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5.10b C1, Trad, Aid, 100 ft (30 m),  Avg: 2.5 from 57 votes
FA: unknown
Utah > Southeast Utah > Arches NP > Devil's Golf Ball
Access Issue: Seasonal Raptor Closures 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 route is fun, and goes to a cool summit on a very cool looking spire. The approach is very short. The climbing is relatively moderate, and it's sort of an easy tick for a desert spire. It's a good one. The route goes up cracks facing the road via free and aid climbing, until you get to a bolt ladder to the top. I free climbed to 5.9, but you could free climb 5.10 if you wanted to.


JUST out of the parking lot of the Garden of Eden (Same one as for Owl Rock). This formation is easy to find, as from the front, it looks like a golfball on a golf tee.


Standard desert rack. (Maybe doubles or triples of everything..)

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Devil's Golf Ball.  Photo; Todd Gordon Collection.
[Hide Photo] Devil's Golf Ball. Photo; Todd Gordon Collection.
The rappel anchors are on the other side of the top lump.<br>
Photo by Dan Mayberry -
[Hide Photo] The rappel anchors are on the other side of the top lump. Photo by Dan Mayberry -
Contemplating the sandy, slopey crimps (I aided after this point).<br>
Photo by Dan Mayberry -
[Hide Photo] Contemplating the sandy, slopey crimps (I aided after this point). Photo by Dan Mayberry -
Steep 5.10 hand crack leads to bolt ladder.
[Hide Photo] Steep 5.10 hand crack leads to bolt ladder.
The Devil's Golfball near sunset...
[Hide Photo] The Devil's Golfball near sunset...
Happily back on the ground and heading back to the hostel after our night ascent of the Devil's Golfball.
[Hide Photo] Happily back on the ground and heading back to the hostel after our night ascent of the Devil's Golfball.

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

toddgordon Gordon
Joshua Tree, California
  5.9 A2-
[Hide Comment] I climbed this route with George Armstrong in April of 1992. I didn't know anything about the climb. I'm not sure the name Devil's Golfball , is really the name of the formation, but someone told me it was, and it sure looks like a golfball. I was nosey, so I walked over to this formation to have a look;...I could see the crack system going near the top, and the bolt ladder going to the summit, so we racked up and did the climb. The climbing seemed mellow to me, and I was happy for this, because I wasn't feeling too good that day;...had the flu and was quit under the weather. I accidently left my 9 m trail-line at the base, went back the next day to get it, and it was gone. This is an easy tick, close to the road, a cool summit, and a fun climb. I haven't seen this climb in any guide. Anyone know anything more about this climb? May 5, 2007
Portland, OR
[Hide Comment] This is the one, right?

Looks incredible! May 9, 2007
toddgordon Gordon
Joshua Tree, California
  5.9 A2-
[Hide Comment] That's the one! May 10, 2007
Morrison, CO
[Hide Comment] There's a "Devil's Golf Ball" on kane Creek Road, a little bit further down from the Ice Cream Parlor. But I guess its possible there are more than one such formation in the Moab area. May 10, 2007
Portland, OR
[Hide Comment] this is the one you speak of?…

a.k.a. "Happy Turk" per Bjornstad guide. May 10, 2007
toddgordon Gordon
Joshua Tree, California
  5.9 A2-
[Hide Comment] Nah;... the Devil's Golfball/Happy Turk is the one up Kane Springs;...this Devil's Golfball is the one in Arches just by the parking lot ( Garden of Eden) for Owl Rock. Devil goes golfing alot, I guess. May 10, 2007
[Hide Comment] This route easily GOES CLEAN. Ben K. lead it under moonlight this December. He decided it was about 5.7 C1. Todd, maybe you could change the rating from A to C to abolish any question of a hammer in the park? Dec 24, 2007
[Hide Comment] As Matt said I lead this recently and it definitely goes clean. I didn't climb directly up to the crack but instead followed a seam on aid that traversed up into the splitter crack. Not sure if that was the preferred way but it worked. Anyways once you get to the splitter hand crack free or aid up to the golfball. There is a drilled pin ladder to get to the top of the golfball. Anchor on top is bomber, consisting of multiple drilled pins. Jan 17, 2008
Sam Lightner, Jr.
Lander, WY
[Hide Comment] The anchor is a little hard to find... its on the back side and goes of the south face. Bomber. Big bolts and chain.
I would call this thing 5.10-,C1, but I would add that the move at the start to get to the hand crack is spicy. No way to get anything in and the fall is substantial. Once you get to the crack, its mostly hands and wide fingers with good footholds... till the bolt ladder. Feb 15, 2008
Darren Knezek
  5.12b C0
[Hide Comment] I redpointed this route around 5.12b one year ago in October. The first roof crack felt about 11a and after that the first couple of drilled angles were quite easy. The climb got more and more difficult until almost where it tops out. This is where the crux was. Great gear the entire way except for the start where like Sam said a "fall is substantial". The roof crack felt quite awkward and the face above was cool edges and small slopers. The rock is typical Arches sandstone and the face above above may get harder or easier depending if things break or not. Gear was a full set of cams from .5" to 5" with a couple of extra hand and fist sizes and quickdraws for the drilled angles.
Plus this is an awesome tower for photos! Nov 28, 2008
Tristan Higbee
Pocatello, ID
[Hide Comment] Climbed this route yesterday. The opening free moves getting into the crack aren't too bad. Have a small silver Camalot (or equivalent) ready for your first real piece of pro. I used a couple C3s (red and yellow?), 3 red camalots (could have used even more but backcleaned without difficulty), 3 yellow camalots, 2 blue (#3) camalots. Placed a #4 (the new silver C4, not the old purple) in a free section right before the bolt ladder. I think singles of everything else would be more than enough. Didn't place any nuts or tricams.

Overall, I quite enjoyed this route. The climbing wasn't too hard but still engaging. The anchors are way up past the actual summit point toward the right side of the tower. The anchor is two bomber bolts with chains. Feb 17, 2009
[Hide Comment] Ok, two towers with the exact same name is 2 too many. Even though the Kane Springs Canyon one actually looks like a golf ball on a tee from all sides (and this one does not) I wil forever call the shorter one the "Happy Hoodoo." BIG props to D.K. for the free redpoint!

I belayed Tristan and cleaned. Was able to get an anchor back a ways in a crack behind a boulder against the wall. It wasn't much, but if Tristan blew off suddenly (yeah, like that never happens with sandstone) it would be something.

Tristan's gear list is correct for what I cleaned. Longer slings on some of the gear (around the roof) is helpful for the cleaner.

Feb 17, 2009
Geoff Unger
Moab, UT
[Hide Comment] For some reason I never noticed this tower or didn't know there was a route on it. I read the beta from Darren Knezek and tried to free this thing. I found that the free climbing to gain the bolt ladder to be about 5.10 or 5.10+ then the desperate sandiness began. There is some nice patina up there, but for the most part, the rock deteriorates rapidly after you leave the horizontal bands with the big huecos. I would humbly rate this face more like 5.12c or 5.12d after struggling from bolt to bolt. The handholds are incut and spaced out, but getting your feet to stay on the rounded footholds is another question. Great send Darren! Dec 16, 2010
Darren Knezek
  5.12b C0
[Hide Comment] Holy sandiness is right! If it's not in your ears and eyes, then you're not in Arches.
It took me two days to send this thing and it felt hard, but technical faces like this one are a lot of fun for me.
I had one of my friends, Andrew Downing, try this thing as I gave him beta and he fell at the last drilled angle due to the sandiness! It easily could be 12c or d, I probably spent more time brushing off holds than climbing and Andrew is one of those sick, strong lads where there's no difference between 12b to 13a.

I free climbed another tower in Arches at 5.12 and it was the sandiest thing that I've ever done in all of my climbing. I have a bunch of short video clips of the sand pouring out like water in my face as I was placing cams and jamming trying to figure out if it would go free or not. If I can find one of them, I'll post it here.

Mark P Thomas
Draperderr, by Bangerter, UT
  5.10 C0
[Hide Comment] This is still on the list to climb, but . . .

I walked up to the start of the route last weekend for a good look, and I think you need more than just a standard desert rack (unless nuts are part of that). I'm pretty sure you'd need rivet hangers or nuts to use for the bolt ladder? I saw bolt heads but no hangers. Looks like fun! May 3, 2012
Michael Schneiter
Glenwood Springs, CO
[Hide Comment] No rivet hangers/wires required. The "bolt" ladder is made up of drilled angles, hence why it might have looked like bolts without hangers from the ground.

Doesn't need a huge rack either or anything unusual/fancy/etc. Just good fun! Enjoy May 3, 2012
ben jammin
Moab, UT
  5.9 C1-
[Hide Comment] Any place to make an anchor at the bottom if one wanted to aid solo this thing? I guess I can walk out there after work but if anyone knows, that would be great! Mar 26, 2013
Sam Lightner, Jr.
Lander, WY
[Hide Comment] I managed something... I might have tied off some trees down below the start. Mar 27, 2013
[Hide Comment] First Ascent: Kyle Copelend, Ron Olevsky.

Original name, from the FA party, of the formation: "The Bulbous Head" Nov 1, 2014
Paul K.
West Fargo, ND
[Hide Comment] I wasn't really impressed with this route. The climbing wasn't anything special, and the rope drag was a bitch for pulling the ropes from the rap. Just do Owl Rock instead. Mar 24, 2015
Backwards Eric
Fargo, ND
[Hide Comment] When I got to the top, I was confused by the rappel anchors being on the other side. I downclimbed to the ledge before the bolt ladder and built an anchor there to bring the second up. I'm thinking now that what I should have done is just tied off to the rappel anchors on top, walked back to the edge and setup a belay from there...essentially extending the anchor 50 feet or so. Even with that, there would be a lot of rope drag (you can see the worn in grooves from people doing this in the pictures). May 10, 2015
[Hide Comment] I think Darren Knezek had a perfect description.
I attempted to free it onsight, and chickened out at the fourth drilled angle and French freed the last three. I concur that the roof goes at 11a and the rest of the moves are great. We rigged a solo-TR setup and worked the moves past the pins. The holds are hollow sounding rounded, sandy slopers with very technical beta. I would agree that it goes at mostly 5.12b, but the last few moves felt 12c (though I was likely too tired to accurately assess).

It's a great 5.11- C0 if you free it up to the third pin. Apr 7, 2016
[Hide Comment] I recovered some gear off this route on 9/29. Contact me with the description and the date left and I'll happily give it back.

As far as the climb goes I wish I had brought at least 4 #3s. You can really sew this thing up with those. For the top off width you can fit a 3, but a 4 or 5 would be better. Placed up high it will protect coming out from under the bulge to the first piton.

All the pitons seemed to be in good shape overall. There was one, maybe the 5th or 6th that looked like it had wallowed out a little, but was still secure.

You can leave the stoppers in the car if you want, but down low there are plenty of opportunities to use them.

On a side note I want to remind everyone that placing new permanent gear in Arches requires a permit. I noticed there is a new piton at the start of the route. Although I was very grateful it was there, as a community we need to do our best to abide by the regs in the park. I don't want to see access restricted more than it already has been. Sep 30, 2017
Matt Castelli
  5.7 C1
[Hide Comment] Tricams can make an anchor for the belayer. Pin protects the first move. Can be entirely aided at c1, except for the rock over onto the top. Last pin can protect your follower and is up higher off to the left. If aiding, doubles to bd 4 would be good. Triples in 2-4 if you place a lot/don't backclean. All the placements are bomber, but the climb is more awk and harder than a straight in splitter. A 70m rope puts you into a sloping ledge on the rap. Try not to let go of your rope if it's windy, or it will get stuck above you and around the corner! Oct 15, 2017
Brad Burns
Story, WY/Bozeman MT
[Hide Comment] I’m not a natural crack or desert climber... but this was harder than 5.7 like it’s listed in the guidebook, and still harder than the 5.9 that’s listed here. Maybe some good holds broke somewhere recently or something? The only hold on a cruxy roof pull onto the crack is a Cam that you place yourself. We ended walking #2 cams (camalot) up to a sketchy unprotected 5.10 rollover move. I would give the whole thing at least a 5.10d if not a 5.11. Be aware. It’s a rough climb. It’s gorgeous, but awesome. Also, our 60m rope didn’t reach the ground on the rappel, but was only like 4 foot off the deck. Be aware there is a little jump off the rope. Jun 13, 2018
[Hide Comment] Looking for a spooky Halloween rappel? As of 10/24/2018 the anchor consists of one bomber bolt backed up by a loose ASCA bolt. The bolt could be pulled out by hand.

Also looks as if there's some scarring from where a piton was pulled on the ladder? Oct 24, 2018
Spencer Weiler
Salt Lake city
[Hide Comment] A belay/TR anchor can be set up just up and left of the last drilled angle that will be much less traumatic on the rock then using the rap anchor. A few mid to hand size cams in a horizontal flake.

Double set of cams from .3 to #3 with a single #4 was plenty. There are 7-8 drilled angles on the ladder. Back cleaning is easy if needed Nov 3, 2018
  5.10 A0
[Hide Comment] Make a gear anchor out of a #2, .75, and a pin on the top/left side. Extend the hell out of it too. The rope grooves all over the top of the tower are gross. Feb 11, 2019