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Zion

5.10a/b, Trad, 350 ft, 4 pitches, Grade II,  Avg: 3.7 from 260 votes
FA: unknown
Oregon > Central Oregon > Smith Rock > (g) Morning Glory Wall

Description

This is THE multipitch line at Smith!!!

Pitch 1: The first pitch has many variations from 5.7 to 5.11. These lines share the first pitch anchor: Zebra Direct(5.11a), Zebra Seam (5.11d), and Gumby (5.10b)
Take any of these lines to the first anchor.

Pitch 2: (10.b) Move straight up into the right-facing dihedral. This pitch is traditionally thought of as the crux of the climb for both its technical moves off the belay and endurance required on this long pitch. Belay at a ledge on the left at a bolted anchor.

Pitch 3: (5.9) Continue up the corner for a few feet and make an exposed traverse out onto the face to the right.(pro may be placed in a few pods here but watch rope drag on this pitch) Keep moving up and right until you reach a roof. Be careful on this pitch so as not to rain rocks down on the popular areas below.

Pitch 4: (5.9) Climb this fantasticly steep and juggy flake to the summit. A truly spectacular pitch with fun moves and superb position.

This climb will get you on top of the main formation at smith. Descend one of the gullies to the right (east) or take a more scenic descent to the NW around monkey face.

Protection

Wires, cams to 3.5 inches, long slings

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Zebra Zion.<br>
Photo by Brian Mosbaugh
[Hide Photo] Zebra Zion. Photo by Brian Mosbaugh
Anna-Meika follows the magnificent 2nd pitch dihedral.
[Hide Photo] Anna-Meika follows the magnificent 2nd pitch dihedral.
Looking down at the final few pitches of Zion after topping out.
[Hide Photo] Looking down at the final few pitches of Zion after topping out.
Starting the stunning last pitch.
[Hide Photo] Starting the stunning last pitch.
Zebra Zion
[Hide Photo] Zebra Zion
At the crux of Zebra/Zion.
[Hide Photo] At the crux of Zebra/Zion.
Zebra/Zion top of 3rd pitch. Rad route!
[Hide Photo] Zebra/Zion top of 3rd pitch. Rad route!
Zebra/Zion
[Hide Photo] Zebra/Zion
Party of 3 on the 3rd pitch of Zion.  Very chossy and rotten rock on this pitch.  Be careful not to knock anything loose.
[Hide Photo] Party of 3 on the 3rd pitch of Zion. Very chossy and rotten rock on this pitch. Be careful not to knock anything loose.
Leading the forth pitch of Zion
[Hide Photo] Leading the forth pitch of Zion
Zebra Zion
[Hide Photo] Zebra Zion
Zebra/Zion
<br>
Unknown climber on the 2nd pitch, in the dihedral
[Hide Photo] Zebra/Zion Unknown climber on the 2nd pitch, in the dihedral

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

Andy Laakmann
Bend, OR
  5.10b
[Hide Comment] Great line. Great climb. The 2nd pitch corner was stellar fingers to awkward, but enjoyable hands. The traverse on the 3rd pitch was no big deal, and there is gear where you need it on the dirty 5.6 slab above. The final pitch up the headwall flake is not-to-be-missed. Crazy fun climbing with jaw dropping exposure.

Highly recommend. Why this line stands empty as the sport routes below are swarming with people is beyond me.....

Easy descent down the Cocaine Gully (first gully on climbers right) Oct 22, 2006
rpc
Portland, OR
 
[Hide Comment] "Why this line stands empty as the sport routes below are swarming with people is beyond me"
Because you either climbed on a weekday or got lucky :)
Spring/fall weekends see a crowd on this one. Looks like you sampled some of Smith's best (think my wife and I ran into you guys in the L. Gorge). Oct 27, 2006
Philip Scoles
bum fuck, Oregon
  5.10b
[Hide Comment] Please dont be up-grading routes, Zebra Seam is 5.11d. Thanks Apr 16, 2007
Karsten Duncan
Sacramento, CA
  5.10b
[Hide Comment] Thanks Phillip, I changed the rating to .11d, it's been awhile since I did the seam. Jun 27, 2007
Erik Endert
all over
[Hide Comment] Is the second pitch 10b? I was told it was 10a? I'm also suprised it gets a grade III. Not trying to argue, just curious if this is the general consensus. Doesn't really mater, great climb for sure. Sep 22, 2011
Mike Rowley
Boise, Idaho
 
[Hide Comment] Why do I see all the ratings at Smith being upgraded? The first crack pitch is def .10a. I can understand the .10b rating if you start with gumby, but nothin harder than .10a in the crack. One of my favorite climbs. I can see it from my bedroom window every morning! Dec 26, 2011
Spencer Weiler
Salt Lake city
 
[Hide Comment] First pitch is stellar, easy 2 move lieback .10 move into the corner, than super enjoyable jamming with great feet. Pitch 2's traverse is a bit spicy as the chalk isn't super obvious and its a pendulum back into the dihedral should you peel. The crack above has gear that is well, not awesome but adequate. Pitch 3 is the best 5.9 pitch I've done anywhere. Aug 21, 2012
Ming
  5.10- R
[Hide Comment] Pitch 2 is a heady lead and solid R - it's not just an ankle breaker - it's a solid hip breaker with that swing if you fall on the traverse for sure. I know 5.8 to 5.5/6 slab sounds easy but it is a very serious lead with harsh consequences for failure. The 5.5/6 slab part has very poor protection with shallow protection of poor quality rock so you are essentially soloing at the 15 feet point of the traverse.

We did Lion Zion (5.10c/d) as our first pitch - and I must say my toes are mad at me from all the continuous edging I had to do. It outright hurts! The traverse over to the top of the pillar is super easy.

Pitch 3 is absolutely spectacular G-rated fun exposed climbing. I find it to be as easy as the traverse. Call them both 5.8, or both 5.9. It's somewhere in that neighborhood.

It's awesome that all 3 pitches offer so many different experiences! My favorite multipitch route at Smith Rock! Oct 26, 2012
Chris Sepic
Bend, OR
 
[Hide Comment] I wasn't sure where the traverse was on p3 and went a bit above it, but then down climbed an ended up doing it right. Just follow the chalk. While the traverse is run out, the rock is really solid. You have to commit to the traverse (and do 75% of it) before you'll be able to see the 5.6 crack. Mar 1, 2013
the professor
  5.9
[Hide Comment] If you insist on staying in the crack at the small roof crux on P2, then it's 5.10. BUT, a small detour to the right has 5.9 pockets past the roof and then go back to the crack. Jun 18, 2013
Drederek
Olympia, WA
  5.10a/b
[Hide Comment] Don't go to the summit at the end of pitch 4, stop atop the Lions chair, plug those two 3" cams in the wide crack at the back and enjoy one of the most awesome belays anywhere! Aug 21, 2013
Bryan Hall
Portland, Oregon
 
[Hide Comment] Not sure why this line is heralded as such a must do. There's a lot more interesting climbing at smith in my opinion. Mar 19, 2015
Nick Sweeney
Spokane, WA
5.10b
[Hide Comment] Had to bail before the final money pitch due to weather. Took 4 raps with a 60m single rope. Be super careful on the loose slab of P3... I was almost killed by rockfall knocked loose by the team ahead of us. Easy to link P1 and P2 if you are a strong leader. Apr 5, 2015
ARMoss
  5.10a/b
[Hide Comment] Seems like this may always be the case based on some of the comments here, but there are some BIG, rotten flakes near the anchors of the traverse pitch that you really ought to watch out for and avoid. Knock one loose and they could easily kill anyone they hit at the base. Would love to see them safely trundled. Feb 16, 2016
Richard Denker
Portland OR
[Hide Comment] Because of hanging belays break it up as either swing leads or one leads pitches 1 & 4 while the other leads 2 & 3. Recommend a double set of cams from .75 to 3 Camalot plus a set of nuts or hexes.

First pitch is a 5.7 to 5.11a sport (or a 5.11d trad) to a hanging belay. This starting pitch ties up very popular routes so start early and be fast.

Second pitch has two parts; the first is a very difficult 5.10a/b, made difficult because the rounded right face is coated with essence of rubber, sweat and chalk. There is a fix piece just before the crux. If the crux is too difficult, drop down from the fix pro (about the distance you will fall if you fail to make the 5.10a), traverse a short distance right to Lion Zion just above a bolt (not easy/possible to clip), climb up and then traverse left back into the seam just above the crux to another fix piece. Except for the fix pro this variation is unprotected, but short and only 5.8. The second part is a long crack/dihedral 5.8 to a ledge with anchor to the left.

The third pitch follow the seam/corner up for about 30 to 40 feet (easy and protectable). Then do an unprotected 5.8 traverse to the right until a easy wide crack is reach, follow the crack up until a semi-hanging belay. Note the easy wide crack has loose rock in it, so be careful not to dislodge any and drop them on the people below.

Fantastic fourth pitch begins with a horizontal hand crack to the left. This short traverse is slippery with bird shit, sweat and chalk. Then an outstanding crack leads up to a bench, where around to the left is a short unprotected 5.6 leading to the anchors. Walk off. Jun 16, 2016
Brett Yost
Bend, Oregon
  5.9
[Hide Comment] Anybody know the history of the chipped footholds on the last pitch? Dec 4, 2016
Josh Lowy
Sacramento, CA
  5.10b
[Hide Comment] I agree with the poster, this is THE multipitch at Smith. Easy approach, simple descent, and fun climbing throughout with a view!
First time I climbed it, we started with Gumby which I did not enjoy. Next time we made the longer traverse by starting at Five Gallon or The Outsiders (5.7) which was worlds more enjoyable.
The crux comes quick off the belay on P2 and you just get to enjoy the long splitter that follows up to the ledge.
I highly recommend running it out or MEGA extending your pieces on P3. The unprotected traverse zig zags you back almost above the original corner, but placing protection immediately after the traverse will leave you with unbearable rope drag. If you're seriously worried about protecting yourself, there is an anchor a couple moves further right of the traverse which you could make into a new pitch split.
I found the feet on P4 to be lackluster to begin with but it eventually widens out for the better. There were options for a C4 #4, but it's not needed; might as well shave off some weight. Jul 28, 2017
Dylan Demyanek
Las Vegas, NV
[Hide Comment] Are there bolted anchors at the end of pitch 3? Sep 27, 2017
Dave McRae
Bend, OR
5.10a
[Hide Comment] "Although the entire route is called Zion (combining Zebra and Lion's Chair), many climbers use the misnomer Zebra Zion." -Alan Watts Mar 21, 2019