Type: Trad, Aid, 400 ft, 6 pitches, Grade III
FA: Ed Webster, Pete Athens, 1986.
Page Views: 5,572 total · 26/month
Shared By: Ben Mottinger on Mar 29, 2001
Admins: Jesse Zacher, Jared LaVacque, Bradley Mark Edwards, Nick Reecy, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

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Access Issue: 6/25-6/26/16 Otto&@POUND@39@SEMICOLON@s Route, vicinity, and rap will be closed! Details


A great route with exhilarating exposure and generally good rock. Route-finding is straight-forward and the line is fairly direct right to the summit.

Start on the SE side of the monument at a detached pillar. It's a wide 5.10 on the right or 5.8 on the left. Climb to top of the pillar for a single bolt belay. P2: Supposedly the first part of this section goes free, but the pro is difficult to place, and there's not really a good rest stance. I aided the whole second pitch which is 100' past the overhanging white wall with black horizontal streaks. Small stoppers and RPs along with a few cams will sew it up. Finish on a ledge with a bolt, not on the sloping ledge with only one drilled angle. P3: 60' Take the 5.8 chimney right out of the belay and make some tough moves to get going. Wide pro is useful here. Then lieback the exposed crack to another ledge with two drilled angles again. P4: 90' A fantastic pitch. Start in the hand crack up to a wide crack, but avoid using your #3 friend (or equivalent) size pieces down low here as you'll need them for the crux hand crack. Once you're established below a block at the top of the wide crack, make committing moves up the overhanging hand crack with only a few footholds to help. Keep plugging those #3 friends up the parallel crack for about 30' til you're under a roof. Traverse left under the roof (no pro) and exit to a ledge with two drilled angles. P5: 80' Now make your second carry all those large cams for this pitch. You'll only need a very small micro cam, RPs, and one each cams in the #1-3 Friend size. A #4.5 Camalot can be used to protect the last wide slot before the belay ledge. This pitch is 5.9+ but has some tricky and scary pro. Lieback the thin crack and head right but be careful of the huge block after the first rest stance. I put some weight on a micro cam here and started shifting the whole block. A fixed pin is in the dihedral on the left, but this is off route. Make some very wide stemming moves to get past this hard passage and up to a hand crack. Pull over the lip and onto a spacious ledge with three drilled pins. P6: 100' The final and dramatic pitch to end a superb route. Aid up 13 drilled angles right to the summit with some runout easy face climbing in between the 2nd and 3rd bolts and the 4th and 5th bolts.

To descend, make a double rope rap of Otto's Route past Lunchbox Ledge to the large shelf with the Time Tunnel. Traverse down the small tunnel to a short rap to a large ledge. Look for the last double rope rap to the right at the edge of the ledge.

Note: Steve Levin points out that this pitch should be done clean at C1. I would agree--now I feel bad for using a couple of pins. :(


Full set of Stoppers and RPs, doubles in cams from micro to #4 Friend, a #4 and #4.5 Camalot, 4 #3 Friends (or #2 Camalot) for the 11b hand-crack pitch and at least 13 draws for the final bolt ladder.
Dr. Dan
Steamboat Springs, CO
Dr. Dan   Steamboat Springs, CO
I think this is a truly worthy route! We took the 5.8 start on the left and while everything is there, the pro can be a little tricky in a couple of spots. On P2 I tried to get up the initial section free about 4 times before throwing in the towel and aiding the first 10-15 feet. After this there is a fun free section using some horizontal cracks and pulling up onto the slopey ledge. Got a couple of more moves up past the ledge before resorting to aid again. P3 is as described above. On P4, after moving up to the off-width slot, I place a #5 Camalot. Just as I pulled into the hand crack the rope wiggle dislodged the #5. This was a bit disconcerting, but fortunately the pro on the hand crack is outstanding. I believe the Desert III book recommends using a #7 Tri-cam. The remainder of the hand crack to the large roof is super consistent and vigorous, but if you have big hands it is just plain excellent climbing. The traverse left under the roof has some nice small edges for the feet and pretty good (but small) hand holds and no pro. The exposure is spectacular!!! P5 is also excellent with a lay back finger crack start to a wide stem to a tricky pull through on an off-width slot with not much to help you on the feet. Heed the warning on not dragging big gear, water bottles or other crap through this section. A #3.5-#4 Cam is helpful to protect the slot. The A1 last pitch is excellent fun with a 20 ft run out easy slab after the second clip and a few reachy aid moves up higher.I would give this route the max stars. Apr 27, 2003
aaron voreis
Edina, MN
aaron voreis   Edina, MN
This is an excellent route indeed. Varied climbing with an excellend ratio of easier to darn tough. I recommend bringing a few extra slings and doing the first 3 pitches as one monstrous 198ft lead. Way fun..

one medium smallish hex is useful in a few spots.

A special note on the 5th pitch. Be careful and prepared to run it out a bit around the big block. This piano sized chunk is now flexing with merely a hand jam behind it.

namaste,aaron Mar 8, 2004
Has this route gone all-free? Or is this 5.11c rating for the free sections, with some aid left on pitch 2 and the bolt ladder at the top? Mar 8, 2004
aaron voreis
Edina, MN
aaron voreis   Edina, MN
all free, all good. Sep 30, 2004
Aaron (or anyone), what do the C1 seam on P2, and the bolt ladder go at, specifically? How is the pro for free climbing on the seam? Sep 30, 2004
free climbed the second pitch on tr--seemed somewhere in the .11+/.12- range and should protect just fine with stoppers (offsets useful). the upper bolt ladder is very unlikely to go free-dirty/sandy rock and few holds. this route would be improved if rap anchors were installed so you could rap from the top of pitch 5, and bail below the bolt ladder. anchors would need to be upgraded at the top of pitches 4 and 5 to do this. also you can rap otto's route with one 60m.cheers,jw Nov 11, 2004
Grand Junction, Co
Airbiscuit   Grand Junction, Co
Right up there with some of the best of the Momument, definitely top five. The stone is just plain killer.

Do the first two as one. 5.9ish to the top of the pillar, to a 5.11b sport like crux followed by a good rest and then commit to another 5.11c sportsh high step. If you are feeling strong, don't cheat yourself on either crux, what you are going for is pretty good. The gear is sold with thin cams and medium RP's (definitely a must). I lived up to my handle several times on this pitch! Do the next two as one as well. I did not think 11c for the fourth pitch wideness but I am a squirmer. Maybe 11- but you need something BIG for this or your gonna pucker. It's been awhile, but I definitely remember this one as being good. Go for the bolt laddder, and french your way to the top. It just seems fitting to finish the way Webster did. But seriously after pitch four things digress rapidly.

One full single set of Camalots #5 on down, With extra hands and thin hands sizes, double TCU's to a Purple Metolius, RPs, light rack of Nuts #7 & #11 Hexes. No More No Less! Mar 28, 2006
J. Thompson
denver, co
  5.10c/d C1
J. Thompson   denver, co
  5.10c/d C1
This is a very fun route.

I did not try to free the second pitch, but it looks great.

Also I can't call the hands pitch 5.11..certainly not 5.11b.
I thought it to be 5.10c...maybe d. This pitch is awesome.

The 5th pitch is more like 5.10a and also very good. I found a very good blind nut to protect the crux moves.

josh Oct 12, 2009
This is a really fun route, classic in my book. Very accessible from the Front Range and does not seem to get much traffic. If you are climbing 10+/11- range at Eldo, you should give a try climbing the whole thing free (except the final aid ladder on pitch 6). For those who are into historical fixed pro, there are plenty of interesting finds on both the route and the descent (drilled angles, Star Dryves, chiseled foot holds on Otto's Route, etc.). May 14, 2015