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j. The Yellow Wall (Airy Aria) - The Seasons (The Spring)
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Yellow Wall, The T 

Airy Aria 

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

   
Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 180'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Hans Kraus, Ken Prestrud, 1956. FFA: Jim McCarthy, 1960
Page Views: 4,566
Submitted By: John Peterson on Mar 15, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (102)
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Chris on the airy 5.7 traverse

Description 

If you're not good enough to climb The Yellow Wall here's your chance to get some of the same stuff at an easier grade.

Start at the right side of the Yellow Wall face. A lieback crack leading up the yellow rock starts the route.

P1: Climb the crack, traverse right, go up a steep (and not completely well protected) wall to a short rightward traverse and the belay. A stellar pitch. Definitely not "G" but not too bad if you just go for it. 5.8, 110'.

It's also possible to belay at a bolt anchor after 60' and rappel from there if you don't want to do the entire route.

For a second pitch, you have three options:

P2: Climb easier rock to the top. 5.5, 70'.

In his 2004 guidebook Dick Williams recommends pitch three of Lisa, described here, as a good way to finish Airy Aria from the GT Ledge:

From the obvious rap tree atop Airy Aria, walk climber's right 20', until you emerge from the large overhang that's just five to six feet off the ground. You will see a clean, right facing corner (crux) capped with an overhang. When you get to the top, escape left on great holds, then climb straight up to the top of the cliff. Williams rates this a 5.6+, and I think that's fair. The initial corner seems almost featureless at first but it is all there and there is just enough gear, too. It's a really nice little pitch if you are in the vicinity. Once you finish, it is a quick walk back down climber's left to the GT ledge and the Airy Aria rap tree (which requires two ropes to reach the ground).

Or, the last pitch of Full Face (pitch 2 only) (5.6) is just another 15-20 feet to the right and it's also a nice diversion.

Descent: Two ropes to rappel, or walk back left to the Ursula or High Exposure rap lines.


Location 

Just right of The Yellow Wall. The Airy Aria access trail is about an 18-min. walk from the Uberfall, or a 14-min. walk from where the East Trapps Connector Trail meets the carriage road. This is just past a large boulder that overhangs the carriage road.


Protection 

Standard Gunks rack.



Photos of Airy Aria Slideshow Add Photo
finishing the traverse
BETA PHOTO: finishing the traverse
start of pitch 2
BETA PHOTO: start of pitch 2
Looking back at the belay atop P1 (the optional bolt belay mentioned in the description).
Looking back at the belay atop P1 (the optional bo...
1st pitch of Airy Aria
1st pitch of Airy Aria
on the traverse
BETA PHOTO: on the traverse
Carter leading Airy Aria.  What an awesome route!
Carter leading Airy Aria. What an awesome route!
at the belay
BETA PHOTO: at the belay
Comments on Airy Aria Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jul 8, 2014
By Risi
Sep 4, 2007

It's also possible to belay on the big ledge with the bolts, and then do the traverse and what follows up to the GT ledge in 1 pitch. The rope drag is not bad if you pay attention to extending your pro on the traverse.

By - - -
Aug 27, 2008

The approach trail from the carriage road comes off between two large boulders and has a very prominent fork at a blazed tree twenty feet up or so. Airy Aria is to the right.

By Olivier
Sep 20, 2009

Great second pitch, the traverse is not to be missed, thin and delicate. Small cams makes it G, to a hanging belay.

By SethG
Jun 6, 2010

The first pitch of Airy Aria is a favorite of mine; great, technical moves on beautiful rock. The second pitch is also great, but when I led it two days ago I thought the pro through the crux was thin. The traverse is fun and you can get a piece in right at the end of it, but the crux comes in the pumpy moves that follow the traverse, and I found myself well above my gear, and basically through the crux, before I found my next placement. It is possible I missed something.

I did find it totally reasonable to go from the bolts to the GT ledge in one pitch, without any drag issues.

Thanks to Seth for adding the variations available from the GT ledge, which I moved to the route description above - Admin.

By Tim Schafstall
From: Newark, DE
Sep 15, 2010

You can also climb P1 of Carbs and Caffeine at a similar grade to the first belay. I actually like it better than the normal P1 of Airy Aria. Better gear.

By Spiro
Oct 16, 2011
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Gear spew--dont read if you dont want to know!


P2-After the traverse right and you grab some gear, there is a finger size under cling, this will give a great nut placement that makes the next set of moves feel much better.

By Drake Pregnall
From: Morehead, KY
May 26, 2012
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

I did this route today, and the proper line in the corner for the first pitch was soaking, so I took the really thin line on the right than angles up to the same two bolt anchor as the main line. I think it's still the same grade, just a lot tinier pieces of pro. Very cool and very different. If you enjoy this route the normal way, give that variation a go. We finished by going from the two bolt anchor all the way to the top in one long pitch. Communication was very difficult.

By Brian
From: North Kingstown, RI
May 27, 2012

Drake, That variation you did was the first pitch, or part of the first pitch, of Carbs and Caffeine. Williams rates it 5.9- in the black edition.

By BrianRH
From: Jersey City, NJ
Jul 8, 2012

Fantastic route. Definitely do it in two pitches as described here rather than belaying at the chains (i.e. linking pitches 1 and 2 as described in the Williams guide.) Also, not a great route on a hot day - even out of the sun - as corner has no breeze at all.

By Benjaminadk
From: Lake George, NY
Mar 25, 2013

Wow that top pitch is dirty! Doesn't look like it gets much traffic. First two pitches are nice. Linking p1 and p2 is recommended and that traverse is exciting and pretty thin on hand holds. There is good gear at the beginning and end of the traverse but I couldn't find anything reliable inbetween. Blowing the final traverse moves would be 25 foot swinger. PG.

By Eric G.
Apr 29, 2013

First pitch is awesome, but I thought the traverse was PG and sets your follower up for a potentially long swing. Also, I had no rope drag problems going from the bolts to the top in one pitch.

By Josh Smethers
From: Malvern, pa
Jul 8, 2014

What an awesome and at times committing climb! I lead from the chains where gear is good, but small around the roof and to the top with a little run out ending at the tree on the GT ledge. There was some rope drag, but manageable as the climbing was getting easier toward the top. The last 30 or 40 feet seemed like it was hardly climbed, which made for a more adventurous feeling, especially as my gear was running low and placements harder to find (I ran it out to the top about 30 feet).