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Northeast Ridge T 
Sisyphus T 


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

Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, 250', Grade III
Consensus:  YDS: 5.11 French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E4 5c [details]
FA: FA-Jimmy Dunn and Doug Snively, 1973. FFA-Jeff Achey and Chip Chace, 1981.
Page Views: 4,007
Submitted By: Ben Kiessel on Mar 30, 2007

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (12)
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BETA PHOTO: Seen from top of P2 of Moses


Start up the obvious dihedral on the left side of the south face.


Pitch 1-
Climb up broken rock to better rock, stem up corner past 2 drilled pins. Mantle and follow a finger crack to a good belay ledge. There are no anchors on top of pitch 1, Belay takes yellow Aliens (5.11).

Pitch 2-
Lieback strenuous thin crack (5.11) to a short OW/Chimney (5.8). Exit the chimney and traverse up and right to a bolted belay.

Pitch 3-
This is the business pitch. Climb the corner above the belay past a drilled pin, then traverse right on a ledge, to a poorly protected, crux move(solid 5.11). If you fell you would land on the ledge. Once above the crux, climb 5.7 past 2 pins to the summit.

Rappel off the Northeast side of the tower. One 200' rappel got us to the ground, but we passed anchors on the way down.


set of stoppers
1xblack and blue Aliens
2xgreen Alien
5xyellow Alien
3x.5&.75 Camalot
3x1,2,3 Camalot
1xold 3.5 Camalot

Photos of Sisyphus Slideshow Add Photo
From the good ledge below the crux, you can see th...
From the good ledge below the crux, you can see th...
Ben Kiessel on pitch one.
Ben Kiessel on pitch one.
Zeus in evening light.
Zeus in evening light.
Looking down as Steve gets ready to try the 5.11 R...
Looking down as Steve gets ready to try the 5.11 R...
Exiting the squeeze chimney on pitch two.
Exiting the squeeze chimney on pitch two.
Taurus Skibicky (sp?) and Anne Liebold helped me w...
Taurus Skibicky (sp?) and Anne Liebold helped me w...
Anchor on summit
Anchor on summit

Comments on Sisyphus Add Comment
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By Ben Kiessel
Mar 30, 2007

Check out Brad's website for a trip report and great photos.
By Sam Lightner, Jr.
From: Lander, WY
Apr 8, 2007

I would call this one of the best tower routes I've done. THe climbing is engaging and thought provoking. However, it could be given the R rating in a number of places. If you find the first pitch a bit heady, you might want to bail. It gets more dangerous as you go higher.

We accidently ran the second and third pitches together as I never found the bolted belay mentioned in the description...it's probably my fault as I do this a lot. Anyway, using lots of runners I was able to mitigate the rope drag. I did have to unclip the crux piece at my foot after doing the big move (it's a reach).

The ledge you would hit in the crux is more of a big sloping stance than a square cut ledge. If you jumped out, you might miss it.

The gear list here is perfect, but bring lots of runners.
By Sam Feuerborn
From: Durango, CO
Apr 23, 2012

There are 2 fixed nuts and a knot (double overhand I reckon) for the first pitch belay although yellow aliens are still a good idea to back these up. gets pretty thin off that belay
By Steven Lucarelli
From: Moab, UT
Oct 22, 2013
rating: 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c

The gear beta is way off when it comes to the #1 through #3 Camalots, you only need one of each no matter what your climbing ability is and the 3.5 isn't needed either. An extra Blue Alien wouldn't be a bad idea though. I also wouldn't give any of the pitches an R rating, especially the 3rd. Finally it is possible to rap off with one rope but I would bring some webbing to back up the anchors.
By jakobi
From: moab, utah
Oct 22, 2014
rating: 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c R

I'd second everything Steven said regarding gear, but I found the R rating was justified on the final pitch; if you fall doing the crux move you'll most likely hit the ledge, you probably wouldn't be seriously hurt but there you go. For those up to the challenge this is one of the great tower routes in the Moab area!
By Spencer Weiler
From: Salt Lake city
Mar 15, 2015

Very detailed pitch by pitch beta. Climbed 3/14/15. First summit register ascent of 2015

Pitch 1- climb easy and fun 5.8 cracks up the lower angle corner with great gear. When you reach the roof, look for good gear in a horizontal. Getting around and above the roof requires small side pulls, a flaring finger pod, and a good crimp(felt hard 5.10) but your last piece is lower than you'd like and no pro exists until gaining a good foot ledge above on the left. Once above the roof, a manky star drive(not angle, and very loose) can be skipped with bomber .3 camalot nearby, then blank acute corner stemming gets you to the 2nd more secure, although protruding, drilled angle. From here is the crux, requiring more skill than I had. Stepping on the angle allowed an exit left with face holds. Finger pod liebacking(small nut and c3s important) lands you at the belay with two fixed nuts and .4 cam for backup. I felt this was more mentally taxing then pitch 3. Continuous and insecure. Bailing here with 1 rope is very doable if you're not feeling it, but it gets better IMO from here.

Pitch 2- great finger crack with stems leads to a transition right into the mostly green/red c3 size( 2 each nice) crack. Pods exist but it's strenuous liebacking with no feet, albeit only 15 feet. Endurance crux of route. The squeeze has better hand holds going right side in, but left side in makes more sense and it's not too difficult. A great .5 camalot protects the exit out right onto a big ledge, then 15 more feet with a mantel onto the belay ledge. Only one drilled angle at the belay(not two bolt like mentioned) but 2 .75 cams make excellent anchor. Bailing here is harder with only 1 drilled angle for fixed gear.

Pitch 3- the best pitch. really fun face climbing out left then back right into a well protected lieback finger crack and and an actual hand jam(first of the day!) lead past a crappy unnecessary star drive . More finger crack above in a flare of sorts with good feet bring you to the slanting ledge. The 5.11R part you've stressed about lies above. Great gear(.3 and .4 cam )can be placed in obvious chalked corner with a small nut 2 feet higher if that appeases your mind. No gear past that. Rest up, get your game face on, lieback up to the hole and latch the good undercling inside with your right hand, get your left foot out left on the obvious big edge, then launch up and left to a likely sandy but fairly positive 2 Pad rail. From here match hands and mantel up on small holds to the massive flat ledge.
About the R rating: Not super scary since it's short, but you do have to commit. The move cannot be French freed. The gear is excellent where you have it but like others have said, if you fell the ledge is present. This move felt easier to me as a gym climber (ie long and powerful but secure) than pitch 1's insecure corner past the drilled angle. You decide if it's R or not. I'd do it again so it can't be that bad. Not a deal breaker for me.

I belayed below the summit off the 2 drilled angles for better heckling of the follower doing the crux, then a trivial 10 feet of face to the summit. 2 raps with 1 70m rope were easy down the north ridge. Both anchors had a mess of crap bolts but at least 1 good one.
Great summit and climb!
Gear: 2 each purple, green, red c3. 3 each .3-.75 camalot(maybe 4 .4 cams since pitch 1 belay needs backup) and 2 each red/yellow camalots. Never placed anything bigger than yellow, and nowhere really you'd need it
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