Elevation: 5,246 ft
GPS: 38.722, -109.304 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 157,049 total · 765/month
Shared By: Andrew Gram on May 12, 2002
Admins: slim, Andrew Gram, Nathan Fisher, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq
Access Issue: RAIN, WET ROCK and RAPTOR CLOSURES: The sandstone around Moab is fragile and is very easily damaged when it is wet. Also please ask and be aware of Raptor Closures in areas such as CAT WALL and RESERVOIR WALL in Indian Creek Details


This is definitely the most popular tower in the Fishers, and Stolen Chimney on the corkscrew summit is one of the most popular routes in the desert. Rarely enough for the serious and scary Fishers, Stolen Chimney is a cruise that protects very well.

Ancient Art is a complicated formation with several major summits. The corkscrew summit is the one reached 99% of the time, but the others appear to be good outings as well. This is a great tower for the moderately experienced trad climber looking to experience what the Fisher Towers have to offer.

Getting There

Ancient Art is the multi-summited tower below the Kingfisher. Walk along the good trail from the parking lot for about a mile until just past the tower. Turn left onto a very good climber's trail that heads up the gully between Ancient Art and Cottontail Tower. The trail is excellent all the way to the base of the tower-look sharp for cairns.

2 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Ancient Art

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b A0
Stolen Chimney
Trad, Aid 4 pitches
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b C0+ R
The Hippie Route (North Summit)
Trad, Aid 4 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Stolen Chimney
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b A0 Trad, Aid 4 pitches
The Hippie Route (North Sum…
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b C0+ R Trad, Aid 4 pitches
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The three star rating is for the exposure rather than the rock quality. Yeah it isn't solid sandstone during the lower 2/3 of the climb, but the exposure is something you have to experience. The lower face before the chimney has four clips and goes around 10+. I think the book says the chimney goes at a 5.9. Technically, it was a little easier than 5.9, but I guess the dirt and sandy nature of this pitch increases the difficulty a bit. We soloed up the first part of the climb and then linked the 10+ face section and the chimney section into one longer pitch. (50M was fine). The face (protected by three clips) after the chimney just before reaching the bolts on the diving board/catwalk goes at 10 something also. Now you are ready to walk across (or scoot your bum across) to the camel's face. You can do the belly flop onto the top of the camel's face or traverse down and left to move up the corkscrew section. Then move up and right to attain the exposed summit. Double 60M rap from the ledge above the chimney pitch allows you to barely reach the ground. We rapped with a skinny 50M and a thick 60M which gets you to a spot where you then have to do two moves up a little slot and then two moves down on the other side in order to terra firma. Oct 4, 2004
Jimmy Dunn is the King of this Tower. He climbs it (up and down) without a rope! As far as I know, however, the tower still awaits a naked free solo by a cancer survivor ... Aug 30, 2005
Wayne Crill
an Altered State
Wayne Crill   an Altered State
Hands down, not only one of the best desert base jumps but one of the best base jumps period! Jun 20, 2007
Great climb. Do NOT miss the corkscrew pitch. Its not that hard 5-7/8 As Eddy Murphy says in "Bowfinger" "Keep it Together, Keep it Together"
PS Left my camera in the parking lot with some great pic's if found please call. I'm in the phone book SLC. Cheers and have a Great Climb Oct 4, 2007
Found my camera Thanks. Oct 10, 2007
EB   Winona
Can ancient art be rapped with a single 70m rope? Feb 21, 2008
Alex Knecht
White PLains
Alex Knecht   White PLains
Climbed this in April (sorry I'm a little late), but the group behind us stripped the 2nd bolt on the bolt ladder. This would make those moves tough to aid. Please post up if it has been replaced, but this is beta, climbers should take with them. Jul 28, 2010
Sam Lightner, Jr.
Lander, WY
Sam Lightner, Jr.   Lander, WY
Excuse me? Who stripped the bolt on the bolt ladder? And did they say why? Jul 28, 2010
Kevin Sainio
Durango, CO
Kevin Sainio   Durango, CO
Yup, some douchebag has removed two of the bolts on this route. The second bolt on the first bolt ladder is gone, which means you must make mandatory 5.10 moves in order to advance. This bolt really should be replaced because of the danger of decking on the ledge if you fall. Also, the first bolt on the second bolt ladder is missing as well making for a slightly more run out third pitch. Oct 12, 2010
Don't assume "douchebag".I did the route last Fri and ran into a guy in the parking lot on Sat who said he pulled a bolt out with his fingers a couple weeks ago. Seems to me better gone than finger loose. Oct 13, 2010
Kevin Sainio
Durango, CO
Kevin Sainio   Durango, CO
As Alex says, "the group behind us stripped the 2nd bolt". Removing a bad bolt is one thing, removing two perfectly good bolts in solid rock is another, especially when every guidebook printed says the route goes at 5.9, C0. By the way, we found one bolt at the base, it was in great shape, the only thing missing was the hanger. Oct 13, 2010
That second bolt was still missing as of 10/11/2010, but its absence did not slow down the traffic. Competent leaders just free climbed past it. Oct 16, 2010
Tom Grummon
Salt Lake City, UT
Tom Grummon   Salt Lake City, UT
The missing bolt on the first pitch is unfortunate because as previously mention it helps prevent a ledge fall. And although the one on the third pitch was not really necessary if shit hit the fan before you clip the now first bolt it would be very bad news. I climbed it this summer and the bolts seemed bomber then. When I climbed it yesterday the holes looked like they were fine.

Edit: this is still a well protected climb. Oct 20, 2010
Ryan Ray
Weatherford, TX
Ryan Ray   Weatherford, TX
No, im pretty sure that both of the bolts were intentionally removed. Both still had the collar and wedge still in the hole and they were tight. They were both indeed 5 piece rawls. If they had pulled then the colar and wedge would have been gone too. They had to be loosened in order to come out like that. They should have just been retightened instead of removed.

Fortunately, someone can easilly go back and should be able to place a new bolt back in the same hole. You might even be able to just place a new hanger and bolt stud back in using the same old wedge and collar(which is pretty new to begin with). There should be no need to redrill a new hole. Or you can take a new bolt and screw into the current wedge...tap it back in the hole, use some pliers to pull out the collar, then screw the bolt back in the wedge and pull the wedge out of the hole. Then just drill the hole a little deeper and use a new longer bolt. I would have done this when i was there this past week, but did not have my drill with me. Fortunately I personally did not feel that the bolts were necessary. I liked the way it forced you to free climb. Getting to the first bolt on the second bolt ladder is no harder than 5.5

On another note, did anyone notice that the large block on pitch 3 that you used to be there has fallen over and is now laying on the boulder between the large belay ledge. You used to step up on the boulder, then mantle up on top of the block in order to reach the fist bolt on that pitch. I wonder if that was knocked over intentionally, or by natural causes? Oct 23, 2010
Stan Jones
Benbrook, TX
Stan Jones   Benbrook, TX
For posterity - Ancient Art is the centerpiece of a CitiBank commercial that has been airing in Nov-Dec 2011. Dec 3, 2011
Topher M.
moab, ut
Topher M.   moab, ut
Can be climbed safely with a single set of Camalots #0.5 to #3 (double #1 optional, some quick draws, and four to six long (24") slings. "Yes" the first bolt on the last bolt ladder is still missing! The climbing is exposed but only 5.5ish to the next bolt. Placing a cam behind the flake below is a BAD idea! That flake is barely attached. As unique as this climb is, BEWARE! It seems to be a gumbi magnet. You may have to wait awhile and watch a total cluster above you! Mar 23, 2012
Ryan Ray
Weatherford, TX
Ryan Ray   Weatherford, TX
too bad. I remember the day when you could climb this and see no one else. Now the parking lot has become a cluster of cars. Alot has changed over the past few years. Apr 1, 2012
Des anyone know what the speed record on this tower is? Has one been recorded? Thanks for the beta Apr 18, 2012
Matt Hoffmann
Matt Hoffmann   Squamish
Did this on a packed day (18 people on it) ended up being quite the cluster F. If it's busy find something else to climb for the day, it's a short route with ok climbing. The summit is very cool but, as a climb I'd give it 1 star.

Place your gear carefully as the rock is iffy most of the way up.

One other note: If it's windy, the top pitch can be pretty scary. Apr 20, 2012
Tim Fry
Charlotte NC
Tim Fry   Charlotte NC
I just wanted to add that this climb and rappel is possible with a SINGLE 60m rope. I couldn't find that info anywhere online, but my partner and I did it yesterday and you end up with about 3' to spare on each of the longer rappels. Nov 27, 2012
I just wanted to add that to rap this route with a single sixty would be stupid and inconsiderate of the parties below you. Mar 31, 2013
Little homemade video of us climbing this thing for the first time. No helicopter shots like the Citi commercial, though.

youtube.com/watch?v=XQx2Nom… Apr 21, 2013
Dakota from North Dakota   Golden, CO
Summit shred session

youtube.com/watch?v=maH61YC… Nov 12, 2013
Any guides want to take an exchange student from Germany up Corkscrew the last week of May for 200? I told her about my climb last September, and she wants to go up but cannot afford the official package. It could be Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, so if you have a free day let me know. CarterMedia AT Hot mail Dot Com.

The climb we did in September, by the way, was awesome. It rained the night before (a lot) which was a pro and a con. Pro, because there was NOBODY waiting in the staging area, and a con because the rocks were still a little wet, and there was mud in the upper shelf, and a puddle or two in the rocks, including on the knob of corkscrew.

Climbing tip:

The second coolest photo you can take is of the front cliff when you are coming down. If you have anyone on the ground, tell them to take one (like attached) when you are coming down. It shows the huge size of the cliff there.

Apr 23, 2014
all over, mostly Utah
BigNobody   all over, mostly Utah
Better climbing tip:

Don't climb sandstone when it's wet jackass. Apr 23, 2014
Joe Forrester
Palo Alto
Joe Forrester   Palo Alto
^^^Second this one. Climbing on Cutler the morning after a heavy rain is pretty dangerous. If there is enough water that it is pooling, probably wise to wait for the rock to dry. Be smart and don't turn into a statistic that will change access for the worse. Apr 24, 2014
manuel rangel
manuel rangel   Arizona
Climbing wet sandstone is a beating offense. What a jerk. Apr 26, 2014
Brandon Mathis
Brandon Mathis   Durango

Breaking Point segment on Ancient Art. We wanted to show people what a cool route and wild summit this is. The climb truly captures the spirit of adventure. Dec 11, 2014
Carbondale, CO
davedad   Carbondale, CO
Anyone know if the missing bolts have been replaced? It seems like a few years since they were mentioned in comments. Oct 22, 2015
Brad Schildt
Boulder, CO
Brad Schildt   Boulder, CO
As of 10/21/16, there are no missing bolts. Oct 21, 2016
Rude Boy
San Francisco, CA
Rude Boy   San Francisco, CA
You can rappel from the "P3" anchor directly to the start with 2 70m ropes.
Dec 1, 2016
Laramie, WY
Petsfed   Laramie, WY
Please please PLEASE don't rappel down the chimney. If you have two ropes, you can rappel down the face to climber's left of the chimney with dual 60s, and completely avoid risking rock fall on parties below you, and avoid the possibility of a stuck rope. Dec 2, 2016
ATTENTION CLIMBERS: Filming for a news program will be occurring on Ancient Art on March 12, 2018. The climb/corkscrew is still open to the public, however, there may be delays while filming is occurring on the climb. Rigging will commence before sunrise and filming will be occurring throughout the morning. Wrap up is planned for 1PM. Mar 9, 2018
J. Sklutters
J. Sklutters   Boulder
Had to back off because of weather. Left an alpine draw and spirit draw on the piton and screw in after the diving board. If you want to return it let me know. 4017148583 May 5, 2018
Garrett Foster Green
Salt Lake, UT
Garrett Foster Green   Salt Lake, UT
Lost a roll of color Kodak film Saturday. If anyone finds it I'd be eternally grateful. I'll repay you kindly for your troubles. Jun 4, 2018