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topping out "air"
One of the area's classics in my opinion, Air should not be missed. The crux is around the first bolt, and from there to the top you get to enjoy fantastic exposure and massive holds.
Start in the dark dihedral on the southeast corner of the Air Spire with the first bolt about 15 or 20 feet up. Some stemming and jamming gets you past the first two bolts, then it's a low-angle jug haul to the chains, which are about 15 feet below the summit on a large ledge on the southeast corner.
Air is found on the southeast corner of the second main spine. It's labeled in a picture on the main Necedah page of this site. The first bolt kind of blends in to the dark rock, and you might have to look a little higher than you'd expect to see it.
5 bolts, two bolt anchor. It'll take gear if you wanted to place it. Might not be a bad idea, 4th bolt was loose last time I was on it. 60m rope will get you to the ground.
The view at the top of Air. Just amazing...
Looking down from the top of "Air"
photo by John ...
Base of "Air"
|By Chris Hirsch|
Jul 13, 2007
Great route, not too many exposed routes like this in the midwest. However, I remember the rope drag being ridculous. And rappeling down from the anchors would be much wiser than lowering.
Nov 4, 2007
It was intended that a 5.6 leader would take a couple of pieces of gear, hence the high first bolt. The 4th bolt has been loose since it was placed as the rock is quite soft and the cone just wants to spin in the back of the hole. I never replaced it because the bolt is 6" long and placed at a downward angle so outward pull should never be an issue. It is much the same as a drilled pin. The top anchor was never meant to be lowered off of. It is best to rap off the side, towards the river rather than over the route. You need at least a 60m rope to get to the ground going that way.
|By John W. Knoernschild|
Jul 1, 2008
This was the one of the funnest routes I have been on. Very exposed and great views at the top. My buddy and I made the last 15 feet above the anchors into a second pitch for fun. It was great multi-pitch practice. Don't miss this route if you are in Necedah.
From: Denver, CO
Oct 12, 2008
This is the Whiskey A Go Go of moderate routes - excellent climbing, exposure, and view. Definitely one of Necedah's best routes.
|By Josh Olson|
From: madison, wisconsin
Sep 25, 2010
This is a good route, and in my opinion you can't miss topping out on the spire. super easy climbing the crack system up. Then you can sit around over the Wisconsin river. It doesn't get much better for exposure, and it is a great route to get people hooked into this amazing sport. The climbing wasn't my favorite, but the rock is clean and interesting for the most part.
|By Ryan Strong|
From: Franklin, Wisconsin
Jun 3, 2011
Very fun climb. A tad run out between clips.
From: Sandy, UT
Jun 13, 2011
Had hard time finding this crag over the weekend. From the top of the trail, there is rock with old spray paint on it, what is the best way from there? We both really wanted to climb this.
|By Josh Olson|
From: madison, wisconsin
Jun 14, 2011
If you park in the pullout on the road, not by the bridge, you just follow the trail until it forks, take a left. Then when you get to the "campfire" location, you can see the y-crack wall. Walk around this formation towards the river, and follow the cliffline. If you can't find it from there, let me know, I can show you sometime.
|By Ryan Justen|
From: St. Paul, MN
Aug 10, 2011
Classic! Do not skip this climb!
I recommend a couple finger size cams and a set of nuts, however you should be fine with just a set of nuts. The bolts are too far apart to call it a "sport" climb, unless you comfortably lead much harder and aren't afraid of some PG13 style runnouts.
There's also a nice variation: above tree line, head left into the large crack through a tunnel! "Phallus in Wonderland"
From: Chicago, IL
Oct 10, 2011
Led this two days ago. If you got time, and want to see one of the most beautiful views you'll ever see. Get to the top of Air spire and look. I think it looks like corduroy. Amazing view, so happy I didnt heed the "dont climb there warning" I got from an apartent wisconsinite. I would recommend bringing a six foot sling for the first bolt and a couple four footers if you plan to place extra gear. Which you really shouldn't have to on air atleast. I think I did the variation and with the extended draws there was little to no drag on the rope. Awesome route, awesome exposure. Clipped the chains but topped out the formation and set up a top rope. Great belay seat up top facing the river.
|By Jeff Howard|
From: Hales Corners WI
Aug 31, 2012
As I said in my tick there is a hornet nest just above and to the left of the fourth bolt. I was stung twice in the face while getting ready to clip the bolt.
I believe the route is still climbable by clipping the first three bolts and placing gear in the crack to the right of the fourth bolt or if you are really careful and stay to the right and below the fourth bolt clip it and stay in the crack on the way to the fifth. Anyway good luck and beware.
|By Søren Kierkegaard|
Oct 12, 2012
Hornets nest is gone now. The view is absolutely amazing right now. This is a great climb for low-stress, vertical enjoyment of the outdoors. The run-off are not too bad.