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Great Northern Slab
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Air Over Aries S 
Aires T 
Blockbuster T 
Breakfast of Champions T 
Great Northern Slab T 
Let's Go Bowling T,S 
Libra Crack T 
Marginal Karma T 
Nick O' Time T 
On the Verge S 
Pisces T 
Pretty Vacant S 
Roger's Corner T 
Sickle Crack T 
Sonic Reducer S 
Strength Through Bowling T 
Sugar Bear T 
Taurus T 
Terminal Preppie T,S 
Voyage to the Bottom of the Verge T 


YDS: 5.8+ French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c

Type:  Trad, 5 pitches, 250', Grade II
Consensus:  YDS: 5.8+ French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
Season: Spring through Fall
Page Views: 11,885
Submitted By: Addict on Feb 2, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (102)
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following the opening moves to the ledge. climber...


Aires is a high quality 5 pitch climb up Index's Great Northern Slab area. This route features an excellent variety of climbing styles, perfect protection, and gorgeous Index granite. Unfortunately, all of the pitches are very short (some less than 30 feet). I've left the rating on this route at 5.8+, but if you're new to Index climbing you are in for a big surprise. This route would easily be rated 5.9+ or 5.10A in Leavenworth.

The approach is a piece of cake. Cross the tracks and follow the trail to the first piece of granite you see. Look for the obvious fistcrack and start here.

Pitch #1 - 5.8 - Jamb up the handcrack which turns into tough flared fists at the crux. Belay on the ledge. 25 feet

Move your belay over to the base of the fingercrack on the climber's right.

Pitch #2 - 5.8 - Jamb or lieback up the thin fingers to tips crack in the left facing corner. Scramble up to the base of the squeeze and belay at the fixed bong. 70 feet

Pitch #3 - 5.8+ - Wrestle and grunt your way up the vertical featureless superslick flared squeeze chimney. This pitch is often wet. Remember to remind yourself that it's only "5.8". Belay on the ledge above. 40 feet

Pitch #4 - 5.8 - Climb the crack up to the roof, then hand traverse to the left with beautiful exposure. Turn the corner then jamb the hand and fingercrack to the big anchor. 70 feet

Pitch #5 - 5.7 - There are 2 options for this pitch. I will describe the left one which is much better. Scramble up to the tree, then angle up and to the left towards the arete. Look for 2 bolts above you. Fun blancy slab moves bring you to the anchor at the top of the wall. 90 feet

Descent: Rap the Great Northern Slab route. Only 1 rope needed.


1 each cams smallest Alien to a 3 Camalot
Extras in thin hands to hands are nice for pitch #4
1 each small nuts
60 meter rope

Photos of Aires Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Aires chimney.  Haven't figured out how to easily ...
BETA PHOTO: Aires chimney. Haven't figured out how to easily ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Tony leading pitch 4, the Aires roof.
Tony leading pitch 4, the Aires roof.
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking up the second pitch of Aires.
BETA PHOTO: Looking up the second pitch of Aires.
Rock Climbing Photo: Tony getting some arm-bar action on p3, the "...
Tony getting some arm-bar action on p3, the "...
Rock Climbing Photo: Chris L. at the start of the second pitch of Aires...
Chris L. at the start of the second pitch of Aires...

Comments on Aires Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Aug 24, 2015
By Blitzo
Sep 13, 2006

A fun climb.
By sqwirll
From: Las Vegas
Jul 9, 2007

The buttlips chimney is pretty burley for 5.8. I'd sure like to know the sequence to keep it under 5.10.
By Chris Duca
From: Havertown, PA
Jul 9, 2008
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Climbed the 2nd, 3rd and 4th pitches of this route today, and had a blast. We combined the 2nd and 3rd pitch into one pitch, and rapped from the anchors at the end of pitch 4. Our 1st pitch was the short 10c tips corner around to the left, which added a nice wake-up call for an end of day climb. Taken individually, each pitch was gem.
By Owen Darrow
From: Garmisch,
Jun 27, 2011

I think the second pitch is the funnest of them all. Nice finger crack with easy pro. I had a soloist climbing right next to me the whole pitch telling me the beta as we went, pretty funny.
From: Portlandia, OR
Jul 25, 2011
rating: 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c

Don't let the comments scare you. The chimney is not bad at all (when dry) and protects everywhere (crack in the back). Right side in, hit the jug, switch sides (left side in)and pull out.
By Phill T
Jul 27, 2012

if you dont want to grunt through the chimney, you can go left and up a little 5.6 groove and then traverse right on a slopey ledge with a finger crack in the back (protects with blue/purple metolious) to rejoin the route at the top of the chimney. fun route!
By Ethan Henderson
From: Silverdale, WA
Aug 18, 2012

I dont know why the chimney is so feared. I thought it was the easiest of all the pitches.

(Beta Alert)

Left side in the whole way, bridge your knee and your foot, pretty much no hands rest the whole way.
By Korrigan
Apr 2, 2013

This is a great climb even though the pitches are short.

The chimney is cool. I've done it enough times to say it's not 5.8. I'll give it a 5.9. Just think it was rated 5.6 originally. Do the chimney left side in. It seems weird at first but it turns out to be easier than right side in which is the more obvious way. Just a couple of knee bars and grunts and you're done. You can top rope yourself up this pitch.

The next pitch is really good. It's kind of spooky too. Don't try to protect the lip of the flake after the layback but climb a bit higher and put a piece in on the right side crack of the flake you've just climbed out from under. Or just skip it and run it out to the belay.

For the last pitch do the 5.7 bolted arette on the left of the slab. It's cool and just as good as the other pitches.
By Alex Mitchell
From: Cincinnati, OH
Jun 8, 2013

THe fourth pitch is so awesome!! Pulling out from that chimney is great exposer and has great protection the whole way!
By Ian Z
From: Los Angeles, CA
Jul 10, 2013
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

You can easily link the first and second, and third and fourth pitches.
By rohanbk
May 2, 2014

The buttlips chimney is super sketchy if there is the tiniest amount of moisture on the rock. Thankfully, there is a pretty bomber rap station with a lot of slings at the base of the chimney; otherwise, there are other options to circumvent the chimney and continue upwards (see some of the comments above).
Aug 24, 2015

(Slight) beta warning.

The P1 crux feels hard for the grade to me (I thought it was more difficult than any of the moves on Godzilla). Sews up great though.

P2 sews up great with nuts, 0.3 and 0.4 cams work too.

At the top of P2 you can move left along a large ledge to a large horn, then up an easy open book to the base of Pisces for an excellent easy-grade alternative to GNS.

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