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Mogul Emperor T 

Mogul Emperor 

YDS: 5.11- French: 6c Ewbanks: 22 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 22 British: E3 5c PG13

Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, 330', Grade IV
Original:  YDS: 5.11- French: 6c Ewbanks: 22 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 22 British: E3 5c PG13 [details]
FA: Robert Warren, Max Kendall, April 1988
Season: fall-spring
Page Views: 832
Submitted By: Ben Kiessel on Nov 9, 2009

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Ben Kiessel standing on the rim near the Canyonlan...

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 >>>


DR IV says that this route goes at 5.11-. I did not do the moves free but I would guess more like 5.12ish. This route is not for everyone, Brad thought is sucked, I thought it was awesome.

Pitch one:
Start up the loose crack system on the south face of the tower. Pass a small roof on hand jams about 20' off the ground, continue on broken cracks to a two pin belay at a stance below a big roof. We broke this pitch up in to two because of bad rope drag. A #6 camalot is very helpful at the top of this pitch. The book calls this 5.8 which it is not. I would guess 5.10. (150'ish)

Pitch two:
Climb out the right side of the roof to super fun climbing above. Bring a #6 for above the roof to avoid some run out terrain. Climb into a chimney which is protected by a star bolt and a drilled pin. Continue to a belay on a good ledge with two drilled angles. 5.11-. (just over 100')

Pitch three:
Climb a wide crack in a corner for 20'. Scramble through a wide crack to the other side and climb easy (5.7) unprotected terrain for 40' to a drilled pin. Take a breather because this is where I think the 5.12 section is. I aided up and stood on the pin and probably didn't climb anything harder then scary 5.10(if you fell you would back plant on a ledge). Continue up passed very loose blocks to a star bolt and some fun climbing. Two pin hanging anchor is to your left. (175'ish)

Rappel the route. The belays were placed so the rope would pull well and they do.


The route starts on the south side of the tower.


One set of stoppers, doubles from .3-4 camalot, one #5 and #6 camalot , runners and draws, two 60 meter ropes.

Photos of Mogul Emperor Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking back at Canyonlands Overlook and the rappe...
Looking back at Canyonlands Overlook and the rappe...
Rock Climbing Photo: The Mitten Butte and Attila's Thumb casting shadow...
The Mitten Butte and Attila's Thumb casting shadow...
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking down at Jeff Widen on the third pitch of M...
Looking down at Jeff Widen on the third pitch of M...
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking up at the first pitch of Mogul Emperor.  T...
Looking up at the first pitch of Mogul Emperor. T...

Comments on Mogul Emperor Add Comment
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By Brad Brandewie
Nov 12, 2009

I didn't say that this route sucked, just that it is definitely not for everyone. I would give it 2.5 stars for the climbing and 3.5 stars for adventure.

A few thoughts...

The rappels are longer than they seem from the rim. We were wondering if we would make it with two ropes?... not even close.

The first pitch was rated 5.8 in DR4. It's more like loose 5.10- with a giant detached flake about 2/3rds of the way up. Still, it had some fun climbing.

The second pitch was the best on the route. Definitely keep a big cam for above the roof.

The third pitch is the one that precludes me from recommending this route to most people. It starts out fine with a wide crack and shimmy though to the other side of the tower and up some fun ledges. Sounds good right? The issue is that you are then looking at some serious climbing with one lone piton to protect you. Even if you aid on the pin, you will still have to launch into some 5.10 face climbing that's gritty and insecure.

Jeff and I both agreed that if Ben hadn't led this pitch, we would have bailed. Nice lead partner!

If you're a desert rat and comfortable on remote and spooky 5.10 face climbing then have at it. It's good stuff. Otherwise, maybe bring a rope gun for the last pitch.
By Max Kendall
From: Ouray, CO
Jan 27, 2010
rating: 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c PG13

this is a classic 5.11 tower in Canyonlands!
By Ben Kiessel
Jan 30, 2010

Great route Max! Really good free climbing!
I agree with the 5.11 rating save one move on the last pitch. I would guess that some of the holds got a little smaller over the years? Or who knows, maybe you're right and it's 5.11.
By Brad Brandewie
Aug 10, 2011

More photos and a trip report at

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