Trad, 600 ft, 7 pitches, Grade IV,
Avg: 3.9 from 129
FA: Ed Webster, solo, 79 FFA: Webster, Hong 79
> Moab Area
> Island In The Sky
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
WET ROCK: 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 MOAB during or after rain.
RAPTOR CLOSURES: Please be aware of seasonal raptor closures at the Cat wall and Reservoir wall. They occur annually from March 31st until August 31st. *Due to the federal hiring freeze in agencies such as the BLM of Monticello, no official closure for 2017 has been issued and the laws which have been put in place in previous years are not being enforced. Please, for the sake of fragile desert ecology, DO NOT CLIMB at stated walls. These raptors return to the same nesting sites every year to raise their nestlings.
This is a famous and popular route on the sunny south side of Moses. It is possible to bypass the first pitch (at 5.11+ one of the hardest) by means of a devious 5.8 traverse from the notch to the east.
To get to the normal start walk around the right side of the spire. P1: Climb an inverted V slot (5.11+) to a 2 bolt belay at about the level of the notch to the east.
To do the alternate start walk around the left side of the spire, passing the base of Pale Fire to the notch east of Moses.
P1: Climb down a few feet (but not more) and then up onto an exposed ledge which leads around the corner to the west. Follow this ledge to the belay bolts (5.8).
P2: Work up to the left edge of a roof, and fire up a beautiful finger crack to a roof (5.10). Continue up via liebacks and jamming (5.10). Head left before the crack ends to a belay under a roof.
P3: This pitch is very short and actually starts about 10' below the previous belay. If the second traverses left at the correct spot while following the previous pitch, the leader can simply lower the rack down (otherwise, downclimb from the belay). From here, stem and hand traverse left to a thin crack, and climb this (5.10-) for only about 30' to a huge sloping ledge with 3 bolts. This ledge is only a little bit higher than the previous belay. From here the upper section of the route is visible and awe inspiring.
P4: Follow a straight in crack to a pod, then up a right facing dihedral (5.10 hands and then fist) to a 2 bolt belay. This pitch looks tough from below, but a convenient foothold off to the right at one roof makes it easier than one might think.
P5: Continue up a weird 5.9 crack to the base of the ear (large cam may be useful), optional hanging belay here. Lieback or offwidth the ear (5.11+), or aid up using 6 bolts to the right of the corner. After the last bolt you used to have to free climb 15-20' to the top of the ear. The crack here is over 6", but halfway up this section look for a smaller crack inside that offers some protection. [A new bolt in this section has eliminated this sporting runout]
P6: Chimney behind a large flake and head straight up (5.8) to a 2 bolt belay. Alternatively, you can follow 1 or 2 bolts above the belay (5.10 face).
P7: This is the same as the last pitch on the Dunn Route. Face climb past 2 bolts to the top. You can easily combine P6 & P7.
Descent: We rapped the North Face (Pale Fire route). Do a single rope rap from the top, then 3 long double rope raps to the base, with 2 hanging stances. Supposedly you can also rap the aid route left of Primrose, but we couldn't find these anchors.
Standard desert rack (including a double set of camming units). Bring RP's for the first (standard) pitch. You may want more finger sized pieces for pitch 2, and a #4 Camalot on pitch 5.
Derek Hersey, Primrose, circa 1990
Gabe Metzger climbs The Ear
Bryan, terrified as usual, under a full moon.
Ed Webster's original topo before he freed the route, showing the original approach. I've included this for historical interest.
View from the top
Ari about to send the first Pitch. He went left (up the inverted A-frame); I went right out to the chalked up edge...both get you to the same slopey move past your 4-4.5 camalot.
Rachel following the Fourth Pitch
Jay enjoying a stiff cup o joe early one morning.
Dave Evans on the Primrose Dihedrals. Photo; Todd Gordon.
Steven Morris on Primrose Dihedrils
Looking down 'The Ear' with new bolts.