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Voice from the Dust 

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

Type:  Trad, 8 pitches, 1000', Grade IV
Original:  YDS: 5.11b/c French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 24 British: E4 6a [details]
FA: Garrett Kemper, Brian Smoot, and Tommy Chandler
Page Views: 4,669
Submitted By: Michael Schneiter on Mar 8, 2007

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Matt and I on the second pitch

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 >>>


Voice from the Dust is another of those obscure, yet good, long free lines in Zion. It seems that every other pitch on this thing is great. That also means that every other pitch is not so great. There is a good topo at the visitor center.

Here's a brief description:

P1 (5.8) Start in a short chimney with some large chockstones to the right of the large huecos. You can spot these huecos from the road. Climb the chimney then traverse left in the monstrous huecos. There is one bolt at the start of the traverse and one bolt next to a crack for the anchor (finger-size pieces for belay).

P2 (5.11a) This is a gem. Climb out the left side of the large hueco via a sweet splitter crack that eats red Camalots. Belay at two bolts in an awkward chimney.

P3 (5.11a) An initial hard section gives way to enjoyable hand jamming. The pitch ends with a somewhat awkward offidth before reaching a great belay ledge with two bolts.

P4 (5.11b/c) The crux pitch is mostly bolt-protected (they might have all been drilled angles; I can't remember). Climb the face, clipping bolts/angles and placing a couple of pieces to the huge Sanctuary ledge.

P5 (5.10a) Move your stuff to the base of the upper headwall. Climb a wide crack (bring an old #5 Camalot or a new #6) formed by a flake, traverse right with one bolt and then up a great hands to thin-hands crack. Stop and belay with gear at a small alcove where the crack splits into to two. This pitch is long, approximately 50 meters or more.

P6 (5.10b) This is one of the not-so-good pitches. Climb up left through a big chimney to a fragile ledge. From here you can belay at a tree with slings or it seems better to continue up and left to the loose gully where you can belay with gear.

P7 (5.8) This pitch is bad and then good. Climb carefully up the loose Book of the Dead on the left side of the gully. Then, climb the classic Book of Life, a great corner at about 60 degrees vertical. Belay from gear at the ledge.

P8 (5.7) Traverse right on easy terrain to the top of a ledge where you can see some rappel bolts down and to the right. Instead of going there, go up and left and belay on top of a loose block with a bolt and a fixed pin.

From there, third class a couple hundred feet to the top and enjoy the view.



Standard desert rack with multiples in finger- to hand-size. Bring a big piece for the wide start on pitch 5; although manageable, it is unprotectable without it. See the topo for a detailed gear list.


The route starts on a heavily huecoed face on the far south end of the east face. The first pitch starts in a short chimney to the right of some large huecos and roofs. See beta photo.


Rappel the route, skipping the belay at the top of pitch 5. You can rappel from the top of pitch two to the ground.

Photos of Voice from the Dust Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: The outstanding Book of Life corner on the seventh...
The outstanding Book of Life corner on the seventh...
Rock Climbing Photo: The view from the top
The view from the top
Rock Climbing Photo: 5.11 Pitch up higher.
5.11 Pitch up higher.
Rock Climbing Photo: A good look at most of pitch 5, with offwidth sect...
A good look at most of pitch 5, with offwidth sect...
Rock Climbing Photo: 2nd pitch splitter. Eats .75 and .5's.
2nd pitch splitter. Eats .75 and .5's.
Rock Climbing Photo: The initial chimney on pitch 1. Hardest part of th...
The initial chimney on pitch 1. Hardest part of th...
Rock Climbing Photo: The crux face pitch.
The crux face pitch.
Rock Climbing Photo: Climbing the second pitch.
Climbing the second pitch.
Rock Climbing Photo: The start of the second pitch, climbing out of the...
The start of the second pitch, climbing out of the...
Rock Climbing Photo: Traversing on the big huecos at the top of the fir...
Traversing on the big huecos at the top of the fir...
Rock Climbing Photo: Voice from the Dust begins in the chimney to the r...
BETA PHOTO: Voice from the Dust begins in the chimney to the r...

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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Feb 16, 2016
By Michael Schneiter
From: Glenwood Springs, CO
Mar 8, 2007

I'm not sure what to give it for stars. Just depends on what kind of desert, sand-in-your-eye routes you like. If people are giving Iron Messiah 3-1/2 stars then this probably deserves 3. I thought it was better than Equinox and the NE Buttress of Angels Landing if that says anything.
By bsmoot
Mar 29, 2008

Dave Jones & Mark Austin climbed the first 3 pitches back in the late 80's.

"From here you can belay at a tree with slings or it seems better to continue up and left to the loose gully where you can belay with gear."

The gear belay would be better as the tree belay was kind of cramped. It would even be better to put a bolted rap station in there or at the more comfortable ledge just above...we wanted to, but it was getting dark. A 60m rap would just make it to the big midway ledge.
By S. O.
From: logan,ut
May 19, 2008

Pitch 2 eats green and purple camalots (.75 and .5) and is still reasonably doable due to many face holds
By Spencer Weiler
From: Salt Lake city
Mar 17, 2009

The first four pitches are really good. The first pitch is easy, wild and unique, the 2nd and 3rd just beautiful splitters with good feet outside the crack, and the sport 4th pitch is fun because there isn't much chalk. Just doing these four is worthwhile, whether you top out or not. Bring triples in .5-2 camalots.
By notmyname
From: Sandy, UT
Mar 31, 2009

Just did the 1st four pitches. We got blown off the climb and were happy to get out ropes back. If it was awesome doing it with a leaf blower going off in your ear, then it must be really fun. I'll have to go back and finish it.

One reccomendation: tape your hands for the 2nd pitch and 3x #.5-#2 camalots are choice. I found the sport pitch no harder than 10d. It doesn't look like it, but a gold camalot helps protect the start.
By hanshan
From: Canada Mofuga
Apr 6, 2011

From the book of the dead belay you can head straight up the splitter wide crack in the corner above you. It is sandy and you'll need several #4s but its a nice wide pitch and deposits you directly to the next anchor. A good climb overall.
By Matty Van
From: WA
Feb 29, 2012

just my 2 cents: the 10b sixth pitch is totally Rad. Cool chimney moves and then traverse out a roof on fists! c'mon! the rest of the climb is great too. The book of death pitch is not all that bad, just give it a good test before yarding on it.
By Shiho
Feb 5, 2013

If you are short like me (5'1"), you may be happy to have a stick ready for the bolt on pitch 5.
By Jay 1975
From: Bonedale,CO
Apr 24, 2013

Another good route!
Rack is really:
Dbles to .4
3 each .75, 1, 2's
Maybe 1-#4 but nothing big. I chose a more direct chimney start to pitch 5
Nuts maybe but no tiny pieces
By Gordon Larsen
From: St. George, Utah
Oct 30, 2013

Just climbed this route for the first time with Cullen Kirk. We enjoyed the climb and found the "tat" on the anchors in good shape. Like previous comments, the first 4 pitches have the best climbing.
By Wylie
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Apr 9, 2014
rating: 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c

Pitch 6 was my favorite! Long, varied, interesting, and mostly good rock until the final rancid ledge traverse. Pitch 4 face climbing is well bolted 10+ if you use the best holds. The hardest part is figuring out what to grab as there is a plethora of options and it climbs a bit zig zaggy.
By Levi Call
From: Moab Utah
Dec 29, 2014

Rap Beta for those with two 60's:
1st rap (from the bottom of the scramble that goes to the summit) you only need a single rope.
2nd rap takes two ropes and gets you to the small ledge. Rap from the tree you belayed off.
3rd rap requires two ropes again and will get you to the sanctuary ledge.
4th rap requires only one rope and puts you on top of pitch 3.
5th rap requires two ropes and will get your feet on the ground with rope stretch.
By meghan c.
From: el paso, tx
Apr 5, 2015

The bark on the 6th pitch rap Juniper is starting to ring-out from the collection of thinner cordage and slings. The tree is still live and in good shape, but some added padding or multi wrap of wider webbing might help to keep it that way.
By Rob Warden...Space Lizard
From: Between Zion, Vegas, LA, and my van
Feb 16, 2016

the tree is indeed taking the brunt of rappels and belays... there are now 2 stainless bolts with chain waiting for you just up and around the corner from the tree. still raps with 2 60m rope, pulls much better than the tree.

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