North Arete, Crystal Crag 5.7

 
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High Sierra, California USA

  • Currently 3.0/5
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Summary of All Ratings

SuperTopo Rating:   
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  • 5
 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
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  • 5
 (4.0)
Your Rating:     (none)
Rating Distribution
3 Total Ratings
5 star: 67%  (2)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 33%  (1)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Nick "The Brick"

Trad climber
Fresno, CA
Jul 15, 2013 - 02:59am
 
So stoked for this route! It will be my first alpine lead this saturday. Any tips for pro? Or anything sketchy to look out for?
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Fletcher

Gym climber
A very quiet place
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   Jul 15, 2013 - 07:26am
I've lead it before and it's a fun route. The pro is good and there are lots of options. The crystal part near the top is very cool.

The descent off the top ridge over the back looks trickier than it is. We did one rap, but upon doing that realized it's down-climbable if you're careful.

Have fun!
Eric
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Capt.

climber
some eastside hovel
Jul 15, 2013 - 07:43am
 
Ton-o-loose stuff.Wear a helmet.Careful what you pull on.Have fun.
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phylp

Trad climber
Millbrae, CA
Jul 15, 2013 - 06:11pm
 
Very straightforward. Only one very short section of 5.7 crack. The loose stuff is on very easy ground - basically 3rd class at that point. I don't recall placing anything bigger than hand size.
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10b4me

climber
Jul 15, 2013 - 06:32pm
 
The loose stuff was on the Crystal pitch.
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WML

climber
Edge of the Electric Ocean Beneath Red Rock
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   Jul 15, 2013 - 07:41pm
Soloed this last year. Very meh, the crystal pitch was neat. Loose rock in the crux from what I recall, but routefinding on that thing can be somewhat nebulous.
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meatball

Trad climber
Bay Area, CA
Jul 15, 2013 - 10:36pm
 
Did the route a couple weekends ago. I admit I kinda (really) messed up with route finding and did what the above photo describes as the north face variation. I thought it was super loose and would just reccomend staying on the north arete proper.
I wish the guidebook I read (not supertopo) had gone something like this:
Climb the chimney and continue left. Stay left. Stay on the dang arete (which by the way is left). Continue up to the crystal pitch and climb it. Traverse along the ridge-top to the south summit (if you're directionally challenged it's the one furthest from the point where you topped out).
FYI found a fixed pin in the middle of the crystal pitch.
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Riley Wyna

Trad climber
A crack near you
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   Jul 16, 2013 - 11:03pm
Soloed this last summer.
The climbing on the actual face/arÍte is loose and alright - you will be "what the crap" at first. Definitely bang on everything a bit before you commit. Gear is good where you need it but I have no idea about anchors. Soloing through the crystal pitch is bad ass but I found it loose as well. Maybe this route is as loose as some Canadian Rocky Quartzite routes?

What makes the route 5 stars is the position and the ridge traverse on top. When you top out that is when the true fun begins. It's hard to picture it until you climb the route but it is sick.

You could do worse things with your time than climb this route every morning of your life.
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Fletcher

Gym climber
A very quiet place
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   Jul 16, 2013 - 11:17pm
I agree with Riley. The first part is kind of a hike but it starts to get interesting when you cross over an airy ramp. I think I had a belay here (it was many moons ago) and for me the crux move with the first move up out of that ramp into the crystal pitch. Then it's pretty easy, but dang, like others have said, pretty loose and very cool. I recall being very ginger with the rope and where it ran for fear of knocking something sizeable off.

Edit: Just remembered I had some photos from the climb:

The airy ramp:
Airy ramp on Crystal Crag
Airy ramp on Crystal Crag
Credit: Fletcher

A couple of shots of the cool Crystal pitch.
Nice light on the crystal pitch
Nice light on the crystal pitch
Credit: Fletcher

More crystal coolness.
More crystal coolness.
Credit: Fletcher

Hard to have a bad day with this guy!
At the top with a fine fellow and character, 10b4me.
At the top with a fine fellow and character, 10b4me.
Credit: Fletcher
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10b4me

climber
Jul 15, 2013 - 07:16am
 
Been eight years since I climbed it, but as I recall, pro was good.
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Crystal Crag - North Arete 5.7 - High Sierra, California USA. Click to Enlarge
Crystal Crag Overview
Photo: Luke Lydiard
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It's climber slang for information or tips on a route as in, "what's the beta on that route?" As a service to fellow climbers we ask SuperTopo guidebook users to post tips and updates to this website if they have relevant information to share after a climb.