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The Epitaph 

YDS: 5.10+ French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 20 British: E3 5b

Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, 280', Grade II
Original:  YDS: 5.10+ French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 20 British: E3 5b [details]
FA: Jonathan & Brian Smoot, 1981
Page Views: 3,150
Submitted By: bsmoot on Jun 21, 2009

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Jonathan just past the crux, on the first pitch.

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 >>>


This was the first route done on the Tombstone Butte. The first pitch is the crux, where some overhanging boulder moves lead to the start of a great hand crack. The 2nd pitch follows the crack as it gets wider to a stance where the angle kicks back. An easy scramble leads to the summit


Striking crack system up the North corner of the butte.


Standard desert rack with a few extra hand & fist sized cams

Photos of The Epitaph Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: The camping alone makes this tower worth it!
The camping alone makes this tower worth it!
Rock Climbing Photo: Epitaph at sunset
Epitaph at sunset
Rock Climbing Photo: John on the 1st pitch.
John on the 1st pitch.
Rock Climbing Photo: Near the end of the first pitch.
Near the end of the first pitch.

Comments on The Epitaph Add Comment
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By Ben Folsom
Jun 22, 2009

This route has a burly start!!
By Bill Duncan
From: Jamestown, CO
Apr 30, 2010

Beautiful jams on this route! We found that 4 each of hand and fist sized cams are very nice to have. We also used #4, 4.5, 5, and 6 camalots on the 3rd pitch. Very nice to have large gear. Felt 10ish in more than one spot on that pitch. The crux of the route is definitely the first few moves off the ground.
By ljh
Apr 4, 2011

This place is rad.
Though after 20 years here I still am often left to wonder … what is the standard desert rack?!
By Naomi Galinski
Nov 1, 2011
rating: 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c

The start was definitely cruxy but the rest of the first pitch was stellar. The second pitch was very hard in the squeeze chimney into roof section. The rock had hardly any friction and lots of chunks broke off as I tried to climb the hand crack roof using some face holds for feet and hand. My first experience with bad sandstone climbing.
By Joe Stern
From: Moab, Utah
Apr 14, 2016
rating: 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b

A small nut protects the opening moves fairly well. Other than that, double set of cams from .4-4, with an extra #2 and 4-5 total #3's, optional #5. The first belay can be backed up with as many #3's as you want to place.

Not sure why Karl's book recommends 2x70m ropes for the rappel from the top of P2. 2x60m works fine. If you don't mind star drives and quarter inch SMC bolts, you could probably get down with one rope (70m?) and two rappels.

We found pitch three to be more like 5.8 fists/chimney rather than an easy scramble. We led and then down-led the 30' above the rappel bolts, with a short scramble to the summit. YMMV.

A bit sandy and wide, but overall a pretty good route and an impressively moderate passage up a cool formation with minimal approach. Recommended!

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