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Observatory Wall (Upper Tier)
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Airbus T 
Goodnight Moon T 
Lichening The Serpent S 
Luna Lumina T 
Solar Eclipse T 

Airbus 

YDS: 5.11 French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E4 5c PG13

   
Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 200'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.11 French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E4 5c [details]
FA: Aaron Miller and Josh Smith
New Route: Yes
Season: late spring through early fall
Page Views: 1,289
Submitted By: Aaron Miller on Oct 26, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (3)
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body squeeze in the crux

Airbus (see route 18 on photo) 

An obvious long offwidth pitch can be seen from across the canyon as a corner thats adjacent to the right most rock buttress with lots of lichen (lichening the serpent is on this). The first pitch is either a dirty 5.8 stem corner that leads to a stellar cove below a clean squeeze bombay chimney or an easy traverse from a 5.8 sport route. Great belays with chain anchors. Fight your way up a hard 5.11 squeeze that gets you on top of a large chockstone with mostly 5.10 wide climbing above. Bring all your largest gear and 1 each of various hand sizes.

If you get rejected from the squeeze chimney crux, there is a really nice 5.9 splitter hand crack that leads up and left from the belay and after about 20 feet, you can hand traverse back into the wide corner for some stellar 5.10 wide corner climbing.

Location 

Start up Drunk Rednecks... (5.8 access pitch of Lichening the Serpent) and traverse left at the anchors for 20 feet with gear toward comfy cove with bolted anchor. Or, start in dirty corner just left of the 5.8 bolted route. Belayer can stand to side to avoid rockfall.

Protection 

Bring all your largest gear (at least one #6 camalot and one old #5) and 1 each down to hand sizes. A few other sizes will help protect the first pitch traverse and you can leave them at the first belay. One 60m rope for two raps to the ground.


Photos of Airbus Slideshow Add Photo
above the squeeze, still laying it on thick
above the squeeze, still laying it on thick

Comments on Airbus Add Comment
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By Josh Smith
Jun 22, 2008
rating: 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c

I can't think of another OW of this quality within several hours driving. Classic overhanging bomb bay start with almost 80ft of excellent 10- OW above. Excellent vision, Aaron!
By Steven VanSickle
From: Ouray, Co
Oct 14, 2008

What is pg13 about this route?
By George Perkins
From: Los Alamos, NM
Nov 3, 2008
rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

Steven, I think the PG13 is because it is unprotected (but not too tough) off the belay entering the bombay slot before you get a #6 Camalot in, but the hardest crux moves are well-protected by the #6 cam. The last face climbing section to the chains is also heady (5.9 or 5.10-?), especially after the thrashing you just experienced, but a fall would be clean. I also think that the crux of this climb is easier if you're scrawny like myself because you can get farther into the narrow part of the slot. Super fun.
By Aaron Miller
From: Santa Fe, NM
Apr 3, 2009

Moving from the nice bolted belay, one steps down a touch to reach the crack so a fall wouldn't be too bad as long as your #6 went in soon. I alos bring an old #5 and ditch it in the back to keep the rope at bay early on.

definitely harder for the barrel chested folk, I would agree.