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Learning to aid in Zion

Original Post
Phillipso · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 0

Dear all,

I plan to spend around 3 weeks in Zion in March/April next year, and would like to learn some aid climbing.

I have ~8 years multipitch (up to 12 pitches) freeclimbing experience, to about 5.11.
I will have a limited rack (single rack of cams and nuts) as will be traveling from South America.

My question: How realistic is it of me to turn up in Zion, camping, and try to find partners who are willing to take me up some easy aid routes?


Chase Bowman · · Baton Rouge/Durango · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 600

I don't think the chances of "turning up" are high.. Utah is pretty strict on booze.

will ar · · San Antonio, TX · Joined Jan 2010 · Points: 270

I've travelled to Zion before with the intention of soloing and ended up finding a partner there, but I'm not sure I would recommend heading there without a partner. It's not like camp 4 in Yosemite where there's a bunch of people all in one central camping area looking for partners.

Are you only going to be in Zion or will you be climbing at other areas in the western US as well? At 5.11 you could also get in some good free climbing in Zion.

JeffL · · Salt Lake City · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 65

It's quite tough finding partners at the campsite in Zion. I'd recommend finding one on here, not many climbers pay for the camping within the park. As for soloing, I've done both moonlight buttress and touchstone, they go quite well in a day without hauling excess gear. Obviously make sure you have your transitions and rope management dialed. The jumaring is quite steep, learning on the fly like I did on moonlight buttress is not advised

Ryan Hamilton · · Orem · Joined Aug 2011 · Points: 20

A limited rack could cause you some issues. There are sections on Moonlight buttress where you could use 8-10 of the same size (purple C4) on a single pitch. There is still a lot of back cleaning but if you only have 1 of a size you're going to doing one heck of a runout or impossible to move up with only 1. Aid climbing is very gear intensive, I'm still surprised every time I rack up for an aid route with a massive rack and run out of gear by the end of a pitch.

lou · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 60

You would be better off going to Indian Creek... more likely to find partners... need less gear than you might for the walls at Zion. Can practice aid climbing on a newby level and dial it in....

single rack is way too weak...

however... touchstone and space shot are doable in a day...

moonlight..prodigal...would be huge for a newbie to pull off in a day...YMMV

cheers... lou

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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