REI Community
(1) Koala Rock
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Buffalo Power S 
Cool Air S 
Cool Man Luke T 
Crazies T 
Exercise in Futility T 
Exit of Humanity S 
Heat Stroke T 
Hero of the Day S 
I'm your life T 
Keep The Faith T 
King of Pain S 
Knob, The S 
Round Here S 
Round River S 
Round River Direct S 
Round There S 
Ryan's Arete S 
Ryan's Direct S 
Suck my Kiss S 
Thin Air S 
Through Being Cool S 
To Live is to Die S 

Thin Air 

YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a

Type:  Sport, 3 pitches, 200'
Original:  YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a [details]
FA: ?
Page Views: 6,350
Submitted By: Bryson Slothower on Mar 3, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (88)
Your todo list:
Your stars:
Your rating: -none- [change]
Your ticklist: [add new tick]
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [0 people like this page.]
BETA PHOTO: Bolted variation start to Thin Air (5.10a) on Koal...

Seasonal Raptor Closure MORE INFO >>>


Great 5.10 multi pitch!
1st pitch requires gear and the rest is bolted. Where the trail meets the crag you will be at the base of the climb.

Pitch 1:
Follow thin crack up to a bulge. Pull the bulge and follow the crack/face above to a bolted anchor. (5.9 120 ft.)

Pitch 2: Crack through some bulges on excellent rock up and right to another bolted anchor. (5.10a 60 ft.)

Pitch 3: Finesse a step bulge just above the anchor then wander up and right to another bulge. Above the last bulge climb huge holds to a third set of anchors. (5.10a 100 ft.)

Rap twice with a single 60m rope to the top of pitch 1. From the anchor at the top of pitch one rap into the gully on the East side of the formation.


TCUs cams to 3" and draws for upper two pitches.

Photos of Thin Air Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Erik coming up 2nd pitch
Erik coming up 2nd pitch
Rock Climbing Photo: View from the P1 anchors.
View from the P1 anchors.
Rock Climbing Photo: Watching the FA (20 years ago?) link the 2nd + 3rd...
Watching the FA (20 years ago?) link the 2nd + 3rd...
Rock Climbing Photo: pitch 1
pitch 1
Rock Climbing Photo: Just after the first crux of the second pitch. Fel...
BETA PHOTO: Just after the first crux of the second pitch. Fel...
Rock Climbing Photo: Tim going out of view on the first pitch.
Tim going out of view on the first pitch.
Rock Climbing Photo: First pitch.
BETA PHOTO: First pitch.
Rock Climbing Photo: This shows the whole route of Thin Air.
This shows the whole route of Thin Air.
Rock Climbing Photo: the route
BETA PHOTO: the route

Comments on Thin Air Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Oct 16, 2017
By Chris treggE
From: Madison, WI
Jun 2, 2007

You can do the bolted 5.9 to the right as the first pitch of this climb if you don't have any gear. Really a lot of fun. At the end (anchors) of the 5.9, you have to keep climbing to the anchors of the 5.10 first pitch of this climb which are up and around some blocks. Just keep going until you see them, it's not hard.
By Andy Laakmann
Site Landlord
From: Bend, OR
May 9, 2010
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

For the last pitch, clip the bolt off the belay and then head right and then up..... I tried for a while to go straight up until I realized the error of my ways.
By Josh Lagalo
From: Bend, OR
Sep 14, 2010

I would really discourage folks from rapping this route. If others are on route(pretty popular route IMO) then they will be tossing ropes and rapping right on top of other parties. They should top out and then use the single rappel off the backside, same as Round River descent.

Also more than once i've seen parties get the rope stuck pulling off the 3rd bolted belay. It's not really set up for a rappel.

By Toby Butterfield
From: Portland, OR
Sep 15, 2010

On that note, if you decide to walk off, I think the scree surfing around the backside (south side) of the rock is a bit easier than the north. That was how it felt to me, anyway, although it probably didn't help that when I went down the north side I was barefoot.
By Bryan Hall
From: Portland, Oregon
Nov 9, 2013

To add to the decent options... I agree that rapping the route could be a little tough on the rope and recommend other alternatives. A bit of 3rd and 4th class scrambling gets you to the backside rappel or walk off. The walk off is an EASY 8 foot 3rd class down climb to a ledge and then a walk down 3rd class dihedral formation to put you right next to "The Knob 10a"

After that the scree slope sucks no matter what.

Finally, the 5.8 trad pitch is infinitely better in my opinion than the one move wonder bolted route to the right. Bring a single rack for comfortable leaders (who can use nuts) and you'll have a blast.
By Nathan Scherneck
From: Portland, OR
Feb 24, 2014
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

We climbed the route with another party, joined ropes and made one double rope rappel to the south gully.
By Vince Schreck
From: Portland, OR
Oct 19, 2015

Did this with Jim Ablao of Chockstone Guides leading. One of my favorite Smith Rock multi pitch climbs. The first pitch looks intimidating, but you can stem the rock spur (to the right) off the ground, and there are plenty of features for your feet. It's not like an all-fingers crack climb. The upper pitches start with 5.10+ moves right off the belay, but then ease up as you go. Excellent climb!
By Robin S
From: OR
Apr 5, 2017

Did this on 4/31/17 with three people. We did Suck My Kiss around the corner, and then a 20ft 5.4 unprotected pitch to link it with the base of the second pitch. This gave us 3 amazing pitches of 5.10 climbing. Rapped off to climbers right using two 70m ropes, down through the large roof and down Ryan's Arete. Second pitch opening moves felt a little stout for 10a, while the third pitch moves felt soft for 10b, although the exposure makes it feel scarier. Great climb, totally worth doing.
By Nate Ball
From: Portland, OR
Apr 23, 2017
rating: 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

The two sport pitches should be linked. The bolt placement for the second crux means you either have to avoid the obvious hold out right or risk a pendulum fall. The route can be rapped in two with a 60m if going to the anchor for Through Being Cool which are quick-clips. This is actually far preferable to walking off provided there is nobody coming up behind you (don't be that guy).
By Jacob Sustrich
May 31, 2017
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

Hardest moves on each pitch were right off the deck it seemed to me. There's also a chance for the second to swing wide right on the initial traverse out at the start of the third pitch. Also... surfing down that slope was awesome! Just get yourself going and stick with it, you can empty your shoes out at the bottom.
By Josh Lowy
From: Sacramento, CA
Jul 28, 2017
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

Climbing Suck My Kiss (5.9) to the right then doing a little runout to the P1 anchor made this into an incredible completely bolted climb!
By Patrick Beeson
From: Portland, OR
1 day ago
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

This is THE MP to do at Smith on crowded weekends in the fall. It's also bathed in sun from morning to evening so cold days don't suck as much.

I found the starts of all pitches to be the crux; the last moves of each pitch are quite wonderful cruisers.

The only pitch were you might have trouble hearing your partner is the top of P1, especially if it's windy.

And if you wanna know how the route got its name, well, wait for P3. It'll take your breath away.

Mountain Project

The Definitive Climbing Resource

MTB Project

Next Generation MTB Trail Maps

Powder Project

Backcountry Ski Maps & Secret Stashes
FREE Stickers · Gyms · RSS · School of Rock · Contact · About