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Voodoo Child 

YDS: 5.11+ French: 7a Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII ZA: 24 British: E4 6a

Type:  Trad, 4 pitches, 480'
Original:  YDS: 5.11+ French: 7a Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII ZA: 24 British: E4 6a [details]
FA: Jay Smith et al
Page Views: 2,296
Submitted By: Ari Menitove on Nov 15, 2013

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Pitch 4

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 >>>


A great route that is a little bit more off the beaten path than many of the nearby classics. It amazingly links together several sections of great crack climbing with improbable face moves. Definitely a little bit heads up, but the difficulties tend to back down or bolts tend to sprout up when you need them to. The route has mostly good rock, a 180-foot pitch that takes 7 widely spaced yellow camalots in a row, and a steep bolted upper pitch with great sports action.

See topo added as beta photo.

P1. Climb up to the tombstone and slither behind it, clipping 3 bolts along the way. On ledgy ground above, traverse left a little further than you think you should and gain a thin hands/finger crack in a corner. Exit the crack to the right where it starts to get a bit wider, and a bolt appears. Thin face moves past the bolt get easier, but the rock gets softer, too. Wander up and right to a 2-bolt belay on a ledge next to a gully. 160', 5.10+/11-.

P2. Scramble up and left in the gully for about 30 feet, aiming for the flake system that starts as steep fingers/thin hands and turns into about 1 mile of hands. Clip a bolt past a wide section/flake, and eventually cut right below a roof to gain another ledge with 2 bolts. Save a few thin hands/fingers size pieces for the last 30 feet. 180', 5.11.

P3. Climb the striking finger crack until it ends about 20 feet above the belay. Continue up blocky terrain to a spot where the wall kind of blanks out. Stuff some cams in a horizontal, and leave it all behind by climbing up and left on face holds. Like George Michael said in 1986, "You gotta have faith-a-faith-a-faith!" Once the difficulties back off, wander up and right to another 2-bolt belay on a ledge. 60', 5.11.

P4. Climb up the bolted shallow corner system just right of the anchor. Feels steep for the desert, and requires a bit of body English, too. Skootch left in a strange horizontal feature between a closely spaced ledge and roof with some loose rock between. After this, climb up through a weakness to another ledge. You could probably climb straight up for about 25 feet to the top from here, but the rock is pretty loose and the pro not so great. I walked to the right along the ledge about 35 feet to where I could access the top via 3rd class terrain. Once on top, I walked back left to the anchors. 80', 5.11+.

Descend by rappelling the route with 2 ropes.


Located on the NW side (Castle Valley side, close to US-128 River Road) of Parriot Mesa.

Approach from same wash as for Sister Superior and the Convent. Drive (usually rugged high-clearance required) or walk up wash approximately 1 mile, looking for large, ~20' tall boulder about 100 yards away from wash on the right. You can see this boulder from a long ways off. A cairn-marked trail leads from the wash past the boulder and up a ridge to the base of Parriot Mesa. Contour North (right) past Crooked Arrow Spire and around the prow to the West side of the Mesa. Voodoo Child is about 200 feet past the prow. The route starts below a huge corner system with lots of white calcite rock about 200 feet up. Look for the Voodoo Child at the base of the route and some black bolt hangers on a 30-foot tall tombstone that you'll want to clip on the first Pitch.

Descend by rappelling the route with 2 ropes.


1-2x purple tcu, 2-3x blue/yellow tcu, 3x purple-red camalot, 7x yellow camalot, 1x blue camalot, 1x #4 camalot (first pitch only), stoppers, 13-15 QDs/runners (many long)

Photos of Voodoo Child Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: I saved this topo from a Kurt Smith authored onlin...
I saved this topo from a Kurt Smith authored onlin...
Rock Climbing Photo: Andrea Shotwell getting us started on the first pi...
Andrea Shotwell getting us started on the first pi...
Rock Climbing Photo: Approach map.  Yellow line marks the approximate l...
BETA PHOTO: Approach map. Yellow line marks the approximate l...
Rock Climbing Photo: Route topo.
BETA PHOTO: Route topo.

Comments on Voodoo Child Add Comment
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By Steven Lucarelli
From: Moab, UT
May 7, 2014
rating: 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a

An outstanding desert adventure but you better be solid at the grade and an experienced desert climber. Jay Smith sure has an eye for good lines!
By Greg Gavin
From: SLC, UT
Oct 17, 2014

We climbed infrared the day prior to doing this route, and both my partner and I thought the last pitch of this was way harder than the last pitch of Infrared. I'd give that last pitch 11++.
By Bob Rotert
Oct 31, 2016
rating: 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a

Awesome route! Lots of varied climbing from bottom to top. Kudos to Jay Smith's prolific efforts with his partners for adding another desert classic!! Was too worried to exit left at the last bolt on the coffin traverse at the top due to loose looking rock and danger to putting your belayer in a coffin... So I moved down, did a hand traverse right at the last bolt, went to the top with no pro and flipped the rope over so second could come up via the coffin traverse. Jay later told me he had tried removing the very loose looking pinched block you would use and could not get it to come out. However even the ledge for your feet looked suspect. We didn't try and clean and knock anything off on rappel for fear of hitting the ropes and it was getting late in the day.

On the second pitch you need to really watch the rope drag. Being a very long pitch with the crux at the top. it doesn't take much for it to become a big issue. Best to reach back and clean any pro under the left arching roof that you climb at the bottom before getting into the hand crack.

I would agree with Steve Lucarelli's comments be solid at the grade for this route.

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