One of my favorite climbs is the Petit Grepon in Rocky Mountain National Park. Climbers are drawn to the Petit Grepon, the most famous and most spectacular of the Cathedral Spires, like hikers are drawn to Mount Fuji. Located in superbly scenic Loch Vale, this spire has everything: an aesthetic line, solid rock, adequate protection, and mind-bending exposure. Qualities which earned the South Face route a place in Steve Roper and Allen Steck’s Fifty Classic Climbs of North America.
Best of all for me, is that it’s technically not that difficult, with the crux pitch only 5.8 and the other pitches ranging from 5.5 to 5.7 – of course, diffficulty takes on a new meaning when you’re in the high country. Starting at 11,400 feet, the 800 ft. spire is a very long day. I am looking forward to the summer climbing season – as a retired triathlete, I’m needing new sources of motivation to train in the winter months – and climbing is definitely an endurance sport with all the intensity, but without the competition (except that which comes form within).
Here’s a few scenic photos from the last trek to the top.