Type: Trad, 350 ft, 5 pitches, Grade II
FA: Ed Webster Jeff Achey 1985
Page Views: 13,349 total · 65/month
Shared By: Joe Collins on Apr 7, 2002 with updates from Devin Bishop and 1 other
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


This excellent route is on the E side of the tower. The approach trail leads to the W face, so a short approach pitch must be climbed to get to the other side of the tower.

Approach pitch- climb the loose corner to a good anchor in the notch on the south side of the tower (5.7R, 50ft).

Walk along the base of the NE face of the tower and locate the obvious corner/chimney system on the right side of the face (just look for the chalk).

Pitch 1- jam the hand crack through the bulge to an easy offwidth. Continue up with a mix of face and hand jamming to a ledge in the chimney (5.10-, 130ft, gear needed for belay).

Pitch 2- work up the crack on the left side of the chimney system, pass the rappel anchor, and climb the excellent stem box (crux, RPs) escaping left to a ledge. Continue to the anchor on the next ledge above (5.10, 120ft).

Pitch 3- traverse left, then climb straight up past a bolt to an anchor just below the summit (5.9, 50ft).

Pitch 4- climb up to the overhanging summit block and mantle onto the top (5.8+R).

Enjoy the views on the summit, scream at the people down at Big Bend, then reverse the mantle and downclimb to the anchor at the top of pitch 3. Belay your partner as he/she leads the last pitch and downclimbs back to the anchor. The guide said something about running a TR over the top but I didn't see how that could be done.

DESCENT: Rap 1- 50' rappel to the anchors atop pitch 2. Rap 2- 75' rappel to the anchors in the middle of pitch 2. Rap 3- 150' rappel to the ground. Walk to the anchors atop the approach pitch and rappel to your packs at the base of the SW face. Requires a two rope rappel.


2 sets of cams to #3 camalot, a #4 friend or camalot, and RPs for the crux.


George Bell
Boulder, CO
George Bell   Boulder, CO
When I climbed Lighthouse Tower (~4 years ago) there was a metal spike pounded into the top. If you slung this, it made a decent anchor so that the person downclimbing the final moves had a TR. Apr 12, 2002
Joe Collins
Joe Collins  
There isn't a metal spike there anymore. Apr 15, 2002
Stan Pitcher
Stan Pitcher   SLC, UT
I followed the guide and went all the way to the anchors for the first pitch - a mistake! It is very uncomfortable and there's risk of of the leader falling onto the belayer while doing the crux moves right above it! The large ledge that would make a much better belay is about 30-40 feet below the anchors. There's good ~hand-sized placements there. At the top of second pitch I was very happy to clip a wedged sling protecting what I thought were pretty dicey moves above a ledge. I didn't find the summit too 'R' as I was able to place 2 pairs of equalized TCUs (0-3) in the crumbly rock between the last anchor and the summit. Oct 21, 2002
We brought RPs as suggested, but never used them. There's a good small wire (#2 Rock) 6 feet above the rappel station (the one just below the stem box crux), and a great #7 Rock placement 6 feet higher. In 6 more feet the good ledge on the left is reached.

We also didn't use the aforementioned rap station to descend -- looked to me like the rope could get stuck rappelling from the three bolt belay atop the 2nd pitch to the rap station below the crux. Instead, we did a short rap from the last anchor (the chains 20 feet below the summit) to the large shelf on the left side on the NE face (this shelf is 10 feet left of the bolt on pitch 3). From here, it was one long double rope rappel to the base of the NE face (170 feet). We used a 50 meter rope with a 60 meter trail line, and the 50 m just made it to the ground -- I'm pretty sure two 50 m ropes would be sufficient (there's a big shelf 15 feet above the ground, from which one could easily downclimb if two 50 m ropes didn't quite make it).

I'd agree with Stan's comment on the summit pitch: not too bad, mostly just a mind game. There's a good horizontal crack 8 feet below the top, and I placed a #7 Hex on the far right (great directional), then two small cams, and then a #2 Camalot on the left. The old Desert Rock guidebook used to rate the final move 5.8 (and it felt even easier than that to me). Nice route with a super summit.

Bernard Gillett Apr 19, 2003
Max Schon
Max Schon  
I don't know how all this bad beta about rapping off started, but the good beta is as follows: one double rope rap to the ground from the bomber anchor on the top of pitch two. Yup, it's that easy. When pulling your rope, make sure you stand back a ways and everything should be fine. May 6, 2003
#00 tcu is nice to have on the crux pitch. pulling out of the stem box on the jugs is wild!!! Nov 30, 2003
Holly Barnard
Holly Barnard  
What a great route! I can't believe it isn't talked about more. I'm 5'6" and I imagine the stem box would be pretty difficult for anyone much shorter than me. Although, it looks like you could do some off-width tricks in the wide crack on the right. I felt like the hardest move was actually getting up to belay ledge after coming out of the stemming section. There are some good holds at the lip of the ledge, but getting to them was a little tricky.

As for the rap, we had 2-60m ropes and followed B. Gillett's suggestion. This drops you off right at the top of the 5.7 approach pitch and the ropes pulled pretty easily.

Note - esp. towards the tops of the route, there is plenty of friable rock around, wear your helmet and be extra careful with parties below you. Mar 29, 2004
Max Schon
Max Schon  
You can easily rap from the top of the second pitch to the ground with two sixty meter ropes. When pulling your ropes, just make sure you stand back a ways and they should pull fine. Jun 10, 2004
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
The climb is a fun outing and a very low-stress desert tower. A good one for anyone who can lead 5.10 and doen't mind a little runout on the summit cap.I can see why there is no anchor in that summit cap- since it is pretty crumbly... I wouldn't trust it to rap on. How we managed it as follows: my partner climbed it on lead, placing pretty good gear in horizontals to the lat 2 meters of jug-hauling to the summit (not the crux, maybe rated like gym-juggy 5.8?), then one on the summit flipped the rope throuth the notch on left below the cap, up over the top, and down-climbed on a "TR" over to the other belay. I went up, re-clipped the rope through the pro to run the right direction for my lead, unflipped the rope from below, relead the pitch, then down-lead it, pulling the gear as I cam down. This felt pretty safe and reasonable- better than trusting a bolt to rap from the shattered dinner plate flakes above.We rapped off with a single 70M. Once from the summit to the shoulder towards Dolofright (~16 meters) and one more down to the back side of the rock, all the way to ground just north of the base of the route (~34 meters). A 60M rope would work too, if you are OK with down-scrambling the back side of the shoulder for 15 feet oif easy-to-moderate climbing. Oct 26, 2004
toddgordon Gordon
Joshua Tree, California
toddgordon Gordon   Joshua Tree, California
I know;... the 5.8R and no anchors on top is "all part of the experience..." ..but I found the last pitch and no summit anchors irritating.......maybe it's just me.......the rest of the climbing was fun, straight forward, and cool. Did this climb in March 1997 with Dave Evans, Margy Floyd, Richard White, and Dana Adler. Apr 30, 2007
Laurent Meillon
Golden, CO
Laurent Meillon   Golden, CO
P1 is 120'. I kept going to the uncomfortable rap anchors below the stem box and my 45m rope still touched the ground. P2 & 3 combined are no more than 100' total. P4 looks like it could be removed altogether with a crow-bar! - good pro goes in that horizontal break and would prevent hitting the ledge if you pealed off the very cool summit! May 7, 2008
The first two pitches of this climb were worth the hike alone. Unfortunately we didn't get a good look at the summit due to an inaccurate description in the falcon guide we had with us. Sure would have been nice to know that you're supposed to head up from the bolt on the third pitch instead of going all the way around the corner to the anchors over there. I would agree that the best belay for pitch one is off a gear anchor on the big ledge, comfy and safe, much nicer than the hanging belay above. Very very cool climbing on pitch two. Sep 16, 2008
Courtney Pace   Sandy
I just climbed the first pitch on 3/15/10 and we had to bail which required leaving a large nut and a #2 rock empire cam. If anyone heads up there and finds this gear I would love to get it back. Great pitch! Mar 18, 2010
Rob Griz
Rob Griz   Frisco
A .5 Camalot protects the initial summit moves, and a Red BD C3 fits perfectly in a deep, old pin scar (?) just below the lip of the summit. Of course the sandstone is quite soft and friable there too. An old drilled angle hole is atop the summit. The crack at the exit of the stem chimney on P2 grabs ropes real well...we set in a small stone to keep the ropes clean, pullin them on rap. Sandy as shit when we hit it, gotta love the desert.. makes you appreciate clean granite. Apr 19, 2010
Spencer Weiler
Salt Lake city
Spencer Weiler   Salt Lake city
I did not find this climb sandy at all. Very cool route, with pitch 2 being quite strenuous with only a small nut protecting the crux moves. The top pitch I found exhilarating but easy. I am in full support of not having anchors up there. One word of advice, Do not rappel down the stem box! You are almost guaranteed your rope getting stuck in the crack above the stem box. From the anchors atop pitch 3, rappel hard to the climbers left to a fat ledge with bomber anchors, maybe 20 feet is all. These anchors can be easily seen from the bolt on pitch 3. 1 double rap with 2 60's gets you down right on top of the approach pitch and the pull is like butter. Easy. May 17, 2010
e Dixon
Durango, Colorado
e Dixon   Durango, Colorado
Brought the RP's and didn't use or need them. A #4 Camalot was nice on P1. Summit pitch is no big deal. (1) double rope 60m rappel to the ground from the top of P2 was the way to go. Overall, a fun route and worth doing. Jun 6, 2011
Michael Ybarra
on the road
Michael Ybarra   on the road
Excellent climb.

Placed an HB #6 above the bolted anchor to pro the stem crux.

On P3 we kept going on the traverse past the bolt, which puts you at a bolted anchor. There's a shinny new, huge rap anchor about five feet away from this station on the ledge. On the way down, we did a double rope rap back to the notch from the new P3 rap station. Ropes wouldn't pull. A team behind us try to free the ropes but they still wouldn't pull. The Boulder boys kindly moved the ropes to the old anchor (decent bolts) and they pulled easily. Someone should chop the new rap station and put that hardware someplace it can actually do some good. Mar 28, 2012
Sam Lightner, Jr.
Lander, WY
Sam Lightner, Jr.   Lander, WY
I believe that anchor was added by the slackline community so they could walk between Lighthouse and the Butte. Mar 29, 2012
Nolan Robertson
Durango, CO
Nolan Robertson   Durango, CO
Went up this with only 1 70m rope, made the rap really awkward and stressful, i will deffinately bring 2 ropes if i do this again.

Otherwise, Pro on 2nd pitch was better than i thought it would be, i actually ended up squeezing into the crack on the right after getting to the bolts halfway through the pitch, throwing a sling around a chalkstone, and then moving up higher to place a yellow alien and green camalot to protect the crux.

Topout is freaking awesome, little bit spicy, way easier than i expected. Apr 11, 2012
Fritz Nuffer
The Western Slope
Fritz Nuffer   The Western Slope
I also hopped into the squeeze chimney on the right side of P2 after clipping the old anchors in the stembox. Great size, felt much more secure than dinking with little gear on the left side. A bomber BD #.4 protected pulling out of the chimney. I'm 5'10", and the stemming at the end was kind of wild. Spandex tights are a plus for making every inch count, and for making your belayer lose the will to live. Dec 9, 2012
Las Vegas
JF1   Las Vegas
Two 60s got us from the second pitch anchor to the ground with room to spare. Apr 27, 2013
The High Country
Cocanower   The High Country
Second pitch was incredible! jugs appear right when you need them. Mar 29, 2014
Leavenworth, Washington
Robes   Leavenworth, Washington
Went up with a single 70. Dumb. Was not stoked on possibly having to rap off the knotted cord stuffed behind the block at the top of p1. Saved from having to do this by partnering with another party. Easy double rope rap from the free-hanger in the stem box. Don't be dumb. Apr 18, 2014
Greg Gavin
Greg Gavin   SLC, UT
The single 70m rap beta is as follows:

Rap from summit pitch belay (2 bolts with chain, and a random SMC hanger glued in) directly toward Dolomite tower. The station you're aiming for can be seen at the edge of a large ledge facing the river. The belay consists of 2 expansion bolts (1 glued SMC hanger bolt, 1 cold shut bolt, and a single star drive equalized with chain and cord).

The next rap is a perfect 35m rap directly to the ground. You are now rapping past the NE face route, and it's ancient piton/hardwear.

Walk back about 50 ft to pull your line, and it falls perfectly to the base.

Finish by rapping the short 35ft approach pitch. Belay consists of 1 drilled pin, 1 old bolt, and one new rap bolt.

3 raps + 1 rope = easy as pie.

  • Beta is also in the Karl Kelley guide for those of you who own it*
Apr 13, 2015
Jeff McLeod
Jeff McLeod  
Classic route - Fully stemmed out and cranking on jugs!

Don't kid yerself - if you for some reason decide to blow the 5.8 moves on the summit pitch you will take a ledge fall. Pro placed in the crumbly junk below the lip is useless. It will explode in your face and you will still take a 10 ft ledge fall. BUT do this pitch, it is worth it. just don't fall! Easy mantle move on huge holds!

Also, after reading one previous commenter who had the same experience, will go ahead and mention that our ropes also did not pull through the newer rap anchors on the ledge left of the bolt on p3. I think it must be a rope drag issue. We were lucky enough to have another party free them for us. If you decide to go this rap route, don't use these anchors, there's another set a few feet above. Oct 10, 2015
I did this route and led everything in the late 80s when it was considerably new. All I remember most of all was that At the time it was rated either "easy 5.9" or even 5.8:).... I was intimidated as hell and thought it was the greatest sandbag I had ever managed to grovel my way up:)!.... Adventuresome, but I would never even contemplate repeating it ...even if someone paid me to take them up it!!! Inthink climbers today must simply be way more hardcore!!! The move off the summit, you blow it, your gone and that is all she wrote about that:) Oct 14, 2015
Chris Archer
  5.10 R
Chris Archer  
  5.10 R
Great route! Each pitch is unique & memorable. High over Moab & Greg G are spot on about rapping with a 70m. 2 raps from belay below last pitch. We went up & met a party coming down w 2 ropes. They read us MP comments on how grim rapping with a single 70m rope was. We were pleasantly surprised to find how obvious & easy it was. All that being said, if I was a local I'd replace the anchors on the last rappel on the Carter route. Oct 12, 2016
Scott E
Scott E  
My partner couldn't get a BD C4 0.3 out of the crack right above the offwidth on pitch 1. If you recover this piece and want some good karma and beer, please let me know. If not, enjoy the gear May 3, 2017
Matt Jones
Colorado Springs, CO
Matt Jones   Colorado Springs, CO
Greg G's rap beta is spot on (single 70m). A #3 BD was the largest piece I placed (I lead every pitch). I was able to fit a small pink tricam in the horizontal crack out left on the last pitch. May 26, 2017
cdawg lion
cdawg lion   BeaUTAHfull
Double rope rap from the ledge a top the stem box pitch. 2 70s made it to the ground with rope to spare! Quality route for sure! Oct 16, 2017
Owen Silitch
New Hampshire
Owen Silitch   New Hampshire
This route is awesome! Reversing the boulder problem at the top was totally safe and made the route all the more memorable in my opinion... Mar 18, 2018
Brennan Enright
Seattle, WA
Brennan Enright   Seattle, WA
Awesome climb. As of 3/23/18 there are three bomber/stuck nuts and some slings at the first belay.
If you've got two 60m ropes, from the anchors below the summit block rappel 30 feet or so climbers left to the anchors on the ledge there (not the slackline anchors below but the three bolts and a drilled angle). a double rope rap from there gets you to the ground right on top of the approach pitch Mar 28, 2018
Sarah-Min Donahue
Las Vegas, NV
Sarah-Min Donahue   Las Vegas, NV
This is a fun climb that doesn't take too long. The second pitch is hard for shorties, (I'm 5'2") but I successfully led it. You can get up in the chimney on the right and get great pro to pull the moves coming out. A stem still felt mandatory. Greg Gavin's beta on wrapping with a single 70 meter rope is spot on. Apr 4, 2018
Adam Knutson  
We climbed this today in what turned out to be 33 mph wind! So cold.

On P3 I made the mistake of continuing to traverse leftward past the loose looking block, instead of going up to the actual P3 anchors. I reached a completely different set of anchors, (not sure what route?) that were on the SE wall facing away from Dolomite tower / and facing towards the approach pitch.

Because of the near gale winds we just wanted to rappel down quickly. Luckily after re-reading the rappel beta 2x, and that 2 sources both said we should be rappelling towards dolomite tower, not away from it, I traversed back right some more to the loose looking block, spied some chalk and climbed the face to the actual P3 anchors.

I'm going to come back and do this again on a nicer day so I can summit, neither of us could feel our toes by the end, and getting blown off a tower, or more likely just getting back up in even more strong wind had lost it's appeal.

Watching the rappel rope get blown about like yarn when we threw it, I'm just psyched to have enjoyed P2, and gotten down with my rope.

  • Added a topo photo, which hopefully clarifies the rappel on a single 70m rope. I know anchor locations aren't right, they're approximate, and from memory, but at least I think it gives a general idea, in case you end up like me and traverse completely around the wrong side of the tower :)
Nov 25, 2018