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Poseidon Adventure 

YDS: 5.10 French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b R

Type:  Trad, 4 pitches, 310', Grade III
Original:  YDS: 5.10 French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b R [details]
FA: Ed Webster, Jeff Achey - October 1984
Page Views: 3,805
Submitted By: J. Hickok on Sep 10, 2002

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Frank Potempa coming around the back side near the...

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 >>>


You know where this is! Park just past the "Buffalo Boulder" but before the Big Bend area.

Try and find the trail to preserve the slope, and make your approach much easier.

The route follows the system below the notch left of the summit. The route can be done in 4 or 5 pitches depending on how you handle the easy traverse around the tower.

Pitch 1, 5.8+ : So so climbing to a good belay... and keep ALL your big gear handy.

Pitch 2, 5.10 : This is the crux pitch - a flaring chimney with an slightly overhanging offwidth crack. Seems like two 4 camalots, one 4.5 camalot and a 5 friend would be fine, although it can obviously be done with less by simply bumping gear. Fairly strenous climbing, but certainly can be made easier or harder based on your approach to the climbing. The overhang becomes vertical again and turns to a fist and then hand crack. Move left to a huge ledge and belay.

Pitch 3, maybe hard 5.9 for a couple moves : Climb using a crack and face holds on OK rock. A squeeze leads to a ledge at the notch. Belay at an anchor here or continue with rope drag around the small "sidewalk" to another belay.

Pitch 4, walk around step across: From here a very easy, yet exposed "sidewalk" takes you around to the south side of the tower. There is one bolt to protect the technical move which brings you to yet another set of anchors on the south side. [ See notes below ]

Pitch 5, 5.9 : I won't say much to spoil the good times. There is an intermediate anchor on your way to the summit, but it may not be worth stopping (just clip). Summit and down climb the tower at grade 5.Concentrate.

Rappel two 60m ropes to the south notch from the anchor near the "sidewalk" (not the upper anchor). This gets you to the ground on the east side. Make a short 50 foot rappel to the ground on the west side.

This is a very fun and adventurous route. For the grade, very different from Lonely Vigil, but both are very fun routes.


We had almost 2 full sets of cams. Leap frogged wide cams on crux wide pitch. Two old style 4 camelot's, and one 4.5 useful. Maybe another wide piece too depending on how comfortable one is with wide cracks or leap frogging and shuffling gear. A couple .75 camalots useful for pitch 1, but once again back-cleaning or leap frogging helped me get by with only one.

Photos of Poseidon Adventure Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Scott Powers Topping out, the same move you then h...
Scott Powers Topping out, the same move you then h...
Rock Climbing Photo: Lance on the crux second pitch of Poseidon Adventu...
Lance on the crux second pitch of Poseidon Adventu...

Comments on Poseidon Adventure Add Comment
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By Andy Johnson
Mar 24, 2003

I just did this route last weekend and thought it was great. It is not that desperate and the rock for the most part is fairly good. There are however, some loose spots so be forewarned. The crux second pitch is awesome. It is very weird and you have to be fairly observant to make sense of it. Is it sandbagged? Maybe a little , but not badly. The climbing is just of a strenuous nature. For the crux pitch I would recommend bringing three #4 Camalots. Two work, but you need to do a whole lot of sliding. Treat the crux like a chimney and not so much like an offwidth and you will probably do better. The last pitch, described in the book as a run-out traverse and .9 S and then a down climb, is nothing to worry about. The traverse is literally a sidewalk and the mantle is perfectly described as 5.concentrate. Have fun and wear pants.
By Max Schon
May 6, 2003

Just did Poseiden Adventure the other day. Pitch two gets my vote for the biggest sandbag in the desert. Most beta I read on the route say to stem the pitch, which is easier said than done. Bring knee pads.
By TomKingsbury
Dec 5, 2006

possible to rappel w/ a single 70 meter; very good route, easier than ppl make it sound.
By noah gostout
From: Iqaluit, Nunavut
Apr 30, 2012

A long time ago I climbed the crux pitch like an OW, it made it very difficult! I also only had a single #5 and #4, so I had to keep walking the pieces. If you climb it this way, be prepared for some shenanigans, grunting, and sweat. With proper gear, one could easily climb it like a chimney and it would go at the grade, I hope. The OW version however is pretty darn tough, and I don't recommend it, the tendency to approach it like this is what earns it the title as an infamous sandbag.
By BrentL
From: Logan, UT
Dec 4, 2012

Really cool route. P2 is definitely hardest but most interesting. Bring at least 2 or 3 #4 C4s and a #5. More is better so you don't have to screw with walking cams the whole way and you can actually chimney it, which is much easier. Don't rap back down the way you came, ropes will get stuck.
By Evan Deis
Mar 14, 2013

This was hard. #5 was important. Two or three #4s. A few smaller pieces.
By Kirk Woerner
Mar 24, 2013

I attempted this climb with a wedding ring hanging from a biner. The idea was to ask my then girlfriend to marry me at the top. I did not make it... she said yes anyway :) I suppose I must go back and do this climb sometime.
By Rob Dillon
Apr 10, 2013

Somewhere at the bottom of a crag in Morocco is the wedding ring that was clipped to a locker on my harness. Best to leave these on the ground, methinks.
By George Bell
From: Boulder, CO
Apr 10, 2013

Kirk, haven't you seen the movie? I'm not sure I would choose this route to launch my journey with a wife! ;-)

Of course, "Lonely Vigil" or "Iron Maiden" don't sound any better.
By Kirk Woerner
Jun 29, 2013

The proposal was smart, the method was not :-)

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