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Le Petit Cheval, First Amendment

In September 2009, Chris McNamara and I climbed First Amendment (IV 5.11a), a new route just right of center on Le Petit Cheval’s northwest face. The rock is excellent, but, as is normal for the area, many cracks were filled with dirt. We approached as per Spontaneity Arête (II/III 5.7, Goldie-Johnston, 2004), then, from its base, we traversed about 250 yards toward the middle of the face on 3rd- and 4th-class ledges. Our route begins with a 100' 5.4 chimney and hand crack to a large ledge. P2 (150') is a slightly vegetated 5.8 hands-and-fists corner that starts around the corner from a 5.10 splitter finger crack. P3 (120’) is 5.9 and follows the same corner before breaking right on thin face climbing and gaining a ledge with a cave. P4 (120’) climbs sweet 5.8+ finger cracks to a large, slabby ledge. P5 traverses around right to a ledge (after many attempts to go left failed). P6 is a sweet 5.9 finger crack. P7 (150') is a 5.10+ series of corners and roofs that take very thin protection (knifeblades and Lost Arrows would be useful). P8 is 5.11a and starts in the same super-thin cracks, with the crux right off the belay, and tackles another series of corners and roofs. P9 is 5.6 and mostly easier terrain, then joins Spontaneity Arête for its final one-and-a-half scrambly ridge pitches to the summit.

Ian Nicholson, AAC