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The Riverside Walk Trail and The Zion Narrows
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Freak Show T 

Freak Show 

YDS: 5.12 French: 7b+ Ewbanks: 27 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 26 British: E6 6b PG13

   
Type:  Trad, 8 pitches, 750', Grade IV
Consensus:  YDS: 5.12 French: 7b+ Ewbanks: 27 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 26 British: E6 6b [details]
FA: Doug Heinrich
Season: east facing
Page Views: 802
Submitted By: bheller on Nov 23, 2009

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Seasonal Raptor Closures MORE INFO >>>

A future Classic? 

Pitch 1: A silly bolted slab that ends at a sandy garden stance in bushes without any anchor or cracks to really build one.(feel free to add an anchor) 10/10+

Pitch 2: Lace up your bowling shoes! Its the Brunswick pitch. It starts in a crack/flake system and climbs about 25 feet before clipping the first bolt (easily seen from the belay). The route then traverses 8 feet left to another crack system, and up 15 feet to another bolt before traversing to the right again. (don't get lured up above this point before traversing back right-there is a single off route bolt next to the seam above you).
Continue up a corner to belay at the nice bolted station on the ledge. 85 feet-12b Cool pitch!

Pitch 3: Thrash up the sandbox wide crack in the corner with questionable gear- finishing up the unprotected steep patina slab- you break it you buy it. 40 feet-5.9 R. Trash pitch!

Pitch 4: Climb left from the belay behind the tree to the bolted start. Many bolts(kokamos)on this pitch. Very improbable climbing linking a variety of technical corner systems and crumbling holds to get one up into a bombay flare. From the flare, pull the incredible roof and climb above into the bolted ow/lieback section. Finish on the sustained,steep, and pumpy left facing corner with gear/bolts before reaching the sweet belay ledge. 105 ft-11c/d. An amazingly diverse and engaging pitch!

Pitch 5: From the sweet belay, traverse out right on bolts to the brown varnished arete. Expect v4 pulling around the corner right off the belay. Climb up a thin crack with mixed gear/bolts for 15 feet or so, and then traverse right again into another shallow left facing corner system. Follow the bolts up for about 40 feet of sustained 11+ climbing before gaining a crack again(gear) and continuing up to the bolted belay. About 9-10 bolts. 110 ft- 5.12. Unbelievable position climbing chocolate patina on this long, exposed arete!

Pitch 6- Start left up the wide crack that becomes a double crack system before becoming a crumbly and kinda scary left facing corner that leads to an alcove about 40-50 feet up. From here traverse left onto the face for some wild and exposed climbing with bolts that culminates with a cursable, awkward, sandy mantle onto the belay ledge.(note: a party before us created a rap station by slinging two widely spaced bolts here at the beginning of the left traverse) Once at the ledge, a single high bolt and a creative #3 camalot placement make an anchor in the crack on the left side of the ledge. (another bolt could be added to create a better station) 90 feet, 11c. An interesting, but not quite classic pitch.

Pitch 7: Assuming you belayed as mentioned above at the top of pitch 6, start pitch 7 in the crack at the right side left-facing corner of the belay ledge. It begins out a sandy and challenging little roof. Climb out the roof into a crumbling sandbox corner, trusting nothing. After about 30 feet you reach another great sloping ledge with a bolted rap/belay anchor on the right wall. Even though its short, Im going to suggest you belay here again, because of the ledge fall potential and wandering nature of the climbing above here. 30 ft, 5.10+ PG-13/R Another trash pitch.

Pitch 8: From the end of silly pitch 7, climb left and scrabble up some large boulders on the ledge to an overhanging buldge, leading to a patina face with bolts. Commit to the un-nerving face climbing with spaced out bolts on high-consequence (back slapping ledge fall) crumblin' herb edges. Place some gear at the top as the face climbing trends right. Pull above onto the slab, and wiggle up the ramp/chimney to a ledge at the base of the large summit tree! Your're there man! 120ft? 5.10 PG-13/R Another not quite classic pitch.

Location 

Drive to the parking area at the end of the Zion Canyon Scenic drive (Temple of Sinewava area). Walk up the river trail about 10 minutes. Look left across the river(west side) for a large, broken left facing corner system. There is a large poderosa pine at the very top of the route. If you reach the seeping spring\bridge on your right as you walk up river on the riverwalk trail, you've gone about 200 yards too far. Once you locate the route, wade across the river and locate the bolted slab that at its top takes you through bushes and dirt before arriving at the true base of the wall, and the start of pitch 2. This slab marks the start of the route. You can avoid this first pitch altogether by scrambling up the dirty slabs and bushes about 100 yrds down stream and carefully traversing over to the start of pitch 2. Rappel the route for your descent. You can rap with a single 70 from the top of pitch 5 (although you may need to sling a bush to rap the last slab of pitch one). If you climb all the way to the rim, you likely need two 60m ropes to rap, and the large pine at the top is slung to begin your decent.

Protection 

1 each: purple and blue TCU, 2 each: .5-#2 camalots, 1 each: #3 and #4 camalot. 15 alpine draws.


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By bheller
From: SL UT
Nov 23, 2009

As is, this climb is worthy of 3.5 stars for pitches 2,4,and 5. I suggest rapping after the arete (pitch 5) and this can be done with a single 70m.(above may require 2 60m ropes to rappel) With a bolt kit and a little more engineering, this could become another classic route that only requires a 70m rope. On the rappel, you should place gear to keep yourself close to the overhanging sections of the wall, otherwise you could find yourself out in space. Great job to Doug for the FA!!!
Have fun on this one- you are sure to find yourself gawked at by the walker and gawkers below-Freak Show!!!
By bheller
From: SL UT
Aug 31, 2010

Someone climb this thing! You won't regret it!
By BScallout
Dec 27, 2011