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Dark Angel
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West Face T 

West Face 

YDS: 5.11 French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E4 5c

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 150'
Original:  YDS: 5.11 French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E4 5c [details]
FA: Bob Kamp and Dave Rearicks
Page Views: 4,470
Submitted By: Joe Auer on Sep 24, 2004

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Todd Gordon at first belay.

  • 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 

    P1: Start on either side of a sandy flake. The FA climbed the left side of the flake at 5.7 and Harvey Carter climbed the right side on the second ascent at 5.8. We did the left side and found it quite hard for 5.7 and very loose and sandy. After scrambling up more choss to the top of the flake, climb a 5.9 fingercrack and make an awkward move left past an old hangerless bolt to the belay.

    P2: Climb up left from the belay and do a fun, exposed move over a flake to a bolt ladder. This pitch can be freeclimbed at 5.10 or 5.11 depending on which guidebook you read. There are a couple of bad bolts and the holds are sandy but it looks reasonable to free, just scary with the bolts and rock quality. Then climb run out 5.4 to the summit. Rap anchors are in good condition. Two ropes get you down.


    Medium stoppers and one set of cams to 4".

    Photos of West Face Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: A giant wad that is really bad for access.
    A giant wad that is really bad for access.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Dark Angel view on the approach.
    BETA PHOTO: Dark Angel view on the approach.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Following the 2nd pitch.
    Following the 2nd pitch.
    Rock Climbing Photo: P1 finger crack.
    P1 finger crack.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Climber on the P1 finger crack.
    Climber on the P1 finger crack.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Opening moves on Dark Angel.
    Opening moves on Dark Angel.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Looking back at the belay after making the mantle ...
    Looking back at the belay after making the mantle ...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Dark Angel Topo. Tristan is good to use for scale.
    BETA PHOTO: Dark Angel Topo. Tristan is good to use for scale.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Dark Angel Rap
    Dark Angel Rap
    Rock Climbing Photo: Dark Angel.  Photo by Jim B.
    Dark Angel. Photo by Jim B.

    Comments on West Face Add Comment
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    Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Mar 30, 2014
    By Andrew Gram
    From: Salt Lake City, UT
    Sep 25, 2004
    rating: 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c

    If you pull on gear on the last pitch, nothing is harder than 5.9 The 5.7 sand chimney is the crux of the route, but you can shove a 3 and/or a 3.5 camalot in where it pinches down.

    Best to pull the knot past the first few bulges when you rap. We didn't, and had a hard time pulling the ropes.
    By John J. Glime
    From: Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct 5, 2005

    Having attempted this route in the later 90's and wimping out on the second pitch pitons and lack there of(I think I used upcoming darkness as my excuse then.) I was pleasantly surprised to see the new bolts. It changes the nature of the route a bit. For good or bad, I would consider this to now be one of the easier "known" towers in the desert. It can easily be aided at c1. On the first pitch, if you don't want to grovel, you can avoid the chimney by climbing on the right side of the flake. During the second pitch, there are two easy, but awkward, aid placements to reach the two pitons. Above is a very easy bolt ladder. The last thirty feet are very runout, but the climbing is probably in the 5.4 range. Enjoy the hike. The whole thing is a lot of fun.
    By Ben Kiessel
    Oct 31, 2006

    I climbed this route this last spring. On the first pitch I climbed the left side, but not in the crack at first I climbed on the out side of the flake on really soft rock(not recommended). Also we only had one 60 meter rope that weekend and were fine rapping off of Dark Angel and the west face of Argon.
    By Sam Lightner, Jr.
    From: Lander, WY
    Nov 21, 2006

    I took out two relics out of the top-anchor and replaced them with one half-inch rawl (one bolt took two light taps, the other a whack and then two taps)... equalized the various with desert matching rope (brown chain would be better). I put a picture up of the previous anchor material. There was so much tape through the various points that I couln't clip directly into the bolts.
    Gang, we now, as of a certain event in early May, have an access issue in Arches and Canyonlands. The bright colored cordage is a definite no-no. I put a picture of what I took out on this page but couldn't take one of what I left cus it was too dark. Anyway, we need to make an effort, each of us, to use desert colored stuff if we are backing things up. Just buy the brown stuff... and carry a lot of it so you can replace, rather than just add, if you feel its necessary.
    By Andy Donson
    Apr 2, 2007

    The second pitch felt like 11a to me - short crux but hard to read.
    On the hike out we were stopped by a ranger and asked to produce our chalkbags! Turns out that colored chalk is mandatory - not just encouraged. We narrowly avoided being ticketed. The ranger reasoned that it would be bad if the Arches ended up looking like Potash Road - he has a point. Next time Ill leave the chalk bag in the car.
    By toddgordon Gordon
    From: Joshua Tree, California
    Apr 25, 2007

    When I did this climb (with Lori Graf ) in Oct. of 1983, I found one of the bolts on the bolt ladder MISSING. I slammed a baby angle in the hole, tied it off, and proceded with the climb. We got our ropes stuck on the rappel, and I had to run back to the car to get jumars, run back, and ascend the rope and extend the anchor and un-stuck our rope. The first pitch seemed a bit sandy, and the run-out 5.4 seems uneventful. The climbing isn't too impressive, but the formation, summit, and whole experience is top notch! What a fantasic setting too;.....***** beauty all around! And a Bob Camps (Calif.) route to boot! (Rest in Peace, Bob....the climbing communtiy misses you dearly......)
    By tom selleck
    Oct 18, 2008

    Todd Wrote:

    "We got our ropes stuck on the rappel, and I had to run back to the car to get jumars, run back, and ascend the rope and extend the anchor and un-stuck our rope."

    That's funny the same thing happened to me. The rope actually got bound up in the wear marks in the rock. Good thing the hike is nice.
    By Eric Odenthal
    Nov 15, 2008

    A great hike, great views and a fun route. We chilled on the summit for some time taking in the views and the sunshine. the anchor has been lengthened so it's easy to pull. I can see it being epic if it weren't extended. bring webbing just incase. the rope that's up there won't last but maybe another year. i yarded on the bolts, but doesn't look to bad to free. it gets afternoon light, may be better to wait till then to free in winter. cold in the shade. 1 60m rope gets you to the ground. we carried a tag, but don't need it. classic work on the FA.
    By Tristan Higbee
    From: Ogden, UT
    Nov 28, 2009

    Did this one today at 5.9 C0. A pretty tame little tower except for the slightly unnerving (yet easy) 30 foot runout from the last bolt to the top. The approach was about an hour. There are 7 bolts on the second pitch bolt ladder. A half set of nuts (medium to large sizes only) and a set of Camalots from silver (.4?) to #4 would be perfect. A bunch of draws, too. The slings on the anchors on top are still in OK condition. A single 60 meter rope doubled over will barely/perfectly get you back down to the ground. Two ropes not needed.
    By Christian "crisco" Burrell
    From: PG, Utah
    Nov 28, 2009

    Looks like a pretty good free line. The run out sections are easy (but a little sandy). The quicklinks at the top are as minimalist as I would ever want to get. Would be nice to beef those up some.
    Overall just a quick fun line with no fears and good gear.
    By b Light
    From: Salt Lake City, Utah
    Mar 29, 2012

    Loved the route. Super fun outing. Did this and owl rock in one day.

    here is what i would do differently...

    P1 - Climber and belayer - Scramble up the base of the first slab to the beginning of the face with no pro. Use your belayer to spot while you climb a 5.8 protectionless face with less than awesome rock quality. Backup the anchor with #2 Cam

    P2 - After climbing the 3rd bolt, lower to the beginning of the bolt ladder and try to free (first two bolts are drilled angles... after that, all the bolts are new and burly)
    The "run out" to the top, is not run out... there are spots for occassional pro in horizontal seams (small cams)

    Rap to the ground with one single 70 meter rope

    Singles, #.3 -> #4 & Medium nuts.
    10 runners or quick draws to the bolt ladder.

    Bring a titanium rap rings to replace existing rap rings.
    Bring new cord to replace old cord at rap anchors.
    By S.Mckinna
    From: Cañon City, CO
    Nov 9, 2012

    I added a couple of painted quick-links in october. They are hand tight, I forgot a wrench
    By Mark P Thomas
    From: Draper
    Nov 22, 2012

    P2 starting mantel is a very awkward 5.7. After that, the bolts are easy to french free on. No need for any special aid gear. After the first 2-3 bolts, the climbing eases up quickly and can be climbed at low 5th with one more well protected 5.9-5.10a crux near the end.
    By Keenan Waeschle
    From: Bozeman, MT
    Mar 31, 2013

    for the second pitch there's a key sidepull way out left. fun climbing and a incredible approach. climb this tower
    By Greg Johnson
    Mar 30, 2014

    My son, Hayden, and I did this yesterday. Really fun. The condition of the first belay anchor isn't ideal, but neither is backing it up in the horizontal just above it (the whole block looks detached). As an alternative, one can back the anchor up with a cam or two (#2-3 Friends) in the horizontal crack that starts pitch two. This can be easily equalized with the existing anchor.

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