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Thin Air Face
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Windfall T 
Worm Drive S 

Thin Air 

YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b

   
Type:  Trad, 4 pitches, 300'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b [details]
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Page Views: 27,606
Submitted By: jeremyadams on Jan 2, 2007

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BETA PHOTO: The Bong anchors of pitch 1, with Nuria at pitch 2...

Description 

Although the crux fourth pitch earns this classic climb's 5.6 rating, new and seasoned climbers alike find adventure on each of Thin Air's pitches. The run-out (but easy) first pitch gains fixed bong anchors. Pitch two's traverse protects well, but offers a keen pucker as the ground drops away (and it's sometimes a little wet) en route to bolts. P1 and P2 can be combined when traffic allows. Pitch three climbs the face into a fun chimney, gaining a ledge (crowds easily, gear anchor takes variety of sizes and gear types). P4 follows a weakness through an overlap, gaining the large ledge below Pine Tree Eliminate (5.8+) via an easy, dirty corner (left) or tricky, polished slab (direct/right). Some finish the last 30 feet as a separate pitch.

Location 

The namesake route of the Thin Air Face is found by following the trail past Cote Boulder past improbable aid routes until the staircase start of the Standard Route chimney is visible on the right. Continue up switchbacks to a dark-brown, featured slab. The easiest descent is by following a trail off the right end of the ledge. This trail bends left and gains the summit road in minutes. Hitch or walk down road. Other pleasant options include climbing Pine Tree Eliminate or other more difficult Airation Buttress routes.

Protection 

Nuts and cams up to 3 inches.


Photos of Thin Air Slideshow Add Photo
In the chimney
In the chimney
Party of 3 on the second pitch: one person belayin...
BETA PHOTO: Party of 3 on the second pitch: one person belayin...
Finished stringing together 1st and second pitches...
Finished stringing together 1st and second pitches...
climbers on thin air face (taken from recompense)
climbers on thin air face (taken from recompense)
Looking back at my friend Liam from the top of the...
BETA PHOTO: Looking back at my friend Liam from the top of the...
Striking a pose on the ever-classic Thin Air trave...
Striking a pose on the ever-classic Thin Air trave...
Following the bolt line to the chimney on the thir...
Following the bolt line to the chimney on the thir...
Jason Stone leading off on the second pitch of Thi...
Jason Stone leading off on the second pitch of Thi...
Finishing the second pitch of Thin Air.
Finishing the second pitch of Thin Air.
From the top of P1, looking towards other party at...
BETA PHOTO: From the top of P1, looking towards other party at...
Thin Air    Picture starts from the base, Many cho...
Thin Air Picture starts from the base, Many cho...
Tom leading Thin Air
Tom leading Thin Air
Picture looking down from the crux
Picture looking down from the crux
The Thin Air route with Pine Tree Eliminate at the...
BETA PHOTO: The Thin Air route with Pine Tree Eliminate at the...
At the second belay on Fourth of July weekend, 200...
At the second belay on Fourth of July weekend, 200...
Thin air third pitch belay station, it can get cra...
Thin air third pitch belay station, it can get cra...
A group practicing guide-client rescue on the firs...
A group practicing guide-client rescue on the firs...
Looking up the 3rd pitch, you can see the line we ...
Looking up the 3rd pitch, you can see the line we ...
Andy entering the chimney at the top of the 3rd pi...
Andy entering the chimney at the top of the 3rd pi...
Dave finishing the crux on Thin Air... check out t...
Dave finishing the crux on Thin Air... check out t...
Yet another traverse pic, at peak foliage. Never t...
Yet another traverse pic, at peak foliage. Never t...

Comments on Thin Air Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Oct 14, 2014
By Jesse Morehouse
From: CO
Jun 1, 2008
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

My first trad lead and a memorable one. Highly recommended- will leave you with fond memories.
By chris deulen
From: Merriam, Kansas
May 1, 2009
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

If by "crux 4th pitch" you mean the random 8 foot boulder problem at the top with a good ledge below it, then yeah, definitely cruxy. Kinda silly, but fun nonetheless.
By D Goldberg
From: NH
Jul 20, 2009

As of July 17, 2009 there is a VERY detached/hollow sounding flake just below the tree/chimney on the third pitch. There was a nice chalk "X" on it when I got there. I didn't dare pull on it.
By Pal Pocsi
From: Budapest, Hungary
Nov 20, 2009

I climbed this route yesterday and the flake was still there. It is indeed super hollow and care should be taken to not pull out on this. I refreshed the X chalk mark. It's relatively easy to just reach up to the next section of flake that is solid and avoid this altogether. Awesome route!
By Nathan Stokes
May 15, 2010
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

The spooky flake is still hanging on, its not hard to work around it. No chalk mark on it right now.
Did (seconded) this yesterday as part of a Thin Air -> Hotter Than hell-> Inferno link up. Had the entire climb to ourselves which was nice. We linked the first and second pitches no problem.
By Evan1984
May 30, 2011

We surprisingly got this route to ourselves today, Memorial Day.

We did the traverse pitched but elected to rap(2 ropes) rather than climb the wet third pitch. Water is seeping from the corner down the face off of the first pin on the third pitch. Just FYI.

This is a great climb. The upper portions are also worthwhile.
By AWinters
Administrator
From: NH
Aug 2, 2011

whats up with the chopped bolts at the pitch 3 anchor?
By M Sprague
Administrator
From: New England
Aug 2, 2011

Don't ask. It is a battle ground for a long standing bolt war, that has generated reams of postings on various sites. I think we will all gag if we have to go through it again.
By Mike McLean
Aug 2, 2011

Actually I wouldn't gag because I don't know the story ...

I'll take a guess though; people were abseiling off the route because of those bolts and given the high traffic, it was always a clusterf*(k. Remove the bolts; problem somewhat solved.

Guess #2: The whole Nichols story.
By lee hansche
Administrator
From: goffstown, nh
Aug 2, 2011

there was a 2 bolt anchor at the ledge even though there are at least 3 places for natural gear anchors...
the last thing i knew there was a meeting and the locals decided to remove that anchor and 3 bolts on the traverse of pitch 2... these bolts were removed well without marring the rock...
this was years ago not sure if more has happened....
By AWinters
Administrator
From: NH
Aug 2, 2011

Just curious
By Mike McLean
Aug 14, 2011

Lee was talking about the traverse itself. The anchors at the end of the traverse are still live and well.
By Rob C.
From: Freeport, ME
Oct 11, 2011
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

Pretty good climb; the traverse was exciting, I ran the first two pitches together. I enjoyed the chimney pitch - the final pitch was not my favorite. All in all though, worth the trip from Freeport!
By Jonathan Steitzer
From: midcoast, maine
Apr 13, 2012

Current Bolt Status (4/7/2012)

2 bolt anchor at the end of p2 (The Traverse)

that's it. all other bolts have been removed.
By K Baumgartner
Jul 24, 2012

Shaky block still marked with an X in white chalk.

Thought this climb wasn't worth the hoopla as a Classic. Upper Refuse offers more varied climbing with just as scenic of a view. Would have preferred spending my time climbing Toe Crack to gain Pine Tree Eliminate.

Most exciting move was the 5.8 variation move at the top of P4 to gain the belay ledge.
By Meghan Spiro
Aug 21, 2012

Loved the crux on last pitch. A small wire protects it well. Spotting your feet prevents any awkwardness.
By Ev Capitan
From: Portland, Maine
Sep 8, 2012

This was my first multi-pitch climb and I think it was a perfect introduction. If you are introducing someone to climbing who has little experience, this is a great next step in their progression. It was a perfect blend of confidence-building, and confidence-stretching sequences with roomy but not overly large ledges between pitches. P2 was also an intimidating first traverse but is doable for a new climber. The drive in shows off the promontory to awe them a bit. The climb's views motivate/distract them. And hike down is a nice cool down/debrief.
By Ryan Nelling
Aug 9, 2013

^^ I agree with Ev Cap - awesome climb for a beginning leader, especially pitches 1 & 2. It's my partner's first season on trad and she was psyched to lead those pitches. I took 3 & 4, and she did the last 40 or so feet up to the Airation ledge. If someone in your party can lead 5.8 - do Pine Tree!!

If choose to rap, you'll need 2 60 m ropes. Traverse to the far left end of the Airation ledge - I placed a few pieces of gear along the traverse, and you'll find rap bolts. An 80 ft rappel gets you to another ledge with an anchor - this is where you'll need to join 2 ropes to get to the ground. We lugged 2 ropes up Thin Air, only to do a single-strand rap off this one since there was another party chilling on the ledge!
By J Meagher
May 26, 2014
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

Climbed this today, let me add to the applause: absolutely phenomenal route! The start and the traverse were soaked but I still found the climbing pretty reasonable at 5.6. Just as a heads up, a couple of blocks at the beginning of the third (crux) pitch seemed a bit loose so take care...
By Jeffrey LeCours
From: New Hampshire
May 31, 2014

It shouldn't be bolted... Missing Link
By chris magness
May 31, 2014

Missing Link isn't bolted, although it shares a start with Secret Chimp, which is (still spicey).
By Mthoresz
Sep 7, 2014

I thought this was a great climb. It was my first trip to Cathedral Ledge and I was happy to do a classic climb like this one (bonus: no waiting). Each pitch offered something different, and although not too taxing for the grade, kept it very interesting with the fun traverse, cool chimney moves and scramble up the boulder-y "dirty corner". We finished up with Pine Tree Eliminate, which was a great way to end the day. Exhausting for me, kind of at the top of my grade at the moment, but I was really glad to have gotten it in. All in all, great climbing!
By Jfaub
From: Ottawa, On
Oct 14, 2014
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

Did this on Monday after a weekend of climbing hard in Rumney. We had the route all to ourselves. Definitely classic - for the experience - the climbing is very easy, but I am glad to have done it. Do Airation (5.11a fingercrack) after the last pitch of thin air - it's the icing on the cake.