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Routes in The Organ

10 Percent T 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c PG13
Organ Grinder T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Organasm 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c C1
Organasm (Free) T 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Type: Aid, 400 ft, 4 pitches, Grade III
FA: Ron Olevsky & Mike Strassman - Aug. 1983
Page Views: 9,261 total, 49/month
Shared By: M. Morley on Mar 29, 2002
Admins: Andrew Gram, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq

You & This Route


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Seasonal Raptor Closures ***** RAIN AND WET ROCK ***** The sandstone in Zion is fragile and is very easily damaged when it is wet. Holds rip off and climbs have been and will continue to be permanently damaged due to climbers not respecting this phenomenon. After a heavy storm the rock will remain wet, sometimes for several days. PLEASE DO NOT CLIMB IN ZION during or after rain. A good rule of thumb is that if the ground near your climb is at all damp (and not powdery dry sand), then do not climb. There are many alternatives (limestone, granite, basalt, and plastic) nearby. Seasonal Raptor Closures Details

Description

Organasm is an excellent intro into Zion aid climbing. At just 4 pitches, it's half the commitment of nearby neighbors Touchstone Wall and Spaceshot. Furthermore, pitches 1 and 4 may be free climbed at a modest 5.8 and 5.7, respectively.

P1 (5.8) Free climb 5.8 crack up pillar, past a single bolt, and continue through awkward wide section to gain a decent stance at a sling belay.

P2 (C1) Aid through a stellar roof through a splitter crack with bomber C1 placements. The crux of the route is probably cleaning this pitch, so be sure to read up on cleaning roofs BEFORE attempting (better yet, get some practice at your local area)! Continue past roof to a bolted anchor.

P3 (C2) A fairly long (150'?) pitch. Aid through second (smaller) roof and out onto arĂȘte. Straightforward nutting and good cam placements up this vertical crack, which ends on a nice ledge with bolted anchors.

P4 (5.7) Short section up easy 5.7 crack to top.

For a topo of the route, check this out.

Protection

  • One to two sets of nuts (offsets work great)
  • Two sets of cams to 4"
  • Extras in #.5 and #.75 Camalot size helpful
  • Extras in #2 Camalot size helpful
  • Two ropes if planning on rapping from top of P2

The use of cam hooks should be avoided for soft rock areas such as Zion due to potential to damage the rock.

Descent

Descend to climbers' right via bushwack through gully to the north. Although fairly straightforward by daylight, just finding the descent gully would be difficult in the dark. Come prepared: bring a headlamp (and don't forget to check your batteries).

If pressed for time, retreat is possible from the top of pitch 2 via one double-rope rap.
Justin Winger
Wheat Ridge
Justin Winger   Wheat Ridge
Lol I am not a young buck and this is something I wouldn't need to aid. That is why like all the others like it the ratings should reflect for both. Apr 21, 2017
BigNobody
all over, mostly Utah
BigNobody   all over, mostly Utah
I aided this thing in 84'. It was an Aid climb long before a free route young buck. Maybe a separate entry? It is a great intro into aid climbing. Jan 23, 2017
Justin Winger
Wheat Ridge
Justin Winger   Wheat Ridge
This looks like a sick climb not to aid. Someone needs to update the rating to reflect not aiding. Jan 23, 2017
Kevin Kent
Flagstaff, AZ
 
Kevin Kent   Flagstaff, AZ
 
Only did the first 2 pitches because of apocalyptic wind but the 2nd pitch roof crack is the best I've ever done and really honest 5.11! Very doable! Can't wait to go back and climb the 3rd pitch. May 29, 2016
BigE
  5.11+ C0
BigE  
  5.11+ C0
Just got on this thing after hearing stories about the incredible hand crack out a roof in Zion. Fantastic climb! There was a Black Widow spider at chest level in the crack at the base. I wanted to climb it free and link the pitches into one long go. It took most of a 70m rope to get from the ground to the anchor 35' above the prominent roof feature, clip the pin anchor and lower back to the ground. There was some rope left over, but I wouldn't try to do it that way with a 60m. All time classic roof crack not to be missed! Some loose rock on top of the first pedestal and in the first 40' then again at the start of the horizontal roof. May 12, 2013
raygay
Las Vegas, Nevada
 
raygay   Las Vegas, Nevada
 
Even on a 100 degree sunny day today, I found this route to be tolerably comfortable. I started early in the morning and was in shade all morning long and well into the afternoon. Maybe I turned the roof at just the right time, but I never had to climb in direct sunshine.

I was very concerned about the stability of a large hanging flake just at the start of the large roof on P2. When I brushed it to place a cam while climbing on aid, it seemed to move. I was afraid to touch it again to see how loose it really might be. There were chalk marks around its edges, so climbers obviously have been using it as a hold, but it may not be as secure as it used to be. Beware. If it falls, it could be deadly. Jun 25, 2011
Klimbien
St.George Orem Denver Vegas
 
Klimbien   St.George Orem Denver Vegas
 
ON ALL the climbing websites and to everyone I talk to, when asked what my favorite route is, I state it loud and clear - ORGANASM! - I've only climbed the first two pitches, we only free them, but it is the way to do it. First pitch is awkward and I'd say is 5.8+.
Second pitch is clean and fun, you have a really good rest before the roof that will take as many 2's and 3's as you'd like to put in it. The crux is pulling out of the roof but with a perfect .75 placement in an adjacent crack to lookers right that keeps the rope out of the main crack. Followed by tight hands to the chains, it goes free and is super fun route. May 5, 2009
Fantastic route! Eventhough the descent sucks (wallowing down gullies filled with loose sand and stout bushes), I recommend topping out. P3 is great.

I brought some of the typical aid toys (offset micro stoppers, tricams, lowe balls, etc) and didn't use any of them. There were a few marginal placements, but they were all on normal gear (black alien was helpful). P3 ate up medium to large stoppers.

It is possible to rap from the top of P3. There is a fixed anchor on the ledge. I don't remember the specifics, but 2 bolts come to mind. It could use some new webbing. You could probably also rap from the top, but it could be ugly. You'd be rapping off a tree with the potential for snagged ropes or loose rock as you pull your rope.

P3 is long, so if you are rapping, you'll likely need two ropes.

As for avoiding problems at the lip, it is easy to keep your rope out of the main crack. There is a second smaller crack (visible in some of the images here) for much of the roof. At the lip, we clipped dirctly into a cam (0.5 Camalot?) in this crack which kept the rope out of the larger crack. Mar 28, 2009
Gaar
Springdale / Zion UT / Moab
5.12b C0
Gaar   Springdale / Zion UT / Moab
5.12b C0
This whole thing goes free at 12b....the roof is an easy 5.11.. NO HAMMERS!!!!!!!!!! Be Carfull of your rope getting stuck turning the lip, either free or aid... Recommend Building a hanging anchor right after the roof, and breaking pitch 2 up. Dec 12, 2007
Dustin Wildermuth
Flagstaff, AZ
  5.8 C1+
Dustin Wildermuth   Flagstaff, AZ
  5.8 C1+
The gear beta posted here said bring cam hooks. DO NOT BRING THEM! You will not need them and you will destroy the route for future climbers. Mar 24, 2006
flaco  
i know for a fact that the 2nd pitch(the big roof) goes free at wild 5.11ish hand jams. and ive heard the 3rd pitch goes free at hard 5.11 or 5.12.

pitch 1 and 2 can be linked with a 60m rope(or less) but can cause quite the rope drag.

also, you can rap off the top of the roof pitch(the 2nd pitch) with one 60m rope(just barely). Feb 1, 2003