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The Witch
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Airy Interlude 

YDS: 5.10b French: 6a+ Ewbanks: 19 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b

   
Type:  Trad, 3 pitches
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a [details]
FA: Steres & Laeger - August, 1976
Page Views: 14,069
Submitted By: Josh Janes on Jun 18, 2006

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The classic shot.

Description 

Airy Interlude is perhaps the best "moderate" route on the Witch. Not as continuous as Igor Unchained, but it shares some of Igor's coolest climbing, not to mention the classic Airy Interlude traverse pitch.

P1: Ascend the first major crack system left of the start of Igor Unchained. This is directly below the start of the obvious traverse crack and really is the first major system on the wall. Stretch the rope all the way up to the huge, sloping ledge. 5.8 or 5.9.

P2: The gem. Continue up a right-facing corner to the start of the crazy hand traverse (takes 0.5 and 0.75 Camalots). At some point you'll have to mantle up above the crack, and there is a miracle hold that allows you to do this. Finish the traverse with a couple more moves that join into the final pitch of Igor Unchained.

P3: A short, easy pitch up to the summit.

Descend north - see the Witch description for more info.

Protection 

Single or double set of cams - nothing big, nothing small.


Photos of Airy Interlude Slideshow Add Photo
Just past the crux. Anon.
Just past the crux. Anon.
Unknown leader on Airy Interlude taken from the to...
Unknown leader on Airy Interlude taken from the to...
Climber on Airy Interlude
Climber on Airy Interlude
Josh Janes and Karin Wuhrmann on the never-before-...
Josh Janes and Karin Wuhrmann on the never-before-...
Start of the second pitch before entering the famo...
Start of the second pitch before entering the famo...
Another shot of a climber on Airy Interlude...
Another shot of a climber on Airy Interlude...
Joy Schneiter on Airy Interlude
Joy Schneiter on Airy Interlude
Starting the traverse.
Starting the traverse.
Climber on Airy Interlude
Climber on Airy Interlude
Awesome Airy Interlude
Awesome Airy Interlude
Ty grinning like an idiot on the P2 traverse.  I'm...
Ty grinning like an idiot on the P2 traverse. I'm...
Greg cruising the 1st pitch
Greg cruising the 1st pitch
Guy on the traverse.
Guy on the traverse.

Comments on Airy Interlude Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Oct 9, 2014
By Darshan Ahluwalia
From: Petaluma, CA
Jun 11, 2007
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

This is 10A.
By Murf
Jul 17, 2007
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

A good combo, IU to the big ledge, AI to the top. You skip the first pitch of AI, which is average, basically getting the best pitches of both IU and AI. Given the traffic on both these routes, this might be hard to pull off.
By John J. Glime
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Nov 16, 2007

Wasn't this rated 5.9 in the Harlin guide?! Now it is up to 5.10b?
By caughtinside
From: Oakland CA
Aug 21, 2008

You can just barely do the top half (the good part) of this route with a 70m rope if you sling the traverse well and run the rope a bit over the final roof traverse.

.10a .10b? I just can't tell about grades any more. Anyway, the corner start before the traverse is terrific climbing as well, this would have to be the best pitch I did out of 20 at the Needles.
By Fat Dad
From: Los Angeles, CA
Oct 23, 2008

When I first climbed this, I remember waiting for a distinct .10b crux on the hand traverse. I never really found it. It's definitely easy .10, but solid at that.
By David Shiembob
From: slc, ut
Oct 29, 2008
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

Does .10a on granite get any cooler than this? Wow.
By Andy Laakmann
Site Landlord
From: Bend, OR
Jun 1, 2009
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

We skipped the first pitch by scrambling from the left due to threatening weather. The primary pitch is just amazing!! Awesome gear, awesome climbing, and awesome position. The traverse took a green camalot, red camalot, and red alien in that order. I did a hanging belay right where the traverse hits Igor for the photo op of my wife climbing across, though I could easily have continued up.

Get on this climb!
By slim
Administrator
Jul 12, 2011
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

the upper half of this route rivals any 5.10 pitch i have ever done, anywhere. absolutely terrific, heroic climbing. wow.
By Chris I
From: Fresno, CA
Jun 3, 2012
rating: 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

For P2 (the traverse pitch) I was surprised at how much small gear was needed. I highly recommend bringing a bunch of small cams if you want to sew this pitch up. Even the corner at the beginning of this pitch took great small stuff. The traverse is wonderful .75 territory, but the moves are easy enough that I wasn't worried about pro. Afterward though, you'll want nuts and small cams. Did I mention that this climb is amazing?
By Cindy Mitchell
Jul 13, 2012

The second and third pitches are some of the best I've EVER climbed. The traverse has some nice rests. Such stellar climbing!
By Colonel Mustard
From: Reno, NV
Jul 21, 2012
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

There is nothing wrong with the traditional start of Airy Interlude. The climbing on this pitch is varied and slightly caliente, but rumors of its chossiness are much exaggerated. Admittedly, a bit of choss is encountered but it's not that bad and pro appears solid, if sometimes intermittent throughout the climb. A possibly rope-stretching 200 feet that keeps going and going.

Save some anchor pieces!
By snowhazed
From: Oakland, Ca
Aug 26, 2012

This is a great route- you know...if you're into that kind of thing. :)

If the grade is low for you- try a single set of cams- soo much fun to run it out on such locker terrain.
By ccmski
From: Prescott, AZ
Aug 27, 2012
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

Sad that, 1, MP wouldn't allow me to give it 5 stars, and, 2, that it replaced the 3rd (finger crack) pitch of Reunion on Granite Mountain as my favorite pitch of 10a ever.
By Wylie
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Oct 8, 2012

Best way to do this is 1st pitch of Igor, 2nd Airy, then finish on the shared 3rd pitch.
By Pavel Burov
Oct 7, 2013

P2 and P3 can be linked with a 70m rope. The 3'rd pitch can be protected with nuts only (do not forget to bring some extra QDs) so no worry about need to carry too much cams.
By Chris Bersbach
From: Arroyo Grande, CA
Oct 9, 2014
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

For my money, the dihedral that starts the 'Airy' pitch was much more challenging than the infamous traverse. Having just done the benchmark 5.9 On the Lamb traverse earlier this season, I actually thought that the Airy traverse was *much* easier than the crux 40 feet of On the Lamb.