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Routes in The Minotaur

Labyrinth, The T 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c C0-1
Megamahedral, The T 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c PG13
Suburban Blondes T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a C2

Description

The Minotaur is a huge tower/buttress that stands up against the wall on the west side of the river on the canyon road. It can be found by looking at Angel's Landing from the bend/viewpoint on the canyon road. This tower is northwest of the spectacular Angel's Landing, between that wall proper and the more famous Moonlight Buttress. The Minotaur looks like a big spike in front of the wall proper and indeed has an independent summit.

The wall faces anywhere from southeast to northeast, depending on what side you climb on. This certainly gets a lot of summer sun, but on the short days of winter gets very little due to the shade cast by the Great White Throne at first, and then by Angel's Landing as the sun moves west.

There are two published routes on the wall, and certainly many others that we saw evidence of. All require aid as published. One route, The Megamahedral, goes free, although this is a serious undertaking. Due to the nature of the rock (soft), of the cracks (wide), and of the climbing (hard), any free climbing here should be considered "adventure climbing" or, as a pal put it, "old school trad." The topos for this feature are dubious in their accuracy. It's best to be solid at a full number grade above the reported grades here, as well as in most areas of Zion.

To descend from any route, reach the summit and rap via The MegaMahedral, which can be done with NOTHING LESS than two 60m ropes. If you want to reach the stations and ground with no scrambling and a little rope left, two 70m ropes are even better for the descent.

Seasonal Raptor Closures ***** 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 Details

Getting There

There are apparently two possible approaches:

  • Approach as for Angel's Landing, but continue walking north from the switchbacks to get to the tower.
  • Start from the shuttle to the Big Bend stop, walking out on the point, down a trail, across the river (cold in the winter) and across way up to the trail to the Angel's Landing trail. From the switchbacks cut left near the wall to continue to the Minotaur.

The approach should take from 30 minutes to an hour.

3 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at The Minotaur

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