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Routes in River Road Dihedrals

BBQ Brush T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Bloody Elbows T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Oxygen Debt T 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
Peapod Crack T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Root Canal S 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Unknown 5.9 T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13
ker-THUD! T,S 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Type: Trad, 120 ft
FA: Steve Cheney 1970, or Larry Bruce, Brian Kew, Rick Jack 1972
Page Views: 3,378 total · 19/month
Shared By: Scott Conner on May 4, 2003
Admins: slim, Andrew Gram, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq

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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


Aka: Bloody Knees - From the pullout for the River Road Dihedrals, this climb is easily located. It's the long acute corner with the wide crack. It starts off fairly steep but the angle rolls off toward the top. Slings can be spotted on the left face about 120' up.

This climb is slightly harder than its neighbor Bloody Elbows. It's a pretty long and sustained pitch. There is some good hand jamming but if your wide crack technique is lacking (like mine), BRING BIG GEAR! Fun route.

From the first set of anchors, you can continue about 20' to the ledge at about 5.9+/.10a, protectable by two bolts. Otherwise, rap with 2 ropes.


Doubles or triples in the #1 to #4 Camalot range, depending on boldness. You can leapfrog pieces if you're short on some. I didn't place anything smaller than a #1 Camalot and wished I had two 3s and 3.5s.


Shane Zentner
Shane Zentner   Colorado
Bloody Knees is an appropriate name for Peapod Crack. The fun part starts about half way up the crack with good jams to the top. I used three #2 camalots, three #1 camalots, two #3 camalots, and two #3.5 camalots. Well recommended, but a bit warm at the end of May. Neosporin is your friend! May 31, 2003
Perin Blanchard
Orem, UT
Perin Blanchard   Orem, UT  
"Jam wide hands...sustained hand crack...wide section". This according to Stewart Green's Rock Climbing Utah. "Heinous...offwidth... grovel-fest." This according to Perin and Gwen Blanchard.

We got rained out at Indian Creek in the morning and thought, "This sounds like a nice hand crack; let's go find it." There is a "flaring wide" section near the start that I wriggled up like it was a flaring squeeze chimney, then two more wide sections above. It is possible that the total length of the hand (and fist) sections are longer than the offwidth sections, but it sure took longer in the grovel parts. I guess the route name should have been a clue.

I placed a #5 and a #6 Camalot C4 and was glad to have them. I placed a #2 Friend as my first piece and then I remember nothing smaller than a #2 C4. There is also no fixed pin as described in Rock Climbing Utah, although I did see a chopped bolt.

The verdict, as we stood at the anchors, was "That wasn't very fun. Glad we did it." Of course, by then the pain was over. Apr 22, 2007
Steve Cheyney did the FA of this route as well as gave it the name Bloody Knees in either 1970 or 1971. He also did a couple other routes here back then. Jan 14, 2008
Phil Lauffen
The Bubble
Phil Lauffen   The Bubble
Bloody knees is apt. This climb made me sweat! make sure you bring a couple #2 and #3 sized camalots and probably at least 1 #4.5. I only had one of each and ended up walking them up, downclimbing to retrieve them, and running it out. at least its relatively secure. Mar 27, 2009
Perin's comments are spot on. Lots of cams in the larger-than-#3-friend-range. I didn't have them and rather than run it out I down-climbed. Back-cleaning, walking, and down-climbing is not fun. Apr 19, 2009
Rob Davies UK
Cheshire, UK
Rob Davies UK   Cheshire, UK
Seemed a bit easier than Bloody Elbows to me, as there are lots of places on this one to rest comfortably, but maybe that perception is biased because I didn't lead BK. Most awkward bit is a bulge early on. On the wider bits higher up you can practice hand-stacks! VS 5a in Yorkshire. May 8, 2009
Josh Cameron
Sacramento, California
Josh Cameron   Sacramento, California
I placed 10 pieces of pro on this climb- all new style BD C4's. I used 2 #1's, 2 #2's, 2 #3's, yep, you guessed it 2 #4's, 1 #5 (though I would've placed a second one if I had it) and 1 #6. You could get by without the #6, but since I almost never get to use mine I took advantage of the climb to bring it outside. The moves were just insecure enough to make me think, but it's the 140' length of offwidth and wide hand moves that make me give it the + rating.

And beware: this climb ate up my friend's rope when he pulled it down. He even climbed up to retrieve it but ended up cutting off about 20'. Make sure you stand back and waaaay to the left.

And, oh yeah, so much harder than Bloody Elbows. Mar 14, 2015
Michael Dom  
Bring as much wide gear as you can and you can avoid the silly run out on top. Jan 1, 2016
Zach Weyn
Boise, ID
Zach Weyn   Boise, ID
If you look in the crack, you can see the carcasses of at least four ropes that got stuck and cut. Jun 9, 2016
Jordan Lister
Moab, UT
Jordan Lister   Moab, UT
With rope stretch a 70 meter makes it back to the ground with only about two or three feet to spare. I strongly second the above comment about pulling the rope while standing off to the left to avoid getting it stuck. Feb 17, 2017
Jeremy Wicker
Carson, New Mexico
Jeremy Wicker   Carson, New Mexico
One more rope got stuck in this crack. We left a wounded soldier after failing to read the previous comments. We wouldn't have had any problems if we pulled the rope from the left side of the wall. 70m rope definitely required! Sep 28, 2017

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