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Routes in The Watchman

Chastity Crack T 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Cradle to Grave T 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c C2
Hoods in the Woods T 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Mythical Kings & Iguanas T 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Negative Ghostrider T 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c
Silmaril T 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Strikes & Gutters T 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c C1- PG13
Vigil, The T 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c R
Type: Trad, 1100 ft, 10 pitches, Grade V
FA: Dave Jones & Gary Gray 1983. FFA Mike Anderson with Brian Smoot, 2007
Page Views: 4,854 total, 41/month
Shared By: bsmoot on Apr 5, 2008
Admins: Andrew Gram, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq

You & This Route

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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


Originally done as an aid route, Silmaril is a great mixed free and aid line. Moderate aid on good rock with "Indian Creek" type crack climbing. The first ascent party didn't place any bolts. A free ascent is equally good. A left hand variation for the first 3 pitches climbs a very good corner system to an intersection with the original route. The crux free climbing is right off of the ground.

There are good ledges at almost every belay. The bivy ledge on top of pitch 9 is huge. This is one of those seldom done routes in Zion that is high crowds, no fixed gear or belays, just beautiful cracks.


See Photo

Descent: See topo


See topo
The old #5 is no longer there. Oct 28, 2017
Trevor Bowman
Sheridan, WY
Trevor Bowman   Sheridan, WY
I agree with Josie's recommended rack above, with her caveat that it's sufficient if you don't mind spacing out the cams a bit. We split the difference between her suggestion and the original rack beta, and definitely felt like we were hauling a decent bit of extraneous gear up the route.

P2 seemed pretty easy for the given 5.10.

I also disagreed with the given .11+ on P3. I don't usually downgrade or get too particular on grade discrepancies, but I didn't think it was harder than .10+/.11-.

I took Darin's suggested path (in his comment on the topo page) on P4 to avoid the .11- seam, and it seemed to me the obvious line and worked great.

We linked P5 and P6 with a 70m and hit the ledges below P7 just fine. We used some finger sized gear for the belay.

There is a pretty solidly stuck old #5 Camalot in the P7 OW. With this in place, it makes it pretty reasonable to bump a new #5 Camalot up to it, clip it and continue bumping past it.

Rock quality takes a dive on P8 and P9 for parts of each pitch, but they are Zion summit pitches so it's not too surprising. These seemed more time consuming than I would have guessed for their given grades due to chossier rock, some bizarre climbing, and probably fatigue.

Also of note, it seems like there was a sizeable rockfall event recently in the cleft/system immediately left of the route. There was a mound of fresh debris and sand adjacent to the base of the route. The junipers that got broken off and knocked downslope by the rockfall still had green needles and the broken trunks looked pretty fresh. There were a few random baseball rocks that naturally released in the rockfall zone while we were on the first few pitches, but none came too close to the route. Once you're above P3 you should be well away from any random rockfall. The first couple of pitches had a healthy layer of fresh sand covering any edge and ledge, presumably from the rockfall. Apr 19, 2017
Josie McKee  
Really fun route! Some beautiful splitter corners and some varied climbing, including a bit of classic Zion adventure.

We brought the mondo recommended rack and found that as we swapped leads we never had to pass off gear - as in, we had WAY TOO MUCH GEAR. I'd recommend: (1) purple c3/gray metolius (if you aren't tall this is helpful for the start), (2) each: green c3, red c3, .3, .4, .5, (3) each .75, 1 & maybe 2 (2 #2s was enough if you don't mind some space above cams on a beautiful hand crack), (2) #3, (1) #4, (1) #5.

The "sling belay" at the top of pitch 6 does not exist. A 70m rope will link pitch 6 & 7 for a beautiful/mega pitch. Bring the whole rack on this. Otherwise build a belay with #1/#2 cams at a stance 90' up. (This felt short, so I kept going, looking for the elusive sling belay. Unfortunately, we had a 60m rope and I didn't make the ledge. I had to tag up the #4s for an anchor, while hanging from a fist jam about 30' above my last #2. Not recommended. Luckily, we had taken the recommended tag line for our weight training regimen: extra gear hauling. Oh, and I suppose if you're inclined to uncomfortable hanging belays that pull you into wide cracks, I would recommend you bring a second #4 after all. ;-) Mar 19, 2017
Brandon Gottung
Moab, UT
Brandon Gottung   Moab, UT
I'd recommend skipping the tagline and not hauling. Hauling P3 to the ledge and the classic P6 is nice but, in my opinion, not worth the hassle. The #6 isn't necessary, all the difficult wide sections protect well bumping a #5. For the descent, move right staying on the ridge then move down and left, the rappels are on the left side of the drainage system. 3 30m raps in total. May 29, 2016
Stays shady until late afternoon, then the routes features still offer good sun protection.
3X .2-3 BD Camalot
4X .75
5X 1
2X .1, 4
1X 5, 6
One 60m rope, the tag line was nice for hauling shoes, water, extra gear but not needed for the raps

Didn't see the death block on pitch 2 Apr 1, 2015
classic route, via free variation. Has a bit of everything. relativity easy to make it 5.11+ C1 as well ;) Oct 29, 2014
Sandy, UT
notmyname   Sandy, UT
great climb, full value, every pitch a full body workout. 2 number 4 & 5 camalots and a #6 made me feel happy. The descent was more confusing that it appears from the road, but with some tat to back things up, it wasn't too awful. I couldn't imagine doing it in the dark. Did the free variation. The C2 crack is sweet looking and long. On the free var. on pitch two, look out for a huge death block a few feet up from the belay at p1. A trundle would be helpful, but be damn sure no one is below you (and your gear). Wear gloves when belaying on top! Mar 11, 2014
Original Silmaril line is a classic right off the deck with only one throw away pitch in the middle. First pitch is superb 5.10 climbing. Next pitch is classic aid up a splitter in the middle of a very blank face -- recommended.

Anderson and Smoot's "FFA" is, of course, a variation on the original and not a free ascent of the line per se. A great effort nonetheless. Oct 16, 2010