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Routes in Aegir

20th Century Flake T 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
21st Century Finger Crack T 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Blockbuster Ballet T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Coriolis T 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c
Crankbugs S 5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b
Direct Madness T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Doubt S 5.14a 8b+ 32 X+ 32 E8 7a
Elacca Drug S 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Gom Gabbar T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Reef Break T 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
Reefer Madness T 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a R
Rogue Planet T,S 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
Thread Lightly T 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Tideways T 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
Type: Sport, 160 ft
FA: FA: Alex Kirkpatrick EQP: Ray Ringle, Alex Kirkpatrick
Page Views: 7,932 total · 152/month
Shared By: Alex Kirkpatrick on Oct 16, 2013
Admins: Greg Opland, Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick

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This is a very special route with an interesting history. It was the last route bolted by prominent AZ first ascentionist Ray Ringle. The story goes that he was unhappy with the level of chipping that had begun to characterize routes of the era, and after bolting and manufacturing what would become Doubt, he never attempted the route and abandoned route development entirely. The route lay dormant for likely close to 20 years until I stumbled upon it, labeled simply "unfinished", in the guidebook.

The route begins off a small ledge about 3/4 of the way up the Aegir gully from the bottom. A difficult boulder problem gets you off the ground, with the first major difficulties coming a few bolts after. This is the manufactured area and requires an elegant, technical, and powerful sequence. Traverse right on beautiful, perfect granite and continue up fun and unique climbing to the mid-anchor. (The route is roughly 13a to this point and is an excellent pitch in itself).

Recover what you can at a jug before continuing up to the boulder problem that defines the route. The sequence is improbable at best and requires extreme compression on smooth and marginal holds leading to a very difficult move out to a bad sloper. Exit via a heinous gastocling. A more moderate boulder problem directly follows this and could easily rob the redpoint.

From here, fight the pump up smooth laybacks to a great rest before launching into a vicious and delicate 5.12 sequence at roughly the 120' mark. Climb ~40 of 11+ terrain to the chains.

I have never climbed such a technical and complex route. The feet are marginal smears and edges for the majority of the route's 160' length. The sequences are wild and unique and very uncharacteristic of Mount Lemmon.

Those willing to deal with the 45 minute approach, the ~8000' of altitude, the fickle conditions, and the unrelenting technically, physically, and mentally demanding climbing will be rewarded with one of the most beautiful routes I have ever seen in one of the most profound places I have ever been.

Also it is hard for me to suggest a manufactured route get 4 stars (Although the vast majority of the climbing and the hardest crux is all natural), but that being said, this is a four start route in my opinion and will be for all but the most ethically discerning climbers.

This could be Mount Lemmon's hardest route to date


Listed as Unfinished in SQTL2 the route is just to the right of another bolted line on the NE face of the Aegir


~18 bolts


Remy Franklin
Tucson, AZ
Remy Franklin   Tucson, AZ
Red-pointed to the first anchor back in October - based on other Mt Lemmon climbs near the grade (Red Tide, Rage to Live, Pucker Up...) I'd say the first anchor goes at 13b. It is a challenging, beautiful line on its own. I climbed to the second anchor my first time on the route, in early summer this year, and the boulder problem (crux) just after the first anchor is significantly harder than anything up to that point. Hard to say after all that climbing, but the crux sequence (directly after the first anchor) is probably v8 or v9 - open to other suggestions. The opening boulder problem (right off the ground) doesn't feel hard when you do it, but I found it to be really low percentage (maybe v7). The crux of the first pitch (big cross move at the blankest section) is very engaging, temperature dependent, and probably a lot easier if you're tall (like me). Overall, great movement (even if the route is obviously manufactured) - Alex, nice job working with what was there and turning it into something cool.

I know a lot of strong Tucson climbers who have never been on Doubt, so I invite you all to come work it with me in the spring. Perhaps the first anchor deserves a separate name to encourage those who feel like 5.14 is out of their range. Alex or others - any suggestions? 'Atonement' for p1?

As of October 2016 there was a hanger missing from the third bolt (fell off). Jesse Schulz replaced it with one from the first anchor, and I don't think anyone has been back to replace it since. I will check the gear as soon as I can get back out there, probably later this winter. Dec 16, 2016
Tucson, AZ
Geir   Tucson, AZ
Hey Ryan, I think what Fred suggested was meant as an alternative to chiseling if there is a section of blank rock on a new climb. I'll ask him the next time I talk to to him if he doesn't chime in here. Aug 2, 2014
Tucson, Arizona
RyanJohnson   Tucson, Arizona
I don't know about you Fred, but when I want to add extra holds to make a route easier I just stay in the gym and declare open feet.

Since AK47 freed the route, by definition your cheaters are not needed.

Are you confused on how routes are graded? Or how routes are bolted? Or how to climb bolt ladders? I'm sure if you were to created a forum post there are ample people that could explain how those systems work. Aug 1, 2014
Fred Nakovic
Tucson, AZ
Fred Nakovic   Tucson, AZ
Great effort Alex. Your ascent really highlights how climbers have progressed over a relatively short time period.

How about this zany idea? When putting up a NEW route, say it is mostly a single grade, but <10-20% is a full grade or more harder. Thoughtfully place bolts through the extreme crux section. A combination hanger/handhold is mounted, i.e. an all aluminum hybrid with hold just big enough to pull through. Painted it shouldn't look too big on the rock. If the route goes free w/out the cheaters, and the consensus is they are not needed, simply replace with a hanger only. Bolting a handhold seems no more vandalizing than a hanger by itself.

Why not stick with the old bolt ladder? A ladder probably needs more bolts since a strategic hand or foothold here and there (may be all the difference needed to pull a "blank" section), pulling slings through a bolt ladder just plain sucks, handholds are arguably more aesthetic. Jul 31, 2014
Thomas Duke
Athens, GA
Thomas Duke   Athens, GA
It's beautiful. It may be a little out of the way but this is my dream project. Well done with the FA, that's fantastic. Nov 23, 2013
jbak .
jbak .   tucson,az
I think my dog would like his balls back. I'll have him PM you. Oct 31, 2013
Josh Janes    
No offense intended but that's like saying "If your dog was better before being neutered, sew his balls back on."

Once it's done, it's done.

And it shouldn't have. That's why Atonement is such a perfect name. Oct 31, 2013
I really appreciate Alex's statement "doing a hard project has a lot to do with hard work and overcoming doubt". Well put and congratulations! Oct 31, 2013
jbak .
jbak .   tucson,az
If the route would truly be better without the offending holds, fill 'em in or bash 'em off.

You're welcome in advance ! Oct 29, 2013
Tucson, AZ
Geir   Tucson, AZ
Alex kicks ass. His redpoint of this long-abandoned project is awesome. Aside from the manufacturing this route is enthralling to look at as it weaves up that colorful wall.

That said, I detest chiseling and gluing. Ethically I have a problem with this behavior, which is of course only my opinion. However, route manufacturing also brings practical and legal problems to climbers. We should avoid manufacturing holds at all costs, even if it means that we have to aid a move rather than free it.

The upside of this is that Alex did not chisel the holds and instead turned a mess into one of the hardest and most aesthetic lines around. So not only congrats is in order but also thanks. Oct 26, 2013
Thanks for the response. From the description, Doubt sounds to be one of the best elite-level pitches in Arizona, if not the Southwest. Not to detract from the tremendous accomplishment in redpointing this line, and acknowledging I'm a grumpy old wash-out, I'm concerned that some may champion Doubt as evidence that chipping is acceptable in southern Arizona. Particularly now that the world's top standard is 5.15c (9b+), with 5.14d (9a) being recently on-sighted, it's hard to justify in my mind chipping (i.e., creating a hold where none existed) because of a belief that the route won't go without. Put another way, I guess we'll never know whether the line now called Doubt could have been southern Arizona's first 5.15. Oct 25, 2013
Also Ryan is right about the chipping. The route would not take the same line. It would be possible to climb some ledges and begin the climb just below the mid anchor all natural, but I like the start. Oct 24, 2013
Ryan and Josh, I agree. I am bummed about the self inflicted name shenanigans and liked the name Atonement. However, I feel that as much as we like to think climbing is a majestic pursuit, doing a hard project has a lot to do with hard work and overcoming doubt. I thought of a few other names with more gravitas, but for me this route was about process. Either way I think the route speaks for itself. Oct 24, 2013
Tucson, Arizona
RyanJohnson   Tucson, Arizona
Doubt certainly doesn't have the same gravitas that Atonement had.

As to the chipping, it is doubtful that the crux of the first pitch would go without the manufactured holds. Specifically the path through this () section of rock, would not be possible. Maybe if one climbed way above or found a traverse way below, but the path of travel would be significantly different down low. Oct 24, 2013
Call me dense, but I can't figure out who was doing the atoning, although I guess it was for the chipping. Alex, by the way, do you think that route may have gone without RR's lapse to the dark side? Gorgeous wall, and 14a at the Reef! Wild. Oct 24, 2013
Josh Janes    
Atonement = much better name! Oct 24, 2013
For you it may be called Doubt, but for the rest of us it was Sooner or Later. Oct 23, 2013
I originally called this route Atonement. Shortly after naming it, I was informed that a route was put up under the same name and in the VRG roughly a year ago. Since this route is new, I chose to rename it. Not that it really matters Oct 23, 2013
Boise, ID
MJW   Boise, ID
BADaaasssss!! Oct 21, 2013
Luis Cisneros
Luis Cisneros   Tucson
Great job Alex. This is incredibly cool. Oct 16, 2013

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