Type: Trad, 500 ft (152 m), 4 pitches, Grade II
FA: Carl Tobin 1994
Page Views: 11,031 total · 83/month
Shared By: Zach Harrison on Apr 29, 2012 · Updates
Admins: Greg Opland, Brian Boyd, JJ Schlick, Kemper Brightman, Luke Bertelsen

You & This Route

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This route climbs a trio of very nice clean cracks on the front of the NE Arete. If you like hand and fist cracks, this is for you. Pitches 2 and 4 are very striking splitters.

Pitch 1: Climb a short pillar to a ledge, traverse the roof into the hand and fist crack. Belay on a pedestal off slung block/tower. 5.10, 120 feet.

Pitch 2: Traverse into the nice crack climbing fingers to hands to fists, pass an overhang and up a wide crack to a ledge. 5.9, 110 feet. Sling block you're standing on or finger and hand size gear.

Pitch 3: Pass go, collect 200 feet. Belay at the base of the headwall. Finger-hand size gear anchor 5.5 R, 200 feet.

Pitch 4: Climb the striking headwall crack of thin hands, a boulder problem, then hands and fists. Many options for slung blocks, gear or small tree 5.11-, 100 feet.

Post script. I recently found these comments referencing the route.

The route up the white streak on the steep face is the Screaming Sky Crack I think, which is the route Carl and I used to make what we think is the first 1 day ascent of Zoro, August 14th 1994. There is a small write up in Rock and Ice #64 from Nov/Dec 1994. 22 and a half hours car to car-

Carl had scoped the route prior at least 2 times and knew where to go- He asked me and we sent on his third attempt- I think the first attempt was with Bill Hatcher and the second attempt was with Dave Willey- I assuredly had an advantage because of Carl's prior knowledge of the long approach. We were also friends and climbing partners. We left at 8 PM went down the South Kaibab to Phantom then up Bright Angel to Clear Creek up to Sumner Wash and through the Supai etc. Long and Amazing day and was cooked for days after. At the time I was sewing for Deucy at A5 and essentially living out of my car and the shop- Deucy was OK with that- I would recommend a 3 day trip-


Eric Meudt


FYI the "way steep headwall" part of the first rappell is an alternate route that starts around left of the NE arete and follows beautiful cracks to a ridge that leads to the base of the steep headwall. You crank up the headwall via splitter hands to fingers past a block (5.11) then fists to the rim. It's and awesome pitch in a wild setting! Carl Tobin was involved with the first ascent...called it the "sky crack", or something like that. He and I did the second ascent in 27 hrs round trip from the S. Kaibab trailhead in like AUG '96 or '97. He went back the next week and did it in 23 hrs? Three ascents in 3 weeks.

Three ascents in three weeks, are you kidding? No, this route is that good, go do it! If this route was in Sedona, it would have been climbed in the early 80's and would be one of the best routes in the area. In my opinion, as good as it gets for a desert tower route. But the approach...

We replaced the summit register 4/15, its under a mini cairn on the south side of the summit as you can finally see into the main canyon.


The route is on the outside of the nose of the NE Arete. Start East of the NE Arete route, look for a recent rockfall roof 30 feet up. A low angle ramp starts at the same spot and heads up and left. This is the first ascent route of Zoroaster. There is a very old bolt about 50 feet up this ramp.

To get down, find the station 30' right of the top of the 4th pitch.
Rap 105' down to a station.
Rap 60' to a ledge with a tree, angle hard left!
Rap 100' to a ledge, stay on rappel and move left and rap 10' to the lower tier of the ledge. Station on big ledge WAY to the left.
Rap 115' to ledge, knot your tails!
Rap 50' to Earth.
All stations consist of 2 bolts. Rejoice.


Good gear throughout except on pitch 3, which is very easy. 1X fingers to thin hards, 2-3X hands and fists, 1-2 offwidth pieces. No bolts.
There is a crushed hex in the crack on the last pitch, I doubt it is worth much as pro. The hex has "Gary Doyle" inscribed on it. One 70m mandatory for rappels.