Type: Trad, 800 ft (242 m), 10 pitches, Grade IV
FA: burns, eng, garrett 1999
Page Views: 3,078 total · 13/month
Shared By: david goldstein on May 10, 2004
Admins: Andrew Gram, Perin Blanchard, GRK, D Crane

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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

This route has three lackluster pitches to start, five good pitches in the middle, and ends with two more weak pitches and a rap with high potential for snagging your rope. Really deserves 1.5 stars.

This climb is on the southwest buttress of Red Arch Mountain and consists primarily of a series of left-facing corners. It can be best seen from about half-way between the Zion Lodge bus stop and the Grotto bus stop.

P1 Climb the finger crack (5.8) then bushwhack up a ledgy area and establish a belay.

P2 Walk around bushes for about 50-100' until another rock step.

P3 Make a 5.7 move up a corner using pockets then follow a right-leaning ramp to a two-bolt belay at the base of the Afro cracks.

P4 (5.11, 130') Thin fingers (crux) up the cracks leads to a left-leaning corner system (mostly hands with a move or two of 5.10) which ends at a ledge below a wide, sandy 30' corner with anchors visible at its top.

Traverse straight right here (5.6 slabbing), past a pin, up a 3" corner then traverse back left to the previously-visible slings. Deft rope management is required during these traverses to avoid potentially killer rope drag which could prevent maintaining a tight rope as the second follows the crux (which is just off the previous belay ledge).

P5 (5.9, 100') Follow the chimney (bolt) up right, then left (bolt) to an interesting exit move. Belay at a ledge with bolts. Note that the original aid line is to the left of the free version described here; the two lines near each other at the chimney exit.

P6 (5.10, 100') Follow the bombay chimney whose continuous difficulty is mitigated by frequent opportunities to place non-wide gear. A wild exit move onto jugs leads to 5.8 face climbing past two bolts and a 10' 5.7 traverse right to a bolted anchor at the base of a long, clean corner.

P7 (5.10, 170') Follow the corner as it steepens (spooky 5.8 on friable flakes) until after about 80', before the corner becomes vertical and very clean, a finger crack diagonals onto the left face.

Follow the finger crack (~9+) with more snappy flake footholds until it becomes a vertical, wide, hand crack. Follow the hand crack (mainly 2.5 - 3.5 Friends) to a bolted anchor in an alcove. This is a classic pitch will get better as the breakable flakes are "consigned to the void."

P8 (5.9, 80') Follow a left-arching slot/chimney to easy face climbing which ends at another bolted anchor. The good climbing ends at this point.

P9 (5.8, 70') Up a mossy, barely-protected 5.7 corner to the base of a large pillar. Tunnel behind the pillar (challenging for the claustrophobic and/or wide bodied) then up another easy corner to a ledge with two bolts.

P10 (5.9R (5.5X), 80') Find a way over the short cliff above the anchor. We chose a spot about 25' right of the anchor where it was possible to get pro for the 5.9 move. Follow low-angled super choss until you reach a tree you can belay from. At this point you are on the shoulder of Red Arch Mountain; several hundred feet of class three from the summit.

Protection Suggest change

  • One each 1-8 Rocks
  • Two each blue Alien - #2 Friend
  • Three each #2.5 - #3.5 Friend
  • One each #3.5, #4, #4.5 Camalot
  • Long slings and quickdraws

Approach Suggest change

From the Zion Lodge bus stop walk north on the trail towards the Grotto picnic area for about a quarter of a mile, until below the route.

Bushwhack up to the base, switchbacking sharply left when a series of rock steps is encountered at the base of the buttress. The start is identified by a a sinuous 30' finger crack in a slab about 5' to the left of a narrow chimney.

Descent Suggest change

If you climbed pitch 10, rap 120' from slings around a tree and boulders at the edge of the wall to the anchors at the end of pitch 8.

From the end of pitch 8 make a short (~30m) rap to the end of pitch 7.

From the end of pitch 7 rap 150' to the end of pitch 6. Cross your fingers when pulling the rope after this rap. Our rope snagged on something near the top of the pitch; we eventually chopped it. Note you can make it to the ground from the end of pitch 6 with a single 60m rope. The rest of this description is for rapping with a single 60m rope.

From the end of pitch 6 rap to the end of pitch 5.

From the end of pitch 5 rap to the end of pitch 4.

From the end of pitch 4 rap to a fixed a anchor on the original aid line, left of and midway up pitch 4.

From the pitch 4 midway aid anchor rap to the anchor at the end of pitch 3, the start of the afro cracks.

From the pitch 3 anchor, a 30M rap just makes it past the short 5th class crux of pitch 3. From here walk through the bushes to a tree with slings from which a 30m rap easily makes it to the ground.