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YDS: 5.10d French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ British: E3 5b

Type: Sport, 1 pitch, 60'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.11a French: 6c Ewbanks: 22 UIAA: VII+ British: E3 5c [details]
Page Views: 2,492
Submitted By: Tony B on Sep 28, 2003
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Frank on thin edges on Aerial

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The prominent arete can be seen from the parking pullout. The blunt feature really climbs on both sides, and can be identified from the base by the large hanging flakes near the top pf the right side (a little off of the line, which can go direct).The book-given grade of 11b seems overgraded.The climb is certainly fun and on good rock with good moves, with 2 definate cruxes along the way, mostly on small but positive holds. Rap off from the top when complete.


5 or 6 draws to reach a 2-bolt anchor. The anchor is up over the top, so to lower off or TR, take longer slings or some cord.

Photos of Aerial Slideshow Add Photo
TRing Ariel.  Just about to start the more difficult section.
TRing Ariel. Just about to start the more difficu...
Tony Bubb leads 'Ariel' (5.11a?) at the Snowshed Wall on Donner Summit. Photo possibly by Dawn Winkler, 9/03.
Tony Bubb leads 'Ariel' (5.11a?) at the Snowshed W...
tiny holds
tiny holds
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By Anonymous Coward
Feb 22, 2005

Ariel is rated 11b, sandbagging isn't cool, people can get seriously hurt or even die, have you ever seen the aftermath of a bad accident at a cliff, serious bummer for everyone.

I'm really getting pissed at you guys.

By 426
Mar 6, 2007
rating: 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ E3 5c

Ariel used to have just 4 bolts. Did someone add one or two? Optional pro at the "break" and also at the top roof when I led it.

I agree with A/C. Call this at least 5.11a unless you cheat way out right...

By tony1
Apr 21, 2007
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ E3 5c

I always thought it was 5.11.

By Milton Mugambe
May 16, 2009

Everything is 5.9 or 5.10 if you climb it enough, ratings for any area should be based on an on-sight lead attempt. Down-grading a climb that you have "wired" creates a dangerous situation for a visiting climber. Check your hat sizes for any recent changes.

By Karsten
From: Sacramento, CA
Jun 8, 2009
rating: 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ E3 5b

Recently gave this route the true onsite and don't think its anywhere close to .11b. I think it is a very technical climb but comparing it to some of the other climbs in the area I think giving it a .10d rating is generous. The crux sections are all well protected.

This goes back to the age old debate about ratings but remember that they are just a guide. I think that if you were a .10b climber that you would not get hurt on this climb in its current state. Whether you TR or lead it, this is a fun climb.

By Joe Huggins
From: 666 Rue le Jour-Edge City
Oct 7, 2009

I remember doing Ariel in '84, scared shitless. Years later I lived in Zephyr Cove and climbed it again with my wife, noticing that it had about twice as many bolts...much more fun that way.

By Michael Sokoloff
From: Spokane, WA
Jan 5, 2010

I'll join in on the grade wankery. I know that route well. Calling it 5.10 anything is a blatant sandbag. I know a number of solid 5.11 climbers who could not onsight it.

By Colonel Mustard
From: Reno, NV
Sep 16, 2010
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ E3 5c

Heh. It seems like if you quiz the locals, every climb at this crag is soft. They must be practicing the "straight face" grading method: whatever grade you can give a climb and still keep a straight face.

By 213blc
Jun 27, 2011
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ E3 5c

Very cool climb in fantastic position. Very balancy and sequency, which is likely what leads to the great rating debate. I say its an honest 11a for the onsite (which is what matters right?), since you can get a bit pumped on small crimps/sidepulls while looking for the moves and figuring out the sequence, but once you run a few laps it becomes much easier. 5.10+/5.11-? Whatever. Just remember the advice of Steve Petro (he was referring to Fiddler on the Roof .13+, but logic applies throughout climbing), 'Don't slap the route if you're shaky at the grade!" :)

By Dave Medara
Aug 7, 2013
rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- E3 5c

I remember doing the route in the mid-90's and thinking it was light for the grade (11b) then. I've since done the route many times and sometimes find it easy and other times desperate and out of balance. I think at least a grade of 11a is merited if not the original grade of 11b.