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Royal Rocklette Arête 

YDS: 5.11a French: 6c Ewbanks: 22 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 22 British: E3 5c

Type:  Trad, 18 pitches, 1500', Grade III
Original:  YDS: 5.11a French: 6c Ewbanks: 22 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 22 British: E3 5c [details]
FA: James Garrett, Tim Toula, and Peter Krainz, 26 July, 2010
New Route: Yes
Season: Summer and Fall
Page Views: 6,088
Submitted By: James Garrett on Aug 3, 2010

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The view looking out over I-70.


This new addition climbs lower wall slab (The Raclette) pitches and joins the Royal Flush variation pitches at the middle sector and then horizontally crosses the boulderfield and continues up the Northeast Ridge (arete) to the summit of Mount Royal. For clarity, the 2nd and 3rd class sections are counted as pitches. The first 7 (most frequently climbed) pitches may be confused for being part of Royal Flush but can serve as an alternative start to avoid crowding on RF.

The route was equipped and climbed and cleaned ground up. With that said, wear helmets and pull down with caution and mindful of other climbers. Very fun! In general, the rock is excellent.

Though a "Plaisir" (casual, fun, well protected) climb like Royal Flush, one move of obligatory 5.10a climbing is required. All belays are bolted.

Approach as for Royal Flush and find the start about 25m up and right. Once on route and following the cairns on the mid sector scree fields, it is pretty straightforward to stay the course.

Pitch #1: Easy slab up great rock to a two-bolt belay. 5 bolts, 5.5, 30m.

Pitch #2: Continue up a short section with fun features. 2 bolts, 5.5, 15m.

Pitch #3: Climb beautiful rock up and right passing a small overhang. 5 bolts, 1 piton, 5.7, 20m.

Pitch #4: Climb straight up to the big ledge at the base of the White Crystal Dike Pitch of Royal Flush to a two bolt belay. 1 bolt, 5.5, 15m.

Pitch #5: Continue straight up from the anchors up great rock to a cruxy overhang. 6 bolts, 5.10b, 25m.

Pitch #6: As for Royal Flush, cross a broad ledge and climb a face to a faint spur to the Res von Känel memorial plaque belay. 5 bolts, 5.8, 25m.

Pitch #7: A short pitch to finish the lower wall. 2 bolts, 5.5, 15m.

Pitch #8: Move right around a tree and gain a big ledge. Follow cairns to the left as for Royal Flush and hike to the base of the "white rib" pitch. 3rd class, 100m.

Pitch #9: Climb the excellent white rib pitch to a two-bolt belay next to a dead snag. 6 bolts, 5.7, 20m.

Pitch #10: Climb straight up passing interesting, small roofs and facial features finishing the mid-wall sector. 7 bolts, 5.8, 25m.

Pitch #11: Now you are on the upper boulder field where cairns will lead you either straight up to the Royal Flush Apron or for RRA, follow cairns that lead left and to the base of the rock. Continue on a trail to the base of the NE arete. A piece of red tat is tied around a tree marking the start of the following pitches. 2nd class, 150m.

Pitch #12: Climb up the slab to the first of several overhangs. The first roof past the 2nd bolt is the well-protected, tricky crux. Surmount it and continue up easier terrain past a white crystal rockband to the next interesting overhang and continue to the belay on a small ledge. 7 bolts, 5.11a, 25m.

Pitch #13: Climb straight up to a roof and turn it to the right and continue up the beautiful, blunt arete to a nice belay ledge. 6 bolts, 5.10a, 30m.

Pitch #14: Move up and right past a steep step finishing the pitch climbing a pillar-like section avoiding some looseness to the belay. 3 bolts, 5.7, 30m.

Pitch #15: Wall Register here...spray away. Dirty and loose, but easy climbing up some cruxy steep step-like features to a two-bolt belay. 4 bolts, 5.8, 50m.

Pitch #16: Bearing right or as much on the ridge as possible, pass a bolt on a dirty slab to another steep step. Climb some face moves to an OW and the final two bolt belay. 2 bolts, 5.6, 50m.

Pitch #17: Climb through steep boulders, some sections of which are quite loose and belay where needed. 4th class, 60m.

Pitch #18: Continue on easy scrambling to El Cumbre. 4th class, 60m.

Descend via the Mount Royal Hiking trail to the south.


Hike 5 minutes on the Bike Path to the West until a clearing and climbers trail marked by cairns leads to the base of Royal Flush. Continue up and right a short distance (25m?) to the Royal Rocklette Arete.


10 QDs and multiple shoulder runners.
Set of C3s.
Set of Camalots from #0.5-#2.
Assorted nuts.

Photos of Royal Rocklette Arête Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Unfortunately, the views of Lake Dillon are the be...
Unfortunately, the views of Lake Dillon are the be...
Rock Climbing Photo: On the Arete looking East.
On the Arete looking East.
Rock Climbing Photo: Elias coming up my pitch one (which is pitch 12-13...
BETA PHOTO: Elias coming up my pitch one (which is pitch 12-13...
Rock Climbing Photo: The wire brush is here for good reason, scrub away...
The wire brush is here for good reason, scrub away...
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking up at the roof and start of the Rocklette.
BETA PHOTO: Looking up at the roof and start of the Rocklette.
Rock Climbing Photo: Didn't quite get the entire lower sector in the ph...
Didn't quite get the entire lower sector in the ph...

Comments on Royal Rocklette Arête Add Comment
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By James Garrett
Sep 14, 2010

"Res, wi het so vil Zit chönnä verga sit du vo üs gangä bisch? I redä mit diär all Tag. So wi denn am Flughafä vo Amman, das het miär so vil bedütet. Hiä ds Colorado isch ä witäri Routä für dig, Res, obwohl ig sicher bi, dass si net so homogen isch, wi du das gärn hättisch. Diä Plaisir-Routä isch für dig, mi Brüätsch. Diner Gescht würdes liäbä sä mit diär z machä. Jitzä si hiä i derä Gägend zwo lengi Plaisir-Routinä diär gwidmet... sogar dr Zuäschtig isch numä füf Minuti! Irgendinisch, weni umi schtarch gnuä bi, würdi ni diä Routä so gärn mit Remo machä.
Du bisch mis Härz, Resli. Du machsches z schlah i dirä Abwäsähit. Du machsches z füählä. Du werisch so schtolz uf diner zwü grossartigä Chind Remo u Vera... das isch ja o sälbschtverschtendlig, si hi schliässlig ä Bärner-Muätter. Was brucht mä meh i disem Läbä odr im nägschtä?"

Thanks to Corinne for the perfect translation into Res' beautiful Oberland Dialect on the one year anniversary of his death.
By Rob Griz
From: Frisco
Oct 3, 2010
rating: 5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

Found the time to hit the Rocklette. Another nice line on Royal done in similar style to the Flush. A great option to the newly-popular Flush route, allows you to also pass parties to the summit.
A few tips on the line:
1. Upon reaching the talus field, trend left, low. Don't walk up to the base of the headwall and go left as this cliffs you out on some shitty slabs. Cairns mark the way through talus and the fir trees to the base of the Arete proper.
2. The crux move is almost right off the deck and 'on' for the grade, but don't let it hold you back from trying. Looks possible to aide through via a flared finger crack. The lichen is heavy, I'd never be up there when it could be wet.
3. We led it basically in 2- 70m pitches. Link Ps 12-13 and 14-16, soloed the 4th a short way (15m) to the gully descent.
4. P-13 seems more like 5.9 than 5.10, depending on your comfort level with lichen-covered rock.
5. We didn't use any trad gear, the bolts were in places you needed them to be. Took along 18-20 QDs to link multiple pitches (we ran the Flush route from the base to the Rocklette Arete in 3 pitches simul-climbing, under 50 mins.)
6. My guess is that the last true 'pitch' is marked by another old red rope tied around a cool flake. You can summit and walk off via the hiking trail (best idea for most) or descend the gully immediately to the left. If you take the gully descent, descend 100m to a constriction/slab area. You will need to make two, back-2-back 30m rappels (single 60m rope). There is a short walk between rappels, you will see where you need to make the 2nd rap. From there, you are at an overhanging wall/cave area, look around the corner, it's the start of the Arete route. Follow down and right a bit (through some small talus), picking your way down slabs and steep, slippery, loose "game trail". At some point near the bottom, you will pick up a steep, dirt gully that angles to the right below a steep face, follow it down and left, passing an old gated mine shaft. Good foot trail leads to the fenced natural gas pipeline adjacent to the bike path, pass around to the right. This descent is EXPOSED a bit in places and is not really recommended, especially in the dark!

My 2-cents, Enjoy! Griz
By JKoehn Koehn
Sep 20, 2011

For those wishing to exhibit bad judgment as my partner and I did, know that climbing this route in the rain adds an exciting element. Even the easy pitches down low were a full on slip-and-slide. The arete above the crux pitch was quite hard without using your feet. Totally worth it! Probably good when it's dry too....
By Brady Robinson
Oct 5, 2011

I agree with John - our rain ascent was memorable and fun! The crux was so wet that chalk made the holds much worse and involved a few campus moves with feet dangling uselessly below. That said, there is enough friction to climb this route when it is wet, the lichens aren't that bad. I nearly killed John with a rock which had been hiding in a bush during an attempt to sneak past a slabby crux down low. The many bolts keep the commitment level relatively low. A fun romp, not quite three star quality IMO but worth doing nonetheless.
By Mike Bannister
Jul 14, 2013

The crux 5.11a and 5.10 pitches after it are very worth doing. After that, it turns into an adventure scramble that may or may not be your bag. Take care on the upper pitches not to knock rocks onto the Royal Flush.

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