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YDS: 5.10a/b French: 6a+ Ewbanks: 19 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 19 British: E2 5b

Type:  Trad, 4 pitches, 350', Grade II
Original:  YDS: 5.10b French: 6a+ Ewbanks: 19 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b [details]
Season: Spring and Fall
Page Views: 33,930
Submitted By: Karsten Duncan on Jan 25, 2006  with updates from Nick Sweeney

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Zebra Zion. Photo by Brian Mosbaugh

Seasonal Raptor Closure MORE INFO >>>


This is THE multipitch line at Smith!!!

Pitch 1: The first pitch has many variations from 5.7 to 5.11. These lines share the first pitch anchor: Zebra Direct(5.11a), Zebra Seam (5.11d), and Gumby (5.10b)
Take any of these lines to the first anchor.

Pitch 2: (10.b) Move straight up into the right-facing dihedral. This pitch is traditionally thought of as the crux of the climb for both its technical moves off the belay and endurance required on this long pitch. Belay at a ledge on the left at a bolted anchor.

Pitch 3: (5.9) Continue up the corner for a few feet and make an exposed traverse out onto the face to the right.(pro may be placed in a few pods here but watch rope drag on this pitch) Keep moving up and right until you reach a roof. Be careful on this pitch so as not to rain rocks down on the popular areas below.

Pitch 4: (5.9) Climb this fantasticly steep and juggy flake to the summit. A truly spectacular pitch with fun moves and superb position.

This climb will get you on top of the main formation at smith. Descend one of the gullies to the right (east) or take a more scenic descent to the NW around monkey face.


Wires, cams to 3.5 inches, long slings

Photos of Zion Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Anna-Meika follows the magnificent 2nd pitch dihed...
Anna-Meika follows the magnificent 2nd pitch dihed...
Rock Climbing Photo: Starting the stunning last pitch.
Starting the stunning last pitch.
Rock Climbing Photo: Tim Pitz on Zebra Direct
Tim Pitz on Zebra Direct
Rock Climbing Photo: Zebra Zion
BETA PHOTO: Zebra Zion
Rock Climbing Photo: Zebra/Zion top of 3rd pitch. Rad route!
Zebra/Zion top of 3rd pitch. Rad route!
Rock Climbing Photo: At the crux of Zebra/Zion.
At the crux of Zebra/Zion.
Rock Climbing Photo: Zebra/Zion
BETA PHOTO: Zebra/Zion
Rock Climbing Photo: Party of 3 on the 3rd pitch of Zion.  Very chossy ...
Party of 3 on the 3rd pitch of Zion. Very chossy ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Leading the forth pitch of Zion
Leading the forth pitch of Zion
Rock Climbing Photo: Zebra Zion
BETA PHOTO: Zebra Zion
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking down at the final few pitches of Zion afte...
Looking down at the final few pitches of Zion afte...
Rock Climbing Photo: Party on the 3rd pitch of Zion
 Very chossy and ro...
Party on the 3rd pitch of Zion Very chossy and ro...
Rock Climbing Photo: Zebra/Zion
 Unknown climber on the 2nd pitch, in t...
Zebra/Zion Unknown climber on the 2nd pitch, in t...
Rock Climbing Photo: Zebra/Zion
 Unknown climber on the 2nd pitch.  Goo...
BETA PHOTO: Zebra/Zion Unknown climber on the 2nd pitch. Goo...
Rock Climbing Photo: h at the top of zion.  amazing views from the last...
h at the top of zion. amazing views from the last...
Rock Climbing Photo: The 5.8 pitch. Not that good but worth it for the ...
The 5.8 pitch. Not that good but worth it for the ...

Comments on Zion Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Sep 27, 2017
By Andy Laakmann
Site Landlord
From: Bend, OR
Oct 22, 2006
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

Great line. Great climb. The 2nd pitch corner was stellar fingers to awkward, but enjoyable hands. The traverse on the 3rd pitch was no big deal, and there is gear where you need it on the dirty 5.6 slab above. The final pitch up the headwall flake is not-to-be-missed. Crazy fun climbing with jaw dropping exposure.

Highly recommend. Why this line stands empty as the sport routes below are swarming with people is beyond me.....

Easy descent down the Cocaine Gully (first gully on climbers right)
By rpc
Oct 27, 2006

"Why this line stands empty as the sport routes below are swarming with people is beyond me"
Because you either climbed on a weekday or got lucky :)
Spring/fall weekends see a crowd on this one. Looks like you sampled some of Smith's best (think my wife and I ran into you guys in the L. Gorge).
By Philip Scoles
From: bum fuck, Oregon
Apr 16, 2007
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

Please dont be up-grading routes, Zebra Seam is 5.11d. Thanks
By Karsten Duncan
From: Sacramento, CA
Jun 27, 2007

Thanks Phillip, I changed the rating to .11d, it's been awhile since I did the seam.
By Erik Endert
From: all over
Sep 22, 2011

Is the second pitch 10b? I was told it was 10a? I'm also suprised it gets a grade III. Not trying to argue, just curious if this is the general consensus. Doesn't really mater, great climb for sure.
By Mike Rowley
From: Boise, Idaho
Dec 26, 2011

Why do I see all the ratings at Smith being upgraded? The first crack pitch is def .10a. I can understand the .10b rating if you start with gumby, but nothin harder than .10a in the crack. One of my favorite climbs. I can see it from my bedroom window every morning!
By Spencer Weiler
From: Salt Lake city
Aug 21, 2012

First pitch is stellar, easy 2 move lieback .10 move into the corner, than super enjoyable jamming with great feet. Pitch 2's traverse is a bit spicy as the chalk isn't super obvious and its a pendulum back into the dihedral should you peel. The crack above has gear that is well, not awesome but adequate. Pitch 3 is the best 5.9 pitch I've done anywhere.
By Ming
Oct 26, 2012
rating: 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a R

Pitch 2 is a heady lead and solid R - it's not just an ankle breaker - it's a solid hip breaker with that swing if you fall on the traverse for sure. I know 5.8 to 5.5/6 slab sounds easy but it is a very serious lead with harsh consequences for failure. The 5.5/6 slab part has very poor protection with shallow protection of poor quality rock so you are essentially soloing at the 15 feet point of the traverse.

We did Lion Zion (5.10c/d) as our first pitch - and I must say my toes are mad at me from all the continuous edging I had to do. It outright hurts! The traverse over to the top of the pillar is super easy.

Pitch 3 is absolutely spectacular G-rated fun exposed climbing. I find it to be as easy as the traverse. Call them both 5.8, or both 5.9. It's somewhere in that neighborhood.

It's awesome that all 3 pitches offer so many different experiences! My favorite multipitch route at Smith Rock!
By Chris Sepic
From: Bend, OR
Mar 1, 2013

I wasn't sure where the traverse was on p3 and went a bit above it, but then down climbed an ended up doing it right. Just follow the chalk. While the traverse is run out, the rock is really solid. You have to commit to the traverse (and do 75% of it) before you'll be able to see the 5.6 crack.
By the professor
Jun 18, 2013
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

If you insist on staying in the crack at the small roof crux on P2, then it's 5.10. BUT, a small detour to the right has 5.9 pockets past the roof and then go back to the crack.
By Drederek
Aug 21, 2013
rating: 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b

Don't go to the summit at the end of pitch 4, stop atop the Lions chair, plug those two 3" cams in the wide crack at the back and enjoy one of the most awesome belays anywhere!
By Bryan Hall
From: Portland, Oregon
Mar 19, 2015

Not sure why this line is heralded as such a must do. There's a lot more interesting climbing at smith in my opinion.
By Nick Sweeney
From: Spokane, WA
Apr 5, 2015
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

Had to bail before the final money pitch due to weather. Took 4 raps with a 60m single rope. Be super careful on the loose slab of P3... I was almost killed by rockfall knocked loose by the team ahead of us. Easy to link P1 and P2 if you are a strong leader.
By ARMoss
Feb 16, 2016
rating: 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b

Seems like this may always be the case based on some of the comments here, but there are some BIG, rotten flakes near the anchors of the traverse pitch that you really ought to watch out for and avoid. Knock one loose and they could easily kill anyone they hit at the base. Would love to see them safely trundled.
By Richard Denker
From: Portland OR
Jun 16, 2016

Because of hanging belays break it up as either swing leads or one leads pitches 1 & 4 while the other leads 2 & 3. Recommend a double set of cams from .75 to 3 Camalot plus a set of nuts or hexes.

First pitch is a 5.7 to 5.11a sport (or a 5.11d trad) to a hanging belay. This starting pitch ties up very popular routes so start early and be fast.

Second pitch has two parts; the first is a very difficult 5.10a/b, made difficult because the rounded right face is coated with essence of rubber, sweat and chalk. There is a fix piece just before the crux. If the crux is too difficult, drop down from the fix pro (about the distance you will fall if you fail to make the 5.10a), traverse a short distance right to Lion Zion just above a bolt (not easy/possible to clip), climb up and then traverse left back into the seam just above the crux to another fix piece. Except for the fix pro this variation is unprotected, but short and only 5.8. The second part is a long crack/dihedral 5.8 to a ledge with anchor to the left.

The third pitch follow the seam/corner up for about 30 to 40 feet (easy and protectable). Then do an unprotected 5.8 traverse to the right until a easy wide crack is reach, follow the crack up until a semi-hanging belay. Note the easy wide crack has loose rock in it, so be careful not to dislodge any and drop them on the people below.

Fantastic fourth pitch begins with a horizontal hand crack to the left. This short traverse is slippery with bird shit, sweat and chalk. Then an outstanding crack leads up to a bench, where around to the left is a short unprotected 5.6 leading to the anchors. Walk off.
By Brett Yost
From: Bend, Oregon
Dec 4, 2016
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Anybody know the history of the chipped footholds on the last pitch?
By Josh Lowy
From: Sacramento, CA
Jul 28, 2017
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

I agree with the poster, this is THE multipitch at Smith. Easy approach, simple descent, and fun climbing throughout with a view!
First time I climbed it, we started with Gumby which I did not enjoy. Next time we made the longer traverse by starting at Five Gallon or The Outsiders (5.7) which was worlds more enjoyable.
The crux comes quick off the belay on P2 and you just get to enjoy the long splitter that follows up to the ledge.
I highly recommend running it out or MEGA extending your pieces on P3. The unprotected traverse zig zags you back almost above the original corner, but placing protection immediately after the traverse will leave you with unbearable rope drag. If you're seriously worried about protecting yourself, there is an anchor a couple moves further right of the traverse which you could make into a new pitch split.
I found the feet on P4 to be lackluster to begin with but it eventually widens out for the better. There were options for a C4 #4, but it's not needed; might as well shave off some weight.
By Dylan Demyanek
From: Fort Collins, CO
Sep 27, 2017

Are there bolted anchors at the end of pitch 3?

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