Type: Trad, 3 pitches, Grade III
FA: Ron Olevsky and Joy Ungritch, May 2 1985 FFA: Ken Sims, Mark Hesse, and Maura Hanning-Sims, 1995.
Page Views: 2,963 total · 19/month
Shared By: Josh Ewing on Nov 13, 2006
Admins: slim, Andrew Gram, Nathan Fisher, 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


(P1) scramble up on a ledge and climb a fist crack splitter (5.10) that is right next to a 6 friend corner. When possible, pull up into the wide chimney and do a few 5.7 moves to gain a hand crack on the left wall of the chimney. Belay here inside the chimney at a good stance on a wedged boulder.
(P2) climb the hand crack up the chimney wall and follow it out onto the face at a sloping ledge. Continue up the crack, now 1.5 friend sized for a few moves until it is possible to move back right into a squeeze chimney (#3 Big Bro would have been really nice). Climb the squeeze chimney (5.9) and do some awkward OW moves onto a ledge with a decent bolt, a drilled angle and a crappy star drive. Belay here.
(P3) Bust up the overhanging dihedral on stacks to gain thin hands in the vertical corner (5.11c). The crack pinches back down to stacks before going wide again for more OW to the top of the pillar past some loose rock at the very top. Belay at 2 drilled angles.
(P4) Pull one or two moves of loose 5.6 to the summit, then downclimb back to the belay (Old anchors on top are not trustworthy).
Descend via 3 single rope raps (with a 70 meter rope) or one single rap from the top and one double rope from the pitch 2 belay)


Hike up the wash mentioned in the area description for only 200 yards or so and cut up left to a small break in the cliff band (cairns). Do a 5.2 move or so and get up on the mesa top. Hike all the way around to the back of the tower formation, resisting the urge to gain elevation up toward the tower. Stay level all the way around the the back and go up a wash/gully on the far left side of the formation. Then, walk right along the cliff to the base of the climb.


(1) #1 Friend, (1) #1.5 Friend, tripples #1.75 Friend through #4 Friend [save at least (2) #1.75 Friend = green Camalot sized pieces for the crux] plus (1) # 4 Camalot (2) #4.5 Camalots, (1) # 5 Camalot or #6 Friend, and (1) #3 Big Bro.


This route is named the Sims-Hesse-Hanning Route. First ascent was by Ron Olevsky and Joy Ungritch (5.7 A2) on May 2, 1985. Ron named the spire after a horse he was riding on a reconnaisance mission reared and fell backwards, pinning his thigh to the ground and giving him a Charley Horse. First free ascent was by Ken Sims, Mark Hesse, and Maura Hanning-Sims in 1995. Ken also did a 5.12 finger crack variation on first pitch on the face right of the regular dihedral. The first belay is in a window, called the Shangri-La belay. The third pitch is the business--11c finger crack to 11b thin hands in an easier off-width. The last described pitch here is really just a 10-foot scramble onto the actual summit from a lower summit. Nov 16, 2006
Josh Ewing
Bluff, UT
Josh Ewing   Bluff, UT
Does anyone know if either of the two other towers in the formation has routes on them? Nov 18, 2006
theleroy Carlson
Gunnison, CO
theleroy Carlson   Gunnison, CO
Can anyone tell me where I might be able to find more information besides in Desert Rock Rock climbs in NPS on the Witch - Midnight Rider 5.7 A3
Thanks I think it is near CHN Jan 31, 2007
The witch is in stewart green's utah falcon guide. But it was free climbed and now is called Sims-Hesse-Hanning Route and goes free at 5.11+ R. Have fun! Mar 7, 2007
Wasatch Back, UT
drewford   Wasatch Back, UT
Great route! Mellow approach, awesome climbing and position. Rack beta seemed a bit overkill, but YMMV. We did one 60m rappel from the top all the way to the ground with rope to spare. Three and half stars. May 14, 2008
Dana Prosser
Dana Prosser   Boulder
We brought the rack suggested in the write up, but felt like this was too much gear (and I am a whimp), Next time I would only bring one # 4.5 camalot, and bring only one or two #3 camalots. Also, you can bring only 2 # 4 friends if you use Big cam in R crack on P1
The descent is 2 raps from the top of P3 with a 70m rope (not 3). Apr 4, 2011
Spencer Weiler
Salt Lake city
Spencer Weiler   Salt Lake city
Super fun route. I have detailed pitch by pitch detailed beta if you're interested. PM me. Mar 15, 2015
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
Good tower for a hot day. All shaded on this route.
The anchors on the top of the "P4" pitch are terrible.
If you rap off of these you will end up with PTSD. Oct 5, 2015
Kat A
Boulder, CO
Kat A   Boulder, CO
Aliens can be used for the window belay if you choose to do this route in 3 pitches, or you can do it in 2 by linking P1 and P2. Also, bring two #0.5 camalots for the 5.11 crux on the upper pitch. Oct 5, 2015
Taylor Spiegelberg
Lander & Sheridan, WY
Taylor Spiegelberg   Lander & Sheridan, WY  
Fun climb. The first pitch was varied and rad. Good fists for me. Second was mid 11 and sandy. As of March 18', the anchors at the summit were bombed drilled angles and the anchor at the top of pitch one consisted of a drilled angle, star drive and 1/2" wedge anchor. Mar 24, 2018