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The Watchman
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Vigil, The 


YDS: 5.12a French: 7a+ Ewbanks: 25 UIAA: VIII+ British: E5 6a

Type:  Trad, 10 pitches, 1100', Grade V
Consensus:  YDS: 5.12- French: 7a+ Ewbanks: 25 UIAA: VIII+ British: E5 6a [details]
FA: Dave Jones & Gary Gray 1983. FFA Mike Anderson with Brian Smoot, 2007
Page Views: 2,473
Submitted By: bsmoot on Apr 5, 2008
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Originally done as an aid route, Silmaril is a great mixed free and aid line. Moderate aid on good rock with "Indian Creek" type crack climbing. The first ascent party didn't place any bolts. A free ascent is equally good. A left hand variation for the first 3 pitches climbs a very good corner system to an intersection with the original route. The crux free climbing is right off of the ground.

There are good ledges at almost every belay. The bivy ledge on top of pitch 9 is huge. This is one of those seldom done routes in Zion that is high quality...no crowds, no fixed gear or belays, just beautiful cracks.


See Photo

Descent: See topo


See topo

Photos of Silmaril Slideshow Add Photo
Tight hands on the classic pitch 6
Tight hands on the classic pitch 6
Happy monkeys on the summit.
Happy monkeys on the summit.
The free variation is on the left. The original route is on the right, starting behind the giant flake.
BETA PHOTO: The free variation is on the left. The original ro...
Mike leading the first pitch
Mike leading the first pitch
Mike on top of pitch 8. This sloping "El Cap" type spire is where the first ascent party bivied. The next pitch climbs the crack just left of Mike
Mike on top of pitch 8. This sloping "El Cap" type...
The excellent 3rd pitch
The excellent 3rd pitch
Comments on Silmaril Add Comment
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By roxclamantis
Oct 16, 2010

Original Silmaril line is a classic right off the deck with only one throw away pitch in the middle. First pitch is superb 5.10 climbing. Next pitch is classic aid up a splitter in the middle of a very blank face -- recommended.

Anderson and Smoot's "FFA" is, of course, a variation on the original and not a free ascent of the line per se. A great effort nonetheless.

By notmyname
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Mar 11, 2014

great climb, full value, every pitch a full body workout. 2 number 4 & 5 camalots and a #6 made me feel happy. The descent was more confusing that it appears from the road, but with some tat to back things up, it wasn't too awful. I couldn't imagine doing it in the dark. Did the free variation. The C2 crack is sweet looking and long. On the free var. on pitch two, look out for a huge death block a few feet up from the belay at p1. A trundle would be helpful, but be damn sure no one is below you (and your gear). Wear gloves when belaying on top!