Type: Trad, 125 ft
FA: M. Cohen and S. Kentz, 1971
Page Views: 10,074 total · 70/month
Shared By: Lynn S on Jun 16, 2007
Admins: Alvaro Arnal, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

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This is a fun, right-facing corner with great gear. Stem, layback, jam your way up to a crux move as the corner leans right. The corner pinches at this point for a move and then there is a great jam, pull around a small bulge on excellent holds, and you are home free.


To reach Zanzibar, climb either Ski Pole or Two Ears (recommended) to the large ledge at the base of the dihedral (60m rope).

Two Ears (5.7) starts right behind a large pine tree at the base and works up broken rock to a series of cracks (2 pins) and veers up and right after about 90 feet. Find the big ledge and Zanzibar is right above you.

Walk off to the west, somewhat steep and loose. After descending for a couple of hundred feet, keep an eye out for a small trail up through broken rock on your left. Go up and over a small shoulder and you will see your packs down by the big pine. You will pass beneath a couple of sport routes, including Nickels and Dimes, 8 bolts, 10c.

You can rap the route (and Two Ears as a second rap) only if you bring two ropes, or are very careful with an 80m rope.


Small to medium cams, medium nuts, one big Camalot #3 or #3.5 works up high. There are two bolts at the top, but they are for routes to the right and would leave you in a semi-hanging stance. Better to build your anchor on top and find a comfortable seat for the belay.
J Beta
New Hampshire
J Beta   New Hampshire  
This is one of the best 5.8 pitches I have ever done. It's never desperate, but always thought-provoking, and the techniques required are varied. Laybacks, finger jams, slab moves, mantles...this pitch has it all. Aug 6, 2007
Sugarhouse , Utah
Spinalflow   Sugarhouse , Utah
Too Much Fun! Definitely a classic! Good thing there is a 30 min hike up the boulder field or this climb would be way to popular. Sep 14, 2007
Jeff Stephens
Carbondale, CO
Jeff Stephens   Carbondale, CO
Rapping the route, and then down Two Ears, will minimize erosion on that crappy descent path. I think it's preferable, unless of course there are parties on the routes. I saw a small but hardy squirrel run down the crux headfirst.

This dihedral is the best continuous feature, and features more hand jams, than any other on Independence Pass. Sep 10, 2008
Standing at the tree at the start of Two Ears, remember that sloping ramp to your left. As you walk off, the object is getting back on that ramp if I'm not mistaken. We went too far down and didn't find that shoulder to the left and went down a loose scree gully which deposited us below the ramp.

My outdoor educator partner couldn't help but correct me when we were looking for the start of Two Ears. The tree is a Douglas fir. It's the one closest to the rock with a broken face with tufts of grass growing out of it. Jul 13, 2009
Lynn S
Lynn S  
I placed a new anchor bolt to the left of the leftmost Metolius, it is still a semi-hanging stance but easier to reach for the leader. There is chain connecting the anchor so now it is easy to rig the rap, better pull than before also.

A new rap anchor is in place for the second rap down to the ground (top of Two Ears). You need two ropes for both raps.

Hardware courtesy of ASCA. Jul 16, 2010
Rich F.
Colorado Springs, CO
Rich F.   Colorado Springs, CO
This is a great climb -- especially if you like doing laybacks! The anchors at the top are well placed and in great shape. We rapped from the ZD anchors with two ropes, then rapped again with two ropes from the Two Ears anchors. Two very long rappels. I would probably have given this climb 4 stars, but I really detested the approach up that huge talus field :-) Aug 9, 2011
Yes, you want to do this climb. Feb 1, 2012
S Denny
Aspen, CO
S Denny   Aspen, CO
You can rap Zanzibar with a Sterling 80m rope to the ledge (perfectly), step around to the other anchors and rap Two Ears with ~5ft of downclimbing on good jugs to the tree. Long ropes rule!

Also the approach trail is between sites 4 and 6. Have fun! Jul 12, 2012
Hiro Protagonist
Hiro Protagonist   Colorado
Fabulous climb. A solid 5.8 too. All sorts of skills required/useful.

Even though it is shorter than Two Ears, I found that it eats gear, especially cams between 0.3 and #2 (but there are lots of choices, you don't need to double all those). I definitely used two greens and two purples. Wished I had a second #2. Dunno why I brought the #4. Didn't place many nuts, until I ran out of cams.

I'm a 5.8 leader who probably should push more and lead 5.9; given that, there were a lot of moves on this route which I wanted to protect which ascending. And so, I used a lot of gear.

The anchor is in good condition and has nice sturdy chains which give ample space to clip as many followers as you want. It's a semi-hanging belay from the anchor though, so more than three would be a crowd.

Have fun! Oct 7, 2013
Cameron Turner
Cameron Turner   Eagle
Great climb. Jul 2, 2014
Parker Wrozek
Denver, CO
Parker Wrozek   Denver, CO
The only reason people don't rave about this climb is because it is on the pass with a long hike.

This is probably one of the most amazing 5.8's in Colorado. Nice, sustained, and long.

Doubles in .5, .75, and 1 are helpful but you can get some great nuts in instead, especially DMM offsets. Sep 12, 2016
Andy W
Ft Collins
Andy W   Ft Collins
Agreed, one of the best moderate dihedrals around! Sustained, thought provoking, amazing views. I thought it was considerably harder than other 8s in the area (Twin Cracks, All You Can Eat). I say well worth the approach, but just fine not many people make the trek, because it's amazing to have all to yourself!

DOUBLE or 80m ROPE required to rap back to the start! Our 70m left us with 15 feet of easy ish down climbing. If you do end up here with a single rope (might be tight with a 60m), rap hard right to a tree with slings about 50ft off the ground. Aug 7, 2017
Dailyn Vae
Morrison, CO
Dailyn Vae   Morrison, CO
I had only been climbing about a month or two when I was able to follow a partner up this, and SHOOT, DANG it's SO FUN. You have to climb this. Do it.

The first pitch is "eh", bBut the second pitch is a dream dome true. Aug 9, 2017
Ramsey Houck
Fort Collins
Ramsey Houck   Fort Collins
5/4 stars! Infinite number of gear placements. Great for the new 5.8 leader. Worth the slog alone. Jul 22, 2018