OverviewMoab - is a beautiful outdoor place in southeastern Utah. It is a popular tourist destination due to national parks nearby - Arches (who has not seen a photo of a Delicate Arch) and Canyonlands, and Dead Horse Point. Moab are is filled with vertical adventures, from easy scrambling routes to hard crack climbs. Moab's sunny red-rock country offers literally thousands of great routes to climbers of all abilities.
Climbing seasons - while climbing is possible year-round in the desert around Moab, spring and autumn are the best seasons. Spring brings warm days and cool nights, as well as strong winds that can make climbing difficult. Summer begins in May, and temperatures often climb above 100 degrees, making climbing nearly impossible except in the early morning. Look for shady cliffs and bring lots of water. Thunderstorms often come in July and August. Autumn offers ideal climbing weather. The winter months can be cold and snowy.
Moab's climbs are on sandstone. Many desert climbs are difficult. If you are new to desert sandstone climbing, head to Wall Street. The street is a great place to practice and hone your desert skills in a gorgeous riverside setting, and is located just across the river from our climb "Bounce Test III".
The Kane Creek climbing area is south and west of Moab. It borders Kane Creek Boulevard. It parallels the east side of the Colorado River (Wall Street borders the west side). To reach Kane Creek Blvd. from Moab, turn west from Main Street (U.S. Highway 191) on Kane Creek Blvd. at McDonald's. The boulevard winds through a residential area, and then at the Colorado River it turns south and enters the Portal through which the river flows into the canyons from Moab Valley, approximately 1.8 miles (2.8 km). To reach Bounce Test III climb, you continue on Kane Creek Blvd, past Moonflower canyon + campground, and turn onto a dirt road at 3.4 miles. The dirt road leads to a parking lot after about 150 meters. Continue on an obvious trail (an old dirt road) from the parking lot for about 5 minutes until you see the first fin, where our climb starts. You cannot see the first fin from the parking lot, but as you as you get around the visible fin (=2nd fin) from the parking area, there is our fin. You will see bolts when you get to the base of the fin.
The photo on the left shows a short section of the dirt road. It is accessible without a 4WD vehicle.
Route DescriptionThe climb ascends the first fin right of the mastodon petroglyph
First Ascent Andy Roberts, Jason Schroeder, Jason Hodgeman, with Liz Devaney pitch 1, April 1998. Upper Pitches: Andy Roberts, Jason Hodgeman, a couple weeks later in April of 1998.
1st Pitch: Begin at the base of the fin and climb past 3 bolts, then 3 drilled pitons to a flat belay stance.
The 3rd bolt is loose. Rated 5.8, 100 feet (=30 meters) long. Fixed anchors = pitons.
2nd Pitch: Little climbing, mostly scrambling. We just walked up this section without placing protection. Rated mostly as 4th class, with a short section of low 5th class. Length: 350 feet (107 meters). Stop before the obvious steepness in the wall.
3rd Pitch: Ascend the crack, and continue up the fin to a belay in a groove. Rated as 5.6, but left easier. 200 feet long (60 meters). 70 meter makes the climb easier.
4th Pitch: Continue up the fin, some sections rated as 5.5, but mostly a scramble. Ropewill run out at 200 feet (60 meter). Again, most of this section we simul climb, or scrambled.
5th Pitch: The 5th pitch can be eliminated if using a 70 meter rope. Eric's Bjornstad "Desert Rock III" book describes the route using a 60 meter rope. So, if using a 60 meter rope, you will have to make a short 5th pitch, rated as 5.5 climb and finishes at the piton anchors to the left of the groove (see photo). You need a good anchor here since the crux of the climb is right above.
6 pitch: Continue up the groove until it ends, then move right and up passing 4 drilled pitons. Rated as 5.9, A0 if you grab on the draw on the 3rd piton. Follow scary rock to the summit. You climb on your feet, not much to hold on with your hands. Length: 90 feet (27 meters).
SummitThere are a couple of tricky moves to reach the summit, no protection available, but it is definitively worth it. The views from the top are amazing. We had a windy day with a poor visibility, but I was still very happy to stand on the top of the fin and enjoy those amazing views.
Gear or Paraphernalia as Eric Bjornstad likes to call it.
Camalots one #0.75, one #1, one #2. One set of nuts. Quickdraws about 7. Consider extra webbing if you would plan to replace anchors and rappel station (in good condition as of March 2011).
Descent: Two 60 meter ropes necessary for the descent (three double rope rappels down the gully left of the route).