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Baobab Tree 

YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 70'
Original:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: ?
Page Views: 4,966
Submitted By: Joe Collins on Aug 9, 2003

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Ryan Jaret casually jamming the splitter handcrack...

Dirt roads reopened as of June 2014 MORE INFO >>>


This is one of the few moderate routes at Upper Blair, and is an excellent warm-up for the harder stuff in the area. Located on the SE face of Little John Tower, this pitch follows right-facing flake features to the obvious handcrack near the top.

The first flake can be reached from directly below, or more easily by following a dike in from the right. After the second flake, a weird traverse left gains the beautiful handcrack. There are excellent views of the Five Corners formation from the summit. Descend by scrambling down gullies on the north side of the formation.


Stoppers and hand-sized cams.

Photos of Baobab Tree Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Dylan belays Liz up the top part of Baobob Tree.  ...
Dylan belays Liz up the top part of Baobob Tree. ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Eddy running it out on the Baobab Tree.
Eddy running it out on the Baobab Tree.
Rock Climbing Photo: The Mighty Dr Ed Hartouni onsights the Baobob Tree...
The Mighty Dr Ed Hartouni onsights the Baobob Tree...
Rock Climbing Photo: The route.
BETA PHOTO: The route.
Rock Climbing Photo: Brian jamming out the last of it.
Brian jamming out the last of it.

Comments on Baobab Tree Add Comment
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By nolteboy
From: Fort Collins, CO
Apr 18, 2005

Recommended. The splitter crack at the top is deeeeelishus. Extra long runners at the flake (right before you travese left to the splitter crack) will help keep your rope drag manageable.
By Brian Story
Nov 15, 2006
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

The upper handcrack is one of the cleanest moderate handcracks I've found at Vedauwoo and not to be missed. The climbing up to the base of the handcrack is a little funky. Bring gear up to a #3 camalot and maybe a few extra hand size pieces.
By Squatting Bear
Aug 12, 2008

I would recommend climbing this in essentially two pitches. One to gain the base of the splitter, and two, the splitter crack itself.
By BretWith1T
From: Laramie, Wyoming
Aug 13, 2008

I agree with Squatting Bear. I did it in one pitch, but the funky climb at the bottom seems like an entirely separate thing than the lovely splitter at the top. There is a great belay ledge at the bottom of the splitter that would make it a logical, if non-traditional, way to do the climb.
By BretWith1T
From: Laramie, Wyoming
Aug 30, 2010

There are now anchors on this. A 50m rope will get you to the ground with just a smidgen to spare. The anchors are intended to keep someone from getting jacked up on the exposed and somewhat technical descent, but if you're a purist, just walk on past; the downclimb is still there for ya!
By luke M
Jun 11, 2011

Great climb. Interesting and varied up to a great "wide hands to fists" sized crack. I agree with the gear - doubles in hands and maybe a #5 for the traverse under the second flake.

I think the bolts on the top of this climb were poorly placed, but it's nice that there is some kind of rap descent. It definitely requires a couple of feet of exposed, crack/down climbing to get comfortably below the bolt hangers. Others may disagree. For a safety fiend like me, this should involve being on belay or tethered in some way.

Double ropes would make one pitch the ideal way to climb this.

Highly recommended. Enjoy.
By Princess Mia
From: Vail
Jul 17, 2012

Great route. The top is classic but big fists for me. Extra BD#3.5 came in handy. I was working pretty hard up there..... LOL

I did some sort of slither traverse.......super fun!!!

A 70m rope worked great for the rap with lots of extra. It seems as a 60m would be fine too, but I just don't see a 50m...... but I could be wrong......
By Jason Albino
From: San Francisco, CA
Jul 18, 2013

We did this on our last of 5 days in The Voo - a gorgeous day at Upper Blair with zero humans out there except us.

Really unique line that protects well and is also a good rope-management test piece for the 5.8 leader if you do this in one pitch. Bring at least 2-3 long slings for directing your pro on the right side of the two roundish flakes with the final hand-jam crack portion. Before the final jamcrack, I placed slung gear up in the highest horizontal crack to protect the follower, but then downclimbed a few steps to do the easier lower-angle leftward traverse towards the final jamcrack.

If you aren't solid on 5.8 jamcrack, bring at least one #3-4 and save it for halfway (or leapfrog it) up the final jamcrack to avoid a potential deck situation under this crack. That said, if you are solid at this level, you'll romp this delicious jamcrack to the bolts.

From the bolts, a more comfortable belay for the leader would be to climb up-and-over and set up a good gear belay for the follower. If you belay from the bolts, expect an awkward hanging belay.

From those bolts, a 60m rope reached the ground with a few feet to spare. Don't be deterred on the way up, as the route zig-zags and may appear to disallow a 60m rap.
By Mike Bannister
Sep 8, 2013

If the final crack went all the way to the ground, this would be the most popular climb at the Voo. Slings are your friends on this thing. Surprisingly spicy approach to the headwall crack.
By cstebbins024
From: Laramie, WY
Oct 20, 2014
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Pretty decent route. I honestly have a hard time calling it a 5.8. Perhaps how vertical the hand crack is plays a role in the rating. Or perhaps it is the slightly runout sections. If you are ok leading 5.7, you will probably be fine on this route. The traverses were annoying in my opinion but adventurous. We walked off thinking a 60m rope would not reach. I bet the anchor was placed that low to make sure a 60m rope would reach. Regardless of my negativity, it was a fun route :) If you like this, check out Le Petit Arbre at Lower Blair, and link it with Nick's Loose Flake.

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