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Fairfield Hill

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Fairfield Hill  

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Submitted By: Jesse Ryan on May 26, 2006
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After a significant break in the cliffs of the main Sinks limestone wall, Fairfield hill is a smaller, generally less steep section of cliffs. Fairfield is divided into eastern, central and western portions. The grades range from 5.5 to 5.12 with the majority of lines between 5.9 and 5.11. The quality and the length of the lines is generally lower than the main wall, but fun lines still abound.

Getting There 

Fairfield Hill is separated from the main limestone walls at sinks by 100 yards and can be approached by two routes 1) via the main parking area by walking to the left along the base of the main wall past the Wilds and continue to Fairfield Hill 2) via a dirt road 1/4 mile past the main parking area on the left. Drive a short distance up this road to pull out parking, continue walking 1/4 mile of the road, further than you would guess, and a cairned trail heads back to the right angling towards the crag.

Climbing Season

Weather station 2.6 miles from here

75 Total Routes

['4 Stars',2],['3 Stars',25],['2 Stars',29],['1 Star',19],['Bomb',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Fairfield Hill:
West of Venus   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   Fairfield East
Manifest Destiny   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 30'   Fairfield West
Second Helping   5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Fairfield East
biggie smalls   5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a     Sport, 30'   Fairfield West
Don Ho   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Sport, 40'   Fairfield West
Browse More Classics in Fairfield Hill

Featured Route For Fairfield Hill

Last Trip to Tulsa 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c  WY : Sinks Canyon : ... : Fairfield Central
Follows a black streak in a sustained 5.8 manner. Unfortunately short but surprisingly fun. ...[more]   Browse More Classics in WY

Local Information for Fairfield Hill
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By bob branscomb
From: Lander, WY
Feb 13, 2009
And now, a lecture from Mr. Science! I finally figured out that the main reason people don't go to Fairfield as much is because there aren't as many pockets as in the Main Area. Duhhhh, I've only been here 19 years. Jesus, too many drugs. Most of the climbs involve a lot of edging and crimping, which is admittedly not as fun as hauling pockets.
I think the reason for this is that pockets in dolomite are the old tracks of prehistoric clams in those old seabeds. I went to a Geology of the Sinks lecture and actually heard this, so I'm not hallucinating. Or maybe I was (?), I don't remember. If you look at modern clams, they live in the medium to low intertidal zones. There's no reason to think that prehistoric clams didn't live in the same places, so I think (just my idea) that the eastern part of the Sinks dolomite was more near a seashore, more intertidal, and as you progress west, that was deeper in the prehistoric sea, so you run out of the clam zone out there. If you notice, as you get to the top of many Fairfield climbs, there are more pockets: getting closer to the intertidal zone.
Well it's something to think about when you're having lunch up there.
By Mike Anderson
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Aug 26, 2009
I always thought pockets in limestone were due to acid in rainwater desolving the limestone, but what do I know.
By Dano
Oct 20, 2010
Actually, you are both wrong.

While clam 'prints' and acidic water may play a small role in the formation of pockets, the primary causitive factor has been shown to be the 'gravity vortex'. Gravity vortices are small eddies of gravity within which gravity itself is slightly stronger than it is outside the vortex. Any single gravity vortex is not in itself strong enough to create any noticible difference. However, these gravity 'eddies' sometimes happen to coalesce at the same time and place. When several of them do so, the gravity within this space can increase dramatically. Depending on the number and strength of the vortices, the increase in gravity can be anywhere from 2 to 1,000 times stronger than our 'normal' gravity. In fact, Killer Cave was likely created long ago (probably during the late Pleistocene Epoch) when a large number of gravity vortexes happened to come together in one spot. However, most votices are quite small and tend to create much smaller pockets such as one might find covering the stone of the Main Wall.

The reason Fairfield Hill has fewer pockets is because it is higher in elevation than the Main Wall. Due to their higher gravity, gravity vortices tend to sink or flow downhill. This is the same reason that Fossil Hill has fewer pockets. So, as you can see, the explanation for the formation of pockets is neither biologic nor chemical, but is, in fact, rooted firmly in the study of physics. I think.
By bob branscomb
From: Lander, WY
Nov 12, 2010
My first reaction to Dano was: wow, I want some of what you're smoking, dude.

But, upon reflection, since no one was there at the inception of said pockets, clams, acid water, gravity vortexes: all interesting theories! The gravity vortex theory has way more pizazz than dull clams or acid water. I like the idea that this cool physical force was at work, buzzing away in there under the sea. Yea, I like it!
By Jesse Brown
From: Laramie,wy
Apr 26, 2011
Fairfield is great. Many new routes on fairfield east, and west in the last year. Get away from the main wall and go have a blast.
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