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5.11+, Trad, 50 ft (15 m),  Avg: 3.8 from 423 votes
FA: Keith Reynolds
Utah > Southeast Utah > Indian Creek > Optimator
Access Issue: No Toilet Facilities! Raptor Nesting Climbing Avoidance Areas - In Effect Details
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 climb is found by following the trail right until it goes behind the leaning Annunaki Pillar. Just as you exit this, you will see a 3" crack that thins to 1" as it climbs 50' zig-zagging wildly through clings on it's way to a set of anchors. This is on the underbelly of the leaning pillar that faces the wall and is one of the steeper splitters in the creek, albeit a short route.
Climb up perfect hands for the first half of the route and get ready to gymnastically gun for the top before getting pumped. You may find the route easy for it's assigned grade, but may also find that it is more or less face climbing the diagonal features of the crack, toe hooking, back-stepping and flagging off of the features than it is about jamming. Thus, it is likely easier for the strong-shouldered and long-armed, and hand size might not matter as much as for other climbs.


Camalots: two #2's for the easy start. One #1 for the transition to hard moves before the chalked horizontal. Two #.75 for the hard climbing. One #.5 for the finishing moves after the crux. Slings for the anchor.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Photo by Julie Ellison
[Hide Photo] Photo by Julie Ellison
Annunaki with light filtered through rainclouds
[Hide Photo] Annunaki with light filtered through rainclouds
Phil belays Phil
[Hide Photo] Phil belays Phil
Anunnaki.  Photo by Krischa.
[Hide Photo] Anunnaki. Photo by Krischa.
Leon getting some air time on Anunnaki.  What a fun climb!
[Hide Photo] Leon getting some air time on Anunnaki. What a fun climb!
Jack Plantz cruising up the final moves
[Hide Photo] Jack Plantz cruising up the final moves
Paul Passot, April 2019
[Hide Photo] Paul Passot, April 2019
Going for the ride on Annunaki.
[Hide Photo] Going for the ride on Annunaki.
Firing up Anunnaki.
[Hide Photo] Firing up Anunnaki.
Just starting the crux
[Hide Photo] Just starting the crux
Linsey Schauer destroying
[Hide Photo] Linsey Schauer destroying

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

Vandalia, Appalachia
[Hide Comment] If you are a strong sport climber or boulderer, this is the route to do at the Creek so that you can say "I climb 5.12 crack." The entire middle of this climb is bouldery, powerful moves between good holds that are formed as the crack zigzags. There is still a final fingerlock move at the anchors, however.

Definitely one of the softer .12a's at the Creek, in my opinion. Oct 6, 2006
[Hide Comment] FA Keith Reynolds Nov 6, 2006
[Hide Comment] A buddy and I climbed this route a couple years before the new book came out so we didn't know the rating. We casually rated it middle 5.11. If this thing is 5.12- then Optimator is .14a. I agree that if you don't sport climb, it may seem harder. I have watched people climb it straight in and get pumped out of their gords in the 1st 20'. Nov 8, 2006
[Hide Comment] Cool route, a lot different from most other routes in Indian creek in that you actually need to be able to climb face. The crack-climbing part of the route is 5.9/5.10 or so. Dec 12, 2007
Clayton Rardon
Yucca Valley, CA
[Hide Comment] Hootie freakin hoo. This is a great climb, and shady for those late summer days.daze. Feb 17, 2008
Dave Brock
Reno, NV
[Hide Comment] Great short overhanging route. Definitely NOT 5.12. Probably 5.11b/c. May 19, 2008
[Hide Comment] originally thought 11+, being the first person to climb it - but on-sight basically after removal of a large flake about midway, i think has merit. No rehearsal. May 21, 2008
Monkey Den Climber
moab, utah
[Hide Comment] u guys r on crack if u think it is 5.11 or even close to a sport climb! go back to the gym and keep your chalk off our rock. Sep 2, 2009
Golden, CO
[Hide Comment] certainly one of the most unique routes at the creek. amazing movement, perfect pro, and great setting.

As far as the rating is concerned, 11+ seems fair, but as everything else at the creek it is very style (not hand size) dependent. Oct 17, 2009
[Hide Comment] Fun stuff regardless of the rating. Nov 5, 2009
New Haven, CT
[Hide Comment] Guy I was climbing with says he pretty much always onsights hard 11s. He tried twice to pink-point this after a TR rehearsal, and fell once both times. So I think 12a is fair. Jun 2, 2010
JJ Schlick
Flagstaff, AZ
[Hide Comment] One of the more awesome little pitches in the Creek. Oct 24, 2010
Toby Butterfield
Portland, OR
[Hide Comment] While the crack climbing is easy, the moves near the top, especially the final layback and moves on the jugs and into the last finger crack, would warrant a 5.12a grade at most sport crags. I know grades are stout at the creek and a lot of people who climb here are crushers, but I think this is a fair albeit slightly soft 5.12. May 7, 2012
chuck claude
Flagstaff, Az
[Hide Comment] I won't downgrade it for people, but when I got it onsite, I had thought it was 5.11b, even though the previous nitearound the campfire everyone exclaimed how heinous it was.

As for face climbing. What faceclimbing. I did it straight in and thought it was an easy way of doing it. Oct 1, 2012
[Hide Comment] blowin the chains on this thing led to the biggest winger of my life. Mar 9, 2013
[Hide Comment] One of the two bolts at the top is loose - you can wiggle it with your fingers. It's the silver ring bolt that is loose, not the one with the chain. It should probably be replaced ASAP. I have to wonder, given the overhanging location of these bolts and the nature of sandstone, if glue-ins would be a better choice. Mar 26, 2014
Oak Park, CA
[Hide Comment] name plague at the base reads "Annunaki" as opposed to "Anunnaki" in the books; right anchor bolt still loose Apr 21, 2014
Luke Mehall
Durango, Colorado
[Hide Comment] We fixed the anchor courtesy of the ASCA this last weekend. Indeed the right bolt was so bad a couple weeks ago you could take it out with your hand. Oct 21, 2014
Danie White
[Hide Comment] Many thanks for the anchor fix.

"the right bolt was so bad a couple weeks ago you could take it out with your hand"
This isn't too surprising, given that I've seen large groups (30+) takeover this climb for all day toproping sessions. I'll leave my comment at that. Thanks again for the new anchors! Oct 22, 2014
[Hide Comment] Great climb! I can't wait to get back on it on my next desert trip. Thanks for the anchor fix Jan 29, 2015
Spencer Weiler
Salt Lake city
[Hide Comment] I told my grandma this really cool 12a was as soft as her rice pudding. After she onsighted it she agreed. She said a 95% hand crack with jugs and one required finger lock doesn't make a .12 at the creek. There you have it boys and girls. And she has kinda large hands too(for a grandma) Apr 2, 2015
Ouray, CO
[Hide Comment] Downgrading this has just become a fad, this route is JUST as hard as sig sauer, flight time, way rambo, and Swedin Ringle and definitely harder than Johnny Cat, Wild Cat, and Coyne Crack (I have big hands, the coyne is definitely not a gimme). Even after sending I still have trouble getting thru to clipping the chains every time I get on this. Most people I've known who claim it's not 12- also never sent and got a hefty hang dog rest before the crux. Awesome route that needs to be climbed no matter the grade.

Edit: Knowing more regarding harder creek routes, I'm also now hopping on the downgrade bandwagon. As someone above stated, it's as soft as my grandmother's rice pudding. But you should still climb it since it's one of the more fun routes at Indian Creek. Just do it for the fun and not for beefing up your resume' with a 12- send ;) Apr 29, 2015

[Hide Comment] aaron- lets not forget, you're only as cool as your latest mountain project downgrade. Apr 29, 2015
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
[Hide Comment] As to the grade, 80-some people have enteres a grade and voted.
Survey says... 5.11+.
More say 11c or easier than suggest 5.12a or harder.

Obviously this is just one of those climbs that inspires debates.

As to the comment immediatly prior to this one: It is not a downgrade if you are right. It's an inflated grade that started it all. Defending that with any righteousness is a fools errand. It's one thing to share your opinion, it's another to criticize others' as invalid preening. Jun 23, 2015
Where's Walden
[Hide Comment] FA Keith Reynolds, Hevy Duty. Keith rated it 5.11+. May 5, 2016
Peter Howes
Beverly, MA
[Hide Comment] ^^^^ BETA SPOILER IN COMMENT ABOVE!!! ^^^^ Dec 20, 2016
[Hide Comment] This route has been equipped with durable lower off hardware courtesy of the ASCA as a sustainable solution to lowering on this overhung route. Donate today at to support this work. Oct 10, 2019
Cole Pazar
Boulder, CO

GEAR BETA, bottom to top:
#3 (at the start, some might not place this piece)
#0.4 (at the end, some might not place this piece) Mar 21, 2020
matt hoffman
indian creek, utah
5.11b/c R
[Hide Comment] On Oct 1, 2020 Nick and I did an Annunaki birthday challenge. For my 28th birthday I climbed this pitch 28 times and for Nick's 30th he did 30 laps. That day this route saw five barefoot redpoints and approximately 100 total ascents. Oct 2, 2020