BETA PHOTO: Snowshed Wall - north face, west side.
The prominent arete can be seen from the parking pullout. The blunt feature really climbs on both sides, and can be identified from the base by the large hanging flakes near the top pf the right side (a little off of the line, which can go direct).The book-given grade of 11b seems overgraded.The climb is certainly fun and on good rock with good moves, with 2 definate cruxes along the way, mostly on small but positive holds. Rap off from the top when complete.
5 or 6 draws to reach a 2-bolt anchor. The anchor is up over the top, so to lower off or TR, take longer slings or some cord.
Everything is 5.9 or 5.10 if you climb it enough, ratings for any area should be based on an on-sight lead attempt. Down-grading a climb that you have "wired" creates a dangerous situation for a visiting climber. Check your hat sizes for any recent changes.
By Karsten From: Sacramento, CA Jun 8, 2009 rating: 5.10d6b+21VII+21E3 5b
Recently gave this route the true onsite and don't think its anywhere close to .11b. I think it is a very technical climb but comparing it to some of the other climbs in the area I think giving it a .10d rating is generous. The crux sections are all well protected.
This goes back to the age old debate about ratings but remember that they are just a guide. I think that if you were a .10b climber that you would not get hurt on this climb in its current state. Whether you TR or lead it, this is a fun climb.
By Joe Huggins From: 666 Rue le Jour-Edge City Oct 7, 2009
I remember doing Ariel in '84, scared shitless. Years later I lived in Zephyr Cove and climbed it again with my wife, noticing that it had about twice as many bolts...much more fun that way.
Heh. It seems like if you quiz the locals, every climb at this crag is soft. They must be practicing the "straight face" grading method: whatever grade you can give a climb and still keep a straight face.
By 213blc From: THA WEST COAST Jun 27, 2011 rating: 5.11a6c22VII+22E3 5c
Very cool climb in fantastic position. Very balancy and sequency, which is likely what leads to the great rating debate. I say its an honest 11a for the onsite (which is what matters right?), since you can get a bit pumped on small crimps/sidepulls while looking for the moves and figuring out the sequence, but once you run a few laps it becomes much easier. 5.10+/5.11-? Whatever. Just remember the advice of Steve Petro (he was referring to Fiddler on the Roof .13+, but logic applies throughout climbing), 'Don't slap the route if you're shaky at the grade!" :)
By Dave Medara Aug 7, 2013 rating: 5.11b6c23VIII-23E3 5c
I remember doing the route in the mid-90's and thinking it was light for the grade (11b) then. I've since done the route many times and sometimes find it easy and other times desperate and out of balance. I think at least a grade of 11a is merited if not the original grade of 11b.