Terma, 5.9 PG 13, 3 Pitches

Terma, 5.9 PG 13, 3 Pitches

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 38.65051°N / 109.50257°W
Additional Information Route Type: Trad Climbing
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Time Required: Less than two hours
Additional Information Rock Difficulty: 5.9 (YDS)
Additional Information Number of Pitches: 3
Sign the Climber's Log


1st Pitch
1st Pitch

Utopia is a relatively new climbing area in Moab, located on the walls just above the Colorado River past Big Bend. Although the name can be misleading (I did not find anything of “utopia” climbing value), there are a few objectives that are worth doing for the fun aspect alone: Spear of Destiny and Oebehsenuef (ancient Egyptian deity).  Both are small towers and are labeled PG 13 although neither has anything resembling “PG13” leading in my opinion. This whole area is graded soft compared to other local climbs. I would hate to see any of the Colorado suburbanites, who typically gather at Indian Creek and Castleton, get on this wall and then cross the river to give the Ramp a go (same grade range). The Ramp, although rated the same, will be a whole different world to say the least.
3rd Pitch
3rd Pitch

Spear of Destiny (5.9 PG13) and Qebehsenuef (5.8+ PG13) should definitely be done together. In fact I combined four routes in half a day worth of climbing at Utopia which included the before mentioned two towers and the two wall routes to the west of the Spear: Terma (5.9 PG13, 3 pitches) and SklogW (5.9+ PG13). None of these routes had any PG13 leading on them that I could decipher.  I can only assume the FAers just were not use to desert sandstone.

Terma was a quick and boring climb for the most part. SklogW was not a whole lot better. But Spear and Oebehsenuef were cool. If you are up there then Terma might as well be done. It is by far the tallest of any of the objectives. Three quick pitches get you to the top of the cliff with a great view. The first two pitches are fully bolted. The last pitch is the crux and offers the most interesting climbing through some calcite deposits. You meander up a splitter that turns into a wide slot and finishes in a calcite laden right facing corner to the top of the wall. The descent consists of three fixed raps that are easily done with a 70m.

Approximately half a mile beyond the Big Bend bouldering area, there is a decent sized parking area on the left side (river side) of the road. From there, head up the right side of an obvious drainage/gully. Meander up to the wall. Terma is the easiest route to spot (photo included from the parking area) as a left to right large ramp system. Terma has a fully bolted first pitch just to the right of the corner/ramp system. SklogW is listed as a two pitch route just to the left of Terma (with one 5.7 route in between=separate fixed anchor) whose fixed anchor is easy to spot above a short right facing corner. SklogW is easily done as a single pitch, even top roped as a single pitch with a 70m rope. Spear of Destiny is the obvious tower (with a spear shape about it) left of Terma and SklogW. Qebehsenuef is hidden from view until you start traversing the loose hill side to the east of the Spear. It is a short 10 minute hike away. An independent short tower located about 40’ north of the main wall.

Route Description

300’+/-, 3 Pitches, 5.9

1st Pitch- 110’- 5.8/ Just follow the bolts. This pitch is closer to 5.7 than 5.8. Quick and fast, passing a fixed rap anchor and continuing to a ledge with a fixed belay anchor (overzealous bolting?).

2nd Pitch- 110’- 5.8/ Continue following bolts, about the same as the first pitch. Maybe at least one move at 5.8 early on (mantle of sorts). Continue to another comfortable ledge with fixed rap station.

3rd Pitch- 110’- 5.9/ This is by far the more interesting pitch (trad). But nothing is PG 13 on this pitch as it is well protected. The FAer’s called all these routes PG 13 up here, even the bolted ones, which makes no sense, they are all well protected. There is a splitter that turns wide in the calcite but protects well straight up and then traverses left into the obvious right facing corner which might start a move at fingers, but quickly goes to hands. The top rap is on the wall out right, but you can top out and bring the second up to a bolt and tree anchor (2016) atop the beautiful rim.


Rap the route with a single 70m rope. I predict most 60’s make it as well.

Climbing Sequence

Essential Gear

There are eleven bolts on the first pitch, but you could easily skip a few. Ten draws ought to be more than adequate. A single rack to C4 #2 should protect the last pitch well for most competent 5.8 climbers. Most of these routes receive a fair amount of sun during all seasons.



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