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Temple of Sinawava
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The Pulpit 

YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a C1

Type:  Aid, 2 pitches, 50', Grade II
Original:  YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ ZA: 11 British: MS 4a C1 [details]
FA: unknown
Page Views: 5,322
Submitted By: Anonymous Coward on Feb 28, 2003

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (24)
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Summit log

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 >>>


The Pulpit, a great aid and free climb across the parking lot from the entrance to the Narrows. Climb the bolt ladder to a ledge, then climb 5.5 to the first belay point with a pin.

I replaced two bolts on the Aid Ladder because the bolts just pulled out of the wall! Continue up a crack using aid or free climbing at the 5.10 level.

This climb is classic. November was a great month to climb this route. Also, in November the river is down and the route is great to climb in the early evening.


Take a set of Tricams, work excellent in the crack above the first pitch. Quickdraws.


From The parking lot in the Temple of Sinawava, cross the Virgin River and find the obvious little tower.

Photos of The Pulpit Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Don leading pitch two of the  Pulpit in October 19...
Don leading pitch two of the Pulpit in October 19...
Rock Climbing Photo: Scotty leading P2.
Scotty leading P2.
Rock Climbing Photo: Jugging up the 2nd pitch. Photo from the ledge at ...
Jugging up the 2nd pitch. Photo from the ledge at ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking down on The Pulpit from Monkeyfinger.
Looking down on The Pulpit from Monkeyfinger.
Rock Climbing Photo: The first bolt on the first aid pitch is bomber. T...
BETA PHOTO: The first bolt on the first aid pitch is bomber. T...
Rock Climbing Photo: View of the pulpit from the parking lot. The route...
BETA PHOTO: View of the pulpit from the parking lot. The route...
Rock Climbing Photo: The Pulpit
The Pulpit

Comments on The Pulpit Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Nov 22, 2014
By Scotty Nelson
From: Boulder
Nov 27, 2006

Why are there bolts next to the perfect crack on the second pitch? Are those the original Beckey bolts?
By Brian in SLC
From: Sandy, Utah
Nov 28, 2006

"Why are there bolts next to the perfect crack on the second pitch?"

I wouldn't probably refer to that crack as "perfect". Kind of a flaring, undulating, somewhat rotten in spots, awkward crack. My bet is that at the time, the FA was trying to protect the upper part of the route without resorting to using really big angle pitons or the like, since cams hadn't been invented yet (1967).

"Are those the original Beckey bolts?"

Methinks Pat Callis placed them. Not sure if Beckey was along for the FA of the pulpit? I think they knocked this off between rain and bad weather whilst waiting to do the Great White Throne. I chatted to Pat after I had climbed it a few years back, and he said the variety of bolts indicates they were still looking for the optimum solution to anchors in the soft white rock of the GWT. His wife said something to the effect of, "are those bolts still there? They looked bad when he placed them." Too funny.
By Don Thompson
Dec 10, 2006

Modern climbing in Zion began in 1967 with the ascent of the Great White Thone via the Northwest Face, the first of Zion's big walls to be climbed. Prior to this ascent, the Park Service had long refused to give permission for climbing the long and steep canyon-side faces. Fred Beckey had gained permission after sending a letter to the park guaranteeing a Seattle based rescue team on call, and particulars of each of the original team member's experience: Warren Harding, Galen Rowell, Eric Bjornstadt, and Fred Beckey. By the time permission had actually been granted, the team changed to Fred Beckey and Galen Rowell and Pat Callis, who spent several days preparing the lower section, and made the first ascent on May 5-7, 1967.

Don Thompson
By raygay
From: Las Vegas, Nevada
Mar 16, 2008

The transition from the slanting ledge at the P1 anchor into the P2 crack is awkward and the crack starts out with poor opportunities for gear. I didn't feel well protected until I got a sling around a small column next to a hole about 10 feet up. The crack quality improves as you go up. The four bolts on P2 seem pretty solid compared to the junky bolts on P1, but the homemade aluminum angle hangers are soft and a bit deformed. One of these P2 bolts has previously broken off. Back up the bolts with solid gear in the crack as best you can.
By JayBrink
Mar 3, 2010

definitely worth the river crossing.
the bolt ladder is scary as hell. and the traverse to the crack on P2 is a little sketchy. the bottom half is sandy and a little rotten. top half is like heavenly golden niceness good gear abides the whole way, if you know what you are doing. bring an extra camalot #4. it helps. alot.
do it when it snows and then you will be BAMF
By George Perkins
From: The Dungeon, NM
Nov 14, 2010

This climb is more like 120'. You need 2 ropes to descend (or 2 rappels using the intermediate anchor should work).

The books say this climb goes free at 5.11, but the bolts on the crux bolt ladder section at the start are mostly old/scary and the free line isn't right in line with them.

Even though it's short, I wouldn't suggest climbing in Zion when wet or snowy to be a good idea.
By steve lindsay
Jan 18, 2011

P1-Yes, bolts are as scary as bolts get. All of them. Lots of trouble getting biners to fit in the aluminum angle clips.
P2- Yes, the crux is getting in to the crack at the start of P2.
Top has upper(newer) anchors over the west face and lower (older) NW facing anchors(towards your gear.) I rapped all the way to ground from lower anchor with 70m.

Fun route. Wet, dusty, and cold in January but fun. River crossing is easy.
By Ron Thompson
From: Idlewild, CA
Dec 31, 2011

In November 1997 Don Thompson and Larry Ciak climb a new route off the original line on the Pulpit. Climb the bolt ladder to the first belay ledge 5.5. from here is the crux to the main crack past a bolt. Follow the crack and bolts aid or free halfway up and than traverse a long crack across the Pulpit to a belay ledge at the end of the traverse belay your partner across the traverse some rope drag. Climb a 5.9 crack or aid to the top. The traverse takes many large nut, and a set of Tricams cams which works well across the traverse. Rap from the bolts on top down the original route. Thompson traverse 5.9 C2 .
By Ron Thompson
From: Idlewild, CA
Aug 8, 2013

I did the 'Thompson Traverse' on the Pulpit last October what a great traverse across the pulpit ! my friend Keith Chapman and I did the climb to the top of the spire in using the traverse. The route was first climb by Don Thompson and Larry Ciak. Don added two bolts on the first belay ledge because the anchors pulled in 1992 they were two pins than now anchored by two bombproof bolts and the first bolt on the bolt ladder was also replaced in 1992...
By Matt Park
Sep 27, 2014

Just climbed this and the summit register is ruined. the little tube/pipe thing its in is not waterproof! and since it had all been written in pencil the soggy note book lost all its info. If you are headed here, take a new notebook and a ziplock bag or something to keep it from getting soaked.
By Erik Peet
From: Provo, UT
Oct 17, 2014

Can this climb be done in one pitch?
By Neil Kauffman
Nov 22, 2014

This is an excellent and classic route!
A more appropriate rating for this route would be 5.10 A0. I heard it was free at 5.11, but couldn't fathom pulling those first moves while clipping the atrocious, original bolts. This is due for a rebolting, it would make free attempts feasible. Looks like good free climbing, the first 2-3 bolts would be the crux, bouldery. Maybe some out there like aiding on shit bolts, keep it exciting, keep it risky; I won't profer those sentiments. Won't be long until someone pops one of them out, not much room to ride when your 10-20 feet off the ground.
If you do it in one pitch, bring many longs slings (15), and draws or biners to leave on the bolt ladder. The crack takes good gear.
Rack: single BD .4-#4. A few medium nuts, offsets useful (as usual!) One rope will do it, two raps.

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