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Cottontail Tower
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Brer Rabbit T 
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Brer Rabbit 

YDS: 5.11b French: 6c Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E3 5c A3+ R

Type:  Trad, Aid, 10 pitches, 700', Grade VI
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10+ French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 20 British: E3 5b A2 [details]
FA: Ed Webster 1978?
Page Views: 4,126
Submitted By: Anonymous Coward on Oct 18, 2002

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Ben Kiessel on the traverse on pitch 4. Though th...

RAIN AND WET ROCK The sandstone around Moab is fragile and is very easily damaged when it is wet. MORE INFO >>>


Route begins on the NW ridge of Cottontail Tower right off the trail.

P1- Follow the obvious feature straight up past one old bolt and a difficult roof mantle until you reach a large ledge and 3 bolt anchor. All clean, gear up to 4 inches (5.10+ C1+)

P2- Continue up and right past a poorly protected wide slot, continue via mixed free and aid to a 2 bolt station at the right edge of a small roof. Belay can (and should) be backed up with a .5 inch cam. (5.10 C2)

P3- Engineer moves right to the base of an old bolt ladder, follow this straight up to a new 3/8 inch bolt and negotiate the final move onto a great ledge with a 3 bolt anchor. (A2)

P4- Head around the corner and traverse the West face on run out moderate terrain, drop into an amazing bivy cave with a 3 bolt anchor, continue another 20 meters along the traverse past two old bolts on the "sidewalk" until it is possible to clip another 3 bolt anchor. No gear, two bolts. (5.8)

P5- Hoist your satchel, free climb left and up to an old bolt, mantle onto a shelf, mantle again, follow a sustained and discontinous crack system straight up passing 3 more old bolts. Continue slightly left into a crack to a great stance at a 3 bolt anchor. This pitch is requisite of numerous sawed angles, and a range of cams to 3 inches. Amazing pitch. (A3+)

P6- Follow the wide crack to the summit ridge and build a natural anchor. Take a couple larger cams and save a 3 inch for the belay. (5.9)

P7- Follow the ridge past a gap and fixed gear to a bolted belay.

P8- Head right of the belay, follow old bolts and new bolt studs up to a difficult and run out mantle move. Gain the shelf and find much needed gear. Continue up to a spectacular ledge with a 3 bolt anchor. (5.11R A2)

P9- Exit the right side of the ledge and negotiate your way right into a wide fluting, alternate aid moves and free moves past many old bolts to the summit ridge. Contemplate how Webster drilled this on lead. Locate and estrablish a great thread belay.

P10- Climb around to the east to gain the ridge or crawl through the hole (preferable), continue along the exposed ridge well around the east side of the summit block. Locate a wide right leaning crack. Follow this up to an old manky bolt, aid the lip and step onto the summit. The anchor consists of one good hangerless bolt, one pin and an old 1/4 inch. It is directly above the rap stations. Take a four inch cam. (5.6 C1)


Brer Rabbit is an excellant line comprised of mostly solid rock. The protection bolts are mostly all star drives and many are worn far out of the rock. A full range of gear is requisite. Double TCU's to #4 cams, and an extensive pin rack with emphasis on big sawed angles and regular angles up to #6 or #7 but some small iron as well. Nuts of any size proved fairly useless. Keyhole hangers and or regular hangers would be a great addition for some new bolt studs on the 8th pitch. Most anchors are bolted and contain at least one good 3/8 inch bolt amongst a pile of old mank, exceptions are the top of pitches 6 and 8,and the summit block which are all fairly old hardware. The natural anchors require some creative threading but are solid.

Photos of Brer Rabbit Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Can you name the 7 formations in this photo that h...
Can you name the 7 formations in this photo that h...
Rock Climbing Photo: Trying to sling a horn on the crux pitch so I don'...
Trying to sling a horn on the crux pitch so I don'...
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 4 traverse. Third or fourth ascent of Brer R...
Pitch 4 traverse. Third or fourth ascent of Brer R...
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch one of Brer Rabbit.  I always find the first...
Pitch one of Brer Rabbit. I always find the first...
Rock Climbing Photo: Cottontail.
Rock Climbing Photo: Ben on the other side of the hole you have to shim...
Ben on the other side of the hole you have to shim...
Rock Climbing Photo: starting the traverse pitch.  I had to protect mys...
starting the traverse pitch. I had to protect mys...
Rock Climbing Photo: A panoramic shot of Bill giving a belay just befor...
A panoramic shot of Bill giving a belay just befor...
Rock Climbing Photo: Sweet!
Rock Climbing Photo: Bill Grasse getting started on Pitch Two.  Looks j...
Bill Grasse getting started on Pitch Two. Looks j...

Comments on Brer Rabbit Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jul 11, 2009
By Andrew Gram
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Oct 22, 2002

Enjoyed watching y'all on the route this weekend. I took pictures of you guys standing on top of the Cottontail from near the top of the Kingfisher, so send me your email address and i'll send the pictures to you when they are developed.
By Anonymous Coward
Jan 30, 2004

Amazing route. Hats off to Ed Webster. I noticed that this route description states that Nuts are "useless". I disagree. We found that large hexes pounded sideways into the back of flares were really effective. They just seemed to bite right in. I'd say that a selection of about 5 or 6 med. to large hexes would be enough. These are also alot lighter than bongs which we didn't use nearly as much as the hexes. Also, the "5.11" mantle is no scarier or harder than any of the other free sections you have to do on just about every pitch. This is no "stopper" move. Just one like many, many others. The fact that Ed pieced this together by himself is really impressive. What a tower! Scott Rourke
By Anonymous Coward
Sep 16, 2005

Can you rap this route or are you better off rapping road kill??
By Anonymous Coward
Sep 19, 2005

I bet it would suck to rap Brer Rabbit.
By Joe Forrester
From: Palo Alto
Mar 3, 2006

Does anyone know if there are rap stations from the bivy cave down to the trail so that ropes could be fixed to the bivy cave?
By -mn
Mar 9, 2006

We climbed this route clean on 3/4-5/06.Tricky(maybe desperate)in a few spots but overall n.t.b.,C3/+?.Sawed angles,offsets,loweballs,tri-
cams,"fraid" moves etc..the usual fishers stuff.The crux pitch was
climbed clean on an earlier attempt in Jan.The craziest placement being the two smallest loweballs stacked and shoved up into a blind
L.A.slot! There are some somewhat scary runout situations on the
harder pitches.We hand hauled a small pack and it sucked due to all
the traversing sections.Overall an awesome route but exhausting.
Great effort by Ed,solo,in the 70's,sans modern gizmos...
All the rap stations down road kill need revamping.From the anchors
at the end of pitch 4 you can fix down and right to an old station
on a slab w/2 stardryves,then to the ground(2 60m ropes).That station
is directly below the bivy cave.
-Miles Newby & Marcus Garcia
By -mn
Mar 16, 2006

The bivy cave is plush but hauling on this thing would be a nightmare.
You could leave all your gear at the cave and go for the summit but
getting back to the bivy would be tedious at best.I thought the ledge
atop pitch 3 would be a better bivy because it's right on the ridge.
Best to just fix then cruise it the next day. Wear your rock shoes
if the're comfy.We had no problem freeing with our beat up approach
shoes.If your sack is feeling particularly big on this route then you
could free up to 5.11 and beyond. Certainly subjective, but we were freeing stuff that seemed mandatory 5.10(for us).We were also in some sort or weird twilight zone (at least I was) on this route - it felt
alot different than the other towers here and I was glad to get back
to terra firma.
By Paul Gagner
Apr 4, 2009
rating: 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b A2 PG13

Great route.

Recommended gear:

1x set small cams
3x Camalots #1 - 3, 1x #3.5 - 5
A few stoppers and large HB off-sets
Rivet Hangers
Lots of shoulder lengthers
Jeremy used some large Peckers and a few sawed-offs on the 5th pitch

Bring a bolt kit - we had to replace one sheared bolt on the last pitch to the ridge

There are good anchors dropping straight down from the shoulder / ridge(end of pitch 7) Don't go to the side, just 3 raps straight down.

By Ben Kiessel
Apr 21, 2009

Bill, Brad and I climbed this last weekend. Here are some thoughts.
-This was my favorite route I have done in the fishers thus far.

-We fixed 5 pitches on day one and then climbed the rest on day 2.

-On pitch 3 it says to engineer moves straight right off the belay then climb up a bolt ladder. Bill led this pitch and followed the description and had some troubles. I would suggest trying to free climb straight up 10' to a new 3/8" bolt and then traverse right to the bolt ladder. If you manage your rope drag and climb up like I suggest you should be able to link pitches 2 and 3 no problem.

-Bill also led pitch 6 and says the wide section was the hardest thing he has ever climbed. I call bullshit he had just finished jugging 500'. That being said bring a #6 camalot and pull on it.

-Jumping the gap on pitch 7 is sweet!

-Brad found out that you can aid through the 11R mantel on pitch 8 if you are willing to place some peckers.

-We climbed a pitch between pitch 8 and pitch 9 that is not described. We will call it pitch 8.5 to keep the confusion down. I traversed way right off the belay on what I thought was pitch 9 and had to climb back all the way to the anchor. Pitch 8.5 goes as follows: Climb a hand crack above the belay for 10' walk along the ridge to a window. Sling the window with a long cord. Traverse another few feet to a bolt ladder consisting of two 1/4" bolts. Aid the bolts to a mantel and 3/8" stud. Free climb past the stud to a ledge and an anchor. The pitch is only 50-70' long but the rope drag was horrid. Possibly Brad was supposed to skip the anchor that he stopped at?

-Pitch 8- Again DON'T traverse right off the belay. Free climb another hand crack in a dihedral above the belay for about 40' to a slung horn. Tension traverse right off the horn to a hidden fixed pecker. Lower off the pecker into a gully with the bolt ladder. This was pretty simple and will avoid the scary 50' traverse right off the belay.

-We added one 3/8" bolt to 3 of the belays.

-We fixed a line on pitch 9 for the rappel, and don't know how we would have gotten back to the anchor without it. (you only need one rope for the last pitch.)

-The route is sweet! Do it.
By Bill Grasse
From: Carbondale, CO.
May 6, 2009

"-Bill also led pitch 6 and says the wide section was the hardest thing he has ever climbed. I call bullshit he had just finished jugging 500'. That being said bring a #6 camalot and pull on it."--Ben Kiessel

-While it may not really be the hardest thing I have ever climbed, it WAS the hardest thing that I have every climbed with a summer sausage in my pocket!
By Brad Brandewie
Jul 11, 2009

More photos and a TR at


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