REI Community
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Bad Rock T,TR 
Barnacle Face T,TR 
Beautiful, Little, Lie Back T,TR 
Beginner's Crack T,TR 
Beginner's Face TR 
Biceps TR 
Biceps - Var: Right Wall T,TR 
Biceps - Var: Thumbthing T,TR 
Biceps - Var: Thumbthing Else T,TR 
Billy Goat Boulder 
Buckets of blood (overhang) 
Buckets of Blood Arete TR 
Bulge, The TR 
Bulging Crack T,TR 
Bump, The TR 
Butterfly TR 
Carderock Low Traverse 
Chockstone Chimney T,TR 
Chris Wex Don Traverse T 
Chris' Cruz T,TR 
Chris's Goat TR 
Copycat TR 
Crack, The T,TR 
Cripple's Crack TR 
Cripple's Cube 
Cripple's Face TR 
Crippling Paralysis TR 
Crucifixion T,TR 
Crystal Ship TR 
Death Nerve T,TR 
Desperation TR 
Diamond, The T,TR 
Dream Direct, The TR 
Dream, The TR 
Easy Layback TR 
Eight Ball TR 
Eliminates T,TR 
Elsie's TR 
Elsie's Arete TR 
Elsie's Nose TR 
Elsie's Other TR 
Evan's Bolt Ladder T 
Face To Right T,TR 
Fat Man's Fantasy T,TR 
Fifi T,TR 
Fingernail TR 
Flake, The TR 
Flutterby TR 
Friction Layback TR 
Golden Staircase TR 
Green Bucket TR 
Guillotine T,TR 
Hades Heights Girdle Traverse T 
Herbie's Horror TR 
Herbie's Left TR 
Impossible T,TR 
Incipient TR 
Iron Cross TR 
Jackknife T 
Jam Box TR 
Jam Box Chimney TR 
Jam Crack TR 
Jan's Face TR 
Jan's Face - Var: Eight Ball T,TR 
Jan's Face - Var: Left Edge T,TR 
Kindergarten TR 
Lazy Daisy T,TR 
Left Edge of Jane's Face TR 
Leonards Lunacy T,TR 
Mad Dog TR 
Make A Wish T,TR 
Margie's Chimney T,TR 
Marion's Chimney T,TR 
Meenehan's Edge T,TR 
Meenehan's Staircase T,TR 
Merv's Nerve TR 
Near Matt Splat T,TR 
Norris' Nipple T,TR 
Norris's Nipple T,TR 
Nose That Blows, The TR 
Nose, The TR 
Nubbin (Nubble) Face TR 
Outlook Rock Boulder 
Overhanging Block T,TR 
Photogenic T,TR 
Pre-Kindergarten Boulder T 
Rack Direct, The T,TR 
Rack, The T,TR 
Ronnie's Leap TR 
Serenity Syndrome TR 
Shipley's TR 
Shonard's Lunacy TR 
Silver Spot TR 
Silver Sucker TR 
Sloth, The TR 
Spider Walk TR 
Stannards Playground / TB Boulder TR 
Sterling's Crack TR 
Sterling's Double Cracks TR 
Swayback Layback TR 
Sweethog TR 
Swollen Head T,TR 
Tea and Scrumpet 
Tomb of the Unknown Shoulder, The T,TR 
Top Roping at Carderock with Tots TR 
Triple A TR 
Trudie's Terror T,TR 
Twitch T,TR 
Upper Wall Crack T,TR 
Upper Wall Jam Crack T,TR 
Vulgarian Wedge T,TR 
Walk On By T,TR 
Wet Dream T,TR 
Wish Come True T,TR 
X, The T,TR 
Yellow Jacket TR 
Zig Zag TR 
Unsorted Routes:

Zig Zag 

YDS: 5.10d French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 21 British: E3 5b

Type:  TR, 1 pitch, 40'
Original:  YDS: 5.12a/b French: 7b Ewbanks: 26 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 26 British: E5 6a [details]
Page Views: 1,254
Submitted By: Rocket on Aug 18, 2012  with updates from Stephenmontgomery

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (13)
Your todo list:
Your stars:
Your rating: -none- [change]
Your ticklist: [add new tick]
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [0 people like this page.]
BETA PHOTO: Zig Zag is the second climb from the left


Darn if I know. Zig, zag, finish the same as Triple A. Then show me how :)


Hades Heights, about 15 feet from the downstream end of the trail


Trees and large boulders for toprope anchors

Comments on Zig Zag Add Comment
Show which comments
By Andy Weinmann
From: Silver Spring, MD
May 2, 2013
rating: 5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII 25 E4 6a

Zig Zag follows the incipient crack system to the right of fingernail. The two large edges further to the right are off route. Once you're up to the ramp you can finish the top section any way you like; the hard climbing is in the lower section and is all about balance and precise edging/smearing. I'd probably average it out and call it 11c/d. As most probably know, Carderock can be extremely weather dependent because of the friction needed to climb routes like this. On a crisp fall day this will seem easier than in the gross humidity of July. This is also a height related crux...definitely easier if tall (~5'9"+).
By Robert Michael
Apr 17, 2016
rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a

I see the rating here has been changed, seemingly reflecting a suggested update last fall, and I'm going to have to disagree with the 10- and especially the suggestion that it really is a 9. Yeah, I have my doubts that it's really 12 as some books say, but this is harder than 9 or 10a. Many Carderock climbs have off-limit holds and other rules in order to achieve the rating, and when I see people commenting that the climbs are easier than advertised (not a common remark about Carderock, which has a big sandbag reputation), I notice in their comments that they often seem to have climbed the route "incorrectly."

This route has the hard parts on the first half as you follow the zig-zagging incipient crack. For the 12, you are supposed to use only holds along that crack system, and nothing big, especially not some very tempting good holds just off the crack system. This "12" is not strenuous, which I also think makes some doubt it; it is just about balance and precision. Frankly, although I've done it twice, even once eliminating good holds that seem to be "on" but which seemed too easy for the grade, I don't really like this climb because it's a pain to do it "right" and you spend more time worrying about what's on and off than you do enjoying it. If you want something more enjoyable, try Fingernail, just to the left; it's a fun 10b with, as is the case much of the time at Carderock, the harder stuff on the lower half.

ETA: Now the rating is back up to 5.12a. Does MP automatically update ratings based on user notes?

Mountain Project

The Definitive Climbing Resource

MTB Project

Next Generation MTB Trail Maps

Powder Project

Backcountry Ski Maps & Secret Stashes
FREE Stickers · Gyms · RSS · School of Rock · Contact · About