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Routes in Aries Butte

Led by Sheep T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Type: Trad, 800 ft, 4 pitches, Grade II
FA: Jersey Dave Littman and Jeffe' Herrick
Page Views: 53,219 total, 502/month
Shared By: jersey on Mar 3, 2009 with updates
Admins: Andrew Gram, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq

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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

Description

The East Side of Zion is another magical place of a very different variety, separated not only by a mile long tunnel. but by the nature of the landscape. Drivinging up the switchbacks of Pine Creek. Out of the shadowy depths of the imposing Navaho walls. Into the tunnel dark as the starless night., only to exit into the bright sun and wind in a land of smoothly swirling slabs gliding upward to softly sculpted pyramids. This is a land of a different venture entirely from that of the sheer big walls down below. Much of slabs may be easily navigated following ramps, ridges, and wandering up the sedimentary shelving. While the rock is generally solid, it is consistently gritty. Often parties rope up and climb in scrambling (approach) shoes, for the exposure more than the technical difficulty. Pro is scarce, cams are at best marginal, bushes may become pro and or anchors out of necessity.
For many years I scrambled over these slickrock domes and valleys enjoying the easy of movement, unencumbered by the large racks of gear needed in so many of Zion’s exploits. One peak has stood out as it’s own island summit in the sky. I had circumnavigated the peak numerous times looking for a weakness, on all sides the slab angles are consistent. A rope will defiantly be needed, but a rope alone might not be worth much if there is nothing to clip it to.
I returned in the spring of ’05 with my good buddy and long time zioneer Jeffe. Armed with a light rack, a small pile of pitons and a hand drilling bolt kit. I showed Jeffe our different options saving my first choose pick for last when we got there my proposed route was cover with big horn sheep all up and down it. We agreed that the sheep knew what was up and we watched them for the details of their secret sheep path.
Giving the sheep a chance to move out from above us we started up the slabs. The rock was solid and provided enough ledges for good drilling stances. The soft rock drilled quickly, I placed four bolts on the first 200 foot 5.6 pitch. I put in one fat long ½ inch bolt and brought up jeffe. We drilled a second anchor bolt as we watch a thick black-bottomed thunderhead seemed magnetically drawn towards us. We abruptly retreated as this menacing bully of a cloud closed in on our playground, kicking sand in our faces.
Jeffe and I were back the next day psyched up for more. Jeffe led the next pitch with three bolts placed in 150 foot 5.5 pitch. Some loose patches of rock here and there where easily navigated. The third pitch was probably the crux, 5.7 200 feet with four bolts. The forth pitch is 5.5 with two bolts in about 100 feet. A short scramble and we’re on an amazing isolated two-acre summit only ever visited by Zion’s big horn ambassadors.
We rappelled back down the route with two 60m. ropes. The route was sustained at a 5.5 level with the occasional harder bulges. The route is now well equipped for future ascent. We had later returned to tighten up and glue in the bolts for longevity. This route is the first of it’s kind in Zion, an easy well protected adventure route to a beautiful summit, that’s already gaining popularity with the locals.

Location

from the saddle south of the butte scramble north up a ramp on the southeast corner of the butte. start belaying at a tiny pinion bush.
(see photo and topo for more info

Protection

10 long slings, 2 60m. ropes,
small nuts and cams to 1" optional
wide spaced lead bolts on moderate terrain(5.5) with bolt protected cruxs(5.7)

Photos

I'm hoping to take my partner on her first multi-pitch adventure here. Are there any hanging belays on this route? Or are all the belay stations ledges? Sep 8, 2017
two chains
Fucken Zion
  5.0
two chains   Fucken Zion
  5.0
Sorry dudes and girlfriends its a 5.0.... comparing it to the First Flatiron in boulder (Minus the bolts) Though it is a 4 star climb in my book! And the summit veiws are bad ass!!
Gear-
2 ropes
Some slings
Bag of weed
Beer
Aug 21, 2017
Kimberly Kay
  5.6 R
Kimberly Kay  
  5.6 R
I made a google map to find the base of the climb and thought I'd share in case anyone else finds it useful. Your GPS should still work even though there's no cellular data there.
drive.google.com/open?id=18… Apr 20, 2017
Super fun route. Not hard, but still has enough to keep you on your toes. I brought a few cams and nuts but didn't end up placing any. Despite this I would very much say this is still a "trad" route, since in my book 30+ foot runouts between bolts do not qualify as sport.

Almost all the bolts are in good shape, except for one at the third pitch anchor (the rock has eroded around it near the surface, and you can see it flex if you pull on it). There's a piton a short distance above you that you can use to back up your anchor. Apr 2, 2017
Sent this just last week and it was super chill! Not trad though... someone must have come through and bolted the entire route. For the descent, two ropes are definitely needed. My group tried to rap down the 3rd pitch with an 80m rope and came up about 10ft short of the 2nd belay ledge. Mar 25, 2017
john harrison
  5.6
john harrison  
  5.6
Petroglyph approach much more pleasant than key hole approach. Easy 5.5 moves at most. Lots of fine loose sand off the "holds" Run out but easy. Bring second rope for rapping off the two bolt anchors unless you're into rapping off single bolts like the party that followed. Last pitch is a chossy mess w loose rocks to shower on your belayer. Mar 20, 2017
Steven Flygare
  5.5 PG13
Steven Flygare  
  5.5 PG13
My wife and I climbed this in November 2016. As others have said this is a great adventure climb, fantastic views everywhere. Bolts and anchors were in good shape. Bolts are far apart but the climbing was easy; I can't say there was anything on this harder than a 5.5. When we climbed it there was a fine layer of sand on the first pitch that made things a little slippery. Dec 8, 2016
cyrus
Menifee, CA
 
cyrus   Menifee, CA
 
Approach is not a stroll and involves some steep traversing and some route finding.
The climb is really great as an adventure climb. It is not hard, but this is a great way to experience Zion in a way most never will. The only place for a better view is the top of Angel's Landing.
I bought my two teen-aged kids along and my son checked off his first lead. All bolts look good. They are a bit run-out, but really not an issue on this type of climb. Go have some fun. Oct 28, 2016
Matt Kuehl
Las Vegas
 
Matt Kuehl   Las Vegas
 
Four star views. Two star climbing. Five stars for whoever left a PBR in the summit register. Apr 8, 2016
zaq
 
zaq  
 
Route was excellent, 10/24/15, it rained earlier in the week and there was a fine layer of sand on the entire route, made it more hair raising. All bolts solid and anchors were excellent. I would suggest getting a permit for keyhole canyon on the exit, be prepared. Nov 2, 2015
Forgot to post about this when I actually did the climb. Got up Led by Sheep the second time in May 2015, just as good the second time.
Posting because I wanted to say that the notepad at the top of the climb is out of pages. It would be super cool if someone could take a small flipbook up with them so people can add their ascent dates. Oct 22, 2015
Great climb. This was actually my first ever climb outside of the gym. I led up with my cousin. For beginners, this is a great way to test out your endurance. The climb itself isn't hard, but it's pretty long. Round trip from the car was 4 hours. And in 95f, don't underestimate the approach.

August 2015 all the bolts are in great condition. Aug 21, 2015
Tom Gnyra

  5.4 PG13
Tom Gnyra    
  5.4 PG13
Good climbing with some long distance between bolts. For the 5.6 leader i would consider doing this carefully as a fall would be bad. Generally cruxes aren't too far from bolts but this can be sandy.

for the 5.9 leader this is not a PG13 climb as you should feel solid on everything. But don't try falling. Jun 19, 2015
Mathias
Loveland, CO
  5.6
Mathias   Loveland, CO
  5.6
I think this is a great route. More for the adventure and the views than the climbing, which was only interesting because finding the bolts was a little tricky. All the bolts were good when we were there.

We took a rack up but there really wasn't any point as we couldn't find anywhere to fit gear in that looked like it'd hold if we fell on it. The only place I used the rack was to down-lead the scramble of the top and protect my second a little. That scramble was super chossy but I found about 6 placements and we both agreed about half of them were in good enough rock to hold a fall. The poor rock quality was the reason to protect that section, as holds breaking are the only reason anyone would be likely to fall above the last set of anchors. May 24, 2015
Ralph Kolva
Evergreen, CO
 
Ralph Kolva   Evergreen, CO
 
Really fun route and great scenery. Given the increasing popularity of this route it could benefit from a separate rappel line. The day we climbed it there were 4 parties on the route and while all were cooperative it was a little crowded at the anchors with parties climbing and descending. Apr 26, 2015
TylerVaughan Vaughan
Glenwood Springs, Colorado
TylerVaughan Vaughan   Glenwood Springs, Colorado
1.4 miles past the second tunnel heading out of zion, park next to the wood fence. Hike down the road back towards to tunnel a 100 ft and bust a right up canyon. Hike about an eight of a mile and then head right uo slabs to the saddle between the two formations on the roght, you're climbing the one on the left. Go to the saddle proper, and then trend left past two mini towers and up the slab trending right. Look for a big glued in rap bolt and that's the start of the route. Also, be prepared for the sheep on route ie. bring helmets. Apr 21, 2015
Carl H.  
We found getting to the base of the climb to be the most challenging part as there was no clear route up to the 'saddle'. Seemed we were doing a lot of 5.6 free soloing on slab with very long stretches between solid rest areas. (We did NOT see any slings to rap down the steepest part of the approach.) That said the climb was great and the views were AWESOME. Do it on a clear day. Apr 20, 2015
TravisJBurke
Seattle, WA
 
TravisJBurke   Seattle, WA
 
Just want to echo a big thanks to the bolters of this route! What a fun time! My girlfriend's first big "alpine" experience, and she loved it.
You definitely need two ropes for the rappel, and if you angle skier's right on the second bench, there is a slung tree for an easy rap down to the start of the Petroglyph Canyon. Mar 31, 2015
Manderson198
  5.6
Manderson198  
  5.6
Climbed this with Alyse on 14 March. This was a fun, relaxed climb. Most of the climbing was low fifth class mixed with fourth class. The rating comes from a few easy cruxes. This Zion, so expect the approach, route, and descent to be pretty sandy!

The slabs on the approach were very slick, but it is pretty easy to navigate your way up via switchbacks. Go up to the saddle, through the stand of trees, and navigate up and right to a very hefty rap bolt. Start the climb here, rather than using this as the first piece of pro. The belayer can anchor in here as well.

On the last pitch, the anchors are around the corner on the left, right before the rock gets steep and crumbly.

For the descent, go down and skier's right as far as you can on the last rappel. This should be pretty level ground, and a great spot to pack up for the short descent. We saw a dead bighorn sheep near the saddle, that had obviously fallen from above. Pretty sad---that being said, try not to spook any sheep that are on top of the butte. The slabs are easily travelled by heading down and left a while and then cutting back far right. At that point, there is a sturdy conifer with a sling around that you can rap from. This takes you to the wash, and within 10 minutes you should be back at your car.

Edit: trad gear is completely unnecessary, as are alpine draws. Just bring about 8 quickdraws and a double sling to set up belays, and you should be fine. Mar 19, 2015
jersey
park city, utah
 
jersey   park city, utah
 
I would not recommend going up with less than 180 feet of rappeling ability. 2 Ropes! Feb 24, 2015
Would like to try this Spring break! Would the descent be OK with one 70 m rope instead? Thanks! Feb 23, 2015
Sam Cannon
Salt Lake City, UT
 
Sam Cannon   Salt Lake City, UT
 
What aspect of the formation is the route on? Is it a suitable climb to do when there's a high of 50 or so? Nov 10, 2014
Stormeh
  5.6
Stormeh  
  5.6
Any chance you can lead/descend this route with 1 60m and 1 50m rope? Oct 7, 2014
Nathan W.
Sequoia NP, CA
  5.7 PG13
Nathan W.   Sequoia NP, CA
  5.7 PG13
We did this climb last week during our stay, and There is a new-looking 1/2" glue-in bolt for the belay of the first pitch. We brought tricams for the climb and used them a few times. Would they hold? who knows? who cares? fun route all-in-all, well worth it. i'd recommed alpine draws for the whole climb as it wanders, with a consistent theme of upwards. Sep 29, 2014
Boriss
Sacramento
Boriss   Sacramento
Kirk Schleiffarth
Flagstaff, Arizona
 
Kirk Schleiffarth   Flagstaff, Arizona
 
This route is barely 5th class, still a fun outing. May 18, 2014
Eric Klammer
Boulder, CO
  5.6 PG13
Eric Klammer   Boulder, CO
  5.6 PG13
Fun scramble! DO NOT bring trad gear. We mistakenly brought a small rack and found absolutely no spots in the route which would take gear. Some alpine draws and maybe a sling are all that is needed for the route. Have fun! Mar 31, 2014
Kevin Mokracek
Burbank
  5.6
Kevin Mokracek   Burbank
  5.6
Great fun climb for a rest day. We had bailed off Spaceshot the day before after getting stalled by a slow party on Pitch 6 so we were pretty bummed and looking for a fun easy climb to redeem the trip. Led By Sheep is a fun easy climb that would be a fun solo if the down climb wasn't so sandy. I'm taking my son up this when I come back in October. It's a great intro to multi pitch. The anchors are all solid and look to be glued in as do most of the lead bolts. Do not be scared off by the runouts if you are considering this climb, you can do it! Mar 22, 2014
G. Vesp
Las Vegas, Nevada
  5.5 PG13
G. Vesp   Las Vegas, Nevada
  5.5 PG13
Fun route....Had a great day with perfect weather. Thought the climbing was 5.4 to 5.5 and I am a 5.7 trad leader. We brought some small gear with us, but ended up only clipping the bolts. IMHO I don't believe there are any placements on the route that would hold a fall. Definitely be comfortable leading 5.5-5.6 fiction, as a fall will most likely result in injury. Overall, great fun and a awesome view from the top......!!! Nov 12, 2013
Nate Muncy
Thornton, CO
  5.6
Nate Muncy   Thornton, CO
  5.6
Lat 37°13'53.61"N
Long 112°54'25.79"W
The route goes up the SE corner of Aries Butte.

Approach: I hiked north from the parking spot (on the right side of the road just after the bend south, next to a wooden fence, just a few minutes after the shorter tunnel driving east). At the bend in the highway there is a small path that descends to a sandy gully/canyon. Follow the gully north, an after 100 yds or so a scramble a slab to the right (east) and headed for the saddle (about 50 yds up the gully there are petroglyphs through some trees on the left/west side). 4th class scrambling, but was able to zig zag up ledges for most of it. Make sure your party has good shoes, this part gets heady.

Start: After the saddle head up and north-northeast to a small grove of trees. Follow the ramp through the trees taking you north-northeast and continue appx 50 ft. (or about 150 ft from the northern most tree) on a smallish ledge. Look for two plants about 5 feet apart on a ledge a few feet above you. About 25 ft. above that is the first piece of gear, a burly rap bolt. I'm 6' and could barely see it over a small ledge while standing next to the bushes. Class 3/4 scrambling to that rap bolt, and started climbing there. I would not belay from the bushes at all.
Topo was super useful and very accurate. Should definitely print both the hand drawn and photoshopped images to have an easy time getting started. Our group spent a bit of time trying to find the start.

Climb: Easy climbing with great clipping stances. Phenomenal belay ledges with plenty of space for 3 people at a time. Not PG-13, but make sure to place a draw on the anchor to not risk a fall factor 2 in case your leader slips before the first bolt. I'd say its all 5.5 or 5.6. Class 3 scrambling for summit.

Descent: Try not to start knock down rocks when descending the class 3 top, there is lots of loose stuff waiting to land on a climber/rope. Two ropes is a must. Descending the approach was the hardest part. Take your time or rap a tree, I down-hiked it, but had to be careful to choose a good route. Gf almost slipped once, which would have been really bad, and she is rather experienced in climbing/hiking.

Extra: While the route wanders, it does not wander that bad. I did not miss slings, nor did I feel a need to place trad gear. I did the whole climb with hiking boots and didn't have a problem at all. Print the topos and look at a map (or google earth) to see the approach from the highway, one could go the wrong way for sure. Apr 20, 2013
Ty Morrison-Heath
Bozeman, MT
 
Ty Morrison-Heath   Bozeman, MT
 
While this climb may only require draws to climb it is not a sport climb as you usually think of them. 30-40 between bolts is the norm so a fall would have some serious consequences. That being said...I loved every second of it (Okay maybe I cursed a bit when I broke a hold 20 feet run out...). The top-out is gorgeous and is well worth the "5th" pitch of scrambling. The easiest way to find the base is walk up the slabs towards the saddle from petroglyph canyon. The saddle should be visible within 10 minutes of walking down the pretty canyon from the car. If you've walked up the sandy draw and have reached a very tight slot canyon you need to start up the hill on your right. Head up over the saddle (weird place with no trees or life!) to an area with short little trees. At this point you should be past the butte on your right. Look up the slabs to your left to see a large ring that has been installed in the rock. This is the start of the route. Two ropes were absolutely required to complete this route. You can barely make the first true rappel (top of 4th pitch to top of 3rd) with a 60 and I'd suggest doing it this way to avoid pulling loose rock down upon yourself while pulling the rope but the rest require 2 ropes. We simul-rapped to save time in getting the ropes down the slabs. Go have an adventure! Mar 19, 2013
Kristen Rowe
Salt Lake CIty, UT
 
Kristen Rowe   Salt Lake CIty, UT
 
Lots of fun! The only sketchy part of the route seems to be the approach... For those worried about the descent into petroglyph canyon after the climb, as of Oct 2012, we found some nice rap tat with a ring left on a pine tree above the last steep section. There are cairns near the pine tree and it allows you to rap past the steepest part of the approach. Oct 29, 2012
Zack S.
Prescott, AZ
Zack S.   Prescott, AZ
This is my favorite hike in ZNP. Oct 2, 2012
Has anyone done this safely with just one 60m rope? Any conjectures? I've only got one rope, and I'll be passing through ZNP with some friends that have only done a little climbing, and thought this route sounded easy enough yet rewarding. Thank you for any advice! Jul 18, 2012
Ryan Chelstowski
Colorado Springs, CO
Ryan Chelstowski   Colorado Springs, CO
Just did it last week. Bolts seemed bomber and glue looks new. Definitely recommend it to all. Do not bring extra gear besides the trad draws. In my opinion, you should not be placing pro because it will not hold a fall on this climb. Only the bolts will save you. rock is crap for gear Jun 1, 2012
Sarah Meiser
Boulder, Colorado
  5.5
Sarah Meiser   Boulder, Colorado
  5.5
THANK YOU, thank you, thank you to those who bolted this route! Absolutely wonderful. Fun climbing in a spectacular setting. I'm a timid leader (though very familar with Zion slickrock) and both times I've led this 4 quickdraws and a personal anchor were all I needed. Leave the trad gear at home. Apr 12, 2012
Rockwood
West Jordan
 
Rockwood   West Jordan
 
After a few days teaching ourselves aid climbing and me getting injured we decided to take it easy on our last day in Zion and do this long sport climb. It was one of our favorite days of the trip. Great for a rest day. The climbing itself gets boring quick but the hike in and the view from the top are totally worth it. We went the wrong way around the base at first so make sure you go right and up the saddle. If you feel like you should start seeing camels you're in the right spot. We lounged around in the sun at the bottom where you rope up and then ate lunch at the top and explored the summit for a good hour at least. It looks like lightning strikes this summit on a regular basis from the looks of the exploded charred trees. Didn't use any extra gear except long slings and even then ended up skipping bolts and running it out on accident. If you get off route it's tricky getting back on. We both climbed in approach shoes. Watch for lots of rocks at the very top as well as a spinning anchor bolt at the top of 3. Be careful the whole time, not just while climbing. I slipped on the sandy slope after untying from the last rapp and almost rolled over the edge and resorted to butt scooting more than once on the deproach. Mar 15, 2012
skeers
  5.6
skeers  
  5.6
Just amazing, well worth it. If you are a confident lead climber, you really only need 5-6 long alpine draws for the entire thing. Don't waste the time looking for gear placement and packing the extra weight. Just climb and have fun only stopping long enough to clip the next bolt... Pitons are old, but everything looked good. Anchors looked as good as to be expected. Felt as though pitch 4 anchors were hard to find. Ended up running it out to the top only to have my partner find the anchor on the way up. The fifth pitch was chossy and very loose not recommended unless you just want to summit. Easy climbing though. Sep 17, 2011
Great route! Can't believe those sheep free solo it.

We took Petroglyph canyon (the 1.4mi one) to the route, but on the way back decided to take an alternate route via the other canyon (when you hit the saddle, head down southeast instead of southwest). We ran into some pretty nasty slabs and had to jump over a 50-foot deep slot canyon to get to better stuff on the other side. Highly recommended. Decent trees to belay the jump, and just a few minutes of road-hiking to get back to the car.

Oh, and if you want to use the "cam slot" for a belay on the first pitch, bring a #1. And a toothbrush. And a hair dryer. Mar 14, 2011
Asa King
Salt Lake City, Ut
  5.6
Asa King   Salt Lake City, Ut
  5.6
Fun route, there aren't very many placements for gear, but the climbing is easy enough to just runout between the bolts about 50 feet apart. Sand can make some of the spots pretty slick. Oct 19, 2010
Jason Burton
Pinedale, WY
 
Jason Burton   Pinedale, WY
 
Great route Jersey! Good find for sure. Love this route. 6 quickdraws + some slings for the anchors is really all you need. We took some other stuff up the first time but didn't see any placements that looked good enough to bother. Summit register is up there too, so sign it and add to the flavor.

Step up, wipe shoe on pants, step up, wipe other shoe on pants. repeat.

I like the petroglyph canyon approach better than the keyhole approach. Apr 27, 2010
Andy Laakmann
Bend, OR
  5.6
Andy Laakmann   Bend, OR  
  5.6
Super fun! A great change of pace after you get tired of freaking yourself out in the canyon.

Bring your sun glasses, with the white rock I almost felt snow blinded!

The climbing is very straightforward, though be ready for it to be sandy. Once you find the first pin, the rest of the climb is easy to follow - particularly if you have the topo.

Approach: 1.4 miles east of the second tunnel, park along the wooden fence. Go down the road and drop into the canyon passing the petroglyphs to the left within 100'. After climbing out of the sandy canyon, the butte will come into view. Find the path of least resistance up the saddle to the right - we zig/zagged along ramps as much as possible. It was definitely 4th class at times - you wouldn't want to fall. A flat bench separates two steeper bits getting to the saddle. On the way back down, we discovered a tree with rap slings for the lower steep section below the big bench and happily used it. It is located to the right of the bench as you are coming down. Once at the saddle, keep walking all the way around until your are on exposed but easy slabs. 30-45 minutes depending upon your speed.

Start: Per the topo, it is located up and right of the big canyon/holes at two small pinyon bushes. They are barely connected so not sure how long they'll last. The first pin is hard to spot but is up and right about 40 feet from the bushes. The belay anchor sucks as mentioned above. I had a green alien and bush. I couldn't find the "cam slots" mentioned on the topo.

Climb: I think I placed one nut for the fun of it, but it definitely wasn't required. I really didn't see any other worthwhile gear placements. The climb generally trends up and left, and you can always spot the next bolt/pin from the previous one. 4 pitches and then a quick scrambled to the summit. The crux I thought was the final "dismount" to the loose crap, though YMMV :) Nice fat anchors w/ chains.

Descent: First rap is 85' and you want to single rope it, as your knot will guaranteed get stuck in the loose debris. Then double rap back down from there. The pulls are nice and clean after the first one. Wander back down from the saddle aiming for the first big pine tree on the right when it starts to get steep. Then zig/zag back down to the bench. After the bench, go down and right to the rap tree if you plan on using it.

A great time in a stunning setting. Do it! Apr 17, 2010
bsmoot  
This is a great, moderate route. The belays have good ledges and the bolts were well thought out. For the most part, they are still solid. It will be interesting to see if the bolts develop the cratering around the edges like on the South Face Route, on the Great White Throne. We noticed that the last 2 belays had some bolts that were loosening up a bit. We didn't place any natural gear. The setting is magnificent! Apr 10, 2010
Matt Thorum
Urbana, IL
 
Matt Thorum   Urbana, IL
 
I took my fiancée up for her first multi-pitch route and we had a great time. The climb is fun and easy and the bolts/drilled pitons are well located near the cruxes and less secure moves, although the run-outs are substantial on the easier terrain. My only complaint is that there is not much of an anchor available at the base of the first pitch and the rock is very crumbly here, best not fall before you clip the first bolt.

Here is some approach info:

The butte is on the north side of the Zion-Mt. Caramel Highway just over a mile east of the small tunnel and is marked on the USGS topo as elevation 6492'. There is a good pull-out with a wooden fence on the south side of the road to park at. You need to scramble up to the shoulder between Aries Butte and a smaller dome just south of it, from the shoulder work your way up a ramp towards the east side and some small bushes keeping an eye out for the first piton about 30' higher (not hard to spot).

Getting to the shoulder requires some hard 3rd/4th class scrambling. On the approach we walked up the dry stream on the west side and then up the slickrock bowl to the shoulder. This took a bit of trial and error on the slickrock and there were a few slippery seeping sections. We decided to go down on the east side which was great until we were traversing above the Keyhole slot canyon a few hundred yards from the road. We used a tree to rap down when things got too dicey for our tastes. This was a hassle since our ropes got wet/muddy in the water in the slot canyon (we were able to step over and come off rappel on the lower angle west side). Mar 30, 2010