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Thunderbolts (Easter Island) 

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

Type:  Trad, Sport, 2 pitches
Original:  YDS: 5.10 French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b [details]
FA: Jeff Achey
Page Views: 9,209
Submitted By: Mike Sofranko on Nov 4, 2001

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Dean is following the exciting face pitch on Easte...

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 >>>


Easter Island is the shortest free standing tower at Bridger Jack. From the left, you have Thumbelina, Sparkling Touch, and then Easter Island. From the road, a careful eye will disern the summit cairn.

Begin right off the trail at an obvious dihedral with a wide crack, and a wide hands crack just to the right. Climb the wide hands up to a ledge, and make a few exciting and improbable moves right and up to the next ledge system. Make your way up to the notch, and work out a belay by the unique chockstone bridging the gap. This pitch is 5.8.

For P2, get on top of the chockstone and head up the face, following the holds to the right. You might want a couple finger sized cams to protect getting to the first bolt (which is around the corner), but be careful as some of the blocks on the face are loose. Follow the five or so bolts to the summit on exciting and slightly sandy face climbing. Fun route.

From the summit, make one double rope rappel, or two single rope rappels to the ground.


1 set cams, a few extra #3 Camalots for P1.

Photos of Thunderbolts (Easter Island) Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Sko Buffs! (11 people on the summit!)
Sko Buffs! (11 people on the summit!)
Rock Climbing Photo: Enjoying a 2 below after a night ascent.
Enjoying a 2 below after a night ascent.
Rock Climbing Photo: Easter Island from Sunflower Tower
Easter Island from Sunflower Tower
Rock Climbing Photo: Dan Russell starting P1
Dan Russell starting P1
Rock Climbing Photo: P1 (the zigzaggy crack)
P1 (the zigzaggy crack)
Rock Climbing Photo: Pulling the arete onto the face. Fun climb!
Pulling the arete onto the face. Fun climb!
Rock Climbing Photo: Chris pulling the arete.
Chris pulling the arete.
Rock Climbing Photo: Teague starting up the killer first pitch. Photo t...
Teague starting up the killer first pitch. Photo t...
Rock Climbing Photo: A Spanish couple topping out on Thunderbolts. (pho...
A Spanish couple topping out on Thunderbolts. (pho...
Rock Climbing Photo: this is the 5.8 pitch of easter island
BETA PHOTO: this is the 5.8 pitch of easter island
Rock Climbing Photo: rapping easter island
rapping easter island
Rock Climbing Photo: Josh Ewing on the tenuous 2nd pitch of Easter Isla...
Josh Ewing on the tenuous 2nd pitch of Easter Isla...
Rock Climbing Photo: A little ways up P1, October 2003.
A little ways up P1, October 2003.
Rock Climbing Photo: warping down on a hot day.
warping down on a hot day.
Rock Climbing Photo: Last pitch. Bolted face 5.10
Last pitch. Bolted face 5.10
Rock Climbing Photo: Peacefully partying on the start of pitch two. Pho...
Peacefully partying on the start of pitch two. Pho...
Rock Climbing Photo: Topping out!
Topping out!
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 1.
BETA PHOTO: Pitch 1.
Rock Climbing Photo: Easter Island tower
BETA PHOTO: Easter Island tower
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 2. the chockstone is no longer present
Pitch 2. the chockstone is no longer present
Rock Climbing Photo: Scott about to round the corner on the crux pitch
Scott about to round the corner on the crux pitch
Rock Climbing Photo: Rapping off Easter Island
Rapping off Easter Island
Rock Climbing Photo:
Rock Climbing Photo: Dan Russell on the 1st pitch of Easter Island
Dan Russell on the 1st pitch of Easter Island

Show All 24 Photos

Only the first 24 are shown above.

Comments on Thunderbolts (Easter Island) Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated May 17, 2017
By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
Dec 20, 2001
rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b

P2 is height-dependent and will be difficult to protect well for a short leader. If you are a chicken like me on sandy desert slopers, the second pitch will feel a lot harder than 10a. Wear slip-lasted shoes to make this feel more secure/easier.
By Holly Barnard
Apr 2, 2002

I was at Indian Creek over the weekend and it was reported to me that the chockstone linking P1 and P2 together actually broke loose and no longer exists as of 3/31/02 (ironically Easter Sunday). Can anyone confirm this?
By Monomaniac
From: Morrison, CO
Apr 8, 2002

The "piano-sized" chockstone that marks the end of the first pitch collapsed on March 31, 2002 (Easter Sunday). I rappelled off Easter Island about 45 minutes before it collapsed, and was climbing Thumbelina at the time. The route is probably more difficult without the chockstone, and there is probably more loose rock near the top of the first pitch waiting to come down.
By Anonymous Coward
Apr 14, 2002

I was camped underneath the Bridgers and watched the piano block fall out. Had climbed the route the evening previous, super fun, it probably will be just as good with the addition of a drilled pin or two to protect the (now) runout start to p2.
By Anonymous Coward
May 8, 2002

I did this route on 5/7 and two bolts now protect face climbing where the chockstone used to reside. I never did the route before but I can't imagine it is harder now, I think the crux is higher up around the corner. regardless, this is a stellar pitch of exposed face climbing.There are many small blocks to be trundled off the first pitch, have fun!
By Stan Pitcher
From: SLC, UT
Nov 7, 2002

Super fun! Long slings at the beginning of p2 will help prevent any drag on the thin face moves around the corner.
By Max Schon
May 6, 2003

The two new bolts aren't any harder than the moves up higher
By William McGehee
From: Choctaw, OK
Oct 6, 2003

For posterity's sake: Make certain you are damned solid on 5.10+ leading for the second pitch. I have done many route on Supercrack Buttress and thought I was good-to-go on this meager "sport-lead..." Think again. Face nubbings and two-finger pockets on the varnished "chute section" make clipping the fifth bolt hell. There are seven total bolt hangars on the route, NOT including the anchor (three pitons and a hangar). All told, a fun route with GREAT exposure on the WNW side and a rappel from the summit that I likened to the Maiden of Boulder's Front Range!
By JP.8d
From: Menlo Park, CA
Apr 25, 2006

Don't really feel that the route is much harder than .10a, just somewhat inobvious and requiring some good balance. Feels cruxy through the middle 3 or 4 clips; delicate. Nice exposure, excellent movement and WELL PROTECTED by well spaced bolts/drilled pins. Definitely the easiest "Tower" of all the Jacks. Great beginner tower and a nice airy rap almost the whole way down!
By Brad Brandewie
Jan 6, 2007

More pictures and a TR at
By Meredith DB
From: Boulder, CO
Apr 13, 2007
rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b

Fun route. I agree that the second pitch is 10-, but the sand makes it feel exciting. The climbing looks (from below as you are climbing) harder than it is: it's all there.
By Scott Beguin
From: Santa Fe, NM
Apr 23, 2008
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

A modest rack for this climb would consist of (2)#1 Camalots, (6)#2 Camalots, (4)#3 Camalots, (2)yellow Aliens, (2)red Aliens, (6)shoulder runners, (10)quickdraws, a cordellette, and some sticky rubber for your feet, and pray for no wind.
By Braxtron
From: ...
May 5, 2008
rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b

If you're looking for a spicy climb, pick this one! Pitch 2 is well-protected, but thin & tenuous. It had my undivided attention the whole time. It's also unique to sort of corkscrew up the tower along the face, rather than straight up a crack.

A handful of cams from .3 to #3 (camalot sizes) is sufficient for this climb. The first pitch isn't all that long anyway. The belay crack takes #1 cams nicely.

A 60m rope will get you down without any problems. Just use the piton/bolt anchor that is about 20' below the end of this route's pitch 1 to get you down to the ground. No need to bring a second rope.
By claytown
From: Boulder, CO
Nov 13, 2008

P2 is great sandy slab wandering around the west side of the formation to the summit. A #2 is helpful for the start of this pitch.
By Sam Lightner, Jr.
From: Lander, WY
May 9, 2010

The ASCA replaced most of the lead bolts (pins) and the anchors. Brown chain now reigns. One 60m doing two rappels will get you down. A couple of the angles were stuborn, but most popped out waaaaaaayyyyy too easy. Again, all that was holding them in was a wad of rust mixed with sand.
By DaveF Farkas
From: Durango, CO
Sep 20, 2010
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

I just climbed this route over the weekend (9-19-10) under 92F heat. Yup...better get up early for this one as the first pitch sits in the sun although as the "REAL" Creek season kicks in, the temps will be much better. We were up early and hiking under the new morning sun. There's a new anchor at the top of p.1. sweet chains and bolts. There's plenty of rocks small to big here so be careful moving around. None of these would hit your 2nd but you never know about folks below. There's also a new anchor on summit same as below...chains and bolts. I ended up skipping the p.1 anchor and continued up to the notch between towers to sit on the ledge in the shade. It's a perfect place to hang out, enjoy shade, eat & hydrate and watch your partner send p.2. Two red BD cams and a cordelette offer a sweet anchor here. I don't remember what p.2 was like having climbed this tower many years ago. p.2 is super fun and all there. Definitely easy 5.10. One 60m rope raps you to the anchors for p.1 and then another easy rap down.

1st pitch: 1- red BD cam, 1-blue BD cam, 1-black Alien, 1-green BD cam, (another red BD cam for your anchor if you're going to skip the chains and sit in the shady ledge between towers.
2nd pitch: 7 quick draws.

Sweet and light rack.

By Mike Tsuji
From: Boulder, CO
Dec 1, 2010

Climbed this for the third time last week, wanted to say thanks for replacing the drilled pins on the second pitch!
By Hunter 12345
Nov 20, 2011

Drilled angles don't need to be held in because they are at an angle. unless you find some way to fall upward you will NEVER pull them out. I trusted the original hardware much more than bolts placed by someone who couldn't see this. whoever did this didn't fix the holes they made by removing the established protection so now the pitch is full of bright shiny bolts and large drilled mono pockets.
By Sam Lightner, Jr.
From: Lander, WY
Jun 8, 2012

Yeah dude, thats me... unable to see that 100% of the force on a piece of fixed protection is downward. Hmmm.

Besides pullout, the biggest problems with angles are:
1) they are untreated steel and will break down in sandstone. As taken directly from BD's website, "With normal use and proper care, the life expectancy of your aid iron is approximately five years, and can be longer or shorter depending on how frequently you use them and on the conditions of their use. " All of the pins were rusted, thus showing they were way over 5 years old and exposed to, on average, about 10 inches of rain per year... in rock that has salt in it.
2) they are not designed for repeated falls. Again, BD: "If aid iron has been involved in a severe fall or left exposed to the elements for a long time, but is not obviously damaged, it still may be ready for retirement."

Angles do still have their place, but not as bolts. That worked when there were 20 people who frequented the desert and the route got done by folks who never fell or weighted the rope. Its a different world now.

I did plug the holes... they have apparently subsequently been dug out. I'll do it again.

Just FYI, "NEVER" is a really long time, especially considering one of them had already come out when i got there to rebolt.
By Ben Kiessel
Jun 10, 2012

Hunter Seriously!?

For how much work Sam puts into replacing bad fixed pro and keeping the climbing community safe, he sure seems to get a lot of flak for doing it.

I for one am always stoked to see ASCA bolts. When you have old bolts pull under your static body weight you'll come around.

Thanks for the hard work Sam!
By B-Mkll Mackall
From: Bozeman, MT
May 15, 2015

The anchor on the summit is HORRIBLY placed for belaying the second, and the million deep grooves off the edge of the summit attest to this. Sigh..... oh well! Great route though.

One of the key flakes pulling around the column on the first pitch is pretty loose. Things will feel way harder when it goes.
By Dylan Cousins
Jul 15, 2015

To B-Mkll:

You can extend your anchor to the edge of the tower to prevent wearing grooves into the stone. These anchors are placed with consideration for rappelling so that you don't have to pull your ropes through giant grooves when retrieving your ropes after the rappel (the chains drape over the edge to the east).

Sam is the man! Thanks for all your work in our favorite climbing areas Sam!
From: Ouray, CO
May 6, 2016

This was my first Bridger Jack, and it was awesome! As a new trad leader, I found the gear advice in the book to be lacking (claiming all you need is three #3 bd cams). There are plenty of places to place smaller gear as well, especially for the move over the last little shelf- I found a .5 to be a helpful piece to protect there. A single rack with a few extra #3s is good advice for newer or more conservative leaders.
By Derek Field
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Sep 26, 2016
rating: 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

Classic tower climb (adventurous), but unique for the Creek due to the final exciting face pitch. Although it's yeehaw crazy exposed at the top and the wind could probably pluck an off-balanced climber clear off the slab, I found it to be very well protected (bolts) and not any harder than 5.10- (even in the dark...)
By Big Bert
From: Golden, Colorado
May 17, 2017

Super fantastic route and a must do! The bolt spacing is perfect and allows for that feeling of exposure while also being safe. Soft/slip lasted shoes help on summit pitch. The exposure on the route (and even the rappel) make this route an absolute stunner!

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