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Hairy Interlude 

YDS: 5.11 French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E4 5c

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 60'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.11 French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E4 5c [details]
FA: JSt, DCnk, EFR
New Route: Yes
Season: All year
Page Views: 668
Submitted By: Jimbo on Jan 7, 2012

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (7)
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EFR proving he's not a shadow of his former self.


One more rare Mt. Lemmon hard crack. Pumpy climbing passed good gear leads to a ledge. Then hard face climbing off the right side of the ledge past four bolts to the chains.

(This climb no longer joins 11 Is Out 12 is In. It has it's own harder finish now)


just right of 11 Is Out 12 Is In. Climbs obvious crack to ledge. Then straight up past four bolts to chains.


One of each from a #1 TCU to a #3 Camalot, two bolts and chains

Photos of Hairy Interlude Slideshow Add Photo
Jim on the route.  Draws to the left are '11 Is Ou...
Jim on the route. Draws to the left are '11 Is Ou...

Comments on Hairy Interlude Add Comment
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By Andrew Megas-Russell
From: Tucson, AZ
Feb 12, 2015

I took a ground fall on Hairy Interlude, after having a textbook, finger sized cam pulled on me as I fell onto it in the crux. Although I fell from 15+ feet up, I was very lucky and landed in the soft sand just next to a nasty looking boulder (walked away fine) My heels left 4 inch deep craters in the sand...

I realize that the smooth/polished stone, present on some of these lower highway Mt. Lemmon crags, can have perfect parallel sided cracks that look like textbook cam placements, but can actually lack in providing enough friction for the cam to hold in the crack. Another route that comes to mind with a similar hazard may be Crime and Punishment at Prison Camp. I noticed that Craig Randleman had a similar experience that he mentioned in his comment. I guess I was luckier than him and I hope to strive for more creative gear placements in this super smooth stone. A very creepy and eye opening moment for me in my 10 year climbing career.
By 1Eric Rhicard
Feb 12, 2015

This happens at the Forks as well. I always am careful on C&P at Jailhouse. Smooth sided cracks do not grip as well and cams pop out. I always try to find a place in a crack where there is a slight narrowing below the cam. This is not always possible but I take the extra time to try and find the absolute best spot. Increase the odds the gear stays in and you will avoid injuries. Glad you walked away from this.
By Andrew Megas-Russell
From: Tucson, AZ
Feb 12, 2015

Thanks Eric. Yeah, I had always been a little skeptical on C&P, but never really thought it was too big a deal until now. Sometimes I'll double up on pro below runouts or cruxes.. but didn't really think it was a concern on Hairy I. Valuable learning.
By Charles Vernon
From: Tucson, AZ
Feb 12, 2015

Wow...in October I caught a friend of mine on almost the exact same fall at the crux of this route. The 'perfect' finger sized cam at the crux pulled (under body weight, actually--she was hanging on the piece) and she narrowly missed hitting the ground. She had been trad climbing for many years with many falls and this was the first piece she had ever pulled in a fall. A cam down and left barely kept her off the ground.

Out of curiosity, what specific piece did you fall on, Andrew? She fell on an 0.4 camalot. In regards to Eric's comment, I recall that the crack does widen ever so slightly below the placement, so maybe that did have something to do with it. Does that sound like the spot where you placed the piece?
By Hampton Uzzelle
From: Tucson, Arizona
Feb 13, 2015

I was belaying Andrew. Originally he had a yellow alien in there and that pulled when he fell. We were both shocked as the placement looked pretty good. Later we set up a top rope to hang there and recreate the scenario. We put in the alien again, clipped a sling and stepped in it and it pulled repeatedly with less than full bodyweight. Then we put in an orange TCU with similar results. It definitely seemed like low friction was the largest contributing factor to the placement failing. It was not a failure mode I had given much thought to in the past and one that is concerning because it is tough to evaluate, but I will definitely be thinking about it now. Andrew was very lucky he missed that rock at the base.
By Christian
From: Casa do Cacete
Feb 13, 2015
rating: 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a

Charles, the BD .4 did not pull when she first fell on it but then pulled after when she was hanging on it?

There must be something that holds body weight near the crux somewhere because I took on cams around the crux at least twice. That was years ago when the route first went up, so maybe the rock has gotten smoother since?

Anyway, scary stuff! Glad nobody got hurt.
By Charles Vernon
From: Tucson, AZ
Feb 14, 2015

There is a bomber 0.75 camalot a couple feet above the placement that pulled. On her first attempt she had both pieces in and fell on the .75. However, as I recall the .4/yellow alien is easy to place from the stance below the crux, while the .75 must be placed mid-crux, depending on your height (I think it also takes up a good hold/jam). On her second attempt, with both of those pieces still in place, she climbed up, clipped only the .4 from the good stance, and hung. After a minute or so the piece blew.

In the photo of Jimbo above, it looks like he has both of these placements in.
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