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Original Route

5.9+, Trad, 2 pitches,  Avg: 1.3 from 4 votes
FA: Cameron Burns and Benny Bach, 1999
Utah > Southeast Utah > Valley of the Gods > Putterman Residence
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 gets a star because it goes up a tower. The route itself is marred by the very loose and awkward first pitch. We looked at the prow on the right (northwest) end of the formation, and it holds a promising crack and chimney line that might be a way better option, with decent-looking rock and protection. But we climbed the original start instead.

Find said pitch on the right side of the north face, identified by a gaping, cave-like roof and a drilled angle left of the crack, several feet above the roof. Ascend the crack, using various wide-crack and stemming techniques and whatever footholds remain attached. (If this were on solid rock, it would be quite fun, but it's not.) Above the OW, we avoided the easier but unprotected chimney finish with an easy, loose, and somewhat protected slab to the left, which led straight to the bolted rappel anchor.

If you haven't given up yet, the rest of the climb is actually a very fun scramble. (This is the route we followed—there may be others.) Walk straight left on ledges, gradually angling upward, until a six-foot boulder problem in a corner gains a higher ledge. Continue leftward past a big cave until you see a good ramp overhead that leads back right, guarded by a short overhanging corner with a crack. Climb this (belay and hand-size pro recommended), then scramble the ramp to the summit area. The highest summit is just back left from the top of the ramp. A 40-foot pitch up the easiest looking section on the north side (loose 5.6) gains the top.

Descent: Short rappel from bolted anchor (new cord and biner) to top ledge. Reverse the full scramble, belaying down the hand-crack crux, then single-rope rappel from the first-pitch anchor.


First pitch: Doubles of 4, 5, and 6 Camalots. Single set of smaller pieces.

Upper section: Ditch the big gear, but don't get any bright ideas about leaving the rope and rack after the first pitch. You'll want both for the short scrambling crux and the summit.

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

  5.9+ PG13
[Hide Comment] The first pitch of this has some of the WORST rock I have found in the Valley of Gods. If your objective is the summit, do a different route. At least 50 lbs of rock was removed on my ascent (not intentional). YUK. Oct 23, 2016
[Hide Comment] People really need to check out the potential new start on the northern prow. It looks like fun climbing on way better rock. Oct 24, 2016
[Hide Comment] Dougald basically onsighted the first pitch. The climbing seemed far harder than 9+ but the rest of us will never know because some of the holds he used, including an essential one, were no longer present when his lead was followed. Oct 26, 2016