this anchor as a death trap. We took all the slings and moved them to a different, nearby horn that was bomber. Scary and wierd!

Witnessed by: Josh (jsj42)
Added: 2003-06-30