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Routes in The Kachina Spires

Beyond the 80th Meridian T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a C2 R
Kachina Tower North T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a C1
Kachina Tower South T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c C0
Type: Trad, Aid, 300 ft, 6 pitches
FA: Smith Maddrey and Wells Cambell
Page Views: 609 total, 6/month
Shared By: Brad Brandewie on Dec 23, 2008
Admins: slim, Andrew Gram, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq

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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 begins on the down canyon side of the fin (not visible from the parking area) and climbs to the notch between the north and south towers. Since you will probably want to climb both towers, this description also includes a trip from the notch to the north tower which was first climbed by Paul and Andy Ross and the south tower which was first climbed by Paul Ross and Paul Gardner.

To get to this route, hike down canyon past the spires. Once past them, look for a slab on the left that gains a bench that will access to the base of the route. This slab is 150 meters to the right of the route.

Pitch 1 – The original route climbs the left of two cracks located directly below the notch formed by the spires. It has a sporty start and currently requires pitons down low and a lot of small cams up high. We didn’t have the right gear so we climbed the wide crack on the right which wasn’t too bad. There is some soft rock at the beginning but it gets better up higher. Both options end at a fixed anchor on a ledge. This rating is for the right crack. (5.8, C1+)

Pitch 2 – Climb the obvious corner above the belay on questionably rock past a death flake and on to the notch. This pitch is a little spooky. (5.7 C2)

Pitch 3 (to the South Tower) – This pitch is currently a highball boulder problem on questionable rock with poor protection and bad fall potential. However, there are two empty holes in this face. After talking with Paul Ross I learned that the FA team had used removable bolts on this lead. Since no one carries removable bolts, it would seem prudent for the next team to carry a couple pins and fix them in the holes. (bring a hand drill in case the holes aren’t deep enough) After the face, continue up another short section to a giant ledge. (5.10a R)

Pitch 4 - Move the belay to the east side of the South Tower next to a giant flake that forms a squeeze chimney. This ledge system is loose and exposed in places. (Class 4)

Pitch 5 – Shimmy behind the flake into the squeeze chimney and continue to another huge ledge. This chimney is small. If you’re a big person, you probably won’t make it. I had to remove my helmet and harness and tie the rope around my ankle just to get into it. (5.5)

Pitch 6 – Climb the bolt ladder to the summit. You could combine the last two pitches if you haul up the right gear after the squeeze and watch for rope drag.(C1)

Reverse and rap the route to the notch. If you’re finished climbing, continue rapping the route.

Pitch 7 (to the North Tower) – Step across the gap and climb past several bolts that lead to a ledge with a 1 bolt anchor. This is a short but fun pitch. Adding another bolt to this anchor would be a good idea. (5.7)

Scramble clockwise around the North Tower to the opposite side and the start of the final pitch.

Pitch 8 – Clip the first bolt and continue with a mix of aid and free climbing to the summit. This is an engaging pitch for the grade. (5.8, C1)

Rap to the base of the North Tower, reverse the scramble and rap from the single bolt back to the notch.


-Standard desert rack to #3.5 Camalot and a few tie-offs.
-Bring a hand drill and some pitons to fill the holes on pitch 3.
-Bring a bolt to add to the anchor at the top of pitch 7.
-If you're climbing the left crack on pitch one you will need some extra tiny cams and maybe some pins.
-If you're climbing the right crack on pitch one, bring a couple big cams.
Matt P and I did this yesterday - couple notes: first pitch is awkward! The two bolts on the third pitch (leaving the notch en route to the S. Tower) were replaced with baby angles - the top one sticks out a bit, so if someone wants to deepen the hole and replace, it'd help - it's solid though. Second to last pitch has a variation about 20' to the left of the squeeze that Brad describes - it's chimney too, including a weird horizontal squeeze move and some vertical squeeze, so it may or may not be much better. At least it's different. Nov 28, 2011
More photos and a TR at

Brad Dec 23, 2008