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Riddler's Delight 

YDS: 5.10 French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b

Type:  Trad, 7 pitches, 800', Grade III
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10 French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b [details]
FA: Drew Spaulding,Doug Byerly,Ty Hydrusko
New Route: Yes
Page Views: 1,680
Submitted By: Drew Spaulding on Jan 20, 2010

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BETA PHOTO: Riddler's Delight climbs the green-lichened face a...

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6 pitches of fantastic 5.9-5.10 crack climbing... with a short 5.8 pitch to finish the formation...


Directly up and behind the Zion Lodge...Starting around the right in a "box chimney" up into a 5" crack to the Anchors. Then you'll these obvious arching splitters that eventually lead up to the lichened green face above. You'll see a thin crack in the green face that fades out into another thin crack up and right... 6 pitches of 5.10a/b-ish climbing to a final 5.8 pitch


Standard desert rack with pro to 4"-5"

Photos of Riddler's Delight Slideshow Add Photo
View of the Riddler's Delight from the bottom
BETA PHOTO: View of the Riddler's Delight from the bottom
Awesome pitch higher up.
BETA PHOTO: Awesome pitch higher up.
Riddler's Delight
BETA PHOTO: Riddler's Delight
Looking at the original start to the Riddler's Del...
BETA PHOTO: Looking at the original start to the Riddler's Del...
New direct start to Riddler's Delight
BETA PHOTO: New direct start to Riddler's Delight
Variation 1 to the Riddler's Delight
BETA PHOTO: Variation 1 to the Riddler's Delight
Variation 2.
BETA PHOTO: Variation 2.
Variation 1.
BETA PHOTO: Variation 1.
A true adventure to be had on the way down.
A true adventure to be had on the way down.

Comments on Riddler's Delight Add Comment
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By Caleb Padgett
From: Rockville, utah
Jan 25, 2010

This is a very fun climb and more on the moderate side as far as zion climbing goes. There is a good topo to be had at the climbing shop in springdale and a good description in the new guide, but no topo. The original first pitch climbed up and tunnels through car sized boulders, very frightening. Apparently there is a variation to the left that climbs a splitter in a varnished face. The rest of the climb is fun and straightforward. Only one or two 5.10 pitches with short cruxes. Most of the climb is 5.8 or 5.9. Gets sun from midday on. Overall a little easier than iron mesiah.
By Drew Spaulding
From: Boulder, CO
Jan 30, 2010

Hey Caleb thanks for the comments... It's been at least 10+ years since I've been back to The Riddler's Delight. Not since we did the 1st ascent... I do remember saying most pitches were 5.9+ except the 3rd or 4th pitch in the left-facing corner(10b/c). I really need to get back to Zion... Great memories!!
By brianadvenures
From: slc
Oct 3, 2010

I'd like to add that we did another variation up too the 3rd pitch. If you walk along carbuncle and keep high, dont go to the lower start, eventually you will run into a gully on your left. Walk in it about 50ft and there is a beautiful splitter finger/hand crack up the wall. After that its a dirty seam, but very fun. Lasso the block for a belay up top. EXCELLENT ADV. route.
By Ian McEleney
From: at large
Nov 27, 2010

There is a topo on page 144 of the Supertopo book. There is also good beta for the descent (if you go to the top) under the description for Risk Management on page 146. The biggest piece we brought was a #4 C4.
By Darin Berdinka
Apr 20, 2011

There are some good pitches (particularly 2 & 3) but be prepared for loose blocks and fragile chips on the last several. No where near as good as the established classics like Iron Messiah or the Headache. The first pitch (we did the var.) is good but a bit of a strainer with real somewhat runout 5.9 chimneying. I'd recommend bring double ropes and rapping the route.
By Shiho
Mar 26, 2012

Does anyone know about the anchor situation at the top of pitch 8? Does the anchor need to be replaced like a couple of topos that I read?
By Crusty McGumby
Apr 23, 2013

A good mix of type 1 and type 2 fun. One can avoid the run out chimney on the first pitch variation by climbing just to the left. A bit sandy but there is gear 5.9. The finger crack variation is good too 5.10ish but super sandy above with vegeneering to the hand crack pitch. Definitely some d blocks on fifth pitch. One pin and one loose bolt on top sixth pitch that we skipped in favor of the much worse descent out left. Skip the last pitch and rap from anchor at top of fifth pitch or bring a bolt kit.
By Gary N
From: Durango, CO
Aug 14, 2014

I enjoyed the route. Better than I thought it would be with a few memorable pitches. We did the original first pitch to the very top to also enjoy the adventure coming back down. It was a neat experience 'canyoneering' on the descent and passing all the airplane wreckage.