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Unsorted Routes:

Kelly's Arete 

YDS: 5.12a French: 7a+ Ewbanks: 25 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 25 British: E5 6a

Type:  Sport, 30'
Original:  YDS: 5.12a French: 7a+ Ewbanks: 25 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 25 British: E5 6a [details]
FA: Kelly Gorder
Page Views: 2,220
Submitted By: Adam Therneau on May 19, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (28)
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Crux of Kelly's Arete. Nate Erickson. Sept, 2012.


Easily overlooked because of its longer, more popular neighbors to the right on the winter wall; Kelly's Arete offers superb, delicate climbing up the arete just to the left of Jam and Jelly. Start up the crack until you can reach left and clip the first bolt. At this point it is possible to move out onto the arete proper and begin the real climbing. A good sidepull allows a long reach to clip the second bolt before beginning the crux, one of the best sequences you'll encounter at the bluff. Reaching from a small left hand undercling, the right is bumped up the arete until a decent pinch is found. Smearing the right foot against a ripple in the rock, the left is brought up to a good edge parallel with the undercling. This position seems tailor made to generate an uncontrollable barndoor swing when the left hand is released, but with a deep dropknee you can release your hand just long enough to make an enormous reach to a slopey pocket up high. A few desperate bumps and you can reach a decent hold around the arete to the right, leading to easier but still technical moves to reach the chains. Unfortunately, clipping the third bolt is very difficult and comes right in the middle of the crux sequence, necessitating a horrible heelhook. Some have chosen to skip the third bolt and climb through the crux before clipping. This should be done with caution though, as a large fall is risked on a very short climb, and a grounder could occur. Perhaps clipping the second bolt with a locking biner instead of a draw would help slightly, and obviously an attentive belayer is a must! However you choose to do it, Kelly's Arete offers some of the bluff's most aesthetic climbing and should be high on everyone's ticklist.


Bolts--Can also be easily TR'ed by leading Jam and Jelly, which ends on the same ledge. Please use your own gear for top rope.

Photos of Kelly's Arete Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Darin Limvere on Kelly's Arete. December 2006.
Darin Limvere on Kelly's Arete. December 2006.
Rock Climbing Photo: Nate Erickson on Kelly's Arete. Sept, 2012.
Nate Erickson on Kelly's Arete. Sept, 2012.
Rock Climbing Photo: Kelly's Arete is one of the most striking lines on...
Kelly's Arete is one of the most striking lines on...
Rock Climbing Photo: Shantan on Kelly's Arete, early 2004.
Shantan on Kelly's Arete, early 2004.
Rock Climbing Photo: Just starting the crux
Just starting the crux
Rock Climbing Photo: Moving onto the climb from Jam and Jelly.
Moving onto the climb from Jam and Jelly.

Comments on Kelly's Arete Add Comment
Show which comments
By Adam Therneau
Nov 15, 2006

Wonderful, technical arete climbing. Only drawback is the difficulty of clipping the third bolt.
By Jonathan Williams
From: Minneapolis
Mar 5, 2007
rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a

One of the best and most underappreciated 12a's at the Bluff.
By randy baum
From: Minneapolis, MN
Oct 11, 2008

not to nit pick, but the description of this route contains way too much beta! jesus, man. what's left to discover? revealing too much can ruin the sense of adventure one might feel when first attempting the route. if we're gonna have descriptions this detailed, why not include some type of beta disclaimer. i've seen these all over this site.

other than that, fun climb. too bad it's so short. crux lies in climbing past the third bolt, though -- contrary to what some say -- clipping that bolt is not difficult. just takes some footwork.
By Jonathan Williams
From: Minneapolis
Nov 23, 2008
rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a

Just stop reading the description if you think it's too much. Nobody's forcing you to read it. Who cares.
By ChrisFrayer
From: Platteville, Wi
Oct 30, 2011
rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a

This climb is great! clipping the third bolt is no problem. Heel hook around the arete with left hand on the undercling, or go one move past it. To bad its not longer.
By Nick.Smith Smith
From: Saint Paul, Minnesota
Jul 2, 2014
rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a

Undercling is gone. I'd like to hear if anyone has any idea's on new beta. PM me please.
By peter graupner
From: stillwater,mn
Jul 15, 2014

I broke the hold off awhile ago, and that sucks cause I love this climb. it still can be done the same way its just a lot harder. the under cling is now a under crimp cling.....classic red wing
By Dommer
Sep 13, 2015

I don't know what this line was like with the undercling, but it still goes at 12a or 12b. Fantastic line with fantastic movement.
By Paul K.
From: West Fargo, ND
Oct 4, 2015

I've heard talk of a broken hold, but I've tried this route for a few years and just climbed it, and it climbs the exact same as I've climbed it before. Maybe I just climb it differently than most people.

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