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Don't Rock My Boat 

YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b

Type:  Sport, 2 pitches, 205'
Original:  YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b [details]
FA: Josh Pollock, Chuck Fitch (P1), and Adam Huxley (P2), July 2014
New Route: Yes
Page Views: 3,054
Submitted By: Josh on Mar 28, 2015

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Do you see that big, downward-facing flake on the arete way above you? That’'s my boat-- don’'t rock it! (Seriously, the upper pitch of this route narrowly avoids this large, booming feature and a few other spots of potentially rotten rock, so stay on route). Despite this warning, Don'’t Rock My Boat is a fun and airy romp up the longest piece of the crag. It offers big exposure and great position for such moderate climbing. The second pitch is well-bolted at the cruxes, but some leaders may prefer an extra cam or two for the sections between.

Note that a single 60 meter rope will NOT lower you all the way back to the Promised Land Ledge from the top of pitch 2 — bring a 70m rope or bring a second rap line (or rappel diagonally to the alcove belay on Zion Train).

P1: 5.7, 95 feet. Start on a rock rib immediately right of the edge of the East Wall slab. Follow the rib up past 2 bolts, then pass a shrub (3rd bolt just above it) to step onto the base of the Recessed Slab itself. The most straightforward line stays just to the right of the bolts up the water-polished slab, using shallow dishes and edges but never moving all the way onto the arete. At the top of the slab, walk back to the anchor at the base of the next pitch. It is on a short, clean slab at the bottom of the rounded arete above. You will be standing on the western end of the Promised Land Ledge (11 bolts + 2-bolt anchor, 5.7).

P2: 5.7, 110 feet. Start with a short slab (2 bolts), then arrive below a large rounded block at the base of the arete (optional cam placement here). Clip a third bolt on the block and step onto it on the right by a small bush (5.7/5.7+). From here, enjoy the steep and juggy arete, staying to the left of the giant, downward-facing flake at 2/3 height. The most exciting line engages the steepest rock at all times by staying exactly on or even left of the bolt line (9 bolts + 2-bolt anchor).

Two 60-meter ropes tied together may not quite reach the ground from the top anchor, depending on how stretchy your ropes are, so be cautious.

Variation (5.9): at the crux block on pitch two, try mounting the block from the left side, which involves a bouldery heel-hook-and-pull-up move. You’'re well-protected if you clipped the bolt, so go for it!


The start is just at the top of the short step up from the East Wall approach gully. It is the first bolted line on the Recessed Slab you will come to. The climb begins on a rounded rib with cedars growing near the base.


P1 - 11 bolts + 2-bolt anchor.
P2 - 9 bolts + 2-bolt anchor.

Eds. Perhaps consider a stick clip/cheater stiff draw if you are shorter.

Photos of Don't Rock My Boat Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Another picture of the second pitch.  The climbing...
BETA PHOTO: Another picture of the second pitch. The climbing...
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking up at the second pitch.
BETA PHOTO: Looking up at the second pitch.
Rock Climbing Photo: The first pitch showing the 1st two bolts.
BETA PHOTO: The first pitch showing the 1st two bolts.
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 1: Adam, 6/14/2014.
Pitch 1: Adam, 6/14/2014.
Rock Climbing Photo: The crux block.  Climb is to right of rope.
BETA PHOTO: The crux block. Climb is to right of rope.
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking down at the crux slab of the first pitch.
BETA PHOTO: Looking down at the crux slab of the first pitch.
Rock Climbing Photo: The old 1/4" bolt near the top anchor of Don'...
The old 1/4" bolt near the top anchor of Don'...

Comments on Don't Rock My Boat Add Comment
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By Jay Eggleston
From: Denver
Apr 4, 2015
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

There are actually 11 bolts on the first pitch. The last one before the anchors can be easily and safely skipped. The first 10 are useful.
By Josh
From: Golden, CO
Apr 8, 2015

Thanks for catching the miscount, Jay. It is corrected in the route description now.
By Jay Eggleston
From: Denver
Apr 13, 2015
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

I think the 2nd pitch is slightly easier than the first, but there is not much difference between 5.7 and 5.7+. If you really want to top rope the 2nd pitch, you can reach the top by hiking up from the west. You might as well lead it though. I was by myself, so I top roped it, but it would be easy to lead.
By Paul Deger
From: Colorado
Jun 26, 2016

On P2, as a shorter climber (5'6"), I could not reach the bolt above the block. Even with jugs to hang on, this move still would be run out around 10 ft from last bolt and only about 20 feet above the ledge of belay. I definitely agree placing pro prior to move necessity before attempting this move, since a fall would most likely ground out on the belay ledge below. Since I did not bring any pro, my work around was to go right around the block, climb up to some solid feet, girth hitch a small bush (meant for mental confidence and slow fall if occurred), then could reach out onto main block and clip next highest bolt to safely return the route.
Bolting somewhat uneven: first pitch sewn up, second pitch starts out longer spacing, then tightens up again in last part of 2nd pitch. A bolt either on the ledge from which to tackle the block or on the lip would have been most welcome!
By Tombo
From: Boulder
Aug 28, 2016

The second half of the first pitch is good. The second pitch is only so so. At the crux of the second pitch, I went over the bulge from the left of the bolt and thought it was harder than 5.7, my partner went in from the right and thought it was 5.7 at most.
By Matt Bentley
From: Boulder, CO
May 14, 2017

This is an excellent route and would be great for newer multi-pitch leaders and for those wanting an easy and fun cool down route after some of the harder routes in the area. I will definitely be returning with friends who are new to multi-pitch climbing.

That being said, please make sure you know what you're doing before you take on a multi-pitch route - even one as easy as this. I saw a few groups at the crag that didn't know what they were doing (i.e. didn't know how to set up a rappel), and I was afraid my wife and I would have to rescue them. Know before you go. Stay safe out there.
By Daniel Joder
From: Boulder, CO
Jun 10, 2017

Great route--lotsa fun. However, for a first-time leader, a word of caution. As Paul mentions, going between the second and third bolt on P2 puts you pretty much in ledgefall territory. It will be a bit scary--and not at all like the gym!--as you pull rope up to clip that third bolt with the bulge/overhang pushing you out. I'm not sure why they didn't just add a bolt just below that bulge...anyway, I used a BD 0.5 (purple) in a small, vertical, and shallow, seam/crack below the bulge and atop the slab, and it was OK but not as secure as I would have liked. A 0.75 (sage, or green to me) would likely slot nicely. Put a runner on it to mitigate rope drag.

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