Type: Trad, 900 ft, 9 pitches, Grade IV
FA: FA-Olevsky and Schnelker, 1978. FFA-Drew Bedford and Roger Amory 1984
Page Views: 22,508 total · 111/month
Shared By: Joe Collins on Oct 29, 2002
Admins: Andrew Gram, Nathan Fisher, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq

You & This Route


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Access Issue: 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

Description

This awesome all-free route has been described as the "Astroman of Zion." It does share a number of similarities with Astroman, including hard climbing, spectacular position, good exposure, as well as a couple funky pitches guarding the top.

However, the climb is not nearly as committing as Astroman (it can be rapped from any point on the route), has a 5 minute approach, and you don't have to descend the North Dome Gully at the end of the day.

Think of it more as six solid Indian Creek pitches stacked on top of one another, followed by two weird desert-adventure pitches at the top.

Don't be scared by the 5.12 rating: the crux is short and easily aided making this an excellent climb at the 5.11 A0 grade.

P1 Climb the easy but runout slab up and left to a belay at the base of the Pillar of Faith. Watch out for wet spots.

P2 (5.10+/11-) The real climbing starts here at the Pillar of Faith. Despite what many guides say, starting the pillar on the right side is 5.11R. Climb the pillar starting from the left and working back to the right.

P3 (5.12) The crux Black Corner pitch. Desperate tips lie-backing (or french-freeing) leads to a moderate chimney which is followed to a belay. The meat of the climbing is the first 15 feet of the pitch before reaching a good stem rest. Easily aided and fun to TR.

P4 (5.11) If you're climbing the route at 5.11 A0, then this would be the crux free pitch. Fun stemming leads to a rest before a difficult roof. The pitch goes for a long ways after the roof so long slings are key here to reduce rope drag. Pull the roof and continue up via sustained fingers in a corner with occasional feet to a very badly located anchor.

P5 (5.10) A fairly short pitch. Lieback and handjam up the corner to a belay in an alcove below a slot.

P6 Two options here:

The standard route climbs the OW and face above at 5.10 (#4.5 Camalot is nice for up high on the pitch).

If you're feeling particularly chipper at this point, you can traverse left to the Monkeyfinger Crack which goes at 5.12-.

Either option leads to a spacious belay in the Monkey House.

P7 (5.10+) Nice liebacking and jamming in the chalked corner above leads to a belay. A fairly short pitch.

P8 (5.10+) This is where things get weird. Climb up and right to a sandy slab which is protected by some drilled pins and bad bolts. Continue upward over interesting rock to a huge ledge and belay.

P9 (5.10+) Even weirder, but just like Astroman, you haven't climbed Monkeyfinger unless you've done the last pitch.

Enter the sandbox/chimney to the right of the belay. After finding a suitable location to empty the sand out of your shoes, clip a couple of bad bolts and undercling right out under a series of roofs and continue up to the rim. Once on the rim fight up through ropedrag, sand, and manzanita to a flat area where you can sling a couple of branches and belay.

Protection

  • One set of stoppers
  • Triple set of cams up to #2 Camalot
  • Two #3 Camalots
  • One each of #3.5, #4, and #4.5 Camalots
  • Two 60m ropes will get you down in 5 raps

Approach

Park at (or take the shuttle to) the Temple of Sinawava area at the end of the canyon road. Walk 100 yards back down the road to the route which follows the striking, varnished dihedral system on the SW-facing wall. A trail leads up to an often-wet slab at the base.

Descent

From the tree at the rim, 5 double-rope (60m) raps got us to the base.

Go soak your hands under the cold water in the sink of the Temple of Sinawava bathrooms.

Photos