Type: Trad, Aid, 8 pitches, Grade V
FA: L. Kor, G. Hurley, H. Ingalls-1962
Page Views: 38,451 total · 184/month
Shared By: Joe Collins on Mar 23, 2002 with improvements by Tito Krull 1 and 2 others
Admins: slim, Andrew Gram, Nathan Fisher, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq

You & This Route

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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


A certified desert classic and a visionary first ascent in its day. Not nearly as loose as rumored, but do expect large doses of mank. Only a couple sections require tricky aid but loads of ancient, often hilarious, fixed gear keep the excitement level high. The aid is mostly clean but we did have to place about 7 or so pins.Most of the anchors have at least one good bolt.

There are a couple strategies for climbing this route. Many guides call this route grade IV but only a very fast party will be able to do the route in a day. In the end it took us about 14 hours of climbing spread over 2 days to summit. The most likely option is to climb the first 5-1/2 pitches on the first day, fix 3 ropes down the descent route, then jug to the highpoint and finish off the route the next day. The jugging on the descent route is miserable so if you're pretty fast (or you have the long days of late-spring) then try to do it in a day.

Approach: follow the obvious trail to the Titan, circumnavigating the tower around to the NE side. The approach takes a little over an hour with full aid climbing regalia. The route starts in the crack system about 30 feet to the left of the obvious descent gully.

P1- Aid up the crack system, passing a false belay, to a belay about 130 feet off the deck. A lot of this pitch could be free climbed at a moderate grade. Triples of #2 and #3, doubles of #4 would be useful if aiding and not wanting to back clean. 5.8 C1 (130ft)

P2- Continue up the crack system into a flaring groove, 5.7 C2 (80ft)

P3- Continue up the obvious line to a ledge at the base of the Finger. Pin scars and holes off belay is tricky aiding but brief. Some mandatory free moves that are committing on this pitch. 5.8 C2+ (70ft)

P4- Traverse the ledge around the corner (5.6) to an ancient bolt. Aid the roof (A2, tricky) and continue to a belay on the other side of the Finger. If you're lucky the pin stack we placed and couldn't clean will still be there. The traverse is well protected by the original drilled angle anchor one bad angle and bad star drive and one good angle. the old star drive protecting the beginning of the roof bulge is still there and is manky, both fixed tricams are in place and menacing as ever! haha, I brought one screamer on route it came in handy for piece of mind...gets you to base of The Finger. 5.8 C2F (50ft)

P5- Scramble up to a drilled pin, then continue up the strenuous flare (C1 or 5.10). At the top of the flare, 5.8 groveling (free crux) is required to reach the belay, ends standing on ridge with the duck in front of you. C1 (80ft)

P6- Traverse around the left side of "The Duck". On the other side of the duck is the anchor for the descent route (3 double rope rappels to the base). Continue up the wide crack system to a large ledge (bivy site) and belay, 5.8 (85ft)

P7- Traverse right around the arete to a seam. Aid the seam (A2) back up to the crest of the arete. Mixed free (5.7-5.8) and aid (C2) past questionable fixed gear leads to an exposed stance on the arete, some placements and fixed pin lead you to many bolts to anchor. 80 feet. 5.7 C2 (80ft)

P8- Mixed free (5.7-5.8) and aid (C2, very long reaches, trickery necessary) past more museum relics to a wide crack. Continue up the crack, over a roof in the caprock (wild exposure), and mantle up to the belay. Almost a bolt ladder, with some free moves and top steps. 5.8 A0 (100ft)

P9- 4th class to the summit

Descent- rappel from the top of P8 to top of P7. Rappel from top of P7 to the anchor next to The Duck on P6. Three rappels down the gully to the base.

You can also save yourself the trouble of walking all the way back around the Titan by making 2 double rope rappels to the west down the cliff near the base.


Bring stoppers (doubles in medium to large sizes), 2 sets of cams from blue alien through #4 camalot, some KBs, arrows, and angles (with 1.5" to 2" angles useful for stacking). Bring something to rig a cheater stick and a belay seat is useful.

2017 Update from Tito Krull 1 Did this route easily in a day no fixing.

We brought most of the rack in Totem cams. made 95% of all placements bomber!! we brought Tricams and Ballnuts and didn't place a single one!

x2 .2
x4 .3 (only really need 3)
x3 .4
x3 .5
x3 .75
x2 #1 (3ea could be useful)
x2 #2 (3ea could be useful)
x2 #3 (3ea could be useful)
x1 #4 (2ea could be useful)
x1 #5

Doubles in Offset cams. (we could of left a set behind because we had so many Totems, but would be otherwise useful to have two sets).

1 good set of Offset nuts.

12 draws mostly alpines.

1 screamer (To protect anchor falls from dicey gear off belays)


Joe Collins
  5.8 C2+
Joe Collins  
  5.8 C2+
I also want to add that the Titan is apparently the tallest free-standing desert tower in North America. I was also somewhat surprised how few ascents the Titan sees. The summit log has only 7 or 8 entrys (all by the Finger, one by Sundevil Chimney) between May 2001 and late-March 2002. Mar 25, 2002
Brad Schildt
Boulder, CO
Brad Schildt   Boulder, CO
Approach: On the East side of the tower on the final hill, the trail splits. The left trail traverses along the base to the Sundevil Chimney. Take the right trail which continues ascending towards the wall North of the Titan, than head back South along the base of the wall to the Finger of Fate route. Additional Pro: bring along several Z pitons. The 2" piton scars are not 2" any more, and Z Pitons will be your new best friend. Also, bring old ropes for fixing the rappels. We shredded 2 jumaring over the numerous ledges in the gully. May 31, 2002
I've never been there, but if everything in your description is so obvious, how was it such a visionary ascent put up by Layton Kor? Jun 15, 2002
Joe Collins
  5.8 C2+
Joe Collins  
  5.8 C2+
Hey AC-

go buy a guidebook. The info here is the perspective of someone who climbed the route recently and is meant as a supplement to any info in a guide. Anyone who has climbed this route knows that the info in the guide, especially the topo, is useful but somewhat dated. Jun 17, 2002
George Bell
Boulder, CO
George Bell   Boulder, CO
One comment about the route: The first three pitches took us longer than the final 6 pitches as they are heavy duty aid. After you get to the Finger of Fate notch things go more quickly. The lower part of this route is quite shady and can be cold if the air temp is low. Jul 31, 2002
Sam Lightner, Jr.
Lander, WY
Sam Lightner, Jr.   Lander, WY
HiWe (Forest Dramis and I) replaced many of the 1/4 inch spinning relics on the last two pitches with 3/8 inch stuff that will out-live the Titan. However, we did not remove a piece for every new oone as it was doing severe damage to the rock (when pulling out) and some of the stuff, like the banged in angles, are needed to keep the character of the pitch (ie lassoing and such). We did pull one with our fingers, but the rest will be worked out over time. Also, you won't zipper the pitch now, but the Kor-size reaches and potential to hit one of the many bulges is still there. Sam Lightner, Jr.10.23.2002 Oct 23, 2002
The second and fourth pitches go clean quite easily. It helps a lot to use offsets and a weird french free move at the top of pitch 2. I would rate it no harder than C2+ weird. Pitch four goes clean fairly easily with a #1 camalot in a gaping pin scar and a pretty strenuous mantle. Another note: tri-cams, especially pink and red, are incredibly useful on this route. Feb 9, 2003
Is it possible to link the second and third pitches? What are the bolts on the first pitches like? Are they still the old star drive in Kor bolts half weathered out of the rock? Any info you have would be appreciated! Mar 17, 2003
the bolts on p1 are half old, half relatively new. the anchor is an eclectic collection!

you could probably link p2 and p3, but the drag would be not wonderful and it would be a lot of gear.

i don't know about that c2+ grade for p2 that was mentioned above. i haven't done it totally clean myself, but the clean grades i've seen were more in the c3-c3+ range. of course, i could be quite wrong. Mar 17, 2003
Thanks for the beta Dan. If anyone is looking for some interesting reading material on this climb you should hit up National Geographic's November 1962 article on Kor's FA of the route... very interesting. Mar 21, 2003
Thanks again for the info. We climbed the Finger over two days- 3/29-30/03. The first three pitches took the most time but were climbed clean with out two much trouble. I don't know what I would rate this climb, as this was our teams first dedicated aid climb. The placements throughout the route are somewhat scary (e.g. small, sloping pin scars) and sandy. Tricams are the answer. It would behoove you two pack doubles of the smallest four to use in the pin scars. The fourth pitch traverse goes free over to the roof, from there, whip out the tricams and pray that they don't slip in the scars. On the last pitch it is wise to have a #4 camalot or a Big tricam (#7 i think?) and to leap frog it with another big piece. That large crack can go free, but either way, the pro is big. Have fun with the lassoing on the last pitch, I think that was the only part I really enjoyed. The rock is rotten so don't be surprised when you get sick of the constant re-runs of your life flashing before your eyes. If you are one of those really fast parties or just have extra time, we noticed that someone was keen on climbing the actual finger and decided to bolt a ladder up it, complete with two bolts on the top. To reach it you must finish the traverse around to the notch between the finger and the ridge up to the duck. Enjoy the sand-"stone".4-6-03 Apr 6, 2003
Info on the Finger rebolting:


Great to hear that the anchors are now bomber. I have mixed feelings about the replaced bolts on the bolt ladder, though. Part of the character of the route for me was in trusting the old fixed gear. On the other hand, the fixed stuff was probably pretty decent back in the day. Apr 13, 2004
In the last week I have met two parties headed for the Finger with hammer in hand. Why? I know that books published in the last ten years still describe this as a nailing route, but it isn't anymore. It is clear from this route description that this route goes clean; it's great to have s source that is constantly being updated (thanks CM). This route is classic and is fast becoming a _trade route_ (if the Fishers even have any!) and it is crucial that it is protected. It seems that the permeating ethic is that when a route goes clean once, it should not be nailed again. Why is this so difficult for people to understand in the Fisher Towers area? Is it that the rock is so soft? Well the rock is awful steep in Rifle, but you'll be hung if you get caught chipping in that area. If you can't climb these routes the way that they should be then you can't climb them at all. Last year Tom Haines, Joe Leonhard, and I came here without even owning a hammer. We had NO AID EXPERIENCE, but were armed with plenty of naivety and determination to climb the tallest tower in North America. Two days of flailing, learning, and being too proud to bail got us on top of this tower. If the three of us (total gumbies) could schlup our way through this route CLEAN, I feel there is NO EXCUSE to even bring a hammer up this stack (especially in light of all the re-bolting)!

Colin, those parties with hammers you saw going for the Finger last weekend. Did you stop them and set them straight regarding clean aid practices in the Fishers?...

...or did you say nothing and come spew from the soapbox on an internet forum? Apr 26, 2004
Great question, Anonymous Coward... In fact, I did. I'd much rather address that topic in a fact-to-face manner than in this forum. However, this seems to be a fine means of promoting clean climbing, especially to people who are headed for the _Finger._ Wouldn't you agree? May 3, 2004
Hey Colin,

As a matter of fact I just finished the Titan several days ago and I have several comments for you. Just so you know I did meet you face to face and you were certainly less than adamant that the Titan would go clean and you certainly did not rebuke me for my intention of hammering on the "big dirty". In fact I would tend to believe that your party consisted of two other solid climbers with some aid experience and you - the eternal jugger - this hardly gives you the right to critique others regarding their placements. Am I right or am I right? I would prefer to hear from the leaders in your team next time. As it happened we met an extremely strong, competent team from Boulder at the base on our second day and they hammered the whole way finishing in about 10 hours. I was never dumbfounded by the damage wrought in the wake of placing pitons by the other team or my own. In addition, regarding your comment that the rest of us gumbies (yourself excluded of course) steer clear of aid climbs that have recently gone clean, I would say that is great news for the Huber brothers and Dean Potters of the world and bad news for the rest of us weaklings who actually aspire to get our asses up Zodiac someday - with or without hammering. IN fact once an aid climb has gone free why the rest of us don't just piss off and stick to the local crags where we belong? I suspect you won't be joining them up there anytime soon either . . . May 6, 2004
Hey A.Coward,

If you intend to slander me then at least sack up and leave your name and e-mail address. Better yet, email me with your problems instead of spewing your un-informed beliefs about me and my climbing on climbingmoab!On my own behalf: I led plenty of the 'Finger'- including the 2nd and 4th pitches- all clean. That was in fact my first aid climb... ever! I certainly don't have the right to tell another how to climb any route, but I find nothing wrong with passing judgment based either solely on my own opinion or upon a widely accepted standard. I'm not sorry I hurt your little feelers by reprimanding those who nail on well established clean aid routes. May 7, 2004
Joe Leonhard
Denver, CO
Joe Leonhard   Denver, CO
I was along with Colin on our trip to climb the Finger of Fate, and I confess, I was the "eternal jugger" of the three, while the other two did a fine job of hauling my ass up that pile. I agree with Colin that, if at all possible, a party should try to complete the route clean. I think a lot of parties can since that was our trio's first aid experience, and trust me, we are no seasoned hard-men, just young, ignorant punks. However, I find it a bit ironic that the only reason we (also read: the other two guys) were able to finish this route clean was due to all of the pin scars. With time these scars will get bigger in the soft rock and the nature of this climb will continue to change. As of now, I think a lot of parties can do it without a hammer, but I'm not the climbing police. May 10, 2004
Thought I might add a few relevent comments here.

1) This route is not grade IV.

2) A cheater stick appears in the rack beta above. It's fine if you use one, or if you manage to climb the route clean using one, but do note that you have not actually climbed the route. You might want to mention to others your use or nonuse of such when offering rack beta as it can make a very big difference. I find it interesting, given the above posts, that a very experienced climber claims in the guidbooks that this route was 5.12 C3 when done clean. I have heard similar comments made by others. It's the kind of beta that makes one want to pack a few pins. But - mud changes, French climbers sometimes spray, and some people just get lucky - ie, if one is able to make use of a tricam on p. 4 rather than use a pin stack (or freeclimb 5.12), it doesn't automatically mean that placement will ever hold a tricam again.

3) If you would like to nail, I would suggest a set of sawed-off angles from 3/4 to 2". This would likely eliminate the need to stack pins. If climbing a few other beat-out routes is in your future, I think a full set of sawed angles will come in as a handy addition to your pin rack.

4) As a member of the above mentioned party that "hammered the whole way" I would like to clarify that we clipped a few pins on pitch 2 from the party we were passing. Thereafter, I believe I made a total of 3 placements on p.3,4. (off the belay on p.3, middle p.3, 3rd placement above the roof on p.4). My partner, a relatively inexperienced aid climber, made 2 placements somewhere in the middle of p. 7. I would like to confess that I believe all these placements might be avoidable with 1-3" tricams and some mid sized (red and few sizes larger) Aliens - at about middle A2. Obviously, we didn't do it clean as I didn't have this kind of gear with me so I can't say for sure - but this wasn't my first day out aid climbing either. It's unfortunate none of this gear is part of the recommended rack in any of the guidebooks.

5) So, my beta: Bring some of those above mentioned tricams and Aliens, pack some sawed-offs, a few Z's and a couple fat angles just in case, toss the cheater stick in the trash, and let us know how it goes. It would be a good thing if more precise (and credible?) beta existed for this particular well-traveled and fragile climb that would allow more people to climb it clean - ie, where exactly did you need to nail and/or use difficult clean gear - and was it scary because you've never stood on piece of aid gear before, or can you give it a valid clean aid rating based on experience. If people see pins on a rack list, they will likely feel free to nail every pitch. However, if someone presents a valid clean rack list and some assurance about what pitches can go clean, then some good progress will have been made toward preserving this route for the future.

- AC May 10, 2004
AC says:

"2) A cheater stick appears in the rack beta above. It's fine if you use one, or if you manage to climb the route clean using one, but do note that you have not actually climbed the route. "

I agree with most of your post, but on this point you're talking out your ass, AC. Let me get this straight... I'm 5foot6, so on the last bolt ladder pitch, when I rigged my hammer with duct tape to reach a distant bolt, I invalidated my ascent. Gimme a break, a taller person reaches that bolt no problem... probably doesn't even need to topstep.

What about my belayer? Since she wasn't leading that pitch anyway, does that mean her ascent is invalidated due to my actions. By that logic, then unless you lead every pitch, then you haven't climbed the route.

Or what about the fact that you've climbed this route in the supertaco-ASCA-retrobolting era and clipped shiny bolts, whereas I climbed on the aforementioned "museum relics" 5 years ago. Ever thought that the locations might be different now, or that that part of the climb used to be scary. Perhaps I did it in better style than you after all.

So if its OK with you judge, I'll tell people that I've climbed the Finger. All it means is that I may not have done it in the best style possible. Kinda like nailing up a route that goes clean, eh Boulder-boy. May 10, 2004
The ethics of using a cheat stick for aiding are pretty well established. It appears I wrongfully assumed everyone would be familiar with them. Balancing a hook or something on top of a hammer or girthing stoppers end-to-end is generally considered legitimate and perhaps even fun, especially if you are reaching for the next only available placement. If the FA used a 10ft pole to reach far off hook moves, as has been done, then that's what you do when you repeat that particular pitch.

However, cheating up to the next piece of fixed gear to avoid placing your own intermediate (and often harder) gear isn't legitimate - and was the context of my comment.

BTW, my partner is shorter than you and clipped the mentioned piece on the last pitch with his bare hand from a top step. May 10, 2004
Ross Keller
Parker, CO
  5.8 C3-
Ross Keller   Parker, CO
  5.8 C3-
I've been up this route a couple of times and have never used a cheater stick on it. But, I wouldn't go up a route like this, with multiple instances of fixed gear, without one. It can save you from having to drill a new hole or otherwise have to back off.

As far as "cheating" is concerned, this my friend is aid climbing and it's up to the ascentionist to determine the style in which they climb.

In general I agree with the idea that a route that's been AIDED clean should be accomplished in that manner, as far as is practical, on future ascents (hey, this is the Fishers, fixed pro sometimes blows and the rock (as mentioned above) has a tendency to change. May 28, 2004
June 2/04 . We a party of 3 from a distant country did the Finger route clean in a total of 11 hours using about 21/2 racks of REGULAR cams, they a mixture of Friends ,Metolious, and Camalots, no cheating stick. no big problems...nice climb ,good views.. Jun 4, 2004
More Pictures and a TR at
piquaclimber.net/past/thebi… Oct 12, 2004
the Mountains
Stiles   the Mountains
Jeez, guys, chill out. Do what you've got to do to have fun and succeed. Try your damndest not to nail, place sawed-offs if you ABSOLUTELY have to (although a craftily placed tri-cam will work), and SAY WHAT YOU DO. Nobody should care about your style as long as you owe up to your actions and don't hurt the rock or somebody else. Its aid climbing, a cheater stick really isn't cheating in my book, just poor style. Mar 28, 2005
Posted by John Riedel (only anonymous coward because my name is not in the system today - I have to wait 'till tomorrow before I can use it apparently)

The hammering question seems to be moot now that a British team has freed the Finger of Fate route. Ethics dictate that it now go clean aid or free. Also, don't know if it applies to the area in which the Titan is located, but the NPS rules on climbing in the Canyonlands area are:

All climbing shall be free or clean aid climbing with the following exceptions:


No new climbing hardware may be left in a fixed location; however, if a hardware item is unsafe, it may be replaced. *

Protection may not be placed with the use of a hammer except to replace existing belay and rappel anchors and bolts on existing routes, or for emergency self-rescue. *

If an existing software item (sling, etc.) is unsafe, it may be replaced (software that is left in place must match the rock surface in color). Apr 1, 2005
Sorry, John, the Fishers are not in Canyonlands, thus those rules do not apply (though, the BLM may eventually move in that direction).

Second, b/c the Finger goes free, that does not dictate that the route now must go free or clean aid. That never has been an accepted ethic (and from what I've heard the route hasn't been completely freed anyway). The only cases I can think of where that particular ethic has been accepted is when the route has been freed ground-up, (i.e. if the route can be done at C1 or C2). The only really accepted ethic for Cutler sandstone is to tread as lightly as possible. Apr 4, 2005
From the start of the descent gully on the back of the Duck, you can make it all the way to the ground with 2 60m ropes tied together with plenty of room to spare (~25 ft or so). I wouldn't be surprised with a 70m rope you could fix from the rap gully by the Duck to the top of 8 and beginning of the 4th class to the summit. Fare Well! Apr 28, 2005
Bo Johnston  
I just soloed this route in a day last week. I started hiking at 4:30AM and started climbing by 6:30AM. I reached the duck by 12:30PM and the summit around 5:00PM. I wish I had read more about the current clean list regarding tri cams but I only knew to bring the larger angles and I did place a 1.5" on pitch 2 and a stacked 1.5" & 3/4" together on pitch 3. Otherwise, all clean and no cheater stick. The hardest pitch for me was the grovel up to the duck in the 5.10 flare 'cause it could not be aided and I was loaded down with aiders and all the other crap. Pitch 8 was reachy, even though I'm 6' 4" and I could see why a cheater stick or lassoing the pertruding pitons could be in order for some. Oh yeah, a red Lowe Ball is handy on the A2 seam pitch off the bivy ledge. May 25, 2005
J. Thompson
denver, co
J. Thompson   denver, co
Funny that most of the people saying nailing is no big deal sign in as AC's as hammering on this route is quite cowardly....just did this route completely clean, no cheat stick. In fact we didn't take a hammer or a cheat stick. The aid goes about C3- probably more like C2+ and then only a very few moves...with good gear around it. The key is doing a few free moves and big top steps. The wide pitch goes free at about 5.10c. The summit register is MIA.

josh Nov 25, 2005
toddgordon Gordon
Joshua Tree, California
toddgordon Gordon   Joshua Tree, California
Did this climb in Nov. of 1983 with Dave Evans and Lori Graf. We had read in the "50 classics " book that "experienced sandstone climbers can easily do this climb in a day." Well;....we got stuck overnight on the pitch below the bolt ladder;...and it was cold and windy too. We didn't have hardly any food or water;...it was bogus;....but , looking back, a grand "adventure".....("adventure" is another word for fuk-up...). We also didn't take any 2" angles, and on one traversing section, I had to stack bunches of pins in shallow holes;.....oops. I realize this climb goes clean now;... you can thank us pin bangers for the scars you now can put aliens and hooks in! (You're welcome!) Lori had done about 10 climbs in her life;....big fun for her;..first time on jumars for Lori too. (Her 2nd climb ever was Castleton!). This was Dave Evan's first sandstone tower, and Dave went on to a very awesome sandstone tower tick list that is quite impressive. The next week-end, Dave, Brian Povolny , and I finished our "project" in Canyon de Chelly behind Spyder Rock;..The Arachnid Mesa climb (10 pitch new route); which I believe has YET to see a second ascent. (We spent 2 nights on the final push after fixing a few pitches......) It was a wild week for Dave, Lori, Brian and I.......(Ah, yes;....to be young again....) May 2, 2007
toddgordon Gordon
Joshua Tree, California
toddgordon Gordon   Joshua Tree, California
For more info, click: joshuatreeclimb.com/Stories… Jun 9, 2007
Andy Novak
Bailey, CO
Andy Novak   Bailey, CO
Just an FYI: The November, 1962 National Geographic (VOL 122, NO. 5) has the A-mazing story of the first ascent of this route, written by none other than Hunt Ingalls himself. Great photos of Kor drilling and cleaning a bolt hole, 1960's gear, and the austere Fisher landscape. One caption reads, "Bricklayer Kor spends holidays scaling rocks in record time". Just great stuff.

Title is "We Climbed Utah's Skyscraper Rock" Sep 16, 2008
Aaron Child
  5.8 C3
Aaron Child  
  5.8 C3
Did this completely clean this week. Awesome, exposed, traumatizing. What else do you expect in Fisher Towers? May 24, 2009
Tristan Higbee
Ogden, UT
5.8 C3
Tristan Higbee   Ogden, UT
5.8 C3
Did the route clean in a day mid-May 2009. It's not super hard, but it was a little bit scary for us. Loved it, loved it, loved it!

I've got a TR and pics at my blog. Apr 2, 2010
Telluride, CO
  5.8 C2+
JoshOrin   Telluride, CO
  5.8 C2+
Just did this route over two days. Fantastic route that follows an aestetic line with reachy aid and fun free. Expect to do a few free moves out of your aiders!
It went completely clean with 2 sets off-set aliens, 2 sets aluminum off-set nuts, 1 #5 and #6 brass off set, 1 set regular aliens, tri-cams (blue and brown, I think), and 2 sets bd .75 - 4. Most of the free can be aided as well, but who would want to aid a perfectly good hand crack? The roof on P3 was the crux and may be harder for shorter people (I'm 6'3").
If you are going to fix, fix the route and not the rappel gully as it is very gritty and has many bulges to clear, some of which are sharp edges that can quickly wear a rope. We fixed the route from the top of the traverse/roof pitch (p3 for us) with two 60 M ropes and jugging the next day was quite pleasant. Apr 30, 2010
Did this route clean over two days without a cheater stick or offsets and one ballnut (which is now fixed on the 7th pitch). Nothing really seemed too hard, if the tricams pull on the 4th pitch i could become interesting. All anchors are bomber and most of the lead bolts/pins/? are lookin alright, but most spin so bring a wrench. If you need to nail on this route you suck at climbing. Oct 20, 2010
Aurora, CO
  5.10 C2+ R
Rico   Aurora, CO
  5.10 C2+ R
Summitted on June 5th. Weather was good but on the hot side. Thank God the route is mostly shaded. Approach is about an hour. Climbed in 7 pitches. Fixing the first two pitches with 60 meter ropes to the start of the roof pitch worked great. The descent gully looks heinous to jug. If you're tagging a line you can leave it at the base of the last pitch and do 2 rappels off the top back to your rope for the second set of rapells where two ropes are required. Offset stoppers were great. Tri cams were useful. Offset cams would have been money. We roped up for the Class 4 summit ridge. It's not a difficult section but a fall would be fatal and there are a few exposed moves. 2 60's required for rapells from The Duck to the ground. Didn't need a stick clip but I'm 5'6" tall and did have to lasso a fixed pin on the last pitch with a double runner and slip knot. I thought the 2nd pitch was the crux due to poor rock quality and a few tricky placements. Might have been easier with offset cams. The roof pitch had 4 fixed pieces: an old bolt, piton, and two fixed tri cams. I'm not sure how much longer the tricams will stay fixed. The lower one looked good but the higher one flexed a little when weighted. Most of the new bolts on the route were still in good shape. Some were spinning slightly and a little hand tightening temporarily sufficed. A wrench may be useful. The Rack: 2 sets of offset stoppers (10), 2 sets cams (red C3 to #3 C4), 1 #4 C4, extra BD C4 .4 size useful, 1 set tri cams, 12 draws/slings (backcleaning required on last pitch). Double length sling useful for cowboy style lassoing on the last pitch. Jun 6, 2011
George Bell
Boulder, CO
George Bell   Boulder, CO
Big bivy ledge after pitch 6. It would be great to sleep on the Titan, and hauling probably isn't bad as the first 3 pitches are so steep. I remember a story in Ascent or maybe Nat Geo about the midnight attack of some "Cone-nosed kissing bugs", I think it was on that ledge. Probably gone by now! Dec 7, 2011
Sam Lightner, Jr.
Lander, WY
Sam Lightner, Jr.   Lander, WY
You will not have to worry about bugs right now, and I dare say you need more than a light bag. Single digits in Moab the last few nights. Dec 8, 2011
Erik Werner
Boulder, CO
Erik Werner   Boulder, CO  
Did the route in a day yesterday, and thought I'd post up some additional beta while it's all still fresh in my branium. In addition to the standard gear, we brought a couple large angles for hand placing... def helped thru the crux pitches. Specifically used sawed-off 1.5", sawed-off 1.25" a 2" bong, and a 3" bong. Those pieces were money. Also brought #4.5 camalot and a #6. If I went to climb it again, this would be my rack:

2 sets camalots Green C3 - #4 C4
2 sets off-set aliens
1 ea. camalot #4.5 (old) and #6 (new)
2 sets offset nuts (no micros
Sawed-off angles 1.5", 1.25"
Bongs 2", 3"
10 draws
5 trad draws
Anchor gear

Thanks to whoever upgraded all the belays in the past year. Each belay and rap station now consists of super bomber bolts with Frost power draws (bit.ly/HGls5G). Apr 1, 2012
Greg Miller
  5.8 C2-
Greg Miller  
  5.8 C2-
i agree with above comments if you need to nail on this route you shouldn't be on it... there is NO need to take pins up. offset nuts and offset aliens work great. Apr 12, 2012
Noah McKelvin
Colorado Springs
  5.10 C3
Noah McKelvin   Colorado Springs
  5.10 C3
Just did it a couple weeks ago.....I wish I would have taken some sawed off angles to hand place. We did it all clean at about 5.10 C3....P1 was french freed....P3 was the crux for us....Tri cams on the traverse pitch are bomber, trust me.

While I believe this route really needs to be climbed with nothing else except stoppers and cams, it's dumb to say "you shouldn't be up there if you need pins"

This is the Fishers and the rock changes from ascent to ascent. Even cleaning the cams enlarges the scars....I'm not saying to bring pins and go nail by any means. Don't do that. I will say bring some sawed offs for a just in case, to hand place. Along with lassoing skills or a stick clip...."Bring a lil of everything" You never know what your going to expect. The "you suck if you need pins" attitude just pisses me off. Hand place if you absolutely have to. But it can be done with just cams and stoppers as of Spring of 2012. We actually only used one stopper on the whole route. We also had a set of offset cams though. Oh ya... the #5 was REALLY helpful along with the blue TCU! Apr 18, 2012
Erik Werner
Boulder, CO
Erik Werner   Boulder, CO  
I have to say, those hand placed sawed-offs were far more secure than the cams that I tried in the same spot seconds before. Seriously, there's nothing like monkeying about with a cam or tricam in a placement only to remember you have that sawed-off in your back pocket. Key-in-lock, repeat. Also less damaging to the Fisher sandstone than a bounce-tested tricam, IMHO. No doubt, iron makes for a heavier approach, but it sped up that pod section significantly and tamed it by a half a grade at least. Once at the Duck we just stashed them with the rest of our gear for pick-up on the way down. Jan 12, 2013
Jason Kaplan
Glenwood ,Co
Jason Kaplan   Glenwood ,Co
We brought some sawed off's for hand placements and they never got used. Totem cams, link cams and hybrid aliens were game changers. Man oh man, what a trip the three of us had. 3 days on the route after a day and a good chunk of a night to get everything to the base. Slept 2 nights on the wall, first at the top of P3 then after the traverse of the duck. Yes, hauling sucked balls. Managed to pitch the ledge despite bad locations. Brought way to much food and not enough water. Basically ran out of water the second night and had to push the last 2 pitches in a dehydrated delirium the following morning, but still got them done in 2 hours. We decided to rap back to the trail from the notch instead of hiking around cause we were thirsty and had huge loads to get back to the car. Talk about hitting the F'n wall and pushing through it. Hell of an epic adventure that I won't soon forget, no regrets. Good training for bigger objectives. Thanks to those who replaced the anchors! Mar 16, 2013
Sean C
Sean C   SLC
Did this route on 4/23/14 on a beautiful overcast day. Lots of fun and one of the best summits around. Not particularly difficult, but some of the placements are a little exciting. Freeclimbed up to the first set of intermediate anchors on the first pitch at around 5.10, then aided up 20 more feet to the first belay. I would recommend this if you're trying to do it in a day without fixing. As for a rack we had a set of doubles from 00 C3 to #4 C4 ( I would recommend substituting a set of TCU's for one set of .4-.75 camalots. They fit really well in some of the shallower placements), smallest offset master cam (I placed quite a few times and could have used the next two sizes up as well), double set of DMM alloy offsets (money pieces), single set of regular stoppers (could have done without), tricams (Tried to place some but fuck that. If you're good at placing them it wouldn't be a bad idea but I got by without them), grappling hook (which I found useful in one spot to avoid a tricam placement). We did use a cheater stick for the last pitch as the bolts are quite spaced apart and I don't even think a top step from a tall person would be enough. But I didn't lead this pitch so I don't know for sure, it would sure suck to get stuck 30 feet from the top though. Didn't feel any need whatsoever for a hammer or sawed offs. All in all awesome climb and pretty cruiser after the third pitch. Apr 26, 2014
Mike Tsuji
Boulder, CO
Mike Tsuji   Boulder, CO
Thought I would add my 2 cents after climbing the route. No need for a hammer, however, I found tri cams were really useful. We brought doubles from green alien to #4 camalots plus a #5. Offsets would have been nice but we got by without them. Someone posted to bring a #6 camalot, we brought one and I didn't use it at all. I'm about 6' and was able to climb the last pitch without a cheater stick, all clips were easily reachable except for the last one which I got with two girth hitched wires. Someone my height or even a couple inches shorter could probably get this by top stepping pretty easily, however, as this was my second time in ladders I didn't want to try. Go get it! Mar 16, 2015
Did this route last week. The approach took us 2.5 hours. We fixed the first 3 on day one, finished it the next day. I also found that 2 medium tricams were useful a couple times. When leading pitch 3, save 4 orange or red aliens for the last half of the pitch. If you do this and plan to free/french free as much as possible, it's relatively safe. Furthermore, I'd recommend this technique to be employed on a good majority of the route because it's very doable, it will speed you up, and you will be able to simply climb past and avoid some of the questionable placements if fully aiding.

After easily climbing past the duck, the short roof pitch is no big deal. There were 3 questionable fixed pieces that one could equalize, and than make one step on the etrier before getting a great alien slot. The bolt ladder pitches on the final summit arete are fun. You can free a lot of it so it feels like a really wild sport pitch. There was a spot where a cheater stick proved useful, but looks like it may be passable via freeclimbing around 5.10 or so; maybe much easier.

Toward the end of the last technical pitch, you will encounter a detached block/flake on your left that you will have to hand jam and climb. Sounded hollow to me, so I decided not to aid it. I free climbed it at around 5.8. DO NOT clip the old star drive attached to this detached block just in case it decides to give way while you're on it. Following that is a slightly runout 5.6 traverse to the left, and then scramble to the summit.

Descent: You'll be able to see the rap descent gully on the right as you climb to the duck. Above the duck, you'll rap the route.

The second to last post I saw in the summit log was Alex Honnold who said he freed the whole thing with Cedar Wright; didn't provide the rating though.

Gear: We brought no pins or hammer. Did bring 1 set offset stoppers, double set of aliens and cams to #3 camalot, single #4,5, cheater stick, 4 tricams, 2 large lowe-balls, 30 biners, 12 runners, etc. All pertinent bolts appear to be new. Mar 30, 2015
Eric Klammer
Boulder, CO
  5.8 C2-
Eric Klammer   Boulder, CO
  5.8 C2-
Such a cool climb! Soloed this over the first 2 days in November, about 15 hours climbing time.

With a bunch of offset cams and nuts the aid sections are a breeze. I placed a total of one "bad" piece on the entire climb, a red tricam right off the belay at the start of P3. Everything else felt pretty bomber and if it didn't I was able to get another piece in right next to it. Nov 17, 2016
Bobby Mustard
  5.8 C2+
Bobby Mustard  
  5.8 C2+
One set of offset nuts, 12 extendable draws, triples of cams from .2 to #1 bd equivalent, two #3s, a #4 and a #5 will get you up this route easily. We placed no tricams or other weird stuff. No cheater stick required. Double 60s for the descent. You can leave one of your ropes at the top of the duck and just use it for the three final raps. Totem cams are superior in 99% of placements here.
Do it in a day. Mar 23, 2017
Tito Krull 1
Yosemite Village, CA
  5.8 C2+
Tito Krull 1   Yosemite Village, CA
  5.8 C2+
Hope this page gets updated, for the grade and gear beta soon. Might make a new page for this route.

The aid grades on this route depends heavily on your personal comfort zone doing intermediate free moves in sandy dirty grit where good gear may not be found.

Pitch 1: 5.8 C1 (130ft) Aid/free the obvious crack systems. lots of it could be sandy free climbed at a moderate grade (triples of #2 and #3, doubles of #4 would be useful if aiding and not wanting to back clean)

Pitch 2: 5.7 C2 (80ft) Continue aiding up the obvious crack/pin scar system.

Pitch 3: 5.8 C2+ (70ft) Pin scars and holes off belay is tricky aiding but brief. Some mandatory free moves that are committing on this pitch.

Pitch 4: 5.8 C2F (50ft) The traverse is well protected by the original drilled angle anchor one bad angle and bad star drive and one good angle. the old star drive protecting the beginning of the roof bulge is still there and is manky, both fixed tricams are in place and menacing as ever! haha, I brought one screamer on route it came in handy for piece of mind...gets you to base of The Finger.

Pitch 5: 5.8 C1 (80ft) Some easy scrambling with good bolts leads you to a wider crack system, good bigger gear leads you to some 5.8 groveling. ends standing on ridge with the duck in front of you.

Pitch 6: 5.8 (80-90ft) Around The Duck puts you at the rappel stations for the decent. climb some 5.8 weird to anchor.

Pitch 7: 5.7 C2 (80ft)some placements and fixed pin lead you to many bolts to anchor.

Pitch 8: 5.8 A0 (100ft) Almost a bolt ladder, Be bustin' some free moves and top steps.

Pitch 9: 4th class

Many of these pitches can be linked at your own judgement be mindful of rope drag. We short fixed them instead.

We brought most of the rack in Totem cams. made 95% of all placements bomber!! we brought Tricams and Ballnuts and didn't place a single one!

x2 .2
x4 .3 (only really need 3)
x3 .4
x3 .5
x3 .75
x2 #1 (3ea could be useful)
x2 #2 (3ea could be useful)
x2 #3 (3ea could be useful)
x1 #4 (2ea could be useful)
x1 #5

Doubles in Offset cams. (we could of left a set behind because we had so many Totems, but would be otherwise useful to have two sets).

1 good set of Offset nuts.

12 draws mostly alpines.

1 screamer (To protect anchor falls from dicey gear off belays)

This is a great adventure route that is very safe and relatively clean compared to most Fisher routes. Due to the shorter pitch lengths and short fixing this route also isn't that long, it is 100% doable in a day from the parking lot with no fixing. All in all it was a blast and an honor to climb this beautiful mud art sculpture!!!

9-10 hrs Base of route to summit, 15 hrs car to car. No fixing. Mar 24, 2017
Jesse Bryant
New Haven, CT
Jesse Bryant   New Haven, CT
"Unsuccessful" attempt on 4/4/17 -


twas fun Apr 7, 2017
George Perkins
The Dungeon, NM
George Perkins   The Dungeon, NM
As we weren't sure what to bring, due to too much available gear beta (here and in the books), I'll spray a little more.
-Didn't bring, didn't need: a hammer, pins, or stick clip
-Brought but didn't need: tricams, hooks, hexes, or ball nuts
-Didn't have, but they sound great: Totems
-Key on p2 and p3: offset cams & offset nuts (we had 1 set of each).
-Otherwise, just a typical trad free climbing rack
-I needed to free climb a little bit (~5.7-5.9ish for 2-3 moves at most) between bolts in a few places on the last 2 pitches-- if you're unwilling to switch from aid-to-free, you'd need a stick or other lasso-ing type trickery for those 2 pitches, I think.

Someone has added a new, good, bolt, at the p4 roof. It's no longer scary. Jun 5, 2017
Dakota from North Dakota
Golden, CO
  5.8 C2
Dakota from North Dakota   Golden, CO
  5.8 C2
Tito's gear beta is great, if not a little much. Didn't even use half of our offsets and only placed 3 nuts. Glad we opted out of bringing a #5, not to mention a hammer... Compared to other clean trade routes like Phantom Sprint, this route climbs sooo friggin CLEAN. According to the summit registry its had some decent traffic this Spring so its no wonder. With or without the traffic though, I couldn't imagine one place that would have necessitated a hammer.

Also that crazy, precariously fixed tri cam in the roof of P4? It held a small static whip. I couldn't believe it either.

We did a reverse alpine start due to it being 110 degrees during the day. Left the lot at 8pm, summited to the sunrise, and arrived back at 10am. Beautiful night on a fun route. Jul 8, 2017
Corey O.
Lakewood, CO
Corey O.   Lakewood, CO
Did this route on 11/24-25/2017. Great weather. Bivied on the ledge above the duck with relative comfort. Took the quick way down with parachutes.

Here is our gear beta:

1x set of offset nuts
1x set of offset X4s
1x set of C3s
3x set of C4s .3-4
18 alpine draws

We did not use: Tricams, ballnuts, hooks. Nov 26, 2017
Bradi C
Bradi C  
Aided this route just behind Casey and his partner. Can confirm the upper tricam in the roof will still hold falls. All the anchors are bomber, as is the bolt at the 4th pitch roof. I think an ideal rack would include as many offsets (cams and stoppers) as you can carry, and totems (which work better than camalots on this route). I placed a few tricams, but could probably leave them in the car with enough offsets. .75s are useful on p3 (I used all 3 of ours), and double 4s were helpful throughout the climb. Cheater stick would be helpful on p8 for those who aren't 6'4". May 24, 2018