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best (moderate) knife edge arete climbs


Original Post
Sergey Shelukhin · · Seattle, WA · Joined Mar 2014 · Points: 0

So, over time I found out that I really love climbing narrow aretes, esp. if they have tons of exposure. Piaz Arete in Dolomites is a good example, the position is below (less steep than it looks on this picture). It could be even narrower :)

What are the best moderate routes (~10+ on bolts, or easy trad; or perhaps a bit harder, something to aspire to) like that in North America? I'm especially interested in multipitch, but if there's a single pitch one in a destination area where one would go anyway, that's also nice.



Thomas Gilmore · · Golden, CO · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 80

Didn't get a chance to climb it on my trip but this sounds like what you are looking for...https://www.mountainproject.com/v/feather-buttress/106886551 While you're there wolf's head is a 1500' ridge climb at 5.6

ViperScale . · · McMurdo Station, AQ · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 240

Blakevan · · Dallas, TX · Joined Sep 2015 · Points: 55

If you're near RMNP and want a nice single pitch climb (pic is from MP page not me or mine).


https://www.mountainproject.com/v/105756826?search=1&type=route&method=resultsPage&query=edge%20of%20time

kenr · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 14,459

If you're also interested in easier aretes with exposure, I know several in Europe and USA.

I  also love climbing on aretes with explosure. 

Advantage of an easier arete is might have the option of climbing it on a day when do not have a partner available.

Actually the best moderate aretes are routes set in my favorite climbing gyms. Can have sustained very interesting arete moves at 5.10 level - (and with different color tape on different holds, also a 5.11, and also a great 5.8 or 5.9 with sustained interesting moves at the difficulty grade).

Problem with outdoor aretes is they tend to have just one or two harder moves that set the difficulty grade for the entire route.

If you also enjoy the easier moves, then that's not a problem. Also gives more options for (longer) routes if you enjoy walking on a narrow arete.

Ken

Brian Shaffer · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 40

Whitney Gilman at Cannon.

Luke Toillion · · Longmont, CO · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 51

Rebuffat's Arete in Eldo is fantastic at 5.7. It's only about 70-80 feet long, but definitely worth doing. You also get to climb the first four pitches of Rewritten to get to it, which is a classic in its own right. The sixth pitch of the Yellow Spur (5.9) in Eldo is another one that might interest you. The ridge itself is only 5.6, but insanely exposed and a bit runout.

WadeM · · Golden, Co · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 320

Naked Edge!!!

abe r · · Boise, ID · Joined Dec 2012 · Points: 20

Primal Rib on the Dreadnaught flatiron.

Systematic · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 317

Directissima in the gunks is a beautiful moderate arete pitch. 

Vaughn · · Colorado · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 50

The Prow on Kit Carson in Colorado is pretty mind blowing.

Icarus in Eldorado Canyon finishes up with a knife edge arete that is also very worthwhile.

the schmuck · · Albuquerque, NM · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 110

Does not get better than Bullet The Blue Sky. 

Charlie Fallon · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 0

Gunsight Direct @ Seneca Rocks, WV is such a rad climb. Depending on what you climb in front of it, you can climb 3-5 pitches before the money pitch. Super exposed, not knife blade as such, but you can look off either side of the peak as you climb up. Also, you're climbing up the right side of the gunsight feature which is super cool. Also, you're gaining the only true summit that you can't hike to the top of in North America.

Marcelo F · · Sacramento, CA · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 0

Are knife-edge ridges okay? If so...

West Ridge of Conness: https://www.mountainproject.com/v/west-ridge/106167844

West Ridge of Pigeon Spire: https://www.mountainproject.com/v/west-ridge/105869393

Andy Novak · · Golden, Co · Joined Aug 2007 · Points: 370

Mathes Crest (Yosemite), Wolf's head (Winds), Keyhole Ridge on Longs (RMNP) all come to mind for 5.7 or under.   

kenr · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 14,459
Systematic wrote:

Directissima in the gunks is a beautiful moderate arete pitch. 

Maybe there's something wrong with my screen, but that photo does not look at all like a knife edge.

Doesn't like you could get Jello with it.

. . . (and the crux sequences are on the faces to the side, not on the arete).

kenr · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 14,459
Marcelo F wrote:

Are knife-edge ridges okay? If so... West Ridge of Conness

Not even a bit like a _knife_ edge.

Nice easy climb in a nice position (with an over-long approachh), but I'm not sure it has any arete-climbing sequences at all.

I say these things because real arete-climbing on really narrow aretes is different and especially interesting, and I love it -- so it's worth seeking out the real thing. But people won't seek it if they think they've already got it.

Ken

C Archibolt · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 871

https://www.mountainproject.com/v/irenes-arete/105804852

5.8 exposed and fun arete climbing 

Marcelo F · · Sacramento, CA · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 0
kenr wrote:

Not even a bit like a _knife_ edge.

Nice easy climb in a nice position (with an over-long approachh), but I'm not sure it has any arete-climbing sequences at all.

I say these things because real arete-climbing on really narrow aretes is different and especially interesting, and I love it -- so it's worth seeking out the real thing. But people won't seek it if they think they've already got it.

Ken

Around pitches 4 to 5, you are on top of a knife edge ridge with a 600 foot drop on your right, and about 100-200ft drop on the left. 

Marcelo F · · Sacramento, CA · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 0
Andy Novak wrote:

Mathes Crest (Yosemite), Wolf's head (Winds), Keyhole Ridge on Longs (RMNP) all come to mind for 5.7 or under.   

Yes! Not sure how I forgot Matthes. I'd say it's better as an exposed knife-edge than either of my examples.

Doug Lintz · · Kearney, NE · Joined Apr 2004 · Points: 1,140

The Knife Edge and Bullet the Blue Sky are hardly moderate but both are definitely classic.


It's not technically an arete but Weird Water (5.7) in the Mt. Rushmore area has great exposure.  

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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