Type: Trad, 6 pitches, Grade IV
FA: Layton Kor and Larry Dalke, 1962
Page Views: 26,100 total · 105/month
Shared By: Julian Smith on Sep 27, 2003
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC

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Description Suggest change

"The Russian Arete, you know, like Russian roulette" (a quote by Layton Kor taken from Black Canyon Rock Climbs by Robbie Williams).

As its name implies, the Russian Arete is a long, loose climb. The climbing is good and clean, due to much traffic over the years, but the loose rocks, flakes, and boulders are everywhere to be found. Remember to pull down and not out. That being said, the Russian Arete is a wonderful climb, ascending a series of chimneys for 800 feet, not including scrambling, from the river to the rim. Do not the let loose rock be a deterrence, but rather delight in a pleasant ascent of a Black Canyon classic. Expect 8 - 200 foot pitches on the route plus much scrambling to get to the base of the route from the river and the back off the thing to the rim. From the campground on the North Rim, descend the SOB Gully almost to the river. Look for 2 gullies on the downstream side. Head up the gully on the left, on third class terrain, aiming for the base of a large pillar. The climbing begins on the right side of the pillar, heading up a series of wide cracks. There are many ledges in this area, climb to the highest one possible and belay.

Pitch 1. Climb the wide cracks as high as possible, and belay on a ledge beneath the pink "railroad cracks" that identifies the 2nd pitch, 5.8, 200 feet.

Pitch 2. Do more of the same. Continue up the crack system, through the best climbing on the route, encountering a little bit of everything, hands, roof, and chimney. Belay where suitable, as high as possible, 5.9+, 200 feet.

Pitch 3. Climb more of the same. Get the picture yet? Continue up a series of chimneys, belay as high as possible, 5.8, 200 feet.

Pitch 4, 5, and 6. Climb more chimneys. There is supposed to be a 5.9 crack in this area somewhere, but with all of the chimneys, it gets lost in the shuffle. 5.8 to 5.9 200 feet each pitch.

Now for the finish. Head up to the rim. Continue roped climbing for at least 2 more pitches or so to reach easier terrain that can be comfortably scrambled. Head to the highest point possible and back into the woods, trending ever so slightly to the right until the trail back to the ranger station is encountered. It is a good mile to mile and a half, depending on the level of dehydration and exhaustion, back to the ranger station. The route can be checked out from the North Rim overlook. Use Black Canyon Rock Climbs by Robbie Williams as a reference. Enjoy.

Protection Suggest change

Bring a standard Black Canyon rack, up to #4 Camalot.