REI Community
The Pickle
Select Route:
Standard Route T 

Standard Route 

YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b C0

Type:  Trad, Aid, 1 pitch, 90'
Original:  YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b C1 [details]
FA: Benny Bach & Cameron Burns
Page Views: 3,817
Submitted By: Brad Brandewie on Feb 16, 2007

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (30)
Your todo list:
Your stars:
Your rating: -none- [change]
Your ticklist: [add new tick]
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [0 people like this page.]
Benny Bach and Ethan Putterman in Fruita en route ...

  • This is a highly visible climb in an access sensitive area. Please be courteous and low key if you're going to climb this tower. Park in the lot next to the visitor's center and stay in washes when you leave the pavement. The tower is approached from the right when viewed from the road.
  • Raptor Closures 2017: Check status and details at: -Read about Anchor Replacement and Restrictions in Arches National Park
  • 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 >>>

  • Description 

    Follow the obvious bolt ladder past an intermediate anchor to a few free moves at the top.


    A dozen quickdraws and a few longer runners.

    Photos of Standard Route Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: The newer, and very nice anchor. Thank you to whom...
    The newer, and very nice anchor. Thank you to whom...
    Rock Climbing Photo: The sandy topout. I stood on one bolt where the sa...
    The sandy topout. I stood on one bolt where the sa...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Some really old anchor consisting of a really old ...
    Some really old anchor consisting of a really old ...
    Rock Climbing Photo: The easy but fun bolt ladder
    The easy but fun bolt ladder
    Rock Climbing Photo: Summit. Photo: Todd Gordon collection.
    Summit. Photo: Todd Gordon collection.
    Rock Climbing Photo: George Armstrong on The Pickle. Todd Gordon collec...
    George Armstrong on The Pickle. Todd Gordon collec...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Removing the large wad of slings from the anchor o...
    Removing the large wad of slings from the anchor o...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Ben Kiessel standing in front of the Standard Rout...
    Ben Kiessel standing in front of the Standard Rout...

    Comments on Standard Route Add Comment
    Show which comments
    Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Mar 1, 2016
    By John J. Glime
    From: Salt Lake City, UT
    Apr 29, 2007

    That is brave of you to admit Todd. The rap anchor is now super bomber, thanks to probably Sam Lightner?

    This is a silly climb really, but it is fun and easy, and is another tower. Perhaps the easiest tower in the Moab area? It is a very safe and secure solo. It is something to do if you have an hour or two to kill. Quick access from town, easy approach, etc.
    By Camster (Rhymes with Hamster)
    Jun 18, 2007

    I think it might help to know I told Kyle Copeland (in about 1989 or so) that the thing had a load of drilled angles in it. He was wanting some for a project, and I said he should go scarf those on the Pickle if he was desperate. Didn't think he'd actually do it. Then again, didn't think it would ever see another ascent. Anyway, that's that.
    By Sam Lightner, Jr.
    From: Lander, WY
    Jun 19, 2007

    Yeah, I beefed the anchor and cleaned the wad of tat off that was halfway down the face. The routes most reedemable quality, besides its ease of access, is that it is not facing the road and thus doesn't draw attention. As Arches tower climbs go, this one feels very "Potash Road".
    By Camster (Rhymes with Hamster)
    Apr 19, 2008

    Just to add a bit of credit where some is due, the FA was really Benny and Cam, not Cam and Benny. He led that unprotected top pitch late in the day (it was getting dark), and, at least when we did the FA, the thing was sandier than hell. I was pretty amazed by his lead. It was like climbing a frozen sand dune. Everything you touched came off. So, it's interesting that Todd added some new fixed gear to that pitch. Makes sense to me. Probably would to Benny, too. It might be a lot cleaner now with all these ascents so I can understand the 5.7 rating. Heck, you know how FAs in the desert go: if you live through it it's been a pretty good day....
    By Tristan Higbee
    From: Ogden, UT
    Feb 17, 2009

    I really enjoyed this tower. It's easy, safe, and fun. There are 21ish bolts (the first two are bolts and the rest are drilled pitons) on the route, so take enough slings/draws.
    By Andy Laakmann
    Site Landlord
    From: Bend, OR
    Mar 28, 2009
    rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b C0

    Ickle me pickle me tickle me too, I took a ride on a flying shoe.

    A fine first aid climb for my wife and I. I happily stood on the pitons on the final slab, but the last move requires a mandatory 5.7 free move.
    By slim
    Oct 20, 2011
    rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b C0

    stare not too long into the eye of the pickle, lest is stare back into thee!

    fun little route that makes a good ending to a long trip, when you are beat to hell and want to do something small with a quick getaway.
    By Eric Odenthal
    Mar 10, 2012
    rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b C0

    went up this tower yesterday, aid solo. 20 something pins and bolts get you up to the last free sandy move. The anchor looks good, bring cord just incase. fun quick route if you have a few hours.
    By Camster (Rhymes with Hamster)
    Nov 26, 2012

    We first climbed The Pickle as a joke. In 1987, we were sitting in the trailer that Eric Bjornstad and [rockshop owner] Lin Ottinger shared, and Lin said, "You should climb that thing that looks like a big dick out near Arches." So we did. "Hey, Lin, we did the big dick." "Good," he said. Later, he told us about Chimney Rock----the one in Canyonlands, as it hadn't quite or had just recently been climbed (by Kyle C.). Before the first ascent, Lin, guiding a tour, flew over Chimney Rock and threw empty beer cans onto the summit to confound whoever might climb it first.
    By Rob Duckles
    From: Superior, CO
    Feb 16, 2016

    The highest piton ("bolt") on the top free section, the highest one before the anchor, is no longer there. There's an empty hole where it once was (which is now a nice 1-finger mono pocket that goes halfway between my first and middle knuckle).

    I've confirmed this from a few sources: photos from MP + roadtripryan, talking to a party that climbed it 9 months ago to confirm it used to be there, and the route beta photo from Stewart's "Rock Climbing Utah". So the piton must have gone missing within the past 9 months or so.

    This leaves about a 15+ ft runout near the top right before the anchor, which includes the crux slab moves. If you blow the final moves of the thin slab section, it's likely you would hit the downsloping ledge that you traversed earlier (which probably isn't fatal, but you could likely break an ankle). Nor do I recommend taking a 30 ft whipper onto an old piton in marginal rock :-)

    For now I'd consider the top of the pickle 5.7R.

    (For what it's worth: there's a decent chance you could protect the missing piton by placing the right size ballnut into the piton hole... or possibly a small black tricam or grey tricam. Though I had none of the above with me at the time, so I can't confirm.)
    By Chris Weidner
    Mar 1, 2016

    I used a Leeper Logan Hook (aka Wide Aid Hook) in the empty hole at the top of the aid ladder. It felt solid and was really nice to have. Launching into the short section of free climbing on sandy, loose rock to reach the summit still feels committing. The mighty Pickle is, indeed, a bit spicy.

    Mountain Project

    The Definitive Climbing Resource

    MTB Project

    Next Generation MTB Trail Maps

    Powder Project

    Backcountry Ski Maps & Secret Stashes
    FREE Stickers · Gyms · RSS · School of Rock · Contact · About