Type: Trad, Aid, 1800 ft (545 m), 19 pitches, Grade V
FA: John Middendorf, Brad Quinn, and Bill Hatcher (1993)
Page Views: 28,249 total · 106/month
Shared By: Dave Levy on May 14, 2002 · Updates
Admins: Andrew Gram, Nathan Fisher, Perin Blanchard, GRK, D C

You & This Route

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Warning 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 DetailsDrop down

Description Suggest change

Tricks of the Trade is easily located at the base of the prominent central buttress of Isaac. The climb starts in a clean 4-inch crack located 50 feet to the right of the major chimney system.

Pitch 1: Climb an enjoyable 5.10 hand-to fist-to offwidth crack past some fixed protection to an obvious ledge on the left.

Pitch 2: Continue a few feet up the crack, place a large cam, and fire up the impending offwidth to a bolt and take a deep breath. Continue comfortably to a fixed belay.

Pitch 3: Shift the belay up and left onto the breakdown in the large chimney system. Ascend the chimney system through the Mines of Mordor (5.8) to a bolted belay.

Pitch 4: Continue up the chimney system, negotiate a few blocks, and belay at fixed anchors on a big dirty ledge inside the chimney (5.7-5.8).

Pitch 5: Climb up, backwards, and sideways directly above your belayer through the Santa Claus Chimney (5.7) and scramble to get in a piece. Continue to anchors.

Pitch 6: The Calvinator Pitch (5.10). Climb double cracks in a chimney, working left and moving up through a small roof. Stem wildly upward through an unprotected chimney (relatively easy) and hop over to a ledge with fixed anchors. There is a good bivy at the base of the Calvinator Pitch and the view really starts getting good here.

Pitches 7 through 9: Climb 3 pitches, mostly Class 4 with some 5.7 on soft rock. Look for the bolted anchor at the top of Pitch 9 below a bush, up and right. You should now be on the large ledge below the headwall (good bivy area), with a distinctive large pine tree.

Pitches 10 and 11: Climb up and left from the pine tree to the base of a large crack on the right side of the pillar. Climb the pillar to its top (5.10+ off-width)and belay on a small ledge.

Pitch 12: Continue up the 5.10+ handcrack on the right to a pendulum point, lower about 60 feet, and pendulum right to a bolted stance.

Pitch 13: Climb a hollow 5.9 flake and then 60 feet of C2+ using small wires, sliders.

Pitch 14: Climb the 5.10 splitter hand crack to a belay with a bolt next to the crack.

Pitch 15: Continue up the splitter hand crack (5.9) to a bolted belay at a small ledge on the right. Although lengthy, Pitches 14 and 15 can be combined.

Pitch 16: Continue up the crack system (5.8)into softer rock.

Pitch 17: Move left around the top of an arching flake (5.8)

Pitch 18: Move up and right through loose terrain and wedge blocks (careful!) to a bolted belay on top of a big block.

Pitch 19: Step up and right across a slab and enter a steep hand/fist crack to the top.

Notes: A good bivy exists where the route tops out. To summit, hike up and left through loose, sandy terrain for a great view. One can descent by traversing the hillside to the North, locating a pine tree with slings. A system of 11 rappels takes one into the drainage between Isaac and Jacob (full day).

Protection Suggest change

The amount of gear needed depends on how much of the route is climbed free. Generally, (3) sets of camming units to 4 inches and a #5 Camalot are useful. Extra hand-sized protection can be nice for the headwall. Also bring (3) sets of TCU's, stoppers, biners, and long slings.

Pitch 13 was aided clean by Rocco Vartanian on May 15, 2002. Rocco used small wires, slider nuts, and a Leeper cam hook and rated this pitch C2+. Hooks aren't necessary and damage the soft sandstone. Good going Rocco! Fixed anchors exist at most of the belays. Beware of soft rock when setting up anchors on the slab pitches. We had a near disastrous anchor blowout while the leader was hauling and the follower was jumaring one of the 5.7 slab pitches.