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For the Tick-List: The Red Arete is a Five-Pitch 5.13c in Eldo

A modern test-piece envisioned by a leading American climber in one of the world's most well-known rock climbing canyons

Colorado’s Eldorado Canyon has several classic rock climbs and areas, including Mickey Mouse Wall. The crag is loaded with difficult lines, including The Red Dihedral 5.12R.

Last year, Josh Wharton and Phil Gruber added a new five-pitch 5.13c that is a mix of sport and trad climbing and has two exposed 5.13c pitches. The steep and tall climb was the vision of Josh Wharton, one of America’s leading all-round climbers.

The first pitch is 5.6 and the second is 5.9, but the third 5.13c is described as a “continuous pitch that involves a lot of slapping and palming on the blunt arete.” The next 5.13c pitch climbs past three bolts to an overhanging crack “until it ends at a downward-facing rock tooth that leads back to the arete.” From there, you “finagle your way up this difficult section to a shake, and then climb out the steep overhang to the left to the final dramatic overhanging arete that leads to easier ground above.” There’s a final 5.11c to finish the arete proper.

About the difficult climbing, Wharton said, ‘The crux pitches on this route are fantastic. The first has unusual movement and great rock quality for the Flatirons, and the second has outrageous position and a fun power endurance style.”

Matty Hong’s photos of Wharton climbing The Red Arete show why this is a climb for anyone who wants a big adventure with difficult climbing in a stunning setting.

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