Sunday, June 24, 2012

Petit Grepon Before Work

Stefan and I climbed the Petit Grepon this morning, before work! We met at the Bus Stop at 3:30 a.m. and headed to the Glacier Gorge parking lot. This is a lot of construction happening on the Bear Lake Road approaching this trailhead. We weren't held up on the drive in, but it did cost us 20+ minutes of waiting on the way out.

I was surprised to see my buddy Kirk in the parking lot. He was headed to Zowie, with his wife, I think. We started a bit after them at 4:47 a.m. with no headlamps and hiked, trotted when we could, up the climber's shortcut and then the trail to Sky Pond. We never passed Kirk, so I assume he didn't take the climber's shortcut. A funny aside here is that as we came out of the shortcut on the way down, three rangers with ropes in their packs were heading up it. So, I guess that shortcut is completely kosher. 

We were at the base of the Petit in 1h13 minutes (6 a.m.) I started leading 7 minutes later and linked the first five pitches, through the crux in one pitch and then Stefan led the last three pitches to the top. We summitted at 7:17 (1h10m for the climb), did two rappels off the spire and then soloed up to the notch at the base of the Sharkstooth. We packed our gear there and then ran back to the car in about 58 minutes, negotiating talus, scrambling, and snowfields before hitting the Andrews Glacier trail. We enjoyed perfect weather, though both of us had mildly cold hands by the time we hit the crux. We did the roundtrip in 3h54m. The FKT is 3h22m by Josh Schwartz who went solo, sans rope even, downclimbing steep, hard-looking 5.6 to get off the tower. Stefan could probably break 3 hours going solo... I, on the other hand, will not be soloing this route. :-)

The roundtrip is 8.2 miles and about 3000 vertical feet. It was a complete blast. What a great way to start the day.

No comments: