Type: Trad, 800 ft (242 m), 8 pitches, Grade IV
FA: FA: Ron Olevsky FFA: Brad Barlage & Doug Heinrich at 5.13b. FFA of the 12c var. Sharp Crack: Drew Bedford
Page Views: 14,513 total · 92/month
Shared By: Josh Janes on Apr 29, 2010
Admins: Andrew Gram, Nathan Fisher, Perin Blanchard, GRK, D C

You & This Route

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Access Issue: 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


Sheer Lunacy is a great, fairly mellow "big" wall climb in Zion, located just left of the much more popular Moonlight Buttress. It offers enjoyable climbing on every pitch and the cruxes are fairly brief; though it's just as long as its neighbor, it is much less tiring of a day.

P1: Begin as for Moonlight Buttress by climbing a long 5.7/5.8 groove system to a ledge with a tree. Belay here.

P2: Instead of moving right and into Moonlight's 5.10c pitch, head straight up a vegetated, right-facing corner. Actually, head up a flake system on the right wall of the corner and step back left into the corner fairly high up. Be very careful of loose rock here - some sandy, hollow flakes could take out your belay and ruin the afternoon. Once back in the corner follow it with increasing ease up into a chimney system. Trend left to gain a huge ledge system with trees and bushes - this ledge is very obvious from the road. Belay on this ledge. 180', 5.10.

P3: A short pitch continues traversing left and then up a 25' high 5.6 flake past some drilled pins and then moves left around the corner to a single bolt belay in an alcove. The bolt can be backed up with a 0.75 Camalot sized piece or so. 50', 5.6.

P4: The Primo Crack. Some topos indicate 5.12b, but way easier! Chimney up the alcove and undercling out the roof at the top to gain the nice, featured left-facing corner. Make sure to back-clean your gear in the alcove as the crack at the lip could create serious rope snafus! Lieback, jam, and face climb up the corner past a thin section to a belay. 120', 5.11c.

P5: The Second Crack... and almost as hard. Climb up the left-facing corner above the belay with occasional sandy and less-than-obvious gear placements. This section is kinda spicy, but holds and gear do keep coming. Save a bunch of long runners and move left on a ledge to the Shroud of Elvis. I'm not sure how this got it's name because I don't think Elvis is that great and this section of climbing is fucking awesome. Spectacular, exposed 5.9 up a steep flake with good stances and gear. Again, long runners or rope drag hell. Continue left around a corner and belay at a trio of drilled angles. 180', 5.11b PG13.

P6: The Face Crack to the Hidden Crack. Climb up the low-angle crack that splits the face above. A bolt and good gear lead to a small ledge and then a wide crack in a corner. This is the Hidden Crack and holds and gear abound if you look carefully. Belay at the top of Toquerville Tower. 100', 5.9.

P7: The crux pitch. The 5.13 version heads straight up from the top of the tower, but most will probably move the belay down and right to an exposed ledge below a single bolt. Crux number one comes moving up off the ledge and is much more difficult for those with large fingers. Continue up jams and face holds to a bolt. Clip this and foot traverse left along an improbable ledge back to the main crack system. A good stance here precedes the true crux, which, ironically, is much easier for the tall. So there's some difficulty for everybody. A bolt protects a cool lieback move to a providential face hold, then a hand jam, gear, and one more hard move past a bulge and a drilled pin. Catch your breath and continue up the Sharp Crack - a beautiful splitter on the left wall - to a belay on a small ledge. 100', 5.12b.

P8: The Sharper Crack. Continue up a crack and flare to a stretch of sandy rock with an optional lunge for a tree limb which makes for a dramatic top-out. 60', 5.11a.

Descend the Angel's Landing trail.


2 each blue Aliens to #1 Camalot. 1 each #2 and #3 Camalots. 2 sets of wires - especially a set of offsets! One 60m rope. Forget all the beta out there that says RP's, triple TCU's, or wide gear - completely unnecessary.