|Type:||Trad, 10 pitches, 1200', Grade IV|
|Original:||YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b [details]|
|FA:||"Jersey" Dave Littman, Gordy Loritz, April 2006|
|Season:||late fall and early spring|
|Submitted By:||john durr on Nov 13, 2009|
|2016 Seasonal Raptor Closures ***** RAIN AND WET ROCK ***** The sandstone in Zion is fragile and is very easily damaged when it is wet. Holds rip off and climbs have been and will continue to be permanently damaged due to climbers not respecting this phenomenon. After a heavy storm the rock will remain wet, sometimes for several days. PLEASE DO NOT CLIMB IN ZION during or after rain. A good rule of thumb is that if the ground near your climb is at all damp (and not powdery dry sand), then do not climb. There are many alternatives (limestone, granite, basalt, and plastic) nearby. Seasonal Raptor Closures MORE INFO >>>|
|Comments on Cowboy Ridge||Add Comment|
|Show which comments —
Nov 14, 2009
|We will see what Jersey thinks about this post, isn't there some access issues with the approach?|
By Jason Nelson 1
From: Ouray, CO
Oct 25, 2014
|The approach is very long and much of it is on trail-less loose desert terrain. You really have to look for footsteps in the dirt to stay on track for much of it. Once on the ridge crest, you are rewarded with great scrambling terrain. There were cairns marking the descent (fortunately), otherwise it would be difficult to find. I would describe the descent as being past the main summit a few hundred yards and you walk just beyond some rock hoodoos. At first it does not feel like a gully that you are dropping into. It would be really easy to loose the tracks in the dark. It's a great desert alpine climb, with wonder views.|
By Dan L
Feb 6, 2016
Ran to base from Chinle parking lot, 1:15. Free soloed route in 2:00, topped out in 1 foot of snow. Descended/ran back to parking lot in 1:45. Total time car to car, 5 hours. When you top out make sure you walk aprx .25 miles north and find the chute the is pointing SOUTH, this is your way down. There is a canyon that is tempting to go down before you get to the actual descent, do not take this, it will cliff out. I also would hate to descend this in the dark. On my way down the descent, I added more cairns for those people that might need it.
Overall a great adventure route. I would highly suggest leaving the ropes in the car and soloing it. Before I soloed this, I was curious about the last crux pitch, but it turns out to be a bomber hand crack and I felt it was a pretty soft 5.7. If you ever feel like it's too hard, there's usually something easier around the corner. I think I calculated it to be about 3 miles from TH to base. Add in the climb, the descent, and the hike back, you're looking at around 7 miles and 4,000 ft gain. Even though this route is easily rated, the approach and descent make it a route not to be taken lightly. Plan a Full day if your taking gear and hiking normal pace.
By steve richert
From: Taunton MA
Feb 17, 2016
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R
Did this route valentines day 2016 (there was a lot of snow on the summit!)
I just wanted to point out that the first half of the route seems to take place on the side of the ridge facing Springdale--trying to get on top of the ridge proper before you're more than halfway up seemed to result in a lot of down climbing and re-routing.
Additionally, this route is anything but trivial climbing. The difficulty of the moves is almost a non issue--doing the 5.7 crack with a pack on was a cream puff. The many many "4th class" sections leading up to that which were unprotectable, sugary rock above huge falls require constant attention and a very cool head. Roping up is often useless because it's harder to move and pro options are scarce. I had the idea going in that any sketchy sections could be protected and pitched out if need be and this was not the case.
The descent gully may be 3rd/4th class if you do it perfectly, but even with careful study it's likely that a perfect descent won't happen. My partner and I read and re-read and re-examined the descriptions and photos and it's really difficult to recognize and list every land mark. We followed all the major landmarks and that got us down ok, but we still had to rap through a few sections of loose 5th class rock on improvised anchors.
I am writing this not to disparage the route or to bitch about my experience, because it was overall a good time for us with some beautiful views and amazing exposure. I think that some of this cautionary language seems the more relevant because it has a moderate grade that belies the real difficulty of the route. I realize that many of the people who can do this route easily and found it to be a cream puff might think it's silly for me to write this--and that's fair, if you're solidly climbing 5.11 in ZNP this might seem way over inflated. I suspect that many people reading this may not fall into that boat and like me (us) would hopefully be better prepared for this route as a result of my feedback.
-5.7 doesn't mean this is an easy climb or a cruise. Being a badass doesn't mitigate shitty or unprotectable rock.
-be prepared to solo significant sections because it's frequently the only available option.
-stay off the ridge proper and to the climbers right for most the first half to move a lot more efficiently
-keep your harness on and rope available through the descent since it's pretty easy to zig when you through you were supposed to zag, creating the need for a rappel or two.
-What Dan L said--this wouldn't be fun descending in the dark and keep a close eye out for the descent ridge away from the cliff that goes THROUGH the sprindgale band. You can see it clearly from the start but you have to keep an eye on it throughout so you don't lose it and wind up cliffed out from taking the wrong ridge or gully down.
By Ryan Marsters
Apr 4, 2016
As a moderate leader, I felt the 5.7 was a bit soft too. Super secure. I'd recommend 2x BD 1s and one BD 3. I walked the blue up once and a red up once too. Decent bush anchor up top.
We didn't rope up the rest, but I agree there are a few heads up moves that felt spicier than the crux. Luckily, no big time friction slab moves required with careful route finding.