The West Arete (of T1)
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"West Arete" of Tower 1.
Maybe I just had a bad day, but this route spooked the snot out of me, and I didn't even lead it. This route will make you so nervous that if you fart, dogs will cry.
Approach Via any climb that will take you to the Red Ledge. This would include the Yellow Spur, Rewritten, The Great Zot, The Green Spur, etc....
From the Red Ledge, traverse to the right from the Swanson Arete, Icarus or Daedalus, or from to the left from the start of the fourth pitch of The Yellow Spur. A few meters left of the Yellow Spur's P4 is an obvious clean arete with some chalked slopers and crimpers. For the first thirty feet, the arete overhangs on the right side and is slabby on the left. Solo up this arete until nearly even with the roof pitch of the Yellow Spur. Gear will have since appeared on the left, from which you will then continue climbing left from the arete onto the face, joining Icarus (the major, right-facing dihedral system to your left). This is about a full pitch of climbing. Some gear is to be had on the face in general, and the climbing becomes easier toward the top.
After joining Icarus for a pitch, both routes will move out and right to finish on the 5.6 (S) arete of the Yellow Spur.
The opening arete of this route is beautiful and exposed, but a little insecure and VERY runout. I was happy to have followed it.
The first 40 feet of this route are a lot more runout than the book would suggest. A career ending fall is quite possible, and the moves are insecure. The first pitch can be rapped from above on Icarus and TR'd. The rest of the climb is relatively easy (5.6)
|Comments on The West Arete (of T1)
|By Brad Bond|
Jun 21, 2002
The guidebook shows some fixed pins around the area of the crux but they are gone (there might be one up higher where it's easy). I saw some pin scars but was unable to wiggle in anything so the crux has to be done about 30 or 40 feet above gear. Spicy.
From: Longmont, Co.
Jan 28, 2008
As of 1/27/08, there are 3 pins total on the route (all near harder sections) and they are not inspiring. The climbing is ultra classic! I would recommend that you feel comfortable soloing 5.9 Eldo before leading the first pitch of this route. The second pitch is not as hard but even more runout until you get just below the junction with 'Icarus'. The description in Rossiter's guide is quite good, although a 'VS' or 'X' rating may be appropriate.
From: Smoulder, CO
Jan 11, 2010
rating: 5.9+ X
That was scary. The climbing was really good, but what little pro I found--with the exception of a slung horn--was psychological only. We only climbed from just above the bulge where YS meets it, nevertheless this arete is a fun and exciting way to get to Icarus. It is quite runout until joining up with Icarus, but by then, 5.6 R is a relief. :)