|***** 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 >>>|
Mythical Kings and Iguanas offers a fun and adventurous Zion outing, located in a great position on The Watchman. The climb mainly consists of handcracks and chimneys, with the exception of a few OW sections. The rock quality is mixed, yet solid for the majority of the route.
Those looking for something off-the-beaten-path that is scrappy, and moderate in grade, will find this to be a worthy outing. The view of Zion Canyon from the top is outstanding.
P1: Hands to big Hands with stemming and face climbing. Traverse right when you hit the OW (there's a chockstone stuck in the OW) and continue up smaller crack. 5.9+
P2: OW flare to splitter hands. Reach deep for solid jams and good gear, or face climb left side of OW (watch for choss). Climb to pod/cave. Gear anchor. 5.10-
P3: Left onto face, and up mixed cracks. Lots of choss. Climb to a large ledge. Bolted anchors on left side. Or Link pitches 2 and 3 so the belayer isn't underneath said choss. Bring extra 1, 2, and 3 if you decide to link. 5.8
P4: Follow right crack system. Chimney and stemming. Climb to ledge with one bolt. 5.8
P5: Climb low-angle OW (camalot #6) to ledge. Natural anchor. Pitch 5 can be linked with either P4 or P6. 5.8
P6: Low-angle broken terrain and cracks. Natural Anchor. 5.6
The Following Rappels are taken from two different parties, the first set of directions are more current.
Descent: (2015) Single rope raps recommended, double ropes get stuck. There are new slings and year-old slings at each single rope rap, with an exception to the final, which is still a double-rope rap.
R1: From slung tree on west side of large ledge, free-hang rappel to large ledge below.
R2: Single rap. Down-scramble two ledges, walk north, look for small cairn on large boulder, and rap off nearby slung tree on east side.
R3: Single rap. Slung pondo tree to north shoulder. Tie ends for this one.
R4: Double rap to base. Move rope far from the north shoulder before you pull so it doesn't get stuck.
R1: (2012) Double rope. 60m. Walk to the west side of the formation and look for slings on a tree.
R2: Double rope. 60m. Drop through a notch in the north side of the formation. Look for slings on a tree. This one drops you off on the top of the north ridge shoulder. OR 2b) if following the 2nd set of Single rap. Down-scramble two ledges, walk north, look for small cairn on large boulder, and rap off nearby slung tree on east side.
R3: Double rope. 60m. Walk to the east side of the ridge and look for slings on a tree. This one drops you at the base of the route. Watch for rope drag.
The route is located on the northeast face of The Watchman, approximately 100' east of the north ridge shoulder on the formation. Park in the Zion Canyon Visitor's Center lot and head southeast towards the shuttle parking lot. Follow an obvious wash from the shuttle lot, skirting cliff bands to stay on the east side of the north ridge shoulder. Keep an eye out for the clearest path through the scrub and head uphill to the prominent northeast corner of the formation.
The easiest way to spot the route is to look for the handcrack splitting the face (P2) that ascends from a bushy ledge about one pitch up. Follow the obvious line from the ground.
Standard desert rack to 5". Extra hand-sized pieces. There are wide sections that will take gear to 7"; however, it's optional. Camalot #6 for P2 and P5 OWs; #5 for P2 and P3; #4; doubles in #3 to #.4. Slings, cord, lockers, and helmets.
P1: Gear anchor.
P2: Gear anchor.
P3: Bolted anchor to the left.
P4: Single bolt.
P5: Natural anchor.
Raps on trees and slings.