Edge of Time Arete (5.9+)

Return of Climber Kyle (RoCK)

This summer I have decidedly not focused on rock climbing. In fact, between Christmas and June, I went nearly six months without rock climbing – not even at a climbing gym. With all the responsibilities of leading the Cascade Backcountry Alliance, some awesome spring ski trips, and the impending Glacier Peak High Route, I just did not have time to go climbing or work on strength. Thankfully, I was able to get out for one evening rock climb recently: the Edge of Time Arete.

The Edge of Time Arete is a new bolted “alpine sport” route on The Fang, which is a feature near The Tooth at Snoqualmie Pass. There have been multiple new routes in this area, thanks to local route developers. I convinced my friend Kat to “rope gun” me (not that I need a rope gun for 5.9 sport) up the route after work one day.

I have been up to Pineapple Pass countless times on skis, but only once on foot before: to climb the Tooth. For both Kat and I, it was one of our first alpine rock climbs. The approach felt quicker this time around.

The Fang is the feature just to the right of the Tooth.

Two climbers were coming down from the route and immediately recognized me as “Climber Kyle”. Here was a rare sighting where I was actually going to climb!

The start of the climb is a little hard to find, as the bolts blend into the rock. The route was fully in the shade – perfect for a summer afternoon.

I led the first pitch on easy slabby rock and let Kat take the crux second pitch. The climbing was mediocre – generally juggy with lots of dirt, loose blocks, and grime still.

Kat leading the crux pitch.

The climbing on the third through sixth pitches gets much better. The position along the steep arete is impressive for such an easily accessible sport climb. The climbing is nothing standout, but at least this section is quite clean. And the bolting is very safe and thoughtful. This one definitely took a bit of work to clean up, so props to the route developers!

Kat leads the “Tsunami Pitch”.

The final pitch returned to its dirty origins, but it was nice to top out on the feature and get the classic Snoqualminix views.

Kat topping out and entering the sun.
A pretty evening with the Big T.

On the approach, we noticed that nearly every tree in rocky south facing terrain was brown and had lost its needles. Hopefully this is just some drought resistant behavior instead of a mass die off!

Dead looking trees all over the Alpental Valley.

The rappels went smoothly and we were able to hike out without a headlamp!

Source Lake in the summertime!

The Edge of Time Arete was a fun after work romp and reintroduction to the vertical world. While the climbing was not anything noteworthy, the position and experience was still good. Huge thanks to the route developers for all the hard work to create another fun route in the valley!


  • The climb took us 5.5 hours at a moderate pace. We linked pitches 3 & 4 and 5 & 6.
  • Mountain Project has all the beta you need for this one!

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