Rossiter gives this route an S rating and I disagree. The bolts are far by Sport Park standards, but the climbing isn't dangerous. Rossiter grades the route as 11b, but this pitch is considerably harder than either Aerohead or Aeronaut which are both graded 11b as well.
P1. Climb up the corner about 20' and move right below a flake. Make a tricky move around the corner and clip the first bolt. Continue up the arete, the crux is near the third bolt. After the fourth bolt you can either swing back to the face or (as I did) traverse right across one flake into a large, left-facing flake. Pull over this flake and then move back left around the arete. Traverse left to a hand crack, then traverse up and right. Belay below the roof.
P2. We continued on Aerohead, but there is a second pitch. Pitch 1 and 2 may be combined for one long lead.
This is a spectacular pitch! It combines well with Aerohead for an unforgettable 150' pitch. Aerospace is well protected IF you can fiddle in a decent RP before you traverse to the crack (above the 4th bolt). Perhaps I missed something, but I wasn't able to get a good placement there, so the hardish, insecure moves to the crack were kinda scary. Assuming "s" stands for "spicy", I thought Aerohead deserved deserves an "s" more than Aerospace does. Above the second bolt you have to make a fairly lengthy runout to the top. The moves aren't 5.11 but the fall potential pushes 30 feet. I don't know......."s" seems to mean so many different things in Eldo. These two pitches, linked together, offer a spicy outing, in my opinion, but I think the falls are safe at any point. I LOVE ELDO !!!!!! I'm from New England, so climbing warm, west-facing rock in February is SO RAD !! The Front Range is where it's at.
There's a good small Alien (black or blue-black) placement in the vacinity of the RP that you mention. This takes all the "s" out of that section of the route. I believe the S rating does apply at the start of the route when one has to traverse 15 ft. right without gear from the initial corner (aerial book) to the first bolt and the start of the diffuculties.
It sounds like with what we both found for gear (put together) we could have sewn this pitch up. There are two bomber placements before you get to the first bolt; a gold camalot under a flake as you begin the traverse from the corner, then a solid stopper in a slot just before you swing right around the arete. I didn't even try a cam where you suggested the alien.....thanks for the beta.
Did this yesterday (Dec 15th -- gotta love climbing in Colorado!). Amazing route, in the top 10 on my list. We also did the long version, combining P1 and 2. But, I fear I made the first 9-ish move around the corner a bit harder to protect. The perfect slot mentioned above for a stopper *was* perfect, but in hand-setting my stopper, a good-sized chunk of the side of the slot chipped off. A smaller stopper will fit now, but not quite as bomber, unfortunately, because what's left is pretty flaring. An offset green-yellow or yellow-red Alien would also be decent. Luckily, the moves are moderate compared to the rest of the route, so if you're up to this as a lead, this shouldn't be a show stopper. As to the upper run out section: you can also pop in a #3 Camalot with a looong sling at the top of the big flake, to protect the traverse back onto the face to the crack. Maybe easier than fiddling in an RP, though more prone to rope drag.
I found this route incredibly invigorating. The bold moves off the deck really set the tone, and my adrenaline was up for the whole, long pitch. Amazing....
I couldn't slot in any gear when I reached the arete, but I was still thinking #9 stopper. The r.p. placement on the upper section is small but good, and obscured by some larger, less positive grooves below.
By Jim Amidon Oct 18, 2003 rating: 5.11c6c+24VIII-24E4 6a
I will agree with the "s" rating, crossing over from the cam placement on the initial 30' is "tricky" and you may have the chance to get a piece in near the arete, but if your gear pops, the ground is your next stop. The climbing in-between the bolts is "bold" to say the least.Magnificent climbing, all I could think about while climbing is the AC/DC song, "Who's got big balls" it's stout for the grade and don't be fooled into thinking it's a "sport route" in Eldo............
By Charles Vernon From: Tucson, AZ Apr 28, 2004 rating: 5.116c+23VIII-23E4 5c
The supposedly "bomber" #2 Camalot mentioned by Jason and Tom is behind a flake that flexes visibly when you tug on the cam--I feel virtually certain that this placement wouldn't hold! I don't think there's any worthwhile gear in the first 30 feet--I found this section much scarier than anything up high because of the groundfall potential on a borderline 5.10 move (please note, I'm not advocating for a bolt).
Top-5 route for Eldo! Every single move is good!
By Charles Vernon From: Tucson, AZ Apr 28, 2004 rating: 5.116c+23VIII-23E4 5c
P.S. the #2 Camalot placement is the one visible in the third picture below.
I think the way to do it is to rap to the tree anchor above and left of the second pitch of Aerial Book (single rope rap) then another single rope rap right past the pin anchor. The best option is to do Aerial Bondage and walk off though.
By Jim Amidon Nov 6, 2005 rating: 5.11c6c+24VIII-24E4 6a
The mentioned "flake'" you can put a #2 Camalot behind DOES EXPAND I was there today and tried it......Basically there is no gear for the first 30 feet......Go big or go home.........I went home..
I may be blind, but the flake for the #2 Camalot may be gone. I also didn't find anything I liked at the end of the traverse before the first bolt - a bunch of marginal rock and expanding flakes - big runouts when you won't hit something are fun, but I personally didn't like this section. For the upper traverse left, if you want, you can get a #2 steel nut, #3/4 RP, AND a small Alien (I don't have Aliens, so I used a tipped purple TCU; all are good) - you don't really need all of this, the traverse is A LOT easier than it looks (5.9 or so). I also got lost soon after this (duh, bumbler) by traversing out right along the crack to the arete and missing the bolt - which made the upper runout (original route, not Aerohead) seem much worse.
By Bob Rotert Aug 9, 2007 rating: 5.116c+23VIII-23E4 5c
This one is a Eldo classic!! One of my favorite routes at Rincon. It does require some mind control & enough skill to make sure you don't fall in the first 30 feet. A fall at the beginning would probably have serious consequences. Adding Aerohead to finish adds some more hard climbing for one long pitch with lots of continuous climbing.
Agree with most of the above, and think this is one of the best 5.11 pitches in Eldo! It took me years to get up the psych to lead it with that first 30 feet of spice... felt like 10a/b vs, definitely a scary prospect to fall there. However, I was able to stretch way right and get a semi-decent nut placement before committing to the hardest move there. I also used a screamer on the gold Camalot behind the flake (which may or may not make a difference). As good as the original finish is, Aerohead is an even better finish and feels notably easier than the hard face crux on Aerospace.
I didn't know the name or the grade when I went up there today. I placed a cam in the corner, and made it out to the first bolt fine, but that fall would have been ugly. Then I clipped several more reasonable bolts. What is the point in not adding one more at the beginning?!
Then, as Dane followed me up, and turned the corner to get in the flake, he slipped, and his body weight broke off the old buttonhead. I had a screamer on it, and it never activated! One more thing: what's the deal with the bolt in the middle of the face, when the line of least resistance obviously goes out right. I love the position and moves on this route, but I wholeheartedly disagree with fighting over bolt placements on a route that already has plenty of bolts. What is one more?
I'm not sure I understand Josh's comment. Josh, are you advocating replacing the bolt that pulled or adding a new bolt to the route? Replacing the missing bolt is easily done and it sounds like Steve will be doing that tomorrow.
Some old history: the bolt left of the flake was not an original bolt. The original FA line climbed the natural line of the flake. The bolt was added in the mid to late 80s to force the line onto the face. At the same time the stopper placement prior to the first bolt, which is mentioned in earlier posts above and which has now eroded, was significantly enhanced. Prior to that enhancement, the first 30 feet of the climb were essentially unprotectable as they are now.
Guys, I am confused. When I climbed this route, I never went right of the arete. After the 4th or 5th(?) bolt, I continued straight up the face to a right-leaning, hand crack. And then went straight up an a little left to another bolt. I guess I am wondering where the actual Aerospace route goes and if anybody did it the way I did.
Steve: The bolt that pulled was a rusted buttonhead right of the arete, left of the flake. In the route picture on this page, the flake is visible below and right of the climber, and the bolt would have been slightly below his feet. [large] Gear could be placed behind the flake and then extended with a long runner to protect the move w/o that bolt until standing on the flake and able to place the above mentioned RP before traversing back left.
Greg: I'm sure it is possible to climb straight up to that position along the direct line (not using flake or old bolt). Above, choose again, to climb straight up to the new bolt, or follow the right-leaning crack, w/gear, back to the arete.
Why all the fuss over placing a new bolt to protect the initial traverse to the arete, when a new bolt was already added up high? If you are worried about style, place the bolt in such a position as to be hand drilled from a stance while still in the corner. But it's not as if the rest of the bolts were all drilled on lead and from stances, is it?
Yes, Tony, it changes the character of the route by supplementing the existing placements with bolts in the void areas so as to make the route safe(er). There's no way that constitutes "just another sport route".
Last week Steve Annecone and I rappelled the route with intent to replace the pulled bolt. We both missed the location of the bolt hole, and both thought the route looked "intact" i.e. no significant runout up by the flake. With Joshua's information now in hand, I think the FHRC is evaluating the necessity of replacing the (button head) bolt.
By Bob Rotert Feb 23, 2008 rating: 5.116c+23VIII-23E4 5c
Sorry, since this is on of my favorite routes in Eldo. I can't help piping in here. Adding a bolt to this climb would be considered pretty disrespectful to the FA and probably very offensive to many folks who have climbed this route as it exists today. While I can understand the debate it sounds like some folks don't understand why others wouldn't want someone to add bolts to an existing climb to make it safer. Perhaps some just feel all climbs should be made safe.
Joshua, I mean no disrespect to you & I can see from your profile on this site you are a very talented climber. It's just that it has long been a "De facto rule" in climbing that established routes with runouts should be respected & not altered by future climbers wanting to make them safe for all. You don't normally go and add additional bolts to existing routes to make them safer or fill in the voids. As Tony says, it changes the character of the route & FA. There was an era in climbing when runouts, some very dangerous, & climbing based on skill and mind control to manage risk were a very big part of climbing. There are still routes done in this style of climbing today.
Eldorado is a climbing area with a rich history that has many routes established in this style and in my opinion it makes it a special area because of it. Routes done in this style should be allowed to exist and are respected by many talented climbers. These routes should not be simply altered by other folks thinking they should be made safe for everyone to climb. It is part of free choice in climbing. If some one feels the risk in climbing a route is to dangerous, and they don't feel the route can be climbed safely, then they simply don't have to climb the route.
There are plenty of safe bolted routes to do. The Sport Park & many routes in Boulder Canyon are an example of this "safe climbing" approach taken to the extreme. Some of the routes there are an abomination of climbing where you are not really even leading a route.
People should respect the routes that exist that require a degree of mental focus as well as technical ablility. Not everyone wants all climbing experiences to be totally safe ones. Climbing has many forms & this is another form of climbing. The comment advocates adding a bolt to change the nature of this route to make it safe. An understandable attribute because it is a bad thing when people get hurt, but to alter the route by adding a bolt would totally change the experience for future climbers of the climb as it exists today.
The fact is this route can be climbed with a degree of safety by many climbers if they have the mental & technical skill set. The fact that it has some danger to it gives it additional character for many folks. It makes it a route that not every Joe that can climb 5.11 or harder has the right combination of skills to complete.
All routes should not be sanitized. It may sound crazy to some, but danger & risk are inherent qualities that add to the character of the climbing experience for some folks and are sought out by some climbers.
I really feel that Aerospace is one of my favorite routes in Eldo with both finishes being worthy ventures. Yep, the first bit is thought provoking, but the climbing is fairly straightforward, and provides great psyche for the cruxy section above. What a brilliant location! Leave the drill at home please.
Climbed this today on a whim with zero knowledge of the route's history or the comments here. I was able to get in a decent #1 Camalot, as well as a #9 or #10 stopper before the 1st bolt. I linked the original P1 and P2 (as it sounds like most people do), and followed the original line up the arete after the hand traverse.
I think this pitch deserves a PG13 rating - I never felt like I was gonna get hurt if I fell, but some portions were definitely spicy. Very enjoyable and puzzling moves climbing up the lower arete! A great climb.
By Jeff G. From: Fort Collins Dec 5, 2009 rating: 5.11c6c+24VIII-24E4 6a PG13
This is one of Eldo's finest face routes. Amazing position and movement along the arete.