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South West Arete T 

South West Arete 

YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c R

Type:  Trad, Alpine, 7 pitches, 1400', Grade IV
Original:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c R [details]
FA: Galen Rowell, David Lomba
Season: summer
Page Views: 288
Submitted By: R.F. Battitude on Jul 5, 2014

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BETA PHOTO: topo by R.F. Battitude


This route is a classic and forgotten gem of the High Sierra. The description that follows is an account of a 2014 ascent and may or may not be exactly the original route, as no traces of any fixed slings or hardware were found. As with most Charlotte dome routes, many variations surly exist. The Initial 4 pitch tower could likely be climbed on its right side and may be the real or a better start. The rock is mostly of the same high quality, but certainly less traveled than the classic South Face route. Expect a few loose holds and a little more lichen, but by alpine standards its great. And besides, you didn't walk all the way out here just climb one route did you?

p1. Climb thin flakes and corners on easy slab with sparse gear. >5.6 Go right at a roof and around a bushy chimney on huge easy knobs. Belay at the base of a hand crack. 60+m

p.2 Climb a great hand crack through a sea of knobs. After intersecting a dike band traverse right on knobs to a slabby crux move (5.7R) before a huge ledge with bushes. 60m
This pitch is about as hard/serious as the South Face's p8 but shorter lived.

p3. Avoid the grungy choss and bush filled chimney by climbing on the right up 5.7 flakes to a nice pillar with a hand crack. keep going past a huge horn and belay higher at a nice ledge. 60m
I thought this pitch was the only on route that is unpleasant by most standards. It has a fair amount of loose but mostly avoidable blocks, though I would say it climbs better than it looks

p4. Continue the corner on fun climbing with much better rock. When you top out a big ledge/tower, traverse to the left into a right facing corner and then belay on an airy ledge. 60m

p5. Climb up and left to an incredible and exposed 5.7R Lay-back Arete with great face holds. After 20ft or so a small dihedral opens and provides a few pieces. continue up and over the tower and traverse the around the next small tower on the left (north) side and make a belay. 50m

p6. Continue the ridge and move right (south) around the next tower on big bushy ledges.-class4. Either move the belay to here or have your second simul-climb (easy).

p6-cont. Airy chimney moves between towers brings you to a notch below the next buttress. Climb the splitter and belay at a horn that is about 70m from pitch 5

p7. From here about 100 meters of fun easy ramps with numerous splitters lead to the top. You can walk around and up the summit block, but the fun set of exposed 5.8 mantels on the west side is much more memorable!


Walk past the classic South Face and up to the trees below a huge alcove. Scramble around and down and make your way over to a huge grassy gully that comes from the saddle on the backside of Charlotte. The route starts on the toe of the buttress near a big chockstone in the bottom of the gully.


1-2 x .6''-2''
1 x 3''
Nuts, many slings including a few double lengths for tie-offs

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