Type: Trad, 400 ft, 4 pitches, Grade II
FA: Bird, French, Draper, Greer
Page Views: 13,025 total · 123/month
Shared By: Colin Moorhead on May 5, 2010
Admins: Andrew Gram, Nathan Fisher, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq

You & This Route

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Access Issue: Seasonal Raptor Closures ***** RAIN AND WET ROCK ***** The sandstone in Zion is fragile and is very easily damaged when it is wet. Holds rip off and climbs have been and will continue to be permanently damaged due to climbers not respecting this phenomenon. After a heavy storm the rock will remain wet, sometimes for several days. PLEASE DO NOT CLIMB IN ZION during or after rain. A good rule of thumb is that if the ground near your climb is at all damp (and not powdery dry sand), then do not climb. There are many alternatives (limestone, granite, basalt, and plastic) nearby. Seasonal Raptor Closures Details


Worthwhile route, well set up with modern anchors, can be climbed and descended with one 60m rope.

P1. 5.11a, Short, stout tight hands leads to easier climbing.

P2. 5.10c, Tricky bolted face leads to easier hand/ finger crack.

P3. 5.10b, Beautiful fingers and hands supplemented with plentiful face holds.

P4. 5.11a, More of the same, with short crux at the end protected by bristler.

Note either pitch 2&3 or 3&4 could easily be linked (recommended)


Supertopo rack description is a tad overkill.

2x Blue, yellow, orange metolius. .75, 1 BD. 1x 2,3 BD. 1x nuts. Add 1 extra yellow and orange metolius if you want to link pitches.
Mike   Phoenix
This is an excellent route. The top 2 pitches are outstanding! Although the 5.11+ rating in the Supertopo guide did seem seem a bit excessive, I wouldn't call it 11- either. My pitch-by pitch ratings were:
P1: 10+
P2: 10+
P3: 11-
P4: 11

Regardless of the rating, this route is heaps of fun. May 25, 2010
Jay 1975
Jay 1975   Bonedale,CO
5.11 route. the bolt at the top was also unnecessary. sweet outing! Mar 8, 2011
Joe Sambataro
Seattle, WA
Joe Sambataro   Seattle, WA
Amazing route! I agree with Mike's pitch break down: 10+, 10+, 11- and 11. Agreed, bolt isn't necessary at the top of the 4th pitch. I also concur that SuperTopo rack list is a bit overkill but the post here is a little sparse for the average 5.11 climber. I would recommend:

2 green aliens
4 yellow aliens/TCUs
6 red aliens/0.5 camalots
Doubles from .75 to #2, and nothing bigger.
Set of nuts optional (not a lot of constrictions in this splitter!)

Linking pitch 2 & 3 or 3 & 4 is definitely possible if you are ok running it out a bit or if you bring extra mid size cams as listed above. Nov 23, 2011
Angela Mabe
Angela Mabe   Flagstaff,AZ
wow! awesome route! i thought that the 3rd pitch was the crux, 4th pitch was just as amazing and the 2nd pitch was so fun, i was giggling like a kid in a candy shop. def a must do :) Apr 2, 2012
Darren Mabe
Flagstaff, AZ
Darren Mabe   Flagstaff, AZ
Better than Fine Jade in Castle Valley. Not to split hairs, but my pitch breakdown would be more like:
P1: 10+/11- stiff out of the gate, jamming the hollow flake. Watch for drag. 100'
P2: 10- elegant traversing face moves, and secure crack climbing with great feet. 70'
P3: 11 sustained bits of left-leaning fingers, some sharp thin hand jams and smears for you left foot. 75'
P4: 11- excellent with good rests and cool finishing sequence. I also thought this pitch was easier than the 3rd and I didn't mind clipping the bolt. What's a bristler? 65'

Joe's gear suggestion worked well, though i used
(2)0.3 C4
(2)0.4 C4
Aliens: yellow, grey, red
(4) 0.5 C4
(2) 0.75 C4
(2) 1 C4
(2) 2 C4

I actually would have liked a #3 camalot in a few spots, but is not necessary. Apr 2, 2012
steven sadler
steven sadler   SLC, UT
would anyone disagree with me removing that unnecessary bolt on pitch 4? Jul 19, 2012
Perin Blanchard
Orem, UT
Perin Blanchard   Orem, UT  
I'll bet a certain Bird, French, Draper, and Greer would be opposed. Jul 19, 2012
Caleb Padgett
Rockville, utah
Caleb Padgett   Rockville, utah
Steven, if you PM me I can get you the contact info of all the first ascenionists. I would urge you not to remove the bolt until you spoke with them. Until then, just don't clip it. Cheers. Jul 26, 2012
Spencer Weiler
Salt Lake city
Spencer Weiler   Salt Lake city
Approach beta: The directions to this climb here or on the main confluence page seem nonexistent. From the turnout at the last switchback before the tunnel, hike west on a good trail for 10 or so minutes until the wall turns from north to west facing. Hike another 10 minutes along the wall's base past the gorgeous thin splitter "Crimson King", trending down till you can see the dark face with the splitter with a roof above it . The pictures posted here are very helpful. You can see the visitor center from the base of the climb. If the wall turns back north facing you've gone too far.

Weird how ratings/gear recommendation are all over the board on this one. The poster suggest 2 .5 camalots or equivalent, while another commenter suggests 6? After doing the route, let me say this: if you only bring 2, you'll be desperate, if you bring 6, you'll likely have 3 still sitting on your harness at the next belay. As for rating, Crimson King is way harder than any of the 5.11 pitches on SM, so I give this climb 11a. Hanging stances on p3 and p4, easy rap with one rope.

6 qd's
2 red c3
3 .3 camalot
4-5 .4 camalot
4-5 .5 camalot
99% of the gear for pitches 2-4 is in this range of sizes

-for pitch 1 only
1 .75 camalot
2 #1 camalot
1 #2 camalot
1 #3 camalot Nov 25, 2012
Phil Esra  
Agree with Spencer about approach (though took us more time) and rack. Bring a pile of BD .4 to .5 or orange Metolii. Lots of decent stances for back cleaning if needed--that's what I did. Placed one medium nut total.

Looked all over the top of p4 for something that looked like a "bristler" but could not find it. Maybe it was trundled, or broke off. Mar 31, 2013
MaryH. Harlan
Carbondale, CO
MaryH. Harlan   Carbondale, CO
Great route- definitely no harder than .11a, and I would say 4 .5 cams, 4 .4 cams, no #3 cam. Loved it! Apr 20, 2013
Landon McBrayer
Salt Lake City, UT
Landon McBrayer   Salt Lake City, UT
Spencer's beta is right on, as always. The goods are .4-.5 BD or yellow/orange metolii (didn't know that was plural; thanks Phil). So, bring lots of those sizes, and a single set of other cams (except 2 #1 camalots for the start). Leave the nuts at home.

Each pitch is VERY short. Pitch 1 and 2 can be combined if you're creative at managing drag, otherwise do them as two pitches. Pitches two and three can be combined, but what's the point since the top of pitch 3 is a full-on hanging belay? I recommend doing the first two pitches as advertised, and combining 3 and 4. There is really no need not to do so, unless you don't have the right gear. So, brings heaps of .4-.5 camalots and you can cruise P3-P4 as one pitch easily. Easy rap with a single 60. Enjoy this beauty! Oct 16, 2013
steven sadler
steven sadler   SLC, UT
Has anyone done this route in late November or early December? Or just in the winter anytime? Just wondering if it is in the sun long enough to be doable in the cold. Nov 11, 2013
Brian Hestetune
Logan, UT
Brian Hestetune   Logan, UT
Me and my friend did the route on Nov 29th. It was warm that weekend, (highs at 60?). It gets pretty good sun in the afternoon, but I imagine from the angle of the rock that the sun will hit it later and later as we get further into winter. We are the slowest climbers there are, and it took us 3-4 hours to complete (including rappelling). So that should still allow for at least a slightly shaded start with a sunny finish. It seemed like this climb gets sun almost an hour+ after the Crimson King does.

Also, on rappelling, with our 70m rope, we were able to rap in three raps: top of p4 to top of p3, top of p3 to the top of p1 (with a few feet to spare), and p1 to the ground. Dec 11, 2013
Salt Lake City
JeffL   Salt Lake City
The beginning of the first pitch was not obvious to me. I think I was too far right? At any rate it was chossy and dirty. Is there scrambling required to get to the thin hands crack and beginning of the route? Jan 27, 2014
Brian Hestetune
Logan, UT
Brian Hestetune   Logan, UT
Last I was there, there was a fairly beat in path that traverses left and then back right to the top of a pedestal-like feature. You then go up a short wideish right facing corner that takes you to a ledge and to the left slanting splitter thin hands crack (Two discontinuous cracks in one of the pictures above). The thin hands crack is relatively short and tops out to another ledge with a large bush on it, traverse right to the left facing corner with a buldge at the top. First pitch anchors are on top of that. Feb 4, 2014
Alec LaLonde
Alec LaLonde  
This is a superb route, as good as if not better than the The Headache, with a similar length. Catches sun by around 1:30 in late March. I found p3 to be the crux, sustained fingers with few good rests. Linking p3/4 would make for one hell of a pitch, amongst the best in the entire Park. Mar 24, 2014
Flagstaff, AZ
Wylie   Flagstaff, AZ
Do yourself a favor, link 3 + 4 and don't clip the unnecessary bolt high on P4 for one hell of a pitch! Apr 9, 2014
Hey guys, I left a black Patagonia r1 at the top of pitch 2(start of 3). If you happen to come across it I will provide you with beer and an epic high 5. Let me know! Jan 17, 2015
Salt Lake City, UT
Bares   Salt Lake City, UT
The block at the start of pitch 1 that created the two thin cracks has broken out almost completely. Now a perfect #1 bd crack in the back of the slot starts the route. There is still a chock stone at the top of this section that is large and not very stable so be careful pulling around it. The crack is still very sandy and needs to be cleaned up.

I'm not sure if it has increased the difficulty of the pitch since I never climbed it prior to the block falling, but we were able to free it without incident. Jan 20, 2015
Ray Hellinger
Gunnison, CO
Ray Hellinger   Gunnison, CO
The block on the first pitch fell out. It is a thin hands splitter in the back of a flare now. Goes at 5.10. Not trying to be a sandbagged, but, this climb is not 5.11. 10+ at the most. If Crimson King and Inner Chi are both 5.11, this climb is only 5.10. Super fun and highly recommended! Mar 9, 2015
josh holcomb
Las Vegas, NV
josh holcomb   Las Vegas, NV
However many finger sized cams you bring for the 3rd pitch make sure to have at least 1 or 2 left for the final vertical splitter to the chains. Part of the block at the start of the route still remains. It seemed a little sketchy. Mar 29, 2015
Luke Stefurak
Seattle, WA
Luke Stefurak   Seattle, WA
We linked P1 and P2 then linked P3 and P4. This was fairly fun since I followed the first two and then led the last two, essentially getting to climb the full route without stopping.

For linking P1 and P2 you want to unclip the first bolt in the traverse after you clip the 2nd bolt. Ideally you also don't place anything between the P1 anchor and the bolts, or you back clean the piece.

With an 80m rope you can rap by going P4 - P2 and then to the ground. If your rope isn't strechy you may have down climb about 5 feet to the lower belay ledge. a 75m rope easily reaches the ledge below start of the thin hands crack

A nice person with some access to quicklinks could bring two 3/8" quicklinks for the top anchor. I just think it's silly to have a chain attached via a biner. The second quicklink will help get the lenght correct. Apr 26, 2015
Matt Farrell
Bend, Oregon
Matt Farrell   Bend, Oregon
Just did this route. Awesome route! I would say:

p1: 10c
p2: 11a face past the bolts - easier crack.
p3: 11a
p4: 11b

All the anchors are excellently equipped. No need for anyone to bring up any quicklinks. All the hardware on this thing is shiny and burly - just the way you want it.

The lead bolt on p4 is totally extraneous, but hey - I clipped it... Feb 18, 2016
Austin-Tucker12 Tucker
Orem, Utah
Austin-Tucker12 Tucker   Orem, Utah
After doing this route on April 16th 2016, I can say a few things about it.
1. It's amazing, and a definite must do for anyone who likes splitter fingers.
2. Bring more .4s than you think. I brought more .5s than .4s and definitely was wishing I had the .4 sizes.
3. In my opinion, pitch 3 is harder than pitch 4. I thought pitch 3 was like 5.11 and pitch 4 was 11b-ish. My opinion only though.

Pitch one thin hands start is a bit sandy. But the jams are good and its only like 15 feet to a huge ledge and easier climbing.
Pitch two is a small boulder problem protected by way too many bolts and then you get to an easy crack.
Pitch three is perfect fingers (think .4 size) that is hidden behind a weird thin hands constriction thing. Hard to explain, but i found it somewhat difficult.
Pitch four is amazing fingers with two good rests in between cruxes. Save some juice for the ending! The bolt is unnecessary but like many others... I clipped it.

Go jump on it! Apr 20, 2016
Ty Dallas Mangum
Ty Dallas Mangum  
Just did this last week, Great route! Absolutely worth doing!

My take on how the pitches felt.

P1 5.10

P2 5.10+

P3 5.11+

P4 5.11

Bring at least four BD .4's Apr 26, 2016
Mitch Y  
This climb is definitely on par with Fine Jade. I believe Smashmouth is more continuous for the grade, but they are both excellent climbs. We only had a triple rack, but linked pitches 2&3 and I didn't feel like I needed any extra gear. Triples in .4 and .5 were sufficient. Nov 5, 2016
Overall the climb felt pretty average-- nothing spectacular. Shortness of the pitches detracts from the climb. A normal rack is fine, just bring some extra finger size pieces. Feb 7, 2017
With a 70m, you can rapp from top of p4, to P2 on Take Back the Rainbow. From this bolted stance you can re-join smash mouth p1. This can be nice if there are many parties on Smash Mouth and you don't want to rapp through people. Mar 21, 2017
Alex Zucca
Salt Lake City, UT
Alex Zucca   Salt Lake City, UT
There were 2 chockstones left in the pod at the start of the first pitch. The lower one was very sandy and dangerously loose, so I climbed around it by going up the gully to the left and then traversing over. On the rappel down, I trundled the lower loose one, so there is only 1 detatched block left. It shifted a bit, but slid further down the pod and seems to be wedged pretty good. I would yard on it, but use your own judgement. It will probably loosen up over time. Sep 16, 2018
On Oct 26th this route went into the sun around 2:30pm. Glad to have climbed it in the shade.

The pitches are a little short but it makes the route a little less intimidating. I personally enjoyed pitching this thing out.

The best way to rappel is going from P4 straight down to the anchors on Take Back the Rainbow, then over to P1 anchors, This allows you to get down in 3 raps with a 70m.

Also while you're over there go do Larson-Farr. Another stellar pitch of 5.11 crack climbing.

Pitch breakdown: 5.10, 5.10+, 5.11 (sustained), 5.11+ (cruxy).
Gear: Spencer W's breakdown above is spot on. Oct 28, 2018
Jan Tarculas
Riverside, Ca
Jan Tarculas   Riverside, Ca
P1: 5.10b?
P2: 10+
P3. 11-
P4: 11

I thought pitch 4 was definitely harder than pitch 3

rappels: I cut my 70m rope 10 feet and even with that 10 ft I don't think top of pitch 3 would make it to top of pitch 1 anchor

party after us also had a 70M rope and their rope was short by maybe 4ft when trying to rap from top of pitch 3anchor to top of pitch 1 anchor Oct 30, 2018