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Topic - Grey Arete is E1??

Martin Hore - on 11 Jun 2013
Just returned from a wonderful trip to North Wales, with Grey Arete on Glyder Fawr a highlight - well worth the walk up.

I don't normally log my routes, but I visited the page for this climb and will add a vote for E1 for this route, and perhaps add more fuel to the trad grade debate.

Pitch 2 (or the first half of pitch 2 if you string 2 and 3 together) is the crux, even though it's given 4c. Pitch 3 is a well protected low end HVS 5a. Pitch 2 has a 4c move with no reliable protection at all apart from the nut that forms one anchor for the belay, which is a lonely 10 - 15 metres below, and even that's behind a flake that rattles. That's a 30 metre factor two fall potential in my book.

If you confidently lead E1 or above, and cruise pitch 2, you might leave with the impression that the route is low end HVS. But if HVS is your top grade, or worse this is your first HVS, then this move could be very scary indeed.

If Sunset Slab at Froggatt is HVS 4b then this pitch is E1 4c. That's what our wonderful trad grading system is for!
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