Edge of an Age
Trad, 200 ft, 2 pitches,
Avg: 4 from 5
FA: D.Mabe, P2: April 2016, P1: July 2017
> Northern Arizona
> Sycamore Canyon
> Volunteer Canyon
> N Side
> 3. The Middle Ages
At the heart of the North side is one of its proudest sectors, having the longest continuous stone. A prow is formed to the left of the Book of Wasps where a striking line of weakness wanders the whole length. Edge of an Age features exposed position and sporty climbing sequences. The second pitch alone is 4 stars. This was the first established 5.12 on the north side of the Canyon.
P1: Start from the pedestal right of the belay with thoughtful face climbing past 2 bolts and a couple of choice pieces of gear, trending right to a steep and broken corner system. The line was intended to continue with a 5.12 compression/flared-fingers crux, but can be bypassed to the right by stemming lightly on the hollow flakes. Crank over the roof-block (5.11) and finish with jams and jugs up to the airy semi-hanging belay stance.
P2: Continue up the moderate corner with splitter fingers on the right. Traverse left onto the "tooth" and ride the fin. Power through the steep crux (5.12), cop a quick rest, and fire another challenging set of moves with tight finger jamming and face crimps (5.11). The grade eases off slightly as you wrap back left and gun for the leaning fingers homestretch.
The Edge roughly marks the transition from the Tralfamador area and the Middle Ages. Locate the big fallen tree on the rim of the Tralfamadore Wall. On the far west side of the tree (at the root system) is the top out of the route. The route tops out on the west side of the prow, though set your rap line on the east side of the prow, where Turn the Page tops out. Rap past a fixed semi-hanging belay about 100 feet down from rim, and the start of the route a full 200 ft to a nice ledge with belay bolt.
For the top belay, I slung a knob on the boulder directly above the topout, tied back to a #.5 and #5 C4 anchor.
P2 belay is a semi-hanging stance marked by a fixed nut and quicklink that can be backed up with finger sized cams or stoppers.
P1 belay is nice ledge with single bolt.
Pitch 2: nuts micro-large, at least triples of finger sized pieces (#.3-.4 C4, #1-3 Metolius, or similar), a selection of micro-cams, and there are a few sweet spots for larger cams #.5C4 up to #2C4.
Pitch 1: micro nut, a few small cams, C4s #.5-1, #3 opt. 4 bolts.
Edge of an Age, Volunteer Canyon Wade Forrest photo
A peek of the crux at the end of pitch 1. Tread lightly on the flakes if stemming to the right. Staying left and avoiding the hollow flakes makes for a somewhat burly 5.12 compression/flared-fing…
Edge of an Age, 12b, Volunteer Canyon. Beautiful canary cracks in background. Wade Forrest photo
The complete topo with belays of Edge of an Age (RED), and 5.10 variation pitch, Turn the Page (ORANGE).
topo Pitch 2 detail, with rap location