Type: Sport, 120 ft
FA: Worsfold & Richardson (trad+pins), 1988. Bolted variation start added by Hatchett & McKitterick, 1992
Page Views: 4,483 total · 24/month
Shared By: Tony B on Sep 26, 2003 with improvements by Todd Worsfold
Admins: Aron Quiter, Lurker, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

You & This Route

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Todd Worsfold & Dick Ridchardson did an original line in 1998 on gear and pins several years before the rest of the crag was developed. The name of that line, at the time was Kalumete Arete. Dave Hatchett and Jeff & McKitterick added a bolted start named their variation "Big Cheif Arete" in 1992. I do not know exactly how much the bolted line deviates from the original line of gear and pins. OOOPs My profuse apologies!! Big Chief Arete is a completely different line from Kalumete Arete!! You may have actually been describing Big Chief Arete and I thought you were describing Kalumete Arete. Big Chief arete is on the right edge of the photo in the post. Kalumete is a far more imposing arete, and also somewhat matches your description (especially the crack at the end. KA is the Arete just left of the tall pines, and right of two chimneys. 

regardless, this was the best line I got on at the cliff, and the tallest. From the notch of the north pass, come down past the first major formation of dihedrals and aretes to the second formation, there you will pass an arete of considerable height. There are two routes on or near it, the left-most being 'Headrush' (1-move 10+) and the right most being Big Chief Arete. B.C.A. climbs up and right past bolts though various facets of face, dihedral, overhang, and slab and then curves back left toward the top of Headrush, passing within clipping distance of the anchors of it at about 80-90 feet up. This can serve as an alternate belay/rappel unless you have 15 draws and 2 ropes (a 60m rope doesn't even come close).The climbing to this anchor is probably 5.10b or c. Beyond this anchor, moving up and right you will see a bolt, and a placement for a 1" cam (can be nice). The moves to pass this section are long reaches from underclings and a so-so hand jam in a flaring crack/slot while moving right through the overhang (5.11a) and onto the face above. Clip a few more bolts on the face to reach the anchor above.

Rap with 2 ropes, or in 2 raps, or *possibly* with a 70M, with caution.


About 15 QDs if done as one pitch. If stopping at the anchors of Headrush to belay, 10. Either way, haveing a few longer slings is a good idea, as the route and line of bolts is not always direct. a 1" TCU can add pro right at the crux and make the climbing less heady.


San Francisco, CA
adam14113   San Francisco, CA
Awesome climb. Was able to do it with a 70 meter ... and I stress the word barely. My friend had to walk up the hill next to the wall to get me on the ground, be sure to tie a knot in the end of the rope. With the rope stretch gone doing a top rope with a 70 isn't possible. Jul 18, 2010
Todd Worsfold
San Francisco, CA
Todd Worsfold   San Francisco, CA
Yes there are two starts: The left is the original (protected by gear and pins) was first done in 1988 by Worsfold and Dick Richardson. It was named Kalumete Arete.The right-hand start is a bolted sport start, which was added later. Yes, it is one of the longest lines (besides Copper Feather), but I think there is some confusion. Big Chief Arete, 11a, is a separate arete (Done by Dave and Jeff in 1993) which follows the right-hand skyline in the attached photo. Kalumete arete, is just left of the tall pines. Green Hornet (Peyote ascends the rib/green face between the two chimneys and Running Bull 11.d starts just left of the left chimney. Feb 10, 2018
The crux hold may have broken on the sport bolted line of Kalumete (not Big Chief) Arete. There is a rock scar just above the crux bolt that left a sloping 2 finger pocket. I could not figure out the sequence but it felt at least 5.12. Aug 8, 2018
Ryan Pfleger
North Lake Tahoe, CA
Ryan Pfleger   North Lake Tahoe, CA
Kalumet Arete and Big Chief Arete are two separate climbs, going up two different aretes. Kalumet Arete has an original gear line and a newer sport variation. There is a crux midway up Kalumet around where a project line splits off to the right. My partner fell a couple times sussing out the move, and I managed it first try after watching what finally worked for him. A difficult one or two finger hold for your right hand while your left searches around the corner of the arete. It is possibly harder than 11a, but I think that is the general range. I definitely don't think its 5.12. Sep 5, 2018