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Margin of Profit 

YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI British: E1 5a

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 110'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI British: E1 5a [details]
FA: Who else? Rob Robinson, Robyn Erbesfield, 1985
Page Views: 4,372
Submitted By: Rob Dillon on Dec 31, 2006
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You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (24)
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Runouts are inconsequential...really.


Many an aspiring gumby has eyed the Margin. Weary of winching their less-talented partners over the starting bulge of Golden Locks, they cast their gaze about, scarcely daring to imagine themselves capable of surmounting the intimidating runouts and fierce reputation guarding the Margin... and yet they dream. Tempting, that grade- 5.9+. So alluringly near, and yet, the lingering menace of that old-school plus...what does it mean?

If you must know, read on.

Having survived Crash Position, and eager for more, you have arrived at the base of its big brother. Ignoring the chatter from the queue on Razor Worm, the muttering and then the silence as you begin, you cinch down the strap on that helmet one last time, dip again your already-chalky hands into that bag of white courage, and launch upwards. Away from the lines, the dogs, the helmeted legions, the endless toproping. These are not for you. You dream of bigger things. A crack offers protection. Better take it up. Crispy, patinaed edges-do I trust them??- lead to the dying of the crack. Lace it. This is it, then. A last glance downwards to the belayer's somber, hopeless encouragement. Up, right, up, right, up. Don't look down. Eventually, you arrive at the arete. Protection is somewhat distant. The arete steepens. It's going to get pumpy up there. You know in your gut it will be one of those times-- all or nothing, do or die. Your money where your mouth is. You hate yourself. And yet there is no other way.


A blue alien saves many people's mental bacon, although no one I know has dared to test it. Don't skimp on the small stuff, and then perhaps one each above 1.5".

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By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
Jan 1, 2007
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI E1 5a

In the early 90's, perhaps 1992, I did a varriation of this route that went left under the roof instead of right. It was hard. I called it "Margin Of Error" as someone had sandbagged me into believing that was the route, though it was not.

Was this a F.A. or was it already a route and unpublished at the time? Has this route gotten published since?

By Rob Dillon
Jan 18, 2007

Beats me man. The corner is tempting for sure, I'll have to try it sometime.

By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
Jan 19, 2007
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI E1 5a

OK, well, from 8' down from the climber in the pictures attached, traverse left to the small patch of grass on the ledge and head up to the roofs. It is 5.10 or maybe 5.11 and is a bit "heads up" for gear in one spot. It is very good climbing though.

The route "Margin Of Error" has been added on the site.

By saxfiend
From: Decatur, GA
Jan 22, 2007

Here's what Chris Watford (author of the Dixie Cragger's Atlas) tells me regarding Tony's line:

"John, I've never seen or heard of anyone going that way. Seems plausible, trending left toward Sun King. It may very well be a new line."

So it sounds like a probable FA to me.


By Jeff Mekolites
From: HOTlanta, GA
Mar 4, 2007
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI E1 5a R

Margin of Profit is an exciting Twall good had to do it twice!!

From: The Deeper South
Dec 17, 2013

One of the best routes in the SE. Double small wires protect to tippy top of the crack. Otherwise....just move.