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Middle Fork of Taylor
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Astrolizard T 
Lead-free Gut Pile T 

Astrolizard 

YDS: 5.11 French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E4 5c

   
Type:  Trad, 7 pitches, 700', Grade IV
Original:  YDS: 5.11 French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E4 5c [details]
FA: FA: Karl Kvashay, Cullen Kirk, Brandon Gottung. FFA: Karl Kvashay, Brandon Gottung
New Route: Yes
Season: Spring and fall are best, winter can be good. Overcast days into the summer
Page Views: 2,038
Submitted By: Brandon Gottung on Nov 6, 2014

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following the 4th pitch on the FFA

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 MORE INFO >>>

CLASSIC! 

Astrolizard follows the striking wide, clean corner on the south face of Tucupit. This route is phenomenal! The rock is great the whole way, amazingly clean and absolutely gorgeous. Don’t let the rack scare you away - it is mostly wide but little actual offwidthing necessary. Endless laybacks, a couple of roofs and a techy finger finale keep the climbing varied to the end.

While establishing the route, a brave lizzy decked on the Lizard Ledge at the base of the gorgeous seamed out corner, giving a good nakesake to this remarkable line.

P1: 5.7. 25m. An approach traverse. R-rated for the follower. Stop at the first belay for the free route or continue to the stunning seam to fingers corner.

P2: 5.9+ R or 5.12+ A0. 18m. The free route follows the squeeze chimney behind the frighteningly thin Lizard's Tongue flake. Good pro available after a significant runout. A bolt helps protect the follower and keep the rope out of the cams. A more classic line follows the seam to beautiful fingers at 5.12 C1 and links into the next pitch for a full value pitch of tips to offwidth.

P3: 5.11. 18m. Fists flare to cool wide hands up a 7” inch offwidth then stellar moves out the roof. The technical crux of the route.

P4: 5.10. 35m. Off-fists and laybacks forever! Tagging up an aider will enhance the belay stance.

P5: 5.11. 42m. Beautiful and classic enduro pitch! This pitch is burly and may be the true crux of the route.

P6: 5.10. 35m. More off-fists take you out a crazy roof with fun varied climbing above.

P7: 5.11-. 45m. Hands to off-fingers to techy flared fingers in an acute corner with wild climbing to the top of the wall.

Astrolizard shares the traverse and up through the thumb-like feature of P4 with Bad Fish, the aid line that pendulums into and follows the corner to the left.

All anchors are two bomber bolts equipped with chain, besides the top which has webbing and cord and the anchor above the large roof is two metolius rap hangers (Bad Fish anchor).

Approach 

Park at Taylor Creek trailhead and follow the trail up the middle fork for about 40 minutes, passing Astrolizard. Once the trail parallels (and is in) the wash for 20 meters, you will see a 2 meter tall sheer-faced boulder in the creek (north bank). Back track about 30 meters and head north along flat ground to a short cliff then right along the cliff, following a trail along the ridge straight toward the route. Rack up under the route then hike back west, traversing the easiest path (a prominent red band) along the slabs to easiest way up the final slab; there is a move here, 5.6 or so. I recommend rock shoes, trailing a rope and bring a .75 or two and #1 to build an anchor afterward to belay up your partner with the rest of the gear. From here it's chill following ledges back east to the anchor for the traverse pitch.

Gear 

In C4 sizing:
  • 1x: micro cams to .3
  • 4x: .4
  • 3x: .5
  • 2-3x: .75
  • 2x: #1
  • 2x: #2
  • 2x: #3
  • 4x: #4
  • 4x: #5
  • 2x: #6 (Need 2 only for the crux roof, you can leave one at the anchor above.)
  • Handful medium nuts useful for last pitch.

  • For the 5.12 A0 variation add in a set of brassies (DMM #4-6) and extra tiny cams or ballnuts; an aider to use on the lead bolt at base of the seam is useful.

  • Two ropes at least 45 meters each


Photos of Astrolizard Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Opening the free variation. This flake is scary th...
Opening the free variation. This flake is scary th...
Rock Climbing Photo: access traverse looking at belay.  The climb here ...
access traverse looking at belay. The climb here ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Route overview.
BETA PHOTO: Route overview.
Rock Climbing Photo: Direct line up a sheer wall.
BETA PHOTO: Direct line up a sheer wall.
Rock Climbing Photo: final pitch, fingers in acute corner photo credit:...
final pitch, fingers in acute corner photo credit:...
Rock Climbing Photo: This is where Astrolizard goes independent of Bad ...
This is where Astrolizard goes independent of Bad ...
Rock Climbing Photo: This is 5.11-5.12 (A0) depending on when you want ...
This is 5.11-5.12 (A0) depending on when you want ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Karl on the crux roof.
Karl on the crux roof.

Comments on Astrolizard Add Comment
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By Brandon Gottung
From: Moab, UT
Nov 6, 2014

I know it's not saying much, but this is the cleanest route I've climbed in Zion. (edit: One year and many routes later, and only the Pain Chamber is cleaner . . .)
By TylerPhillips
Nov 9, 2014

Strong work dudes! Looks burly.
By Weston L
From: Summerlin, NV
Nov 10, 2014

Looks absolutely fantastic, definitely just moved it to the top of my to-do list.

Please post a topo soon...might try to make a trip out this season to do this.

Does this get all day sun? I see it faces south, and the pics look sunny, but never having climbed in the Kolob, I am unsure of potential obstructions, etc.

Thanks!

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