The rock on this route is about as chossy as it gets but its relatively remote location near Canyonlands National Park as well as an incredulous 4th pitch, makes it a worthy objective. I say "near" Canyonlands because I can only assume with the 4x4 traffic and cattle guards that you end up driving out of Canyonlands National Park and into BLM land by the time you reach Lost World Butte, the name of the formation where the climb is located. A more popular landmark in this area is a large feature known as Tombstone. The route was established by Ross, Pheasant and Potter (not Dean) in 2011.
This route is aptly named. You will not find any socialites from Indian Creek climbing a route that takes this much effort and/or courage for that matter. Most of the route is made up of long traverses. The first pitch is short and nondescript. Then you move the belay west along a ledge approximately 300’ to a fixed station. Follow that by a second pitch traversing back right (5.7) at 200’ to another fixed station (2nd rap anchor). The third pitch involves an easy squeeze chimney (5.8) up to a ledge that you traverse right yet again to the base of what this route is all about. The fourth pitch involves a sweeping C4 #6 wide crack that you ride like a horse until it steepens to pure vertical bellows a stout 5.10 off width exit. C4#5’s protect deeper in this crack, but basically how well you sow it up depends on how much wide gear you have. For the rap, you traverse yet again back west a couple of hundred feet. Crazy and unique route with a wild rap as well.
Head out to Canyonlands National Park by turning off of Highway 191 north of Moab onto Highway 313 (the road heading west into Canyonlands National Park). Between mile markers 15 and 14 (they descend in number), turn right on a gravel/dirt road. This road might have several names if even marked, Dudblinky Well, Spring Canyon Bottom, etc. Follow it for approximately six miles and you will spot a functioning (2017) windmill in the distance. Turn left prior to reaching the windmill and head for a formation they name Tombstone. There is BLM camping all around this area. After you pass Tombstone on the right (obvious formation), turn right down a soft sand road and take the 2nd road on the right that heads for the southeast face (photo) of Lost World Butte. You can easily match the route with my topo photo before you even make this last turn. At the end of the road, park on the slick rock. Makes for a great backcountry camping spot and even gets cell service (these dirt road are in 4x4 treking books so there is quite a bit of activity in season).
Route Description1st Pitch- 60’- 5.7/ From atop a block in front of the wall and just left of a left facing corner, traverse in from the left to access a hand crack that leads to the expansive ledge above. Sling a block for the belay.
3rd Pitch- 85’- 5.8/ Climb the squeeze chimney. There is a single pro bolt (of the entire route) you can see from the belay. Weird that they chose to put a bolt there and not at the end of pitch 4 which offers much harder climbing, worse rock and much more dangerous fall potential. In any regard, pretty short and simple squeeze and then up to yet another significant ledge. Sling a block.
4th Pitch- 180’- 5.10/ It is best to climb this route in the afternoon. I led this pitch with full sun and wore a huge blister in my left hand the rock was so hot. Move the belay right to the base of the obvious sweeping C4#6 crack. On first impressions the crack looks smaller, but it only takes #5’s deep or #6's along the edge, the entire length. You will need to save one #5 and #6 for the crux which is a steep off width exit (with a ledge below it). I took a single set which meant I had to walk them along so I had them for the end. The mistake in that is that the ropes will be flowing in the wind, not touching even an 1” of rock anywhere causing significant weight of the rope on your person. You should definitely carry double 5’s and 6’s at a minimum. Handrail or ride the sharp edge of the crack. It starts to steepen at a small rest. Sling a chock stone before a mantel. The next several meters are by far the crux of the route. Sink a #5 in the roof. Stem, then lie back off the left wall to enter the off width. Face the left wall and arm bar to some features inside. They are chossy and having another #6 would protect a ledge fall right here if a hold blew. It is still full on off width climbing to the top, the chossy hold or two does not change the dynamics of the climbing that much. Eventually you get a great two handed edge on the left that allow a mantel up and out. Belay off of a small sandstone pedestal on the shoulder ledge above.