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The Wishbone
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North Face (The Wishbone) T 

North Face (The Wishbone) 

YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c A2+

Type:  Trad, Aid, 1 pitch, 120'
Original:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c A2+ [details]
FA: Keen Butterworth, Nov. 24, 1994 Thanksgiving Day
Page Views: 1,258
Submitted By: toddgordon Gordon on May 5, 2007

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This is the tower with the North Window to the rig...

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  • Description 

    This climb ascends an obvious crack system on the north face. The climbing is really steep, which makes the positions and exposure exciting. Even though the climb is rather short (80'), you still end up placing a lot of pieces. This is a fun climb with a short approach to the top of a seldom-visited summit.


    Just off the trail to the North Window, not far from the parking lot, on the right.


    Maybe 3 sets of cams....just bring a trail line and ask for more if you need it.

    Photos of North Face (The Wishbone) Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: The huge gear near the start.
    The huge gear near the start.

    Comments on North Face (The Wishbone) Add Comment
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    Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jun 18, 2009
    By Brad Brandewie
    May 8, 2007

    Hey Todd,

    Does this route go clean? You say to bring three sets of cams but rated it A2+. I am just wondering if you meant to put C2+? (I love the route additions by the way!)

    If you haven't done the routes that you are adding clean, then you might want to note that on the page along with the fact that nailing is no longer allowed in Arches. The last thing we want in terms of access is for someone to see an A (as opposed to C) rating on and head out there and start nailing right next to the trail.

    I hope I am not coming across as a dick here. I really do love reading your new additions and have a ton of respect for your desert climbing resume. I am just sensitive to the access issues in Arches and as member of the M.A.C.A. I feel like I should speak up if something is unclear and could lead someone to further damage our access.

    I definitely don't mean to say that routes that have not been done clean should not be added to just that there should be a note on the page that explains to people that they will have to climb it clean if they want to stand on top these days.

    PS. The new Navajolands additions are awesome.
    By toddgordon Gordon
    From: Joshua Tree, California
    May 8, 2007

    Brad;...thanks for your question reguarding the Aid ratings it with Iron or clean? In this case, I just copied the rating out of Eric's book.. It even says bring a few pins;..minimum nailing. I can't remember if I used pins;...I think I DID use a few. Two factors involved here for me;.....1) I often used a pin here and there, because that's just the way most people climbed back in the 80's and early 90's on the sandstone wasn't illigal, and we climbed the best we could in the safest manner we a days, it's a bit different. 2) I can't remember sheit about alot of these climbs;...I look at notes I took, pictures, and hand drawn I'm going on my feeble mind and what it can's a limited resource........but your questions are great, your work with the new policies in Arches commendable and greatly appreciated, and you aren't being a "Richard" about it at all. You spirit of adventure, motivation, and willingness to help out and share info with others is awesome;....just wait until you become a dad;.....your awesomeness will increase tenfold. I did this climb with my girlfriend at the time; went easy , was fun, and I'll get some pics up as soon as Blitzo comes over again to help me post them;...I have pictures of almost all the desert climbs I have done......just takes time to find them, scan them, and post them....I can find them, but need help with the rest......cheers.
    By Northwest Corner
    From: Bend
    Oct 19, 2007

    I think this route will go clean. When I did the FA, which was actually Thanksgiving Day in 89, I only used two knifeblades at the very start. If Todd placed pins there also, it is probably wide enough now to get by with a couple crack-n-ups or peckers or maybe even RPs. Although a simul rap could have been set up, I placed two drilled pins on top for the anchor because I was about 4 hours late for turkey dinner at Frosty's grandparent's house in GJ, plus I only had a tied off sage bush for an anchor. Todd, thanks for the contributions. I've done some of your routes down on the rez and thoroughly enjoyed them. I remember an article you wrote (I think) in an early Rock&Ice that had us way psyched back in the day.
    By toddgordon Gordon
    From: Joshua Tree, California
    Oct 20, 2007

    Keen;.....Thanks for the "thumbs up."....the Wishbone was cool, and good effort on the solo;....I solo aid climbed one time;...and part way through it, ended up (thankfully) getting "rescued" by Chris Miller who gave me a belay. Glad you liked our climbs on the Res , and the article in Climbing (Loose Rock), way back "in the day." By the way;..your name kicks ass; Keen Butterworth.....hard to top THAT!......climb on!
    By Matt Pickren
    Apr 14, 2008

    I did this route this past weekend, 4-12-08. It went clean fairly easily. The first crux being the first couple of moves off the ground where Keen said he placed a couple of knifeblades. Once into the chimney, it was easy with large gear. There are however very large teetering blocks leaning over the chimney.

    I would say there is a second crux pulling over the roof past a bolt. Was this bolt placed on the FA Keen? The gear was simply small here but quality, keeping in mind the rock quality. The last few moves where you need to traverse right were a little spicy as some free climbing helped but may not be totally necessary, and the gear is not the best.

    Overall, I believe it went at C2, maybe C2+. I don't feel very qualified to rate it, but I do not think this will be a sandbagged rating. The tower is fun, the approach is right and I'm excited it can still be done with the current nailing ban. If doing it in the tourist season, be ready to be in photo albums across America.
    By Northwest Corner
    From: Bend
    May 4, 2008

    Hey Matt, Glad to hear it went clean. No I didn't place any bolts on that route, just two drilled pins on top for the anchor. I'm sorry to hear someone retro bolted it. I don't remember anything too bad above the start except for one spot where there was a blind #2 friend (I believe) placement where you went right a bit. Maybe that is where someone put a bolt in? Anyway, good job getting the first clean ascent. Squaw Pinnacle will probably go clean too. I actually don't remember placing any pins on that one but the guidebook says bring a small selection KBs, LAs, and baby angles. I can't remember if I told Bjornstadt that or not. If I did place any, it was only one or two, and they can probably be eliminated now. I do remember placing a bashie though, to help me get by a long reach, but Frosty said he didn't need it (he is taller) on the second ascent. Someone should give that one a go and see if it will go clean because it is one of the better spires in the Windows Area. I didn't drill anything on that one so be prepared for a simul rappel. I don't think Aunt Emma will go clean - too many knifeblade placements.
    By Matt Pickren
    May 15, 2008

    Keen, thanks for the reply and info on Squaw Pinnacle. I will definitely check that out next time I am in Arches. The bolt is where the route gets the steepest and steps right a couple of feet just over half way up. It was nice to clip, but not necessary as a bomber #2 camalot is below it and decent offsets above it. Take it easy.

    By Darren Knezek
    Dec 5, 2008
    rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c C2-3

    What a great route Keen!!
    I thought that the start was the crux and gets your blood flowing rather quickly.

    I cleaned off the loose super-scary block on my way down. I just removed a small rock from off the top of the block and the entire rest of the block fell!!! It landed right where my belayer had been!

    I replaced the webbing from off the top with quicklinks and a length of painted stainless steel chain. Both of Keen's drilled pitons looked awesome still.

    I thought that the route was definetly C2+, harder than other C2's I've done in Arches with small geara couple of times in some questionable rock.

    I also did a clean ascent of Squaw Pinnacle a few years ago, Keen, and it was much harder. I must say I've really enjoyed your climbs so far and they would have been hard even if you could have used a hammer and pitons. I spent 45 minutes on one piece of gear alone on Squaw. I'll do a route post and some photo's of Squaw Pinnacle A.S.A.P.

    Oh, The Wishbone Tower is exactly 120 feet tall and if you decide to use one 70-meter rope, tie knots in the end. Could someone change the feet in the intro?

    Keen, do you have any info on a route on the smaller section of the Wishbone to the left? I looked over and saw some kind of anchor on that one from the top of your climb.
    Thanks again for the routes!
    By Northwest Corner
    From: Bend
    Dec 9, 2008

    Darren, Thanks for the kind words and replacing the slings. Nice photos too. That is cool that you did Squaw clean. I would def be interested in seeing the gear list for that one as it is one I wouldn't mind repeating someday. Not sure about the other part of the Bone. It hadn't been climbed when I did WB and I haven't walked over there since. Rage on...
    By Matt Pickren
    Jan 22, 2009

    Darren, nice work on the W.B. I just did the Phallus a couple days ago and would recommend it. Not to say that it is amazing climbing, but it is similar to the W.B. and a fun step up. I posted some info on the Phallus's page. Also, nice work on Squaw. Enjoy. -Matt
    By Sam Lightner, Jr.
    From: Lander, WY
    Jun 18, 2009

    I'm no Matt P., so I thought those opening moves were pretty sketchy on tiny cams... Flared and soft. I went to the right and free climbed to reach the upper crack which I consider solid C2.
    The height of the tower is 100 feet considering how my sixty was not on the ground when equalized.
    Use the Primitive trail to reach the tower, not the main trail.
    I replaced on pice and added chain. You might want to take a quicklink to replace the locking biner at the top.
    Dogs make better pets than cats.

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