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Airhead 

YDS: 5.12a French: 7a+ Ewbanks: 25 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 25 British: E5 6a

   
Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 270'
Original:  YDS: 5.12a French: 7a+ Ewbanks: 25 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 25 British: E5 6a [details]
FA: FA: Unknown.
FFA: Josh Janes, Cole Nelson, Kathrine McCullough - Fall, 2016
New Route: Yes
Page Views: 623
Submitted By: Josh Janes on Oct 13, 2016

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BETA PHOTO: Photo courtesy Darren in Vegas

RAIN AND WET ROCK The sandstone in Red Rocks is fragile and is very easily damaged when it is wet. MORE INFO >>>

Description 

Airhead is a two pitch climb (5.10d and 5.12a) up the attractive wall and vague arête sandwiched between Jet Stream and Atmospheres. It finishes at Atmosphere’s third pitch anchor giving the option to top the route out or descend.

P1 (5.10d, 100’): Begin as for Jet Stream by scrambling up past a bush and then up a slab and flake to a loose ledge behind a tree. Head up the right-facing corner above, but where Jet Stream pulls up and left to a chain anchor, instead undercling wildly rightwards underneath the large roof system (crucial blind #3 Camalot around the right end of the first roof). Pull up through the tiered roofs (2x bolts) to access the main wall, belaying just above the lip of the roof at a stance.

P2 (5.12a, 170’): Step up from the belay (bolt) and work upwards by sidepulling the seam to the left (good wired stoppers) and the arête to the right, eventually gaining a second bolt and easier climbing. Continue up past another opportunity for protection and a good rest before committing to the steeper wall above. Increasingly difficult climbing (5x bolts) leads to an intricate crux at a fixed draw, then more gear placements before gaining a steep, blunt arête. This leads (3x bolts) to the awesome belay ledge at the top of Atmosphere’s third pitch: Finish with that route’s final pitch (much harder) or rappel.

A note about the rating: This route is 12a the same way Jet Stream and Atmospheres are 12c.

Protection 

A few small cammers from tiny to 1” (I used Black through Red Aliens).
1x #3 Camalot.
Small/medium wires (I used BD #5, #6, and #7 Stoppers).
At least a dozen draws and slings (on pitch 2 I recommend long slings on bolts #2, #3, and #4. Bolt #7 has a fixed draw).
70m rope (minimum).


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By Josh Janes
General Admin
Oct 14, 2016

Assigning stars to this route was difficult for me. Honestly, it is overshadowed by its incredible neighbors to the left and right. But the thing is, after poring over the guidebook, I think it’s one of the best pitches of 12- technical face climbing in Red Rocks. How good is it? On par with Kisses Don’t Lie and Parental Guidance. Easily better than any route on the Jungle Wall. Heck, better than most 12- sport pitches in Calico. Are Jet Stream and Atmospheres superior? Yes; they’re longer, more varied, and they top out. Still, the climbing on Airhead is fantastic and for that reason I’m giving it four stars. But don’t take my word for it; go see for yourself.

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