Type: Trad, 1000 ft, 8 pitches, Grade IV
FA: Randy Aton, Mark Austin and Phil Haney, 1981, FFA: Conrad Anker, John Middendorf Early 90's
Page Views: 12,730 total · 64/month
Shared By: Jason Nelson on Mar 27, 2003
Admins: Andrew Gram, Nathan Fisher, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq

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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

Although this route has a 5.11a crux, the climbing is mainly runout face climbing on patina edges that sometimes crumble under bodyweight or less. Given this, the route will probably get harder over time as more of the holds disappear. You'll need a good intuition for route finding as well. This is a high quality climb with exciting moments that will definitely help you forget about the couple of less desirable pitches in the middle of the route.

This climb is far more committing than the trade routes in Zion; if you've only brought one rope, retreating after the first pitch will be difficult and costly. There are only 2 fixed anchors on this climb. Getting caught in the rain on this climb would be bad.

P1 (5.10, 100') Follow obvious flake crack (starting wide then gets smaller) to a set of anchors. The crux of this pitch is turning the corner/roof of the flake.

P2 (5.9 R) Head right over loose blocks to a wide crack (you can see through it). A #4.5 Camalot is useful here. Layback with kneebars or offwidth up the wide crack (harder). The crack gets smaller and eventually peters out. Head slightly left once the crack disappears, on runout 5.9 face climbing (good rock) and past a bolt. Then head back right to a ledge and belay.

P3 (5.9 R) Head up and left on face holds and moss past a bolt to a sandy finger crack. Watch out, some of the face holds crumble, and the moss does not hold bodyweight. The crux comes at the top of the crack. Then continue up mantling small bushes and such until you reach a sandy ledge.

P4 (5.8/5.9) Climb up a loose groove filled with sandy, loose blocks while mantling bushes and the like. A flared, wide crack takes you up to a ledge and bolted anchor. This pitch sucks, unless of course you like sandy, vertical bushwhacking.

P5 (5.11a/5.9 R) There is a crack to your right (shallow left facing dihedral) with a bolt up high. Guidebook says this is 5.10. We'll call this a crux variation and we'll save the description for someone who's done it. Climb straight up above the belay through a small roof into a right facing corner. The rock is great here and there are some great face holds. Medium size stoppers and stemming get you through the 5.11a crux which is not too hard. Once the gear and holds disappear, cut left around the arête on a sloping horizontal break.

Continue heading up and left on face holds around several arêtes (5.9 R) until you reach a big ledge. Look left and there should be 5 bolts next to each other just above the ledge (perhaps a bivy ledge?). The guidebook gives the impression that you should follow the corner to the top and traverse left on a ledge to the belay. The corner, however , turns blank and there is no longer any gear. Go this way if you dare.

P6 (5.8 R) Follow the crack in a right-facing dihedral for about 20 ft. where it is possible to cut left on jugs to another right-facing dihedral (which does not reach the bivy ledge) with a bush. Climb over the bush and continue up this crack/dihedral to a ledge.

P7 (5.8 initially, then easier) Continue up this same dihedral/crack system to a big, broad, sandy ledge and belay.

P8 (5.6) Head up crack in the buttress (left of a big groove) above and into sandy, bush-filled groove (4th class). Scramble to summit.

IMPORTANT: Zion National Park rangers advise to take this climb very seriously. It is atypical of the area and contains longer runouts, more challenging route finding, and more questionable rock than you will find elsewhere in Zion. It is home to every recent big wall rescue and the only actual climbing fatality in memory. Don't be the next.

Protection

Medium and large stoppers, double set of cams to #3 Camalot, one each #3.5, #4, and #4.5 Camalots, Lowe Tri-cams were also very useful, 12-14 runners, and 1 rope.

Approach

Approach from the south side of Angel's Landing. Cross the river and aim for the highest portion of land that rises up to the ridge between Angel's Landing and The Organ. Gain a high ledge that runs to your right (away from Angel's Landing. Follow this to just before a steep groove where the ledge tops out.

Start climbing here. A couple moves of maybe 5.7 lead to easier climbing to gain the ridge. Cross the ridge to Angel's Landing. A couple 4th class moves lead up the arête of a leaning pillar to the start of the climb.

Descent

Walk down the Angel's Landing trail and answer questions the whole way down like, "Did you climb up here?" If you've climbed in a National Park, you know the routine.

Photos