Type: Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches, Grade IV
FA: Briggs Brothers, 1985
Page Views: 20,227 total · 95/month
Shared By: Alex Shainman on Jul 27, 2001
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

47 Opinions

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Access Issue: Seasonal Closures Details


Class 4 traverse up and left from below D7 to new bolts on Ariana 1st pitch.

1) (11a) face to (10b) LF corner, diagonal left (avoids 40+' of hummocks and dirt in right side of the Mitten) to large LF corner/Pervertical belay, 130'.

2 )Up LF corner, step right around to RF corner and to top of Mitten 70' (9).

3) Over slot, stem up shaft/LF corner system, traverse left past old bolt/fixed Friend to belay out right 180' (9+).

4) Crux pitch...up finger crack, move left past shakey flakes, up sustained shallow RF corner/crack, inferior belay out right on sloping ledge, 120'.

5) Step left, back into RF corner, pump it to the top of the pillar and huge ledge 140' (11b/c).

6) Straight up inset, pass fixed pin, end on Table Ledge 150' (9).

Walk right to raps, or top out via Kiener's. "An Excellent Outing".


2 sets wired nuts (extra med/sm), 1 set cams (i.e. 0.4 Alien-#3.5 Friend), all belays are mostly fixed (some outdated), 1st pitch has 3 bolts (I replaced the original aid bolts on 7/28/01).


Pitches 1 + 2 to the top of the mitten go in one 60-meter pitch. Anyone who is a solid 5.11 crack climber should not be scared of the rating and get on this route. The crux pitch is sustained and pumpy, but none of the moves are 12a. Jun 27, 2002
I was wondering if anyone knows how clean the thin crack section of Ariana was. I tried to look over while doing Pervertical & it looked kind of grassy, but it's hard to see more than a few feet over very well. Aug 2, 2005
Tod, I remember Ariana being clean all the way up the Obelisk until near the top of 11c pitch, where there's a couple of reaches past chunks of grass in the final 15 feet. Nothing to worry about and you certainly shouldn't let it stop you from doing this classic route!

The first pitch does get really vegetated if you stick to the right side of the Mitten the whole way up, but this is easy to avoid by stepping left as Alex describes. Aug 3, 2005
Cool, thanks for the info. It'll probably have to wait til next year as I'm headed to Peru soon. I'd like to get up there before the whole Obelisk pillar falls off, which it's slowly in the process of doing. Aug 4, 2005
Menlo Park, CA
JP.8d   Menlo Park, CA
This is a steep, clean, and stunning line! Sustained and pumpy at the altitude but mega safe. If in doubt, get on this route! Protects so well and provides great position! Aug 8, 2006
Ross Swanson
Pinewood Springs
Ross Swanson   Pinewood Springs
How does this finger crack compare to say Twin Owls Finger Crack? Aug 13, 2007
Boulder, CO
MauryB   Boulder, CO
We took double Aliens blue through red, a single set of Camalots #0.4 through #3, an extra #0.75, and a set of smaller wires. That turned out to be the perfect rack for us, all I would change is taking two #1 Camalots next time instead of just one. Aug 15, 2008
Fort Collins
Dusty   Fort Collins
This climb is phenomenal. Very enduro. As stated in the other comments, the moves themselves might not warrant a 5.12 grade, but when you stack that many 11+ moves on top of each other with no rests at 14,000 feet, you're in for a fight. I'm not so sure I'd send a 5.11 climber up Ariana, but if you can climb 5.12 cracks and your alpine endurance is high, go for this one! Aug 11, 2009
Gillett's book implies that the bolts on the first pitch are manky and should be replaced. Can anyone comment on whether this has happened yet (book came out in 2001). Dec 30, 2009
Those low bolts on the first pitch were updated in 2001. I used them and loved 'em - thanks, Alex! Dec 30, 2009
Scott Bennett
Scott Bennett   Michigan
Don't overlook the 5.11 pitch after the crux! I onsighted the crux lead, but then I got clustered on the next lead when I ran out of gear 50' from the end of the pitch. Had to lower and backclean, blowing my glorious onsight.

The 5.11 pitch is long and sports no fixed gear, unlike the crux pitch which is maybe 60' and has three crucial fixed wires. The pump builds and builds, and it stays hard all the way to the end.

We had a single run of cams, next time I'd bring doubles from #0.4 to #1 Camalots.

Enjoy! Sep 30, 2010
Was thinking about doing a solo aid of this route. Anyone see any inherent obstacles in this? Was planning on going midweek, fixing the first two pitches one day, sleeping, and then firing the last four pitches the next day. Was hoping to get away with a single 70m rope, and a hammock bivy on broadway. Any concerns, thoughts, or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Jun 18, 2012
justin dubois
Estes Park
justin dubois   Estes Park
Talk to Kevin Stricker, you can find him here on MP. The guy is a rope solo machine, and would have very specific advice. I watched him solo Curving Vine last summer, passing several parties on Pervertical on the way! I can tell you the hammock is not needed, there is a plush little bivy cave right underneath Bright Star. Jun 19, 2012
Bosier Parsons
Colorado Springs, CO
Bosier Parsons   Colorado Springs, CO
On pitch 1, instead of angling left to the left side of The Mitten, step right to a thin crack in the face for about 20 feet of 5.10 climbing. You can then step back left to the right side of The Mitten, avoiding the vegetation and enjoying some easier climbing to the Thumb, about 10 feet below the Mitten anchor on Pervertical. Aug 14, 2012
Spencer Weiler
Salt Lake city
Spencer Weiler   Salt Lake city
vimeo.com/50700100 Oct 23, 2012
Noah McKelvin
Colorado Springs
Noah McKelvin   Colorado Springs
RAD route! Aug 10, 2015
Nicola Masciandaro
Brooklyn, NY
Nicola Masciandaro   Brooklyn, NY
Some footage of Glacier Gorge, All Two Obvious, Spearhead summit, Ariana:

youtu.be/k_-1HhlN10Y Sep 1, 2015
There's currently one fixed wire on the crux pitch. I could've used a couple more.

The P1 boulder problem off the deck felt quite a bit harder than 11a to me. They're thin and relatively difficult to read, but maybe that was just the early start and altitude. Jul 5, 2017
Patrick Vernon
Estes Park, CO
Patrick Vernon   Estes Park, CO
If you are a wimp like me and like to sew things up, I would recommend triples to #1 Camalot size for the .11c pitch. This pitch eats finger and hand-size pieces, plenty of good placements but very easy to run out of gear. Jul 19, 2017