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The Playground
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Advanced Start T,TR 
Barlow's Buttress T,TR 
Battle of the Bulge T,TR 
Beginner's Hand Jam T,TR 
Black Wall T,TR 
Blow Hole T,TR 
Burnt Crack T,TR 
Cactus Climb T,TR 
Cheeks, The T,TR 
Code Brown T 
Face Variation TR 
Fingertip Layback T,TR 
First Strike T,S,TR 
Flakey Face TR 
Flakey Nine T,TR 
Flying A T,TR 
Flying A Buttress T,TR 
Luke and Carlo's route TR 
Moment of Inertia T,TR 
Mononucleosis T,TR 
Moon Dog T,TR 
Mr. Foster's Lead T,TR 
Open Project TR 
Original Horak Route T,TR 
Playground Traverse 
Playgrounder, The T,TR 
Repo Man T,TR 
Route 1 T,TR 
Route 16 T,TR 
Route 17 T,TR 
Route 18 T,TR 
Route 20 T,TR 
Route 25 T,TR 
Route 37 T,TR 
Route 6 T,TR 
Route 6 (var.) T,TR 
T2 Flake T,TR 
Texas T,TR 
Tree Climb T,TR 
Unrelenting Nines T,TR 
Upper Left Roof T,TR 
Vulture Roof TR 
Zander Zigzag T,TR 
Unsorted Routes:

Flying A 

YDS: 5.11a French: 6c Ewbanks: 22 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 22 British: E3 5c

Type:  Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 60'
Original:  YDS: 5.10d French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 21 British: E3 5b [details]
FA: Len Margolin, 1971
Page Views: 2,109
Submitted By: George Perkins on Sep 12, 2007

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (15)
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Red C3. Small gear on this route. Nuts protect it ...


This White Rock mini classic may just send you flying.

Stem up a "phone booth" chimney and exit it using a reachy crimp to a good stance (1st crux) and a few feet of easy finger crack to a no-hands stem rest. Make a tricky step left and follow a beautiful thin finger crack using edges on the face to the left, or lieback off the right wall, with TCUs or nuts for pro in the thin finger crack. Committing to a thin section just after the corner changes to the left side is probably the psychological crux for the leader.

Flying A eats up small gear, but the stances to place it from are sometimes strenuous.


Start 10' right of Texas in a A-shaped chimney 8 feet high. This climb is the next crack right of the obvious Texas flake.


Nuts & cams up to a #0.75 camalot, with doubles in the #0 TCU size.

Photos of Flying A Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Coming out of the chimney on the bouldery start of...
Coming out of the chimney on the bouldery start of...
Rock Climbing Photo: Past the crux but still got to pay attention.
Past the crux but still got to pay attention.
Rock Climbing Photo: Busting through the crux on a fine late spring eve...
Busting through the crux on a fine late spring eve...
Rock Climbing Photo: Moving into the business of little fingers.
Moving into the business of little fingers.
Rock Climbing Photo: George Perkins poised for action on Flyin' A. July...
George Perkins poised for action on Flyin' A. July...

Comments on Flying A Add Comment
Show which comments
By LeeAB Brinckerhoff
From: ABQ, NM
Mar 1, 2009
rating: 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a

The 5.10d grade of this thing is a joke...right?

It was harder than Unrelenting Nines. The two small fingered folks I was climbing with would also agree.
By George Perkins
From: The Dungeon, NM
Mar 2, 2009

I took the .10d grade from 'Jemez Rock' when I posted this climb, but I'll bump it up a notch since most of us think this is too hard for 5.10 too.
Flying A is much tougher than Blow Hole (10c/d). IMO, Nines is harder than this climb due mostly to the pump factor on "9s". I know a few people who climb a lot at White Rock who've redpointed Flying A, but haven't led Nines clean yet.

Some other sandbagged 5.10s that I try to avoid at the Playground:
"T2 Flake" ("5.10b")
Moment of Inertia ("5.10c")
Fingertip Lieback ("5.10d")

Edit 2/11: Now I see there are some other people who think it's 10d. I suppose I should change the 'official rating' back to that, since that's what's in the book. I don't know what I think it is, I've climbed it too much to fairly judge it. Seems easier than the 10c's that I climb less regularly.
By Daniel Trugman
From: La Jolla, CA
Jun 24, 2009
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

I agree that U9s is harder. However, U9s is a pretty obvious climb (just hard), whereas Flying A is more beta-intensive and takes slightly trickier gear. So I could see why a climber as strong as Lee might feel that Flying A is harder on the onsight. You still probably cruised both though...
By LeeAB Brinckerhoff
From: ABQ, NM
Jan 17, 2010
rating: 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a

Nice to see that others agree that this is not 5.10+, no need to perpetuate a sandbag.

I did not cruise this, I was a jittering mess. Down-climbed from the opening boulder problem (V3?) at least once, maybe twice. Immitated Elvis the whole way up and was pumped out of my gourd when I finished. By comparison, U9 has good positive holds the whole way.
By Sarah TevisTownes
From: Albuquerque, NM
Aug 20, 2017

Tough but fantastic rock. Plenty of boulders and cracks at the top to set an anchor - can be TR'd. The start is a blast. 11a sounds about right. I have tiny fingers, and this was still tricky. The slab on the 12 next door honestly felt easier at points...Probably my favorite route in the Playground so far.

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