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

Type:  Trad, 10 pitches, 1100', Grade V
Consensus:  YDS: 5.12a French: 7a+ Ewbanks: 25 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 25 British: E5 6a [details]
FA: Dave Jones & Gary Gray 1983. FFA Mike Anderson with Brian Smoot, 2007
Page Views: 3,448
Submitted By: bsmoot on Apr 5, 2008

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (11)
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***** 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 >>>


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 crowds, no fixed gear or belays, just beautiful cracks.


See Photo

Descent: See topo


See topo

Photos of Silmaril Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Happy monkeys on the summit.
Happy monkeys on the summit.
Rock Climbing Photo: Tight hands on the classic pitch 6
Tight hands on the classic pitch 6
Rock Climbing Photo: The free variation is on the left. The original ro...
BETA PHOTO: The free variation is on the left. The original ro...
Rock Climbing Photo: Mike leading the first pitch
Mike leading the first pitch
Rock Climbing Photo: Mike on top of pitch 8. This sloping "El Cap&...
Mike on top of pitch 8. This sloping "El Cap&...
Rock Climbing Photo: 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: Stony Brook, NY
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!
By Sgregory
Oct 29, 2014

classic route, via free variation. Has a bit of everything. relativity easy to make it 5.11+ C1 as well ;)
By Neil Kauffman
Apr 1, 2015

Stays shady until late afternoon, then the routes features still offer good sun protection.
3X .2-3 BD Camalot
4X .75
5X 1
2X .1, 4
1X 5, 6
One 60m rope, the tag line was nice for hauling shoes, water, extra gear but not needed for the raps

Didn't see the death block on pitch 2

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