Type: Trad, 3 pitches
FA: Steres & Laeger - August, 1976
Page Views: 25,620 total · 167/month
Shared By: Josh Janes on Jun 18, 2006
Admins: Matthew Fienup, Muscrat, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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Airy Interlude is perhaps the best "moderate" route on the Witch. Not as continuous as Igor Unchained, but it shares some of Igor's coolest climbing, not to mention the classic Airy Interlude traverse pitch.

P1: Ascend the first major crack system left of the start of Igor Unchained. This is directly below the start of the obvious traverse crack and really is the first major system on the wall. Stretch the rope all the way up to the huge, sloping ledge. 5.8 or 5.9.

P2: The gem. Continue up a right-facing corner to the start of the crazy hand traverse (takes 0.5 and 0.75 Camalots). At some point you'll have to mantle up above the crack, and there is a miracle hold that allows you to do this. Finish the traverse with a couple more moves that join into the final pitch of Igor Unchained.

P3: A short, easy pitch up to the summit.

Descend north - see the Witch description for more info.


Single or double set of cams - nothing big, nothing small.
Darshan Ahluwalia
Petaluma, CA
Darshan Ahluwalia   Petaluma, CA
This is 10A. Jun 11, 2007
A good combo, IU to the big ledge, AI to the top. You skip the first pitch of AI, which is average, basically getting the best pitches of both IU and AI. Given the traffic on both these routes, this might be hard to pull off. Jul 17, 2007
John J. Glime
Salt Lake City, UT
John J. Glime   Salt Lake City, UT
Wasn't this rated 5.9 in the Harlin guide?! Now it is up to 5.10b? Nov 16, 2007
Oakland CA
caughtinside   Oakland CA
You can just barely do the top half (the good part) of this route with a 70m rope if you sling the traverse well and run the rope a bit over the final roof traverse.

.10a .10b? I just can't tell about grades any more. Anyway, the corner start before the traverse is terrific climbing as well, this would have to be the best pitch I did out of 20 at the Needles. Aug 21, 2008
Fat Dad
Los Angeles, CA
Fat Dad   Los Angeles, CA
When I first climbed this, I remember waiting for a distinct .10b crux on the hand traverse. I never really found it. It's definitely easy .10, but solid at that. Oct 23, 2008
David Shiembob
slc, ut
David Shiembob   slc, ut
Does .10a on granite get any cooler than this? Wow. Oct 29, 2008
Andy Laakmann
Bend, OR
Andy Laakmann   Bend, OR  
We skipped the first pitch by scrambling from the left due to threatening weather. The primary pitch is just amazing!! Awesome gear, awesome climbing, and awesome position. The traverse took a green camalot, red camalot, and red alien in that order. I did a hanging belay right where the traverse hits Igor for the photo op of my wife climbing across, though I could easily have continued up.

Get on this climb! Jun 1, 2009

the upper half of this route rivals any 5.10 pitch i have ever done, anywhere. absolutely terrific, heroic climbing. wow. Jul 12, 2011
Chris I
Fort Collins, CO
Chris I   Fort Collins, CO
For P2 (the traverse pitch) I was surprised at how much small gear was needed. I highly recommend bringing a bunch of small cams if you want to sew this pitch up. Even the corner at the beginning of this pitch took great small stuff. The traverse is wonderful .75 territory, but the moves are easy enough that I wasn't worried about pro. Afterward though, you'll want nuts and small cams. Did I mention that this climb is amazing? Jun 3, 2012
The second and third pitches are some of the best I've EVER climbed. The traverse has some nice rests. Such stellar climbing! Jul 13, 2012
Colonel Mustard
Sacramento, CA
Colonel Mustard   Sacramento, CA
There is nothing wrong with the traditional start of Airy Interlude. The climbing on this pitch is varied and slightly caliente, but rumors of its chossiness are much exaggerated. Admittedly, a bit of choss is encountered but it's not that bad and pro appears solid, if sometimes intermittent throughout the climb. A possibly rope-stretching 200 feet that keeps going and going.

Save some anchor pieces! Jul 21, 2012
Oakland, Ca
snowhazed   Oakland, Ca
This is a great route- you know...if you're into that kind of thing. :)

If the grade is low for you- try a single set of cams- soo much fun to run it out on such locker terrain. Aug 26, 2012
Chris M
Hailey, ID
Chris M   Hailey, ID
Sad that, 1, MP wouldn't allow me to give it 5 stars, and, 2, that it replaced the 3rd (finger crack) pitch of Reunion on Granite Mountain as my favorite pitch of 10a ever. Aug 27, 2012
Flagstaff, AZ
Wylie   Flagstaff, AZ
Best way to do this is 1st pitch of Igor, 2nd Airy, then finish on the shared 3rd pitch. Oct 8, 2012
Pavel Burov
Pavel Burov   Russia
P2 and P3 can be linked with a 70m rope. The 3'rd pitch can be protected with nuts only (do not forget to bring some extra QDs) so no worry about need to carry too much cams. Oct 7, 2013
Chris Bersbach
Arroyo Grande, CA
Chris Bersbach   Arroyo Grande, CA
For my money, the dihedral that starts the 'Airy' pitch was much more challenging than the infamous traverse. Having just done the benchmark 5.9 On the Lamb traverse earlier this season, I actually thought that the Airy traverse was *much* easier than the crux 40 feet of On the Lamb. Oct 9, 2014
Route descriptions are one thing, but you kind of ruin it by telling us what moves to do on the crux pitch. Apr 23, 2015
Two things to add:
1. A 60 meter rope doesn't quite make it for pitch 1- but the 30 ft of simuling to get to the ledge is super easy with both climbers on low 5th class/ 4th class terrain.

2. There's a second rap off the north from a slung Boulder (fixed) once you rap into the bouldery notch. Makes the descent nice and cruiser. Aug 28, 2016
Professor Snax
Professor Snax   Atlanta
Exquisite and immortally memorable second pitch. A lot of places for BD .75 and 1 on first two pitches, as well as some tiny stuff.
For what it's worth, I found this more secure and less strenuous than comparable 10a's at Tahq or the Valley. A fine line and classic for a reason.
While the first pitch may not as jaw-droppingly awesome as pitches in the vicinity, it's worth doing if you haven't yet! I didn't experience any choss. Jun 26, 2018
Brian Feretic
Ocean Beach, CA
Brian Feretic   Ocean Beach, CA
Linked the first two pitches of Igor, with a 70m, which still required about 20ft. of easy simul climbing in order to build an anchor at the obvious ledge. Felt like the crux was the beginning corner, and then it was all easy hero moves for the traverse. You look at it from afar and wonder how this goes at 5.10 (perhaps easier), but it does and is absolutely glorious! Jul 17, 2018
Eric Kuenstner
Los Angeles, CA
Eric Kuenstner   Los Angeles, CA
I also found the corner to be more strenuous than the traverse. However, a kneebar can be used to gain a spectacularly exposed no-hands rest just prior to moving out right. Aug 13, 2018