Box Car Arete
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On the arete
This is a two pitch route, but the first pitch is a worthy journey by itself.
Tenuous steep slab and arete climbing is the name of the game here. The first pitch is VERY long (40m), and you'll be welcoming the anchors when you see them. This is a sport route, but there are plenty of opportunities for big swinging falls and some of the clips are tricky - so don't jump on this if it is way above your grade. Many of the moves are exposed, and you need to work both sides of the arete to find the path of least resistance and many of the sequences are not obvious. Sometimes it feels like the world disappears beneath your feet - very exciting!
Towards the top of the first pitch you'll encounter two bolts right on the arete - stop here if you intend to do the "right" version of the 2nd pitch. This isn't a great stance unfortunately. Continue up to the big ledge with multiple sets of bolted anchors if you intend to climb the other version of the 2nd pitch (which is the rightmost bolted line off this ledge).
I've only climbed the "right" version of the 2nd pitch. From the chain anchors on the arete, move up and right through very steep and challenging climbing. Fortunately it is well bolted (though the first bolt off the anchor is a ways). I found this climbing very difficult and hard to read - more 11- than 10+ in my book. The steep climbing takes you back onto the arete, and more tenuous arete work. A weird move from left to right across the arete finishes the difficult climbing. You'll end on a big ledge.
If you've left your stuff at the top, you can do a dirty 5.7 pitch (bring nuts and a #1 Camalot) to gain a scramble off.
Otherwise, rappel from the upper big ledge to the lower ledge with one rope (a 60m will make it). Then rappel from the lower ledge with either two ropes, or you can stop at an intermediate stance about 40 feet off the ground. The anchors are hidden in the big corner.
Start just left of Guide's Route. 3 bolts lead up from the ground, and then the bolts head out left on the arete.
Bolts, LOTS of them. Bring long slings for the first 5-6 bolts.
About a third of the way up the Box Car Arete.
By Nick Stayner
From: Billings, MT
Aug 5, 2006
rating: 5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
I thought this was .11a/b? DEFINITELY a worthy undertaking! The most classic sport pitch of its grade in Jackson. 14 clips.