Login with Facebook
The Pickle
Select Route:
Standard Route T 
Mountain Project continues to expand with Hiking Project, and we're giving away loads of gear from Arc'Teryx, Superfeet, & Zeal. Check it out!

Standard Route 

YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b C1

Type:  Trad, Aid, 1 pitch, 90'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b C0 [details]
FA: Benny Bach & Cameron Burns
Page Views: 2,530
Submitted By: Brad Brandewie on Feb 16, 2007

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (25)
Your todo list:
Your stars:
Your rating: -none- [change]
Your ticklist: [add new tick]
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [0 people like this page.]
Benny Bach and Ethan Putterman in Fruita en route ...

  • This is a highly visible climb in an access sensitive area. Please be courteous and low key if you're going to climb this tower. Park in the lot next to the visitor's center and stay in washes when you leave the pavement. The tower is approached from the right when viewed from the road.
  • Read about Anchor Replacement and Restrictions in Arches National Park MORE INFO >>>

  • Description 

    Follow the obvious bolt ladder past an intermediate anchor to a few free moves at the top.


    A dozen quickdraws and a few longer runners.

    Photos of Standard Route Slideshow Add Photo
    Ben Kiessel standing in front of the Standard Rout...
    Ben Kiessel standing in front of the Standard Rout...
    Some really old anchor consisting of a really old ...
    Some really old anchor consisting of a really old ...
    Removing the large wad of slings from the anchor o...
    Removing the large wad of slings from the anchor o...
    George Armstrong on The Pickle. Todd Gordon collec...
    George Armstrong on The Pickle. Todd Gordon collec...
    The sandy topout. I stood on one bolt where the sa...
    The sandy topout. I stood on one bolt where the sa...
    Summit. Photo: Todd Gordon collection.
    Summit. Photo: Todd Gordon collection.
    The newer, and very nice anchor. Thank you to whom...
    The newer, and very nice anchor. Thank you to whom...
    The easy but fun bolt ladder
    The easy but fun bolt ladder

    Comments on Standard Route Add Comment
    Show which comments
    By toddgordon
    From: Joshua Tree, California
    Apr 11, 2007

    The Pickle is sort of a mess;....I am partially responsible for this. From what I understand, this route was first done by Cam Burns and friends in May, 1987. We (G. Armstrong and I ) went up to do the route and found that all the bolts on the bolt ladder had been chopped (or knocked out/stripped). We re-established the bolt ladder (leaving the 16 pins in place!) , and re-vamped the top summit anchor, which was poor (Including using an ice climbing warthog!). I've never been a fan of poor anchors. This was done in April of 02. Unfortunately (regretably?), we added fixed gear to the 5.9 "unprotected" section, for we were not "brave" enough for this section. This was a difficult decision; the route was basically gone; in re-establishing this "climb", we climbed it as best we could, in the manner which we seemed reasonable to us. It's a gray area, especially re-establishing a climb which was funky to begin with. (Funky being the long bolt ladder, which really wasn't a locally warmly greeted style in 1987 in Moab, and the poor anchors on top is sort of lame-o too;....as well as the crowning touch with the 5.9 X sandy slab run-out) Should we have left the route chopped? Do we re-establish the route exactly as it was? What is up with the "poor anchor?" Anyways;...for what it's worth, the climb is now back, the fixed gear is now in-situ, the anchors are hopefully solid. For those who like to tick towers, this is a safely attainable summit. I'm not proud of this;...only trying to "lay the facts straight" about this climb's "re-birth."
    By John J. Glime
    From: Salt Lake City, UT
    Apr 29, 2007

    That is brave of you to admit Todd. The rap anchor is now super bomber, thanks to probably Sam Lightner?

    This is a silly climb really, but it is fun and easy, and is another tower. Perhaps the easiest tower in the Moab area? It is a very safe and secure solo. It is something to do if you have an hour or two to kill. Quick access from town, easy approach, etc.
    By Camster (Rhymes with Hamster)
    Jun 18, 2007

    I think it might help to know I told Kyle Copeland (in about 1989 or so) that the thing had a load of drilled angles in it. He was wanting some for a project, and I said he should go scarf those on the Pickle if he was desperate. Didn't think he'd actually do it. Then again, didn't think it would ever see another ascent. Anyway, that's that.
    By Sam Lightner, Jr.
    From: Lander, WY
    Jun 19, 2007

    Yeah, I beefed the anchor and cleaned the wad of tat off that was halfway down the face. The routes most reedemable quality, besides its ease of access, is that it is not facing the road and thus doesn't draw attention. As Arches tower climbs go, this one feels very "Potash Road".
    By Camster (Rhymes with Hamster)
    Apr 19, 2008

    Just to add a bit of credit where some is due, the FA was really Benny and Cam, not Cam and Benny. He led that unprotected top pitch late in the day (it was getting dark), and, at least when we did the FA, the thing was sandier than hell. I was pretty amazed by his lead. It was like climbing a frozen sand dune. Everything you touched came off. So, it's interesting that Todd added some new fixed gear to that pitch. Makes sense to me. Probably would to Benny, too. It might be a lot cleaner now with all these ascents so I can understand the 5.7 rating. Heck, you know how FAs in the desert go: if you live through it it's been a pretty good day....
    By Tristan Higbee
    From: Cambodia
    Feb 17, 2009

    I really enjoyed this tower. It's easy, safe, and fun. There are 21ish bolts (the first two are bolts and the rest are drilled pitons) on the route, so take enough slings/draws.
    By Andy Laakmann
    Site Landlord
    From: Bend, OR
    Mar 28, 2009
    rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b C0

    Ickle me pickle me tickle me too, I took a ride on a flying shoe.

    A fine first aid climb for my wife and I. I happily stood on the pitons on the final slab, but the last move requires a mandatory 5.7 free move.
    By slim
    Oct 20, 2011
    rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b C0

    stare not too long into the eye of the pickle, lest is stare back into thee!

    fun little route that makes a good ending to a long trip, when you are beat to hell and want to do something small with a quick getaway.
    By Eric Odenthal
    Mar 10, 2012
    rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b C0

    went up this tower yesterday, aid solo. 20 something pins and bolts get you up to the last free sandy move. The anchor looks good, bring cord just incase. fun quick route if you have a few hours.
    By Camster (Rhymes with Hamster)
    Nov 26, 2012

    We first climbed The Pickle as a joke. In 1987, we were sitting in the trailer that Eric Bjornstad and [rockshop owner] Lin Ottinger shared, and Lin said, "You should climb that thing that looks like a big dick out near Arches." So we did. "Hey, Lin, we did the big dick." "Good," he said. Later, he told us about Chimney Rock----the one in Canyonlands, as it hadn't quite or had just recently been climbed (by Kyle C.). Before the first ascent, Lin, guiding a tour, flew over Chimney Rock and threw empty beer cans onto the summit to confound whoever might climb it first.
    Beyond the Guidebook:
    The Definitive Climbing Resource
    Inspiration & Motivation
    to Fuel Your Run
    Next Generation Mountain
    Bike Trail Maps
    Backcountry, Sidecountry
    and Secret Stashes
    Better Data. Better Tools.
    Better Hikes!