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Bensass T 
Formation: Castle Ardbeg. Route: The Whiskey Tour T 
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Planet X, via the route Problicom Motion 
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Johnny Hanksville of Mars 

YDS: 5.11a French: 6c Ewbanks: 22 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 22 British: E3 5c

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 110', Grade II
Consensus:  YDS: 5.11a French: 6c Ewbanks: 22 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 22 British: E3 5c [details]
FA: James Garrett, June 2010 belayed by John Smart and Sheldon Hatch FFA: Darren Knezek, May 2011
New Route: Yes
Season: Anytime when dry
Page Views: 1,149
Submitted By: James Garrett on Jun 13, 2010

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Johnny Hanksville Of Mars on Planet X


This is on the same Viewfinder Tower as Planet X. With so many Viewfinder Towers, it may make sense to categorize them according to Tower names (FA names?) rather than by route names. Climbed during the filming of the movie on a day off.

Start in an alcove on the right side of the North Face. The rock on most of the route seemed to be good quality Moenkopi Sandstone rather than the aforementioned Entrada...but the rotten summit block may very well be Entrada.

Pitch #1: Climb the mangle of disjointed crack systems to a saddle attaining the west arete and follow it to the top and two-bolt belay.

Rappel straight down the face to the ground with one rope.


North side of Viewfinder Tower called Planet X. 2 minute approach time form Highway 24.
Look for a belay bolt at the base of the route, placed there because those belaying do not own harnesses. Movie People...go figure!


Set of Camalots with doubles #3 to #5.
QDs or long slings for a few bolts. Hangers left on all 1/2" x 3.5" Hilti bolts.
A selection of pitons are recommended. I only had a few angles.
Two bolt belay/rappel established right of Planet X original route on the last really good rock on the ridgeline.

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By Steve "Crusher" Bartlett
Jun 15, 2010

Sounds like a fine route James.

I agree with you about the organization. I was lazy, and kinda screwed up with my initial postings. With the addition of more routes, it might be better to move Viewfinder Towers up a level and include it as a discrete area. I intended Planet X as the tower name, and never did come up with a route name. Yeah, the organization's screwed up for when someone adds another route--sorry.
By James Garrett
Jun 15, 2010

I agree Crusher....nice find by the way...when did you do your ascent? As the locals I have talked with seem to be unaware of a name for that tower....maybe Planet X will become both tower/route that OK with you?
By Darren Knezek
May 18, 2011
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

Freed this climb at what seemed like 5.10d or 5.11a.
It's all gear up to the 1st bolt and the gear I used to get there was a 4" cam, 1.5" cam and two 2.5" cams. The crux for me came between the 2nd and the 3rd bolt. I placed a blue Metolius Mastercam between these two bolts in a small slot. Strenuous to place, but key for keeping you from hitting the dirt slope below.
After the 3rd bolt, the rest of the climb just uses quickdraws. There's also a strange crux between the 3rd and 4th bolt, and a really cool rock over/mantle higher up that gets you up to the slab.
Once you get to the two hanger belay, it's about 12 feet of kitty litter to the summit. After the summit, climb back down 5 feet, lean over and get lowered off of Crusher's anchors. A 70 meter rope barely reaches the ground.
Nice route James!
By Steve "Crusher" Bartlett
May 10, 2015

Stopped by to check this out. Man, there's a lot of bolts.

First ascent, aid climb, solo, used no bolts, no drilled holes, except two rappel bolts at top.

Second ascent of tower, belayed by partners, also climbed on aid, with hammer and pitons, added thirteen more bolts to this little tower?

Maybe I'm silly to still hew to the traditional ethic of keeping the hole count low on new routes .... it's more work and time and even risk. But otherwise there's not much uncertainty left. And you gotta have uncertainty to have an adventure.

Props to Darren for freeing the route! Does look like a fine free climb.
By James Garrett
May 11, 2015

Yes, silly perhaps and no doubt a bigger adventure for my belayers who never left the ground...and yes, "Johnny" could have been climbed in the same style as the original obscure not repeated aid climb with its only two bolts in the most rotten summit capstone imaginable...but it wasn't.

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