Type: Sport, 80 ft
FA: Mark Howe (2000)
Page Views: 789 total · 4/month
Shared By: Brian Quiter on Jun 3, 2002
Admins: Aron Quiter, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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Access Issue: Mt. St. Helena Crags - Fire Damage from Fall 2017 Details


The Bear Arete is the right-most climb on the second pitch of the bear. The climb is pretty straight-forward until the second bolt, where it seems that there are plentiful holds to the right, yet they don't go anywhere. Conversely, there are a few less generous holds on the left that will have to suffice. I don't know if we did it right, but we did an up-and-left dyno after the third bolt... it was tough and weird, but fun none-the-less. My main complaint about the route was the lack of traffic it has seen. There was a bunch of loose rock that we knocked off, and moss that covered many important grips and decreased their utility. This also caused the grips to be chock-free, which made the climb seem harder, and more confusing, but more interesting as well!


7 bolts to 2 bolt anchor. Make sure to clip into the anchors below and to the left of the climb while belaying.


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Aron Quiter
Oakland, CA
Aron Quiter   Oakland, CA  
Thin, sketchy. That great foothold you want to use will fall off. Jun 23, 2002
Eric Berghorn
Eric Berghorn   Calistoga,CA
As I participated in the installation of this route years ago it was interesting to read these (now ancient) comments. I have probably lead this climb to the anchors 8-10 times over the past 10 years but never redpointed. My last attempts after a LONG lay off showed that the few attempts which have been made here, along with water seepage/ erosion, have ultimately made the climb (especially after 3rd bolt crux) thinner and harder. I would say it's slightly harder than the listed grade, more like 5.11 c/d at the crux. This aesthetic line has great position on the cliff, but contains some very average quality rock & climbing moves (as the the above author suggests.) Above the crux, after the fourth bolt,the climbing gets more interesting . . . Feb 8, 2008
Aron Quiter
Oakland, CA
Aron Quiter   Oakland, CA  
It's been 7 years since I climbed this, I still don't have a redpoint, and it still scares the hell out of me. The hard moves are protected well, but still no evidence of others on it recently. May 11, 2009
Brian Quiter
Oakland, CA
Brian Quiter   Oakland, CA
I too hit up this climb for the first time in years, but want to note some changes from my original description:
1) No dyno necessary, but the crux is still tricky with crumbly feet. I agree with Eric about the ~11c suggestion.
2) There are now 4 bolts leaving ground level that lead into what I had known as the Bear Arete. They follow a seam past another 5.11 section that was quite fun and on solid rock. We did the whole route as 1 pitch, and found our 60 meter rope was long enough to lower us to the 4th class ledge that starts this version of the climb.
2.5) Clipping the 4th bolt on the ground start will significantly add to rope drag up top. The climbing between the 4th bolt and the anchors of the original Bear Arete is about 5.4, so skipping the bolt may improve your comfort later on. May 11, 2009
Jerry Dodrill
Bodega, CA
Jerry Dodrill   Bodega, CA
See entry for "Kodiak" Dec 31, 2009
I understand some of the disappointment with this route. The line is stellar but what starts out as difficult but enjoyable climbing gets stalled by the crux at the base of the second pitch. It usually frustrates and burns you out unless you have rehearsed this section to unlock the sequence. Most people I have observed on this route stay to far to the left here. If I remember, a slight heel hooked out to the right allows you to bump your right hand up twice before gaining a good side pull with the left. The really fun part is finally getting onto the buckets above and watching helplessly as your spent fingers open up. I have taken the worst fall this climb has without trauma if that's any consolation. Jun 9, 2010