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Alpine Aretes


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This question spawned from a recent arete slapping nightmare at smith, on a little route know as The Blade...





DFA don't have no alpine arete stories, but the good Doctor has been on Das Blade. The guidebook does such a splendid old-school sandbag job on that one..."surprisingly technical for the grade"...more like surprisingly harder than Chain Reaction for the grade. cry.gif The Doc almost made it to the second bolt before making L.C. finish it, and barely made it up the thing on TR. Apparently, Slit Your Wrist is pretty horrendous for .13b, as well; little surprise there. boxing_smiley.gif

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is that Mt Baring? Is there an Arete climb on it? Looks like some slab ice...anyone ever checked it out?

Oops, sorry, it's a "prow"

Dolomite Tower-Prow Route

V, 5.9, A3


"A new route established by Brian Burdo, at considerable effort and expense, ascending the north arete of Dolomite Tower. 13 pitches."

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So, I usually equate alpine routes with summits. If something has a summit, then typically I wouldn't call an entire route an arrete, but a ridge, like in Dru's photo. Yes it is two faces coming together like an arrete, but I equate arrete's with smaller features of a bigger picture in the alpine. You can have short sections of arretes in the alpine but the route could also have face climbing, dihedrals, and chimneys too. An arrete is much smaller than a ridge, obviously. WHere it gets tricky is places like SMith or places like the dolomites. Red Rocks, Yosemite, and other big walls come to mind as well.

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I think there is some confusion and rightly so. Arete as websters defines it is a "sharp crested ridge in rugged mountains". Cunning rock linguists started using the term to describe features on a crag so there is the confusion. I think I tried the Blade once too. At the time a friend? said we should try that as he had done the route years ago. I didnt make it too far. An awesome arete is Ionic Strength in JT.

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