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The Organ
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YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c C1

Type:  Aid, 4 pitches, 400', Grade III
Original:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c C2 [details]
FA: Ron Olevsky & Mike Strassman - Aug. 1983
Page Views: 9,064
Submitted By: M. Morley on Mar 30, 2002

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Pat's going through the roof...

Seasonal Raptor Closures ***** RAIN AND WET ROCK ***** The sandstone in Zion is fragile and is very easily damaged when it is wet. Holds rip off and climbs have been and will continue to be permanently damaged due to climbers not respecting this phenomenon. After a heavy storm the rock will remain wet, sometimes for several days. PLEASE DO NOT CLIMB IN ZION during or after rain. A good rule of thumb is that if the ground near your climb is at all damp (and not powdery dry sand), then do not climb. There are many alternatives (limestone, granite, basalt, and plastic) nearby. Seasonal Raptor Closures MORE INFO >>>


Organasm is an excellent intro into Zion aid climbing. At just 4 pitches, it's half the commitment of nearby neighbors Touchstone Wall and Spaceshot. Furthermore, pitches 1 and 4 may be free climbed at a modest 5.8 and 5.7, respectively.

P1 (5.8) Free climb 5.8 crack up pillar, past a single bolt, and continue through awkward wide section to gain a decent stance at a sling belay.

P2 (C1) Aid through a stellar roof through a splitter crack with bomber C1 placements. The crux of the route is probably cleaning this pitch, so be sure to read up on cleaning roofs BEFORE attempting (better yet, get some practice at your local area)! Continue past roof to a bolted anchor.

P3 (C2) A fairly long (150'?) pitch. Aid through second (smaller) roof and out onto arête. Straightforward nutting and good cam placements up this vertical crack, which ends on a nice ledge with bolted anchors.

P4 (5.7) Short section up easy 5.7 crack to top.

For a topo of the route, check this out.


  • One to two sets of nuts (offsets work great)
  • Two sets of cams to 4"
  • Extras in #.5 and #.75 Camalot size helpful
  • Extras in #2 Camalot size helpful
  • Two ropes if planning on rapping from top of P2

The use of cam hooks should be avoided for soft rock areas such as Zion due to potential to damage the rock.


Descend to climbers' right via bushwack through gully to the north. Although fairly straightforward by daylight, just finding the descent gully would be difficult in the dark. Come prepared: bring a headlamp (and don't forget to check your batteries).

If pressed for time, retreat is possible from the top of pitch 2 via one double-rope rap.

Photos of Organasm Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: The roof on pitch 2.
The roof on pitch 2.
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 2. The roof.
Pitch 2. The roof.
Rock Climbing Photo: Crank it bro.
Crank it bro.
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch Two. Also beautiful.
Pitch Two. Also beautiful.
Rock Climbing Photo: Going out the roof on P3.  Bring a belay seat if y...
Going out the roof on P3. Bring a belay seat if y...
Rock Climbing Photo: Several extra cams in the 2.5 friend size would ha...
Several extra cams in the 2.5 friend size would ha...
Rock Climbing Photo: The Organ
Rock Climbing Photo: Mike Morley leading first pitch of Organasm.
Mike Morley leading first pitch of Organasm.
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking back from the roof
Looking back from the roof
Rock Climbing Photo: Coming up pitch 3
Coming up pitch 3
Rock Climbing Photo: Taken from the roof on P2.
Taken from the roof on P2.
Rock Climbing Photo: Chillin' on big ledge atop third pitch of Organasm...
Chillin' on big ledge atop third pitch of Organasm...
Rock Climbing Photo: The steep third pitch of the Organasm.  Oct. 2011
The steep third pitch of the Organasm. Oct. 2011
Rock Climbing Photo: Getting into the real business of the roof on P2 o...
Getting into the real business of the roof on P2 o...
Rock Climbing Photo: Sac bumping cams out the fantastic P2.  Some class...
Sac bumping cams out the fantastic P2. Some class...
Rock Climbing Photo: Mike Morley aiding up third pitch (C2) of Organasm...
Mike Morley aiding up third pitch (C2) of Organasm...
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 1. Beautiful.
Pitch 1. Beautiful.

Comments on Organasm Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jul 12, 2017
By flaco
Feb 1, 2003

i know for a fact that the 2nd pitch(the big roof) goes free at wild 5.11ish hand jams. and ive heard the 3rd pitch goes free at hard 5.11 or 5.12.

pitch 1 and 2 can be linked with a 60m rope(or less) but can cause quite the rope drag.

also, you can rap off the top of the roof pitch(the 2nd pitch) with one 60m rope(just barely).
By Dustin Wildermuth
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Mar 24, 2006
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c C1+

The gear beta posted here said bring cam hooks. DO NOT BRING THEM! You will not need them and you will destroy the route for future climbers.
By Gaar
From: Springdale / Zion UT / Moab
Dec 12, 2007
rating: 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b C0

This whole thing goes free at 12b....the roof is an easy 5.11.. NO HAMMERS!!!!!!!!!! Be Carfull of your rope getting stuck turning the lip, either free or aid... Recommend Building a hanging anchor right after the roof, and breaking pitch 2 up.
By Rich Farnham
Mar 28, 2009

Fantastic route! Eventhough the descent sucks (wallowing down gullies filled with loose sand and stout bushes), I recommend topping out. P3 is great.

I brought some of the typical aid toys (offset micro stoppers, tricams, lowe balls, etc) and didn't use any of them. There were a few marginal placements, but they were all on normal gear (black alien was helpful). P3 ate up medium to large stoppers.

It is possible to rap from the top of P3. There is a fixed anchor on the ledge. I don't remember the specifics, but 2 bolts come to mind. It could use some new webbing. You could probably also rap from the top, but it could be ugly. You'd be rapping off a tree with the potential for snagged ropes or loose rock as you pull your rope.

P3 is long, so if you are rapping, you'll likely need two ropes.

As for avoiding problems at the lip, it is easy to keep your rope out of the main crack. There is a second smaller crack (visible in some of the images here) for much of the roof. At the lip, we clipped dirctly into a cam (0.5 Camalot?) in this crack which kept the rope out of the larger crack.
By Klimbien
From: St.George Orem Denver Vegas
May 5, 2009

ON ALL the climbing websites and to everyone I talk to, when asked what my favorite route is, I state it loud and clear - ORGANASM! - I've only climbed the first two pitches, we only free them, but it is the way to do it. First pitch is awkward and I'd say is 5.8+.
Second pitch is clean and fun, you have a really good rest before the roof that will take as many 2's and 3's as you'd like to put in it. The crux is pulling out of the roof but with a perfect .75 placement in an adjacent crack to lookers right that keeps the rope out of the main crack. Followed by tight hands to the chains, it goes free and is super fun route.
By raygay
From: Las Vegas, Nevada
Jun 25, 2011

Even on a 100 degree sunny day today, I found this route to be tolerably comfortable. I started early in the morning and was in shade all morning long and well into the afternoon. Maybe I turned the roof at just the right time, but I never had to climb in direct sunshine.

I was very concerned about the stability of a large hanging flake just at the start of the large roof on P2. When I brushed it to place a cam while climbing on aid, it seemed to move. I was afraid to touch it again to see how loose it really might be. There were chalk marks around its edges, so climbers obviously have been using it as a hold, but it may not be as secure as it used to be. Beware. If it falls, it could be deadly.
By BigE
May 12, 2013
rating: 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a C0

Just got on this thing after hearing stories about the incredible hand crack out a roof in Zion. Fantastic climb! There was a Black Widow spider at chest level in the crack at the base. I wanted to climb it free and link the pitches into one long go. It took most of a 70m rope to get from the ground to the anchor 35' above the prominent roof feature, clip the pin anchor and lower back to the ground. There was some rope left over, but I wouldn't try to do it that way with a 60m. All time classic roof crack not to be missed! Some loose rock on top of the first pedestal and in the first 40' then again at the start of the horizontal roof.
By Kevin Kent
From: Flagstaff, AZ
May 29, 2016

Only did the first 2 pitches because of apocalyptic wind but the 2nd pitch roof crack is the best I've ever done and really honest 5.11! Very doable! Can't wait to go back and climb the 3rd pitch.
By Justin Winger
From: Wheat Ridge
Jan 23, 2017

This looks like a sick climb not to aid. Someone needs to update the rating to reflect not aiding.
By BigNobody
From: all over, mostly Utah
Jan 23, 2017

I aided this thing in 84'. It was an Aid climb long before a free route young buck. Maybe a separate entry? It is a great intro into aid climbing.
By Justin Winger
From: Wheat Ridge
Apr 21, 2017

Lol I am not a young buck and this is something I wouldn't need to aid. That is why like all the others like it the ratings should reflect for both.
By two chains
From: Fucken Zion
Jul 12, 2017
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b C1-

Easy clean aid. Shade all day. Bring your #2 stash or leap frog your face off (2nd pitch) all gear placed was 110% bomber making this a 5.6 C1- IMO
As far as free climbing it. Looks no harder then a Creek 10+ to me. Size is everything and #2 "12a" roofs just dont exist!

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