Wind Sand & Stars
Avg: 3 from 4 votes
|Type:||Trad, 1200 ft, 11 pitches, Grade IV|
|FA:||FA: Jeff Lowe, Catherine Destivelle. May 1991 FFA: Jeff Lowe, Steve Petro, Lisa Gnade May 1992|
|Page Views:||1,465 total · 49/month|
|Shared By:||greg t on Oct 11, 2015|
|Admins:||Andrew Gram, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq|
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
Closures in effect March 1
Check for current Raptor closure conditions at:
Check for current Raptor closure conditions at:
DescriptionThe Hype: With reported rock better than Moonlight; Jeff Lowe states: As a free climb, Wind Sand and Stars would be among the very finest long climbs in North America.
I can only speak from my own experience, but I would have to say; as an easily accessible adventure style route, Wind Sand and Stars is an excellent route. The rock quality may not be as good as moonlight, but definitely exceeded my expectations, and far surpassed many other adventure style routes in the Zion area I have been on. There are many large runouts; mainly on good quality face climbing. The climbing is generally pretty easy where there is no pro. As far as the crux pitches, they are pretty stout. Insecure hard technical stemming, felt much harder than say, the crux pitch of moonlight. Although they can be easily aided through with exception to the first crux pitch, in which youll either have to pull some aid trickery or just send it.
P1: ( 5.10 ) Up, left, up
P2: ( 5.10 ) Up and left via face and cracks to a finger and hand crack below the pillar. Traverse right to a stem box. Left at bolt on a ledge to the anchor.
P3: ( 5.9 R ) Long Chimney. Hand and finger size gear.
P4: ( 5.10- ) Up to .5 & .75 crack. Take a right, traverse face in front of large boulder. Gear Anchor
P5: ( 5.12 / 5.11 C2 PG13 ) Hard stemming up to a piton. Crux is before and after piton. Hanging Belay
P6: ( 5.12 ) An extremely short pitch. Out the V-slot and onto the face via more hard stemming. 2 solid bolts protect the crux. Bolted anchor on ledge
Combine P5 & P6 to avoid awkward hanging belay
P7: ( 5.12 ) Long pitch, lots of bolts. More hard stemming to easier and fun 5.11 face. Skip bolted anchor and continue up to large ledge w/ gear anchor. ( #1 & #2 helpful at anchor )
P8: ( 5.9 R ) From ledge climb the dirty crack system to the east to a small ledge where you can face traverse around the large arête. ( there might be a better option of using the crack system in the large corner, but I dont think you can traverse around the arête from that point ) Once around the arête, face climb up to a bolt, then right to a crack, then back left to a piton, then up the stemming corner / face to a crack system in a right facing corner. The crack system will lead to the original anchor, a fixed nut and a piton on a slopping ledge. A much better option is to stop at the ledge on the left right before the original anchor and build a gear anchor.
P9: ( 5.9 R ) Face climb up to the base of the left facing corner with large crack.
P10: ( 5.11- ) Climb the crack on the face and crack in the left facing corner above the belay linking them via face climbing. Climb the bolted face above the crack. Climb past the tree and up to an anchor. Anchor = Piton and hangerless bolt. Use a stopper wire to sling bolt.
P11: ( 5.6 ) Climb patina rail out left, then up and back right to a gear belay.
A 70m rope might barely reach to link p10 & 11 to avoid belay, but it would be a stretch. There arent any good gear options for belays before the top of P11.
LocationApproach: Standard south fork approach. Take a left at the second drainage on your left that will lead up to the base of Wind Sand & Stars. There is a faint trail that generally follows the drainage.
Decent: After the last pitch walk up, left then down and back left. There is a large cairn at the start of the rappels.
5 repels off the west face of Paria Point.
At the first rappel, the next set of anchors is to the north.
At the base of Paria Point you can scramble down some 3rd and 4th class ( to the west Im assuming )
or you can skirt the base of the cliff heading south via 3 more 60m rappels. Youll have to fight the rope on your way down, but all the pulls are clean and there is very little loose rock. This will lead you pretty close to the base of Spider Finger.