Margin for Air
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First off, let me admit that this is a project of mine. I have made it past the pin before the crux, but I don't think I've actually made it to the crux yet. I fell once on a green camalot, then again on a red camalot higher up. I took two falls on a #3 camalot past the pin, then tried to protect the next sequence with a #00 C3. It tore out when I fell again, and I whipped upside-down and injured my heel. Did I mention that I got stung by a wasp? My first epic! Needless to say, this route is continuously difficult, extremely technical, airy, exposed, long, and worth an approach twice as arduous. Set up a belay on the shale layer and climb over a slabby face towards the bushes above the flake. Follow the crack up and to the left around an airy bulge, and another airy bulge, and another airy bulge. Clip a pin next to a hollow sounding flake and climb through another airy bulge. The Ruckman guide indicates that the crux is right after this section through a steep crack (I didn't make it that far). Once the crux is finished, you have two options, continue following the crack, or climb diagonally right to the top of the wall and set up a gear belay for your second.
Start on top of the shale layer to the left (North) of the bolt line and the flake. Walk off to the North (up and over the top of the wall) or downclimb the slab to the anchors for the other routes.
Standard rack, doubles recommended. I saw one fixed pin. No anchors at the top.
|Comments on Margin for Air
|By sputtering zoso|
Oct 26, 2006
I'm bustin up reading your description Ryan! I led this years ago and DECKED! Allow me to elaborate. I made the should-of-been fatal mistake to race the pump clock on this one, so I didn't place enough gear. I got up to where the Ruckman guide says the crux is and promptly peeled. My first cam a few feet below me immediately ripped. Dam!, I thought, now I can't make fun of my friend that zippered 3 pieces on Half-a-finger--I just pulled something. As I was accustomed to falling a lot at the time, I eyeballed the next piece and got ready for the swing. Just as I was about to let a sigh of relief, the cam pulled at the very end of the swing. After that, I'm not quite sure what happened. I do know my draw on the piton somehow came off entirely and I landed my arse on the very edge of the belay platform. One of my friends booked down the hill and flagged a motorist (I guess the blood from my head looked pretty bad). Search and rescue and 3 hours later and I'm joking around with the ER nurses. Funny thing, I seriously bruised my heel too! For the official report, check out North American Mountaineering
|By Gary Olsen|
Jun 5, 2007
Thanks for sharing your stories, be careful out there! Bret and I had a non-eventful time on the FA; however, we also were climbing within our abilities. If was a ground up FA so we didnt know how hard it was going to be but it went just fine. During that erea falling was sometimes a scary proposition, and on some of the routes from that time, it still is a scary proposition.
|By Anthony Stout|
From: Albuquerque, NM
Mar 7, 2008
Hey Ryan, have you ever gotten back onto this route?
This was an interesting day for both of us. I was visiting my family (I now live in New Mexico) and had nobody to climb with, so I met up with Ryan (pretty easy to find partners on the internet!). Fortunately, my #00 is still in OK shape despite being a bit scratched up by Ryan's final whipper:)
I was a little concerned about the walk back to the car over the tallus leading to the area. But Ryan made it just fine. Any remaining problems with that heel?
|By Ryan Brough|
From: Arvada, Colorado
Mar 10, 2008
Thanks for checking up on me. The heel is feeling much better, even after beating it up in a belaying accident a few months later.
I'm still planning on finishing up this route, but haven't found someone with the desire to hike through all of that talus with me. Maybe you'll come visit again and we can get it done.
Aug 25, 2010
rating: 5.10- PG13
This route is NOT WORTH IT!
1. Crappy approach
2. Poor protection
3. Not an aesthetic line... in fact it's very non-descript
4. The view from here is good, which is the only redeeming quality of the route.
If I were to take the time to hike up here again, I'd do the corner/dihedral that is on the prow that is visible from the road. Much cooler looking line.
This thing is a bomb, no way is it 4 stars (it's 4 stars in the guidebook because it is one of the authors routes).
Aug 25, 2010
Oh yeah? Well I just voted for 3 stars. Take that.
|By user id|
Aug 26, 2010
Sorry to hear about your problems walking, your inability to place gear in quartzite, and your poor route finding skills.
From: Queen Creek AZ
Jul 20, 2011
This the first of the BCC Trilogy! A MUST DO if you think you can climb 5.10. Good luck! Definately worth the approach and the stars. Any time a route causes one to plead for God's mercy, you know it is a must do:)
Jun 1, 2012
Led this about 20 years ago... was with an old wasatch easterner who proclaimed... "Best 10a in the 'Satch Bro".... classic!
|By Mr. Hummus|
From: SLC, Utah
Nov 6, 2012
I just climbed this route yesterday, so I thought I should add my two cents. Especially because it seems it doesn't get climbed too often. I'll start off by saying that this is a fun route, and a 10a rating seems accurate. But that's not to say it's not scary and dirty. I would imagine that 20-30 years ago most the routes in the Wasatch were a bit scary and dirty and they had to give them stars thinking that they would be really good once they had some traffic and cleaned up. Well, this route doesn't see too much traffic and is still dirty and sketchy. Not sketchy because there aren't enough gear placements, but because lots of the rock (especially in the traversing crack) is covered in a layer of dirt. It makes it hard to trust all your placements. So I sewed it up and felt fairly safe, despite having read the previous stories of people pulling gear on falls and one of them decking. Scary!
If I were to go up there again, which I probably won't, I would do a few things differently. I would leave the qd's at home and just bring alpine draws. I only had seven on me, and I used my last one on a nut just below the crux. The route changes directions after the crux, which resulted in heinous rope drag. Bring 12-14 runners if you have them. Also, I wouldn't be afraid of sewing up the traversing crack with cams, because you don't really need to save them for after the crux. I placed a green c4 and 2 nuts between the crux and the top. At the top there are bolts with old webbing and rap rings. The webbing needs to be replaced. If possible save some draws for the anchors or replace the webbing.
In summation I enjoyed the route, but give it 2 stars due to poor rock quality. Oh, and the approach kinda sucks. But the views and climbing in the sun on a cool November day made it worth the slog.