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Athenian Arete is a great climb but unfortunately its quality is interrupted by some discontinuous, dirty sections of climbing and occasional sections of poor-quality rock. However, despite getting dirty and having to fight hordes of daddy-long-legs for crucial finger locks, I had a blast on this climb.
Start in the dihedral system just right of The Martyr by scrambling up 10-15' onto a good staging ledge.
P1: From the ledge, lieback or jam up a beautiful pink and yellow dihedral for about 30 feet with a difficult exit move to a good stance. From here you have to climb up and over some dirty, nasty rock via finger cracks and edges for the feet, until you can step up underneath an obvious, small roof. Get a good hand jam under the roof and step right, pulling up past it to another stance (5.11). From here continue up until you can clip the first of 5 or 6 bolts on the arete. There is some fragile rock and sketchy holds on the arete, but it more than makes up for this with incredible position and good moves. This section is probably 30 feet long and is sustained 5.11, the 5.12- crux coming at the last two bolts. Belay on the huge ledge at two cold-shuts.
P2: Choose your own adventure. You are aiming for the obvious roof/chimney/cave thingy about 75' over your head, but you can get there via any of several dihedrals, slabs, or aretes. They're all kinda junky until you get about 40 feet up and step into a very nice crack just right of the "yellow corner" on the Martyr. Pull up into the roof and pull over it using cracks and good jams (solid 5.10).
Standard rack with an emphasis on thin-hands pieces and quickdraws.
BETA PHOTO: P1 roof.
BETA PHOTO: Cold shuts above the roof.
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