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Northwest Arete

Northwest Arete

Northwest Arete

Page Type: Route

Location: Wyoming, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 43.70190°N / 110.8161°W

Object Title: Northwest Arete

Route Type: Technical Rock

Time Required: A long day

Difficulty: IV, 5.9

Route Quality: 
 - 2 Votes


Page By: b.

Created/Edited: Oct 7, 2003 / Oct 7, 2003

Object ID: 159018

Hits: 3688 

Page Score: 73.06%  - 3 Votes 

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Follow the Avalanche Canyon approach trail to Lake Taminah. From the lake, the Northwest Arete forms the right edge of Wister. Walk 20 minutes to the base of the Arete, a grassy ledge about 50-60 feet right of the couloir at the base of a prominent crack.

Route Description

The Arete rises roughly 1800 feet from base to summit. Ten or more pitches of "fairly sustained climbing on excellent rock with good protection" (Ortenberger/Jackson). From the ledge, follow the crack straight up to a good belay just left of a chimney (5.9). Follow the awkward but fun chimney for a full pitch (5.8). 3-4 more leads of scrambling and 5.7 cracks get you to a spot just below the huge gendarme, looking up at a V-shaped crack. Follow the crack (5.8) for about 50 feet, then scramble to the base of the chimney. Climb the chimney and exit through a keyhole (classic fun!). Some slabs and scrambling take you to the second tower, or shoulder. Climb up and right, regaining the crest at the first possible crack. (This is not on the right of the crest, I think. We went right of the crest and encountered different terrain to the broad ledge, a 5.7 crack to a skinny notch.) Follow the ridge until it steepens. From this wall, you can go up two cracks (40, then 50 ft, 5.8) or traverse right then up a 5.4 crack to a notch and a broad ledge. 5.7 (wierd pro) slabs get you around the headwall to scrambling above. Follow easy ground to the base of the West summit. Climb the west summit, descend, wrap around the central summit to the True (Eastern) summit. To descend, retrace the summit moves (tricky downclimb) to the col West of all three summits. Drop down to the South until it is possible to traverse right to the Wister-Veiled Peak saddle. Follow the easy gully down to Snowdrift Lake and descend to Taminah via ledges and trails on the North side of the creek.

Essential Gear

Bring a standard rack, with a large piece (#4 Camalot) to make the second pitch less spicy. One rope will suffice, there are no rappels, and the route was put up in 1966 with 50m ropes. There may be some snow to cross to the base of the route, but crampons are generally not necessary. The descent was snow free in July, and can be descended without and axe. With judicious use of the nut tool ice axe, all snow can be dealt with safely.

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.


The North Faces of Buck and...The first pitch (5.9) of the...The Northwest Arete route...Gato at the upper Taminah...