Type: Trad, 350 ft, 5 pitches
FA: Phil Dean 1968
Page Views: 2,551 total · 20/month
Shared By: peachy spohn on Dec 4, 2008
Admins: Nate Ball, Micah Klesick

You & This Route

19 Opinions

Your To-Do List:

Add To-Do · View List

Your Star Rating:

     Clear Rating

Your Difficulty Rating:

-none- Change

Your Ticks:

Add New Tick


I only climbed the 11a first pitch, but pitches 3, 4, and 5 I have climbed when doing 'Zebra Zion.' The first pitch is fairly long and gives a good leg pump, but there are plenty of good shakes. The moves that are in the 10c section and which the book says makes a great climb on its own are the hardest. High-stepping is very beneficial. That said, if you make it through to the first set of anchors you should keep going because it's not any more difficult. However the gear sucks through the 11- section and a long fall is pretty much guaranteed if you let go...so don't. Great rock and cool moves.
Pitches 3, 4, and 5 can be checked out on the 'Zebra Zion' link.


The Morning Glory Wall. The dihedral just left of the tree.


There are five bolts on the route, if you clip one of the anchors on top of the 10c section and the bolt one foot above the anchor which has emerged out of the wall about a 1/2 inch. Otherwise, bring a set of nuts, a few small cams (metolious 00-4), and a few medium cams (metolious 6,7,8). Just before the 11- section that the book shows you can place a bomber #4, an okay #00, or a fairly bad small stopper (or all if you want). The bolt that looms above has great holds to clip from, but just make sure you get to them.


Morrison, CO
Monomaniac   Morrison, CO  
I think of this as the Vern Steifel Memorial Route. Every time Vern was in the main area he would climb this route, and try to get everyone else in the area to do it too. He really loved this route. Dec 5, 2008
Ian G.
Ian G.   PDX, OR
The crux of the first pitch is clipping the bolt. If you're under 5'10 or have ape index issues it's pretty hard. Once the bolt is clipped, you're golden. If you get sketched about the layback after the second bolt...you have a much easier option...you just have to look "around." Nov 30, 2009
Amy Ohran
Tuckee, Ca
Amy Ohran   Tuckee, Ca
not R, very G. Actually, very O.G. go for it. Jul 9, 2011
The first part of this route (Lion's Chair Start) is graded 5.10c in Watts' book which seems rather cruel.

Chad Feb 23, 2013
Tavish Hansen
Seattle, WA
Tavish Hansen   Seattle, WA
The 5.10c did seem a bit stiff compared to other routes with tricky stemming moves. Apr 14, 2017
Will Koomjian
Portland, OR
  5.11a R
Will Koomjian   Portland, OR
  5.11a R
I don't usually comment on routes, but this climb is so good and really should see more action. I've been going to smith for over a decade and never seen a person on it. Get on it people!

As to whether or not it deserves the 'R' rating I guess one could make an argument either way. There's no place where you should really be in danger and even a fall near the top of the runout should be long but clean. No way would this be called R in Jtree, yos or the needles, but on the other hand the crux moves come well above the gear and the gear is in smith tuff, not granite.

I'm 5'6" and could clip the first bolt from those good feet, but just barely. I used a lot of small offset nuts and cams, especially in the lower hard sections. It helps if you have experience protecting pin scars, because I think that's mostly what you're doing here. The section just before the final protection bolt has some loose flakes on the left side; probably wise for the belayer to wear a helmet as both me and my partner knocked down 2-3" flakes.

Above the first anchors before the runout to the last bolt you get a bomber .5 camalot and a pretty good small offset nut/cam placement. I used a purple/grey master cam that I think would have held if the rock held. Good to have a #3 or #2 camalot or both for the easier crack below the second anchors. #4 camalot can be used to protect the last 10' or so but it's an easy hand/fist crack and #4s are heavy, so unless your crack technique is real shaky I would leave it on the ground. Apr 2, 2018