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Leopard Skin 

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

Type:  Trad, Sport, 4 pitches, 260'
Original:  YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b [details]
FA: Ron Olevsky
Page Views: 14,294
Submitted By: SMH Climber on Nov 27, 2006  with updates from Lukas Wiborg

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (71)
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Amazing February climbing! Taken from the belay st...


Can be done in 3 pitches with a 50m rope - but 4 will reduce the rope drag.

Route Description update as of 8/14/16. The route has been rebolted there are only about five pitons left, otherwise all new bolts with 3 bolt belay stations. The first belay station above the crack was removed so the climb is now three pitches.

P1: Climb the slab past 2 pitons to gain access to the left facing corner crack. Climb to the top of the crack then traverse about ten feet to the left on the slab above the crack to the first bolt then follow the bolt line straight up to the first belay. I did not have much rope left on my 60m rope but you might be able to use a 50m if your belayer climbs up the easy slab a litle bit.

P2&3: Follow the bolt lines straight up to the top.

The Descent: You can rap the gulley/chimney to the south then you will see two rap anchors in the top of another chimney which will rap to the top of the science of friction 1 more rap takes you to the ground. Some have rapped with a 70m rope and barley made it to the second rap point, it could be done with a shorter rope however you would just have to walk the rest of the way across roughly 3rd class terrain.


Medium cam for the opening moves (#3 Camalot works). I've watched people back off the climb all together because they only brought draws. Pitons placed on lead.

Pro: Take more than a #3 cam unless you want to run it out 40 feet to the first bolt I would recomend a #3 or #2 cam, large stopper or medium hex, and a set of tcu's. quick draws and a couple extra slings. 1 60m rope.


Lepord Skin is about 100 feet right of Gratitude.

Photos of Leopard Skin Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: P1 of leopard skin.  #3 camalot crack just below 1...
BETA PHOTO: P1 of leopard skin. #3 camalot crack just below 1...
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking down pitch 1
BETA PHOTO: Looking down pitch 1
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 2 traverse
BETA PHOTO: Pitch 2 traverse
Rock Climbing Photo: p2 has the best photo op in the canyon
p2 has the best photo op in the canyon
Rock Climbing Photo: following on second pitch
following on second pitch
Rock Climbing Photo: The traverse
The traverse
Rock Climbing Photo: Another view of the Sand Dunes area from the parki...
BETA PHOTO: Another view of the Sand Dunes area from the parki...
Rock Climbing Photo: Leopard Skin approach, descent, and first pitch va...
BETA PHOTO: Leopard Skin approach, descent, and first pitch va...
Rock Climbing Photo: Our 3 person party linking the 2nd and 3rd pitch.
Our 3 person party linking the 2nd and 3rd pitch.
Rock Climbing Photo: Renee Chi at the anchors on P2
Renee Chi at the anchors on P2
Rock Climbing Photo: Alex working up the fantastic pitch 3 back in the ...
Alex working up the fantastic pitch 3 back in the ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Sand Dunes Area
Sand Dunes Area
Rock Climbing Photo: Sand Dunes Area
Sand Dunes Area

Comments on Leopard Skin Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Feb 3, 2017
By S. O.
From: logan,ut
Oct 8, 2007

Incredible climb. Pitch 2 is memorable. Trad pro for pitch 1 is a #3 camalot. The climbing isn't too hard, so if you handle a little runout of 5.5 terrain, you'll be fine.
By Julian Smith
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Apr 30, 2010

The route was a little hard to find from the description; kind of like an economic incentive kind of thing as I went back to town and bought a guidebook from the local climbing store. Things went OK after that. Well, if you are looking for how to get on this route, take a look at the beta photo of the Sand Dunes. I can assure you that the route is located somewhere in the photo!
It is really an awesome line. I mean like totally awesome! Can't say enough good about the route; go do it. The Desert Rat, located at the Intersection of Bluff and St. George Blvd., is a good shop to purchase a guidebook from.
St. George was an awesome host city for the Ironman too!
By SMH Climber
From: Midvale, UT
Nov 15, 2010
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Gratitude is about 100 feet to the left of leapord skin and has white bolts.

My wife(Kim) and I (Sean Hansen) loved this climb and would highly recomend it.
By Arie
From: Smog Lake City, Utah
Dec 16, 2010

Super fun moderate. I'm a bit confused as why the belay above the crack was removed. It is a fine belay ledge that was a perfect spot to watch the leader sneak out pitch two. Maybe I've always climbed this differently- but now I'll probably just drag up a bit more gear to still use a belay there. Anyhow, thanks to _____ for the replaced bolts.
By Sisyphus
From: W. Mass, S. Utah
Dec 20, 2010
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

The belay bolts on the pillar are still there. The above description is wrong. Leopard skin and gratitude share the same start, with leopard skin heading right to the crack and to the top of the pillar.

The start described above is an older variation that is a bit harder than the original, and climbs up the ramp into the shallow left facing corner(about 100' to the right of the established start) and finishes at the top of the second pitch as described above.

By SMH Climber
From: Midvale, UT
Nov 3, 2011
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

I was in this area on 10/22/11 and I did not see the belay anchors at the top of the crack on leapord skin. How ever I did locate the bolts that traverse from the start of leapord skin to grattitude. I would clip the first pin and then follow the flake up and left to the black bolts and first set of anchors. there is an optional direct start to grattatude about 100 feet to the left of lepord skin with bolts starting from the ground.
By Rockwood
From: West Jordan
Feb 28, 2012

This is a fantastic easy and quick multi-pitch. We went from car, to car in under 3 hours and we were taking our sweet time. After a day climbing harder stuff this is like dessert. You get way more out of this one as far as exposure and view for how little you have to put into it.
By Patrick Stark
From: St. George, Utah
Mar 4, 2013

Judging from the comments it looks like there are two possible starts to the route. T.G.'s guidebook starts the route on the left side of the wall in a chalked up right facing corner (same start as Gratitude) breaking left after two (maybe 3?) bolts and then heading up a crack to a sweet belay ledge with anchors hidden from the ground. Second pitch traverses to the right (obvious from belay and shown in photos of the route) and then up to the anchors. A single rope will get you up and down the route.
By Suzanne Wilson 1
From: Placentia, California
Nov 16, 2013

The rap bolts on the second rap station don't appear to be super solid as the bolt hangars flex when rappelling. We used them, but an upgrade sure would be beneficial.
By Aerili
From: Los Alamos, NM
Dec 3, 2013

If you have a 70 m rope, you can run the last two pitches together (make sure to sling everything long). It also makes the first rappel a lot more comfortable with a little extra rope.

The "new" pitch 1 variation (two bolts to a hand crack) was the best pitch of the route. A lot of variety-- but don't take it for granted. Extremely sandy and some awkward moves made it feel a little hard for the grade and particularly insecure at times. Take a #1, 2, & 3 plus a few small nuts and you'll be golden. Leaders climbing well above the grade won't need any supplemental gear on the other pitches.
By SMH Climber
From: Midvale, UT
Mar 3, 2014
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

If someone does not beat me to it I will change out the anchor on the second rappel.
By B Roth
From: st george, ut
Nov 4, 2014

You can link the last two pitches with a 60, no 70 required. The non bolted sections of the first pitch (assuming you start at the same spot as for gratitude on the left) is hands so the 5.9 leader probably needs nothing more than a #1,2, and 3 camalot to feel comfortable (I take a #2 and a link cam). If you do decide to link the last two pitches bring some extenders and start using them as the 3rd pitch bolts start moving slightly to the right (5 - 6 bolts up) to save yourself some headache.
By Hyrum j. C
From: St george, ut
Dec 30, 2015

You can easily do this in 2 pitches with just a 60 meter rope, bring some slings to reduce rope drag when linking the first two pitches. Also if you are a confident leader and dont mind a small runout on 5.7 then you can easily do this with only draws no trad necessary. The runout is not that bad anyways.
By Dan Lay
Jan 26, 2016

Great route to free solo. If you don't want to haul a rope for the rappel, you can keep climbing past the last anchor (low 5th) and top out on the very top of island in the sky, you can find a weakness down the south ridge, down climbing 4th class / low 5th.
By Garrett C
From: SL,UT
Feb 15, 2016
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Mountain project and the comments do not seem to do a very good job of describing this route, so I will try my best. It is on the second tier of the sand dunes. From what I can gather there are two starts - one start is to the left, uses the first two bolts of Gratitude (the 5.10 with WHITE bolts) and then branches right to a chain anchor on top of the visible pillar, and the other start is a more direct start that uses the two visible bolts on a slab, then works its way up a tiny finger crack and then meets up with the bolt line.

We ran into another group up there that was equally confused, and did the finger crack variation and said it was much harder than 5.7. I ended up going up part of Gratitude then cutting to the right to the chain anchor on top of the pillar. After this, the rest of the route is very easy to find and is bolted the entire way and easily within the 5.7 range.

However, the start to either route will require some gear, despite the rest of the route being very well bolted. I would not attempt either start if I was an aspiring 5.7 leader. Also, the top pitches are excellent and have amazing exposure, which more than make up for the janky starts. All belay stations are bolted, and we used a 60m rope for the entire thing. However, the 3rd belay station had 3 bolts and only one quick link on one of the bolts, so had to use a bail biner to rappel. If someone heads up, maybe take a quick link?
By OKClimber
From: Folsom
Jul 16, 2016
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Leopard skin is a pretty good route. Access the Sand Dunes area by parking in the gravel lot directly in front of the sand dunes, approximately 0.75 miles from the south entrance to the park. The climbing area will be directly across the road. Access the route by scrambling up to the second tier by following the use trail up a gully on the left side of the wall (see photo).

As others have noted, there are two variations to the start. The route description from MP appears to be for the original route, which sounds like that variation may run harder than 5.7.

We followed the route as described by Patrick from March 2013 (except we broke right after 2 bolts, not left), and Garrett from 2016. We started below a well chalked up right facing corner with large bouldery holds that went past two bolts (didn't look white to me), then headed up and right following a sweet hand crack (red and gold camalot work perfectly) for about 20' to the top of a pillar. From there, the second pitch follows bolts right. We combined pitches 3 and 4, and rapped the gully system on the right side of the formation.

I thought the first pitch was great, the second was fun and had exciting exposure, and the last two were easy romps to the top. It also seemed possible to rap the route with our 70m, but the large holds on the top two pitches seemed like they could be problematic when pulling the rope, so we rapped the chimney system. Three easy raps from bolted stations got us down the right side of the formation.
By Seth Maciejowski
Feb 3, 2017
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

The mp description here is very confusing and not correct. The description in the guide book is also not correct and the photo in the book confuses things even further. After an hour of puzzling and an aborted attempt at the wrong line, we found the correct way. I'll try my best to describe this as this is a great climb and worth doing. Firstly, there are NO drilled pin placements left on the first pitch. There is a direct start with 2 drilled pins with quicklinks for bailing on a slab 100' right of the 1st pitch. This may be the original line and is most certainly more like 5.10. When you arrive at the base of the face look at the left side of the face. You'll see a bolt about 30-40' up above a 4th class slab in a right facing corner. There's a perfect #3 camalot placement just below it. Clip the bolt and continue up to a second bolt in the corner. Now make a cruxy move right to gain a handcrack in a left facing corner.. Follow this 20' to the top of the pillar and belay at a three bolt anchor. You'll see the p2 traverse bolts heading right from here. Important to note is that you only clip 2 bolts on p1. If you continue up to the third bolt you are now on Gratitude. Hopefully this will help get you on the right line!

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