Type: Trad, 250 ft, 3 pitches
FA: Brad Gilbert & Jeff Allred, 1978 (pitch 2) - Les Ellison & Larry Carrol, 1979
Page Views: 1,599 total · 13/month
Shared By: Boissal . on Oct 1, 2008
Admins: Andrew Gram, Nathan Fisher, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq

You & This Route

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Access Issue: Gate Buttress Area Recreational Lease: Climbs on Church Buttress above vault remain closed Details


P1: Starts on the left side of the face and wanders up moderate slabs broken up by 3 roofs. Climb to the right of the 1st one where a missing piton used to protect the thin slab moves. Head straight up and pull the chickenhead-covered second roof, then slab up to the third roof where you'll find a solid piton to protect the lieback moves. Belay above the roof to the left in the Wings dihedral where you'll find a slung horn. Don't pass opportunities for gear on this pitch as the placements are mostly thin and well spaced.

P2: Start by traversing right along a flaring crack for about 30', then step across the slab (thin) to get into an arching double crack. Climb the stellar finger crack that eventually arches back left into the dihedral. Set up a belay in the squeeze below a detached flake.

P3: is the business: climb a few feet up to a bush then traverse right on the steep blank slab following a thin undercling, past 3 sad looking pitons that can be backed up in places. Step across a blank section to reach a flaring lieback crack. Heady and less than ideally protected climbing along this feature will bring you back left top the top of the buttress. Walk down a few feet to a solid tree anchor or keep going up the ramp for more trees.

Zigzag was cleaned in the spring of 2008 by Andrew Burr. It used to look like a jungle. Apart from a bit of exfoliation it is now really clean. Props for the hard work!


Follow the updated approach to Lizard Head Wall. Once you reach the base of Squeeze My Lemon walk out west along the trail that skirts the base of the wall. About 100' on this trail will bring you to a dead-end at the base of broken slabs just west of a tree-choked gully.

Descent: either find the new 2-bolt anchor on top of Assumption Of Risk (see descent info for Another Day At The Office) or scramble up and right towards a notch overlooking Altered States Gully. Downclimb 15' to the tree anchor at the base of The Slash. Bring a knife and replacement slings. Either way 2 rope raps.


Standard trad rack: nuts, cams through BD #3, optional #4 for belays on top of P2. Maybe doubles in small to finger sizes. Long runners to minimize rope drag, maybe double ropes. Possibly a screamer or two for the old pitons on P3.


Boissal .
Small Lake, UT
Boissal .   Small Lake, UT
Zigzag is a high quality line with varied climbing, from spicy slab to thin finger crack. Now that it's clean it deserves to be done on a regular basis. I gave it a PG13 although the guidebook doesn't indicate anything of the sort. P1 is thin, P2 has some exposed slab traverses that could result in nasty falls, and P3 has some questionable pitons. Felt kind of R in spots actually.

There's a large population of hornets living on the route right now: in the Wings dihedral above the 1st belay, in the flaring crack used to gain the double finger cracks on P2, and apparently in the undercling on P3. This made for an interesting and very runout variation on P2 (40+ feet). P3 was so greasy and infested with the little buggers that we had to finish on Wings.
Wait for colder temps: the hornets will be gone and the friction will be good, meaning you'll save yourself the heinous squeeze/OW that is the top of Wings. Don't wait too long though, cause once the stump that used to grow in the crack on P2 falls off, the climb gains a few letter grades... Oct 1, 2008
samg Gileadi  
Zig Zag doubles the climber's pleasure.

-Gummed Edges
-Ready Creased
-Super Thin
-Easy to Roll
-No Waste Oct 26, 2009
Todd Green
Todd Green   SLC, UT
If you use the tree after the downclimb/scramble to rap, you can get down with a single 70m. What are the thoughts on adding bolts? That tree didn't look like it was long for life. Or should you just use the other rap suggestion? Jun 17, 2010
Boissal .
Small Lake, UT
Boissal .   Small Lake, UT
The amount of traffic between the slash and zigzag/wings hardly justifies new hardware... Jun 18, 2010
John Steiger  
We did the first two pitches in one long pitch, by starting from a good ledge about 30’ up and using a 70m; makes for a great pitch. There are four pins on the traverse on the last pitch, the first two about a foot apart. The route is close to being a classic, but it is definitely sporty. No wasps or greasiness when we did it during a dawn patrol on 8/29/11. Sep 4, 2011
Spencer Weiler
Salt Lake city
  5.10d PG13
Spencer Weiler   Salt Lake city
  5.10d PG13
I zigged, I zagged, and wish I hadn't. For some reason I thought this climb was a crack climb, but it just isn't. 90% of this is runout slab. The first pitch is nothing special, other than the 20 foot runouts. The gear is there, but its a long way between em. Once you pull the chickenhead roof, you have to mantle another chickenhead with your last piece below the previous roof! I guess it was fun.
Pitch 2 is by far the best pitch, and I would give it 2 stars, 3 without the scary slab traverse over to it, but I hate slab. Good finger crack.
Pitch 3 was hard across the underclingy initial slab, and I'll be honest, pins don't inspire me. Then the crappy groove crack that petered out to another R slab. I took a 20 foot cheese grater here so I will say my ground meat thigh is directing the majority of this bitter comment. After the last pin, there is no pro to the top. Dirty sharp groove appears but no reliable gear can be had. At least 30 feet. Heady. Crappy. Bail after pitch 2 if you can.
Go climb something else. Apr 10, 2012
Boissal .
Small Lake, UT
Boissal .   Small Lake, UT
I hear Calderone's guidebook describes a few areas with more bolts that you'd find on Squawstruck...
Or you could get off your ass and go put up said sport routes?

That being said, I would agree that the 1st pitch is a meandering scary mess! Sep 29, 2012
Boissal .
Small Lake, UT
Boissal .   Small Lake, UT
Oh you mean add bolts to the route? Sorry, I misunderstood. That wouldn't go well. But there's stuff in LCC that hasn't been done and could take bolts. Or there's Hellgate... Oct 1, 2012