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Zanzibar Dihedral 

YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 125'
Original:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: M. Cohen and S. Kentz, 1971
Page Views: 8,874
Submitted By: Lynn S on Jun 16, 2007

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (78)
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BETA PHOTO: Two Ears is the first pitch and Zanzibar Dihedral ...


This is a fun, right-facing corner with great gear. Stem, layback, jam your way up to a crux move as the corner leans right. The corner pinches at this point for a move and then there is a great jam, pull around a small bulge on excellent holds, and you are home free.


To reach Zanzibar, climb either Ski Pole or Two Ears (recommended) to the large ledge at the base of the dihedral (60m rope).

Two Ears (5.7) starts right behind a large pine tree at the base and works up broken rock to a series of cracks (2 pins) and veers up and right after about 90 feet. Find the big ledge and Zanzibar is right above you.

Walk off to the west, somewhat steep and loose. After descending for a couple of hundred feet, keep an eye out for a small trail up through broken rock on your left. Go up and over a small shoulder and you will see your packs down by the big pine. You will pass beneath a couple of sport routes, including Nickels and Dimes, 8 bolts, 10c.


Small to medium cams, medium nuts, one big Camalot #3 or #3.5 works up high. There are two bolts at the top, but they are for routes to the right and would leave you in a semi-hanging stance. Better to build your anchor on top and find a comfortable seat for the belay.

Photos of Zanzibar Dihedral Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Another fine trip to Zanzibar.
Another fine trip to Zanzibar.
Rock Climbing Photo: Kristyn sending.  Photo by Jason
Kristyn sending. Photo by Jason
Rock Climbing Photo: Zanzibar Dihedral.
Zanzibar Dihedral.
Rock Climbing Photo: Brenda makes the long rappel from the Zanzibar Dih...
Brenda makes the long rappel from the Zanzibar Dih...
Rock Climbing Photo: Top of 2 pitch climb on Zanzibar Dihedral! Great c...
Top of 2 pitch climb on Zanzibar Dihedral! Great c...
Rock Climbing Photo: The view sucks from up here. :P (Photo by Patrick ...
The view sucks from up here. :P (Photo by Patrick ...
Rock Climbing Photo: The second pitch. So ding, dang fun.
 Photo by P...
The second pitch. So ding, dang fun. Photo by P...
Rock Climbing Photo: The 1st pitch - forgettable compared to the 2nd. P...
The 1st pitch - forgettable compared to the 2nd. P...
Rock Climbing Photo: Getting enduro through the crux.
Getting enduro through the crux.
Rock Climbing Photo: Zanzibar Dihedral overhead.
Zanzibar Dihedral overhead.
Rock Climbing Photo: Backcountry skiing protege Louie Dawson switches t...
Backcountry skiing protege Louie Dawson switches t...

Comments on Zanzibar Dihedral Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Aug 9, 2017
By Jay Knower
From: Campton, NH
Aug 6, 2007
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

This is one of the best 5.8 pitches I have ever done. It's never desperate, but always thought-provoking, and the techniques required are varied. Laybacks, finger jams, slab moves, mantles...this pitch has it all.
By Spinalflow
From: Sugarhouse , Utah
Sep 14, 2007
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Too Much Fun! Definitely a classic! Good thing there is a 30 min hike up the boulder field or this climb would be way to popular.
By Jeff Stephens
From: Carbondale, CO
Sep 10, 2008
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Rapping the route, and then down Two Ears, will minimize erosion on that crappy descent path. I think it's preferable, unless of course there are parties on the routes. I saw a small but hardy squirrel run down the crux headfirst.

This dihedral is the best continuous feature, and features more hand jams, than any other on Independence Pass.
By monolith Lith
Jul 13, 2009

Standing at the tree at the start of Two Ears, remember that sloping ramp to your left. As you walk off, the object is getting back on that ramp if I'm not mistaken. We went too far down and didn't find that shoulder to the left and went down a loose scree gully which deposited us below the ramp.

My outdoor educator partner couldn't help but correct me when we were looking for the start of Two Ears. The tree is a Douglas fir. It's the one closest to the rock with a broken face with tufts of grass growing out of it.
By Lynn S
Jul 16, 2010

I placed a new anchor bolt to the left of the leftmost Metolius, it is still a semi-hanging stance but easier to reach for the leader. There is chain connecting the anchor so now it is easy to rig the rap, better pull than before also.

A new rap anchor is in place for the second rap down to the ground (top of Two Ears). You need two ropes for both raps.

Hardware courtesy of ASCA.
By Rich F.
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Aug 9, 2011
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

This is a great climb -- especially if you like doing laybacks! The anchors at the top are well placed and in great shape. We rapped from the ZD anchors with two ropes, then rapped again with two ropes from the Two Ears anchors. Two very long rappels. I would probably have given this climb 4 stars, but I really detested the approach up that huge talus field :-)
By s.price
From: PS,CO
Feb 1, 2012
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Yes, you want to do this climb.
By S Denny
From: Aspen, CO
Jul 12, 2012

You can rap Zanzibar with a Sterling 80m rope to the ledge (perfectly), step around to the other anchors and rap Two Ears with ~5ft of downclimbing on good jugs to the tree. Long ropes rule!

Also the approach trail is between sites 4 and 6. Have fun!
By Hiro Kurotsuchi
From: Colorado
Oct 7, 2013
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Fabulous climb. A solid 5.8 too. All sorts of skills required/useful.

Even though it is shorter than Two Ears, I found that it eats gear, especially cams between 0.3 and #2 (but there are lots of choices, you don't need to double all those). I definitely used two greens and two purples. Wished I had a second #2. Dunno why I brought the #4. Didn't place many nuts, until I ran out of cams.

I'm a 5.8 leader who probably should push more and lead 5.9; given that, there were a lot of moves on this route which I wanted to protect which ascending. And so, I used a lot of gear.

The anchor is in good condition and has nice sturdy chains which give ample space to clip as many followers as you want. It's a semi-hanging belay from the anchor though, so more than three would be a crowd.

Have fun!
By Cameron Turner
From: Eagle
Jul 2, 2014

Great climb.
By Parker Wrozek
From: Denver, CO
Sep 12, 2016

The only reason people don't rave about this climb is because it is on the pass with a long hike.

This is probably one of the most amazing 5.8's in Colorado. Nice, sustained, and long.

Doubles in .5, .75, and 1 are helpful but you can get some great nuts in instead, especially DMM offsets.
By Andy W
From: Fort Collins, CO
Aug 7, 2017

Agreed, one of the best moderate dihedrals around! Sustained, thought provoking, amazing views. I thought it was considerably harder than other 8s in the area (Twin Cracks, All You Can Eat). I say well worth the approach, but just fine not many people make the trek, because it's amazing to have all to yourself!

DOUBLE or 80m ROPE required to rap back to the start! Our 70m left us with 15 feet of easy ish down climbing. If you do end up here with a single rope (might be tight with a 60m), rap hard right to a tree with slings about 50ft off the ground.
By Dailyn Vae
From: Morrison, CO
Aug 9, 2017

I had only been climbing about a month or two when I was able to follow a partner up this, and SHOOT, DANG it's SO FUN. You have to climb this. Do it.

The first pitch is "eh", bBut the second pitch is a dream dome true.

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