Start 20 feet left of the Gym Arete/The Crack of Dawn start. This line straightens out the Gym Arete's arcing beginning through a powerful and direct line of pockets and a few edges. Essentially, you replace the easiest climbing on the Gym Arete with an extended V5ish boulder problem. Then, you climb all of the 5.12- moves of the Gym Arete. All told, it weighs in around 5.12c. Because this line is a substantially more difficult undertaking, I feel it merits its own description. It is an outstanding route, as anyone can tell by merely standing under it!
This route is action-packed from the moment your feet leave the earth. A powerful opening sequence followed by clip after clip of sustained, intricate face climbing makes this one exciting all the way to the chains. Solid for the grade, quality rock, and oh so clean, this is certainly one of the best routes at Shelf Road.
It was my FA. About the grade... .12c seemed right. We were seeing some soft graded routes popping up, and I wanted to be sure with the 12c in spite of people stating that it was easily a letter harder. When I bolted the original Gym Arete (yes I bolted it, but Bob asked if he could have a run on it, thus the FA), my eye was on the direct even then, but I wasn't even sure if there were holds there. A few years later when lowering from the original line, I asked Dave Dangle or Richard Aschert if I could suss the moves. Sure enough it was all there.
If you're climbing the grade, skip the arcing traditional start and just do this one. Continuous difficulty makes perfect beta on the upper crux essential. I'd agree with one of the best routes at Shelf and easily one of the best I've done.