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j. The Yellow Wall (Airy Aria) - The Seasons (The Spring)
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Yellow Wall, The T 

Airy Aria 

YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 180'
Original:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Hans Kraus, Ken Prestrud, 1956. FFA: Jim McCarthy, 1960
Page Views: 7,426
Submitted By: John Peterson on Mar 15, 2006

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BETA PHOTO: start of pitch 2


If you're not good enough to climb The Yellow Wall here's your chance to get some of the same stuff at an easier grade.

Start at the right side of the Yellow Wall face. A lieback crack leading up the yellow rock starts the route.

P1: Climb the crack, traverse right, go up a steep (and not completely well protected) wall to a short rightward traverse and the belay. A stellar pitch. Definitely not "G" but not too bad if you just go for it. 5.8, 110'.

It's also possible to belay at a bolt anchor after 60' and rappel from there if you don't want to do the entire route.

For a second pitch, you have three options:

P2: Climb easier rock to the top. 5.5, 70'.

In his 2004 guidebook Dick Williams recommends pitch three of Lisa, described here, as a good way to finish Airy Aria from the GT Ledge:

From the obvious rap tree atop Airy Aria, walk climber's right 20', until you emerge from the large overhang that's just five to six feet off the ground. You will see a clean, right facing corner (crux) capped with an overhang. When you get to the top, escape left on great holds, then climb straight up to the top of the cliff. Williams rates this a 5.6+, and I think that's fair. The initial corner seems almost featureless at first but it is all there and there is just enough gear, too. It's a really nice little pitch if you are in the vicinity. Once you finish, it is a quick walk back down climber's left to the GT ledge and the Airy Aria rap tree (which requires two ropes to reach the ground).

Or, the last pitch of Full Face (pitch 2 only) (5.6) is just another 15-20 feet to the right and it's also a nice diversion.

Descent: Two ropes to rappel, or walk back left to the Ursula or High Exposure rap lines.


Just right of The Yellow Wall. The Airy Aria access trail is about an 18-min. walk from the Uberfall, or a 14-min. walk from where the East Trapps Connector Trail meets the carriage road. This is just past a large boulder that overhangs the carriage road.


Standard Gunks rack.

Photos of Airy Aria Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: 1st pitch of Airy Aria
1st pitch of Airy Aria
Rock Climbing Photo: Chris on the airy 5.7 traverse
Chris on the airy 5.7 traverse
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking back at the belay atop P1 (the optional bo...
Looking back at the belay atop P1 (the optional bo...
Rock Climbing Photo: finishing the traverse
BETA PHOTO: finishing the traverse
Rock Climbing Photo: Chris Gregory coming up the first pitch of Airy Ar...
Chris Gregory coming up the first pitch of Airy Ar...
Rock Climbing Photo: Hanging around.
Hanging around.
Rock Climbing Photo: at the belay
BETA PHOTO: at the belay
Rock Climbing Photo: on the traverse
BETA PHOTO: on the traverse
Rock Climbing Photo: Carter leading Airy Aria.  What an awesome route!
Carter leading Airy Aria. What an awesome route!

Comments on Airy Aria Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Sep 22, 2015
By Risi
Sep 4, 2007

It's also possible to belay on the big ledge with the bolts, and then do the traverse and what follows up to the GT ledge in 1 pitch. The rope drag is not bad if you pay attention to extending your pro on the traverse.
By - - -
Aug 27, 2008

The approach trail from the carriage road comes off between two large boulders and has a very prominent fork at a blazed tree twenty feet up or so. Airy Aria is to the right.
By Olivier
Sep 20, 2009

Great second pitch, the traverse is not to be missed, thin and delicate. Small cams makes it G, to a hanging belay.
By SethG
Jun 6, 2010

The first pitch of Airy Aria is a favorite of mine; great, technical moves on beautiful rock. The second pitch is also great, but when I led it two days ago I thought the pro through the crux was thin. The traverse is fun and you can get a piece in right at the end of it, but the crux comes in the pumpy moves that follow the traverse, and I found myself well above my gear, and basically through the crux, before I found my next placement. It is possible I missed something.

I did find it totally reasonable to go from the bolts to the GT ledge in one pitch, without any drag issues.

Thanks to Seth for adding the variations available from the GT ledge, which I moved to the route description above - Admin.
By Tim Schafstall
Sep 15, 2010

You can also climb P1 of Carbs and Caffeine at a similar grade to the first belay. I actually like it better than the normal P1 of Airy Aria. Better gear.
By Spiro
Oct 16, 2011
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Gear spew--dont read if you dont want to know!

P2-After the traverse right and you grab some gear, there is a finger size under cling, this will give a great nut placement that makes the next set of moves feel much better.
By Drake Pregnall
From: Morehead, KY
May 26, 2012

I did this route today, and the proper line in the corner for the first pitch was soaking, so I took the really thin line on the right than angles up to the same two bolt anchor as the main line. I think it's still the same grade, just a lot tinier pieces of pro. Very cool and very different. If you enjoy this route the normal way, give that variation a go. We finished by going from the two bolt anchor all the way to the top in one long pitch. Communication was very difficult.
By Brian
From: North Kingstown, RI
May 27, 2012

Drake, That variation you did was the first pitch, or part of the first pitch, of Carbs and Caffeine. Williams rates it 5.9- in the black edition.
By BrianRH
From: Jersey City, NJ
Jul 8, 2012

Fantastic route. Definitely do it in two pitches as described here rather than belaying at the chains (i.e. linking pitches 1 and 2 as described in the Williams guide.) Also, not a great route on a hot day - even out of the sun - as corner has no breeze at all.
By Benjaminadk
From: San Pedro, California
Mar 25, 2013

Wow that top pitch is dirty! Doesn't look like it gets much traffic. First two pitches are nice. Linking p1 and p2 is recommended and that traverse is exciting and pretty thin on hand holds. There is good gear at the beginning and end of the traverse but I couldn't find anything reliable inbetween. Blowing the final traverse moves would be 25 foot swinger. PG.
By Eric G.
From: Saratoga Springs, NY
Apr 29, 2013

First pitch is awesome, but I thought the traverse was PG and sets your follower up for a potentially long swing. Also, I had no rope drag problems going from the bolts to the top in one pitch.
By Josh Smethers
From: Malvern, pa
Jul 8, 2014

What an awesome and at times committing climb! I lead from the chains where gear is good, but small around the roof and to the top with a little run out ending at the tree on the GT ledge. There was some rope drag, but manageable as the climbing was getting easier toward the top. The last 30 or 40 feet seemed like it was hardly climbed, which made for a more adventurous feeling, especially as my gear was running low and placements harder to find (I ran it out to the top about 30 feet).
By John Ely
From: DC
Aug 25, 2014

I agree with Eric G above. One has to be careful to protect the second pitch for the second or its pg13 at the least for her/him, though if they do the first pitch moves ok they shouldn't have trouble with the second pitch traverse. Small cams really important here.
By Andy Weinmann
From: Silver Spring, MD
Sep 2, 2014
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Maybe we just did this differently from the above description here...not sure. Climbed up to the bolts...felt 5.8ish and with the humidity the rock was rather grimy. From the bolts, did a 2nd pitch that traversed right under the large roof then out right around the corner (lovely exposed moves) and up through easier 5.5/5.6 climbing to the GT ledge.

From this point on the GT ledge, Lisa's last pitch is at least 30' to the right. If you attempt the overhanging corner that's only about 15' to the right (before you reach the Lisa corner) you're on a hard 5.10 climb (name is escaping me).

As of 31AUG2014, there's a green C3 stuck in the traverse under the roof. If you manage to get it out and wanna be super-cool, email me to get it back to me. If not, get some good use out of it! I knew it was gone as soon as I placed bad. My friend worked on it for 20 min under there and had to give up. C'est la vie!
By Marnix
From: New York, NY
Sep 22, 2015

If your partner is confident following 5.8 though the traverse I would suggest going to the bolts on P1 and then going for the GT ledge for a long P2. The hanging belay is not very comfortable and the climbing afterwards is easy 5.5. Only do this though if you are OK with being separated from your partner through the traverse.

Also be careful of the rope grabbing notch about 40 feet from the rap station, it will gobble up your knot when you pull if you're not mindful on rappel

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