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Bloody Elbows 

YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a

Type:  Trad
Original:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: Jimmy Dunn, Doug Snively, 1972
Page Views: 2,666
Submitted By: J. Hickok on May 20, 2002

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"Bloody Elbow" route with anchors shown

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 MORE INFO >>>


This route is a great lead for the beginner leader who is not yet ready for many of the 5.10 desert climbs. When you look up at the River Road Dihedrals, the route is the most obvious splitter with rappel slings in the right side of a chimney about 85-90 ft up.

Begin with easy face moves on rock of poorer quality. I felt like it was more scenic to belay from the anchors... after tying off long you can even peek over the lip and watch the progress of the second.

Rappel: was able to make the soft sand off a single 60 meter rope, which indicates that the route description is incorrect in the Desert Rock II guide.

After doing this, try Bloody Knees for a longer more sustained and wider climb. If you do Bloody Knees, remember that it requires a larger rack and two ropes to rappel. (Hint: bring wide gear!)


Smaller stoppers to protect off the ground. Set of friends, with a couple extra camalots in the .75 to 2 range. Used a 4 friend up high, and a 5 friend is optional.

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By Scott Conner
From: Lyons, CO
May 6, 2003

As of 5/5/03, the key sidepull used to get into the crack has broken off. This might put the crux about 10 ft. off the deck.

Good crack climb for the grade. A 4 or 4.5 Camalot is useful for the final 20 ft. Also, I believe this climb is called River Road Dihedral East in Knapp's Classic Desert Climbs and maybe Bjornstad's guide as well.
By Eric Odenthal
Sep 19, 2008

good route. 4.5 for the top is good beta. anchor is in pretty good condition.
By Baumer
From: Boulder, CO
Apr 15, 2015

Great tour of fingers-to-fists sizes. I didn't place anything bigger than a BD# 4.
By Aaron Glasenapp
From: Denver, CO
Apr 20, 2017

I only had 2 #1 cams and wish I had more. I ended up leap frogging them a couple times, but then again, I'm a terrible crack climber. For the top half of the route, I placed, in order, a #1, #2, #3, #4, and #5, which was quite amusing.
By Derek Michael
May 9, 2017

I found this route hard for the grade, but I'm new to sustained cracks and jamming. The route is aptly named; my eblows were raw. If you want to stitch it, you'll need extra BD #1s. You can use a #5 to protect the final move to the anchor, but it really isn't necessary. A #4 is a good call.

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