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YDS: 5.13a French: 7c+ Ewbanks: 29 UIAA: IX+ ZA: 29 British: E6 6c

Type:  Sport, 100'
Original:  YDS: 5.13a French: 7c+ Ewbanks: 29 UIAA: IX+ ZA: 29 British: E6 6c [details]
Page Views: 3,100
Submitted By: Brad G on Mar 1, 2010

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The headwall on Aurora


Aurora is the awesome overhanging line on the far left side of the Great Wall of China. The route starts off with vertical climbing until you get to a small ledge that provides an awkward but decent rest. From the rest blast up the overhanging headwall with good holds. The last few moves are pumpy and a little dynamic.


The far left side of the Great Wall of China. You access the route by climbing a ladder of steel rungs to get to a sandy ledge where the route starts.


Prehung draws. Bring a 70 M rope

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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jan 5, 2016
By Tim Steele
From: Bishop, CA.
Mar 7, 2010

Honestly, this route is an overhyped pile. People like it because it's juggy, steep, and really ego-boosting for .13a in the gorge. It's been called .12c by more than a few people. Aurora is chossy and unpleasant at the bottom and is a drilled and gluey pile at the top. There are many better .13s in the gorge not to mention better easier routes. I guess the headwall to the right would be "classic" too if it was chiseled or had modular holds bolted on.
By Brad G
From: 1994 Honda Civic
Mar 19, 2010

I agree the bottom is nothing special but I thought the movement on the headwall was really fun. I had no idea it was chipped though that's to bad. I don't have an extensive experience with 13's but I thought it felt about as hard as Yellowstreak over on the right side of the Great Wall of China.
By JamesLucas Lucas
Feb 3, 2012

Brad- the deeply gouged chisel marks in the enormous jugs didn't clue you in?
I recommend this sustained (not hard) jug haul to everyone who likes to hang once on a route but not actually send it.
Tim's a lil harsh with 12c...maybe "athletic" 12d.
By Lindsey Tema Bath
From: Reno, NV
Oct 4, 2012

scary looking! i only belayed my boyfriend up it and i was nervouse just as his belayer. this route is haunting...
By El scorpion
Oct 29, 2012
rating: 5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c

Here's the deal: Aurora is a really fun route, not chossy. As with most 13s in the ORG it has some glue and/or enhanced holds. But it climbs great - go do it, you'll have a blast whipping off at the top. Kinda ridiculous for anyone to harsh on Aurora while giving Fight Club the big thumbs up. Both are fun steep climbs. Aurora is 13A for the ORG if you actually redpoint it, a lot of people who downgrade it are still in "1 hang" mode. Oh and the headwall to the right now sports a natural 13B called Corona which has cleaned up well in its 1 year of existence and is an enduro classic with a crux at the top!
By trying hard
From: Sierra East Side
Nov 1, 2012

This route is fun.
By andy patterson
From: Carpinteria, CA
Nov 26, 2012

The bottom half of the route won't change your life, but the headwall is just good-ol'-fashioned fun rock-climbing. Go ahead, gun for the jugs (there's lots of them) and take perfectly clean whippers when your forearms explode.
By Drewsky
Jan 19, 2013

I thought Corona was easier than this rig. High gravity day or truth?
By Scott Lunsford
Jan 22, 2013

I don't see why anybody would trash talk this route.....if your a 12+ or 13- climber go do it. You'll have fun and learn something in the process. It's fun, engaging, athletic climbing with perfect falls. And manufactured or not I thought it was a beautiful climb. No there is no single hard crux move but linking it all together is difficult, especially that last bolt! And after all that is how climbs should be rated, a single Redpoint push. Haters gonna hate, just go climb it! Lots of fun
By Drewsky
Jan 27, 2013

Ethics aren't really at stake here and I think the grade-based criticism amounts to egotism that is as predictable as it is silly. That said, manufactured holds cheapen the whole experience and that bears heavily on how I perceive this route. Big moves between drilled and glue-sculpted jugs are fun, but so is climbing in the gym. So in answer to your quandary, that is one reason why I would choose to 'trash talk' this route if indeed I was going to do so.
By Tim Steele
From: Bishop, CA.
Dec 14, 2013

I agree with many of the arguments made here and I've changed my stance on this climb a bit. It is one of the few steep climbs around and lots of people seem to love it. People should climb it because it is fun, gymnastic, and pumpy. I do think it's a bit overhyped, as there are many other climbs around.

Now specifically in response to Keith, I see your point with regards to Fight Club, though I would say FC is far superior in movement and how many holds were actually chipped? One for sure, possibly the mono as well. However, I disagree that most .13s are chipped or glued in the ORG. I think that is unfair, as most of the 13s are NOT chipped or glued. Peter Croft, Lonnie Kauk, and Tom Helvie have all adhered to strong anti-chipping stance and produced some of the harder routes in the gorge. Also, the "headwall" to the right of Aurora that I referred to was recently looked at by a visiting climber who had considered chipping holds, much to Peter Croft's and others' chagrin. Peter's route, Corona, is further right of the headwall immediately right of Aurora. Could that headwall become the gorge's first 5.14? Or will it become another 5.13? We shall see.

As for the grade, let's just agree to keep it as is, knowing full well that plenty of 5.12's in the gorge are much harder than this climb. But, as Drewsky pointed out, grade splitting is often ego based (or in the case of my opinion, since I don't think I'm a very good climber, it was more based on my range of experiences in the gorge and noticing that it felt easier than Tension Tamer at Bear Crag, about the only other comparable climb in the area). But, ultimately, who cares about the grade. It's just an artificial construct. So call it what you like.

Sorry if I offended anyone with my original condemnation of this climb. climb onward
By Todd Graham
From: Sierra Eastside, CA
Jan 5, 2016

I put in the anchor and bolts on the headwall to the right of Aurora. I hope someday someone sends this line.

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