Adventure Projects is hiring a web engineer to join us in Boulder, CO
Mountain Project Logo

Routes in North Face

Aerial S 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Alvin's Route (TR) TR 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Bell Bottom Blues T 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Bottomless Topless T,TR 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Break Out T,TR 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Bypass T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Composure T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Crack of the Eighties T 5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c
Devaluation T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Devaluation Direct T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a R
Disciples Of the New Wave T,S 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Hair Lip T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Hair Shirt T,TR 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Hair and Now S 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Jam Session T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Karl's Gym T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Manic Depression T 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
Molar Concentration T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Monkey Paws T,TR 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
On Edge T 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a PG13
Palsy T,TR 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster T,S 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a PG13
Panic in Detroit T,TR 5.12b/c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
Pea Soup T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Peter Principle T,TR 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Rapid Transit T 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13
Split Pea T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Thing, The T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Two Fingers Gold T 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a R
Order Wrong? Sort Routes
Type: Sport, 60 ft
FA: unknown
Page Views: 5,758 total · 31/month
Shared By: Tony B on Sep 27, 2003
Admins: Aron Quiter, Lurker, Refuge Jared, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

You & This Route

120 Opinions

Your To-Do List:

Add To-Do · View List

Your Star Rating:

     Clear Rating

Your Difficulty Rating:

-none- Change

Your Ticks:

Add New Tick
Access Issue: Donner/Truckee area Details


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 of the right side (a little off of the line, which can go direct). The climb is certainly fun and on good rock with good moves, with 2 definite 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.


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. Feb 22, 2005
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... Mar 6, 2007
I always thought it was 5.11. Apr 21, 2007
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. May 16, 2009
Karsten Duncan
Sacramento, CA
Karsten Duncan   Sacramento, CA
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. Jun 8, 2009
Joe Huggins
Grand Junction
Joe Huggins   Grand Junction
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. Oct 7, 2009
Michael Sokoloff
Spokane, WA
Michael Sokoloff   Spokane, WA
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. Jan 5, 2010
Colonel Mustard
Sacramento, CA
Colonel Mustard   Sacramento, CA
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. Sep 16, 2010
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!" :) Jun 27, 2011
Dave Medara
Dave Medara  
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. Aug 7, 2013
Colin Brochard
  5.11b PG13
Colin Brochard   Austin
  5.11b PG13
Finally got on this one, barely hung on for the onsight. 11b felt pretty dead on to me, but I may have missed some holds. I found this to be a little run out for a 'sport' climb. You would definitely deck from ~25 if you blew clip 3 (which is a possibility for shorter folks who can't easily reach the bolt from the small ledge.) Jun 6, 2016
Josh Lowy
Sacramento, CA
Josh Lowy   Sacramento, CA
Techy and fun arete climb! Led this route yesterday and barely snagged an onsight of it. Bottom crux definitely felt a little reachy and I nearly missed my foot for the top crux. Could definitely see this feeling like a cake walk after a couple repeats but by no means is it easier than 5.11. Aug 31, 2017

More About Aerial