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The Middle Ages
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Arbalest T 
Bertilak T 
Book of Wasps T 
Edge of an Age T 
Gnarnian Renaissance T 
Green Knight T 
Guy in the Gulley T 
Morning Star T 
Trebuchet T 
Turn the Page T 
Two Handed Flail T 
White Hawk T 

Edge of an Age 

YDS: 5.12b French: 7b Ewbanks: 26 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 26 British: E5 6b

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 200'
Original:  YDS: 5.12b French: 7b Ewbanks: 26 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 26 British: E5 6b [details]
FA: D.Mabe, P2: April 2016, P1: July 2017
New Route: Yes
Page Views: 850
Submitted By: Darren Mabe on Apr 25, 2016

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Edge of an Age, Volunteer Canyon Wade Forrest phot...


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, featuring exposed position and sporty climbing sequences.

EDIT 7/8/17, the Edge is now 2 pitches!

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. Stem past a bolt, yarding lightly on the hollow flakes. Crank over the roof-block crux (5.11) and finish with jams and jugs up to the airy semi-hanging belay stance. Avoiding the hollow flakes makes for a somewhat burly 5.12 compression/flared-fingers move, though the bolt is at your chest. Pick your poison.

P2: Continue up the moderate corner with splitter fingers on the right. Traverse left onto the "tooth" and ride the fin with tricky pro. Power through the steep crux (5.12b), 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.

With devious cruxes, pumpy climbing, and a few tricky/specific pro placements, this would make for a proud onsight test for the grade. This is the first established 5.12 on the north side of the Canyon.


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. Aim for a notch and look for the 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. The P2 belay is a semi-hanging stance consisting of a pin and fixed nut that can be backed up with finger sized cam or large stopper. P1 belay is nice ledge with single bolt.

Climbing rack:
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 key options for larger cams #.5C4 up to #2C4. I found offset cams and nuts to be helpful for a few placements.
Pitch 1: micro nut, a few small cams, C4s #.5-1, #3 opt. 4 bolts.

Photos of Edge of an Age Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Edge of an Age, 12b, Volunteer Canyon.  Beautiful ...
Edge of an Age, 12b, Volunteer Canyon. Beautiful ...
Rock Climbing Photo: topo Pitch 2 detail, with rap location
BETA PHOTO: topo Pitch 2 detail, with rap location
Rock Climbing Photo: A peek of the crux at the end of pitch 1. 
 Tread ...
BETA PHOTO: A peek of the crux at the end of pitch 1. Tread ...
Rock Climbing Photo: The complete topo with belays of Edge of an Age (R...
BETA PHOTO: The complete topo with belays of Edge of an Age (R...

Comments on Edge of an Age Add Comment
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By Darren Mabe
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Apr 26, 2016

Big thanks to JJ Schlick and Wade Forrest for the support on my first lead attempt and Eric Deschamps for the belay on my redpoint.

I gotta recommend Lost Highway as a fitting and excellent option for a warm-up for this route.
By Eric D
From: Gnarnia
Apr 26, 2016

An excellent route. Sporty trad climbing at it's best.
By JJ Schlick
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Apr 27, 2016

Add it to the list of classics! Nicely done Darren.
By Darren Mabe
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Jul 8, 2017

I added a first pitch, so now this route climbs over 200 ft, starting from almost the bottom of the canyon. Description edit above.

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