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Routes in Air Spire

Aimless Foreshadowing T,TR 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b R
Air T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Chucklehead Crack (aka Spike's Crack) T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Phallus in Wonderland T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Return of the Chucklehead's T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Unknown (The Line over Lucy?) T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
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Type: Trad, 95 ft
FA: unknown
Page Views: 13,944 total · 101/month
Shared By: Rob Riggleman on Jul 13, 2007
Admins: Doug Hemken, James Schroeder, Chris treggE

You & This Route


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Description

One of the area's classics in my opinion, Air should not be missed. The crux is around the first bolt, and from there to the top you get to enjoy fantastic exposure and massive holds.

Start in the dark dihedral on the southeast corner of the Air Spire with the first bolt about 15 or 20 feet up. Some stemming and jamming gets you past the first two bolts, then it's a low-angle jug haul to the chains, which are about 15 feet below the summit on a large ledge on the southeast corner.

Air is found on the southeast corner of the second main spine. It's labeled in a picture on the main Necedah page of this site. The first bolt kind of blends in to the dark rock, and you might have to look a little higher than you'd expect to see it.

Protection

5 bolts, two bolt anchor. It'll take gear if you wanted to place it. Might not be a bad idea, 4th bolt was loose last time I was on it. 60m rope will get you to the ground.

Nate Kutcher adds

It was intended that a 5.6 leader would take a couple of pieces of gear, hence the high first bolt. The 4th bolt has been loose since it was placed as the rock is quite soft and the cone just wants to spin in the back of the hole. I never replaced it because the bolt is 6" long and placed at a downward angle so outward pull should never be an issue. It is much the same as a drilled pin. The top anchor was never meant to be lowered off of. It is best to rap off the side, towards the river rather than over the route. You need at least a 60m rope to get to the ground going that way.

James Schroeder adds

A 60m will get you to the ground (barely) if you rappel from the anchors down the river side of the spire. PLEASE DO NOT SET THIS UP AS A SLINGSHOT TOP ROPE - the friable sandstone at the top will groove easily if climbers are habitually lowered off this route in that way.
Burton Lindquist
Madison, WI
Burton Lindquist   Madison, WI  
Air--

Go underneath and past the Y Crack/Whiskey A GoGo climbs and walk the upward angling trail towards the notch in the rock buttress that makes up the same area you just passed. Go pass this notch and keep walking the trail (same side of the bluff still) up to the next major notch between rock buttresses. Pass through this notch to the other side of the bluff and walk maybe 20 yards down slopeto your left staying near the bottom of the rock wall and you will see the innitial corner of the lower parts of the climb "Air".You should be able to see a bolt on the right hand side of a steep but easy corner system that is about 30-40 ft. before the route ventures right and up out of the top of the corner. There is a large tree at the climb base as well and the bottom of the lower corner system of the route makes kind of a protected legde area. Super fun route that has mixed pro.

(ADMIN NOTE: This comment moved from the main Necedah page where it was in response to a query from an anonymous user.) Sep 26, 2005
Chris Hirsch
Rapid City, SD
 
Chris Hirsch   Rapid City, SD
 
Great route, not too many exposed routes like this in the midwest. However, I remember the rope drag being ridculous. And rappeling down from the anchors would be much wiser than lowering. Jul 13, 2007
It was intended that a 5.6 leader would take a couple of pieces of gear, hence the high first bolt. The 4th bolt has been loose since it was placed as the rock is quite soft and the cone just wants to spin in the back of the hole. I never replaced it because the bolt is 6" long and placed at a downward angle so outward pull should never be an issue. It is much the same as a drilled pin. The top anchor was never meant to be lowered off of. It is best to rap off the side, towards the river rather than over the route. You need at least a 60m rope to get to the ground going that way. Nov 4, 2007
John W. Knoernschild
Wisconsin
 
John W. Knoernschild   Wisconsin
 
This was the one of the funnest routes I have been on. Very exposed and great views at the top. My buddy and I made the last 15 feet above the anchors into a second pitch for fun. It was great multi-pitch practice. Don't miss this route if you are in Necedah. Jul 1, 2008
Bingman
Fort Collins, CO
  5.7
Bingman   Fort Collins, CO
  5.7
This is the Whiskey A Go Go of moderate routes - excellent climbing, exposure, and view. Definitely one of Necedah's best routes. Oct 12, 2008
Daniel Max Christiansen
Cincinnati, OH
  5.6
Daniel Max Christiansen   Cincinnati, OH
  5.6
Very Sendtastic
\ Jun 28, 2010
Josh Olson
Durango, CO
 
Josh Olson   Durango, CO
 
This is a good route, and in my opinion you can't miss topping out on the spire. super easy climbing the crack system up. Then you can sit around over the Wisconsin river. It doesn't get much better for exposure, and it is a great route to get people hooked into this amazing sport. The climbing wasn't my favorite, but the rock is clean and interesting for the most part. Sep 25, 2010
Ryan Strong
Golden, CO
  5.6
Ryan Strong   Golden, CO
  5.6
Very fun climb. A tad run out between clips. Jun 3, 2011
cklimp Klimp
Sandy, UT
cklimp Klimp   Sandy, UT
Had hard time finding this crag over the weekend. From the top of the trail, there is rock with old spray paint on it, what is the best way from there? We both really wanted to climb this. Jun 13, 2011
Josh Olson
Durango, CO
 
Josh Olson   Durango, CO
 
If you park in the pullout on the road, not by the bridge, you just follow the trail until it forks, take a left. Then when you get to the "campfire" location, you can see the y-crack wall. Walk around this formation towards the river, and follow the cliffline. If you can't find it from there, let me know, I can show you sometime. Jun 14, 2011
Ryan Justen
St. Paul, MN
Ryan Justen   St. Paul, MN
Classic! Do not skip this climb!

I recommend a couple finger size cams and a set of nuts, however you should be fine with just a set of nuts. The bolts are too far apart to call it a "sport" climb, unless you comfortably lead much harder and aren't afraid of some PG13 style runnouts.

There's also a nice variation: above tree line, head left into the large crack through a tunnel! "Phallus in Wonderland" Aug 10, 2011
Garrett M
Chicago, IL
  5.6
Garrett M   Chicago, IL
  5.6
Led this two days ago. If you got time, and want to see one of the most beautiful views you'll ever see. Get to the top of Air spire and look. I think it looks like corduroy. Amazing view, so happy I didnt heed the "dont climb there warning" I got from an apartent wisconsinite. I would recommend bringing a six foot sling for the first bolt and a couple four footers if you plan to place extra gear. Which you really shouldn't have to on air atleast. I think I did the variation and with the extended draws there was little to no drag on the rope. Awesome route, awesome exposure. Clipped the chains but topped out the formation and set up a top rope. Great belay seat up top facing the river. Oct 10, 2011
Jeff Howard
Hales Corners WI
  5.6
Jeff Howard   Hales Corners WI
  5.6
As I said in my tick there is a hornet nest just above and to the left of the fourth bolt. I was stung twice in the face while getting ready to clip the bolt.

I believe the route is still climbable by clipping the first three bolts and placing gear in the crack to the right of the fourth bolt or if you are really careful and stay to the right and below the fourth bolt clip it and stay in the crack on the way to the fifth. Anyway good luck and beware. Aug 31, 2012
Hornets nest is gone now. The view is absolutely amazing right now. This is a great climb for low-stress, vertical enjoyment of the outdoors. The run-off are not too bad. Oct 12, 2012
Schulb72
Winston-Salem, NC
  5.6 PG13
Schulb72   Winston-Salem, NC
  5.6 PG13
A bit far before the first bolt and between 3rd and 4th bolt. The 4th bolt's hanger is still spinning which doesn't quite help calm the nerves after a runout to the chains :p

Otherwise, great views, awesome holds when you find them. A classic at "5.6" May 27, 2013
Mark Hense
Wisconsin
Mark Hense   Wisconsin
Great climb. A fun canister at the top of the climb awaits you :-)

Thanks to the group that took time to bolt this area! Jul 5, 2016
Eric Mack  
 
On 7-1-2017 our group signed the bottom of the last page of the ascent book. The 1st entry was dated 8-12-2004. Jul 11, 2017
W T
  5.6 R
W T  
  5.6 R
Very fun climb. Getting to the first bolt without trad gear or a stick clip is a bit heady but easy climbing. Bolts are spaced far apart, but the climbing is easy and solid so this really is a non-issue. The rope drag when lowering or top-roping is very noticeable. Climbing past the 2nd and 3rd bolts and feeling the wind hit you is a fantastic experience. Highly recommended. Apr 30, 2018
David Pagel
Milwaukee
  5.7
David Pagel   Milwaukee
  5.7
Fantastic climb! I would definitely recommend a stick clip or climbing up the right side to clip before starting down at the base of the climb. Area between 2nd and 3rd bolts can take gear (I chose not to place any). Might be a little steep for a 5.6 in my opinion but still an enjoyable climb.
Heres a video of the entire climb:
youtube.com/watch?v=Xnl2CRc… May 31, 2018

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