Type: Sport, 70 ft
FA: Alan Nelson, 1995
Page Views: 3,069 total · 14/month
Shared By: Richard M. Wright on Apr 10, 2001
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route


126 Opinions

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Access Issue: Seasonal Raptor Closures & Rockfall Mitigation Project Details
Access Issue: 2016 Raptor Closure - Now Lifted 6/9/16 Details

Description

Air Head is the first route on the large ledge system that sits below the great dihedral of The Highlands crag, to the right of Peer Pressure. The climbing starts right at a single belay bolt and ascends a short wall for several clips before taking on the obvious, large, flake system. Follow the flake to the chain anchor for some moderate but very enjoyable climbing movement. The overall climbing is more like 5.9 than 5.10. A single hard move past the first bolt delivers the crux right away. Stay on your feet, pay attention, and pick off a nice pitch that is well protected. Air Head provides a nice warm-up for the harder climbs off the ledge. I'd go with a star for the position, the big flake feature, and the overall good rock.

Protection

QsD only. This 70 foot route needs only 7 or 8 draws and something for the double bolt anchor at the top.

Loose Rock

Addendum: this route is and has been particularly known for its loose rock. Belayers, climbers, and bystanders beware.

Photos

Jason Carter
Monument, CO
Jason Carter   Monument, CO
The move off the deck is not hard, but the free fall potential onto the ledge below hightens your attention. The crux seems to be between the 2nd and 3rd bolt. My partner so delicately clipped the 3rd before the move somehow; maybe he dislocated his shoulder momentarily, threw his arm and draw toward the bolt while standing on his toe ends and retracted back into normalicy to continue the climb. I think it is easier to make the move and then clip while the bolt is within easy reach. The rest of the climb is a cruise with lots of opportunity to play with the flake / arete. Really cool anchor chains although watch the rope as you lower; I seem to remember a couple of sharp edges higher up. Jun 30, 2002
Jason Carter
Monument, CO
Jason Carter   Monument, CO
The sharp edges are only a factor if you're clipped to the belay bolt. There is good clearance if you stand down and away from the rock. Good anchor for TR on Gear Head as well. Jul 3, 2002
Saw some people pull off a big ass rock on this thing yesterday. Pulled it from the flake system, in all actuality it probably made the route even cleaner and therefore nicer:) Jul 5, 2002
I knocked a large rock off today and it nearly destroyed a few people at the base, another good reason for a helmet. (And to WATCH your children if they're runnin' wild.) Some of the rock on this route is real crumbly, I barely weighted it with my foot but that was enough. For the most part, it is solid and fun. Oct 26, 2002
rags
  5.10a
rags  
  5.10a
Nice route! I didn't want the flake to end. Make sure to take in the great exposure - after clipping the chains, ha!! Jul 31, 2007
Rob Westfall
Denver, CO
  5.10a
Rob Westfall   Denver, CO
  5.10a
I don't trust some of the flakes as they sounded like a bass drum. Constant Vigilance. Jul 18, 2009
Doug Redosh
Golden, CO
Doug Redosh   Golden, CO
This has cleaned up considerably over the years. There is now only one semi-loose flake, almost at the top, that is avoidable. Nov 1, 2010
goingUp
over here
  5.10a
goingUp   over here
  5.10a
The start has some deck potential, and the crux comes in passing bolt 2-3. Enjoyable moves and the flakes/arĂȘte can be climbed several different ways. Jun 8, 2013
David Carey
Morrison, CO
  5.9-
David Carey   Morrison, CO
  5.9-
We climbed this with a 60m rope from the ground without any rope drag issues. No need to scramble to the ledge. Oct 28, 2013
Parker Wrozek
Denver, CO
  5.9
Parker Wrozek   Denver, CO
  5.9
The move to the anchor is kind of not great and the anchor location kind of sucks as well. Climb it if you are there, but be careful. Oct 11, 2014
Tane Owens
Las Vegas, NV
  5.9+
Tane Owens   Las Vegas, NV
  5.9+
Loose flake towards the top came off today with little effort. Now the top is a little less sketchy. Dec 4, 2014