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Zion in November
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Jul 25, 2016
Hello Mountain Project Utah,

I am looking to do my first wall this November in Zion, and would like some advice/partner(s). I can trad climb to 5.9 and am learning how to aid. Gear-wise, I have a double rack of cams to #3 and a #4, nuts and offset nuts, and aiders. What recommendations do you all have for which walls to do, and would any of you do a gumbie a favor and drag me up a wall?

Thanks!
Emmett Wynn
From Albuquerque
Joined Nov 11, 2015
72 points
Jul 25, 2016
Whats up Emmett,

I'm moving to Zion near the end of August. I'm looking to get into big walls when I move out there and will definitely be looking for partners. Though I've never climbed a bonafide "big wall" I've climbed some longer routes and have done a bit of aid climbing. Spaceshot and Moonlight Buttress both look fairly easy as far as walls in Zion go. Both are clean aid and relatively short.

As for gear, it sounds like you have a pretty decent, basic set up. I imagine you have a fifi and daisies with your aiders? Some hooks are pretty mandatory, (though no cam hooks at zion bc the rock's too fragile).

If you're doing anything Grade V or longer you'll need some sort of system to sleep on. (Old school guys used to camp in hammocks but a portaledge is the way to go nowadays if you can afford/get your hands on one.) Some routes you can bring a tent to sleep on an actual ledge.

You'd also need a hauling system including a haul bag, microtrax (or prussik minding pulley), haul line at a minimum. Two ascenders are pretty critical for seconding/cleaning the pitch. And can used for hauling (see freedom of the hills).

A pooptube is courteous for other climbers. This should work as a basic setup (I'm sure other folks will post if I'm missing anything).

Supertopo has a pretty good series of how-to pages that fill in the details.

As for my own experience, I'm looking to hit Yosemite in September to climb a wall or two and then will hopefully have gotten a few more in at Zion by November. My buddy is lending me his portaledge when I head out there and I have everything listed above with the exception of the pooptube. If you're looking for a partner to learn with, feel free to PM me.

-Zach
Budd Rick
From Hurricane, Utah
Joined Dec 12, 2014
8 points
Aug 3, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: "We have to sleep on this?"
Hey Emmit, What walls to do? What gear do you need? A Double rack and a set of offset nuts will get you up the big four (touchstone, prodigal, space shot, moonlight). No need for a sleeping system. Even if you are new to climbing the walls are best suited for a fix one day and blast to the top the next day (As this is the norm for a lot of the walls). Enjoy your time in the park and stay safe! madskates
From slc
Joined Aug 22, 2013
148 points
Aug 14, 2016
Hey Emmett and all,

Great to hear!

I am in a similar gear position, leading 5.9, but behind on the aid game. Looking to try my first easy aid ASAP; it would be great to find a partner to learn from. Either way, I'll send some PM out and I am always down for some Zion climbing! I'm based out of Cedar City and been climbing in Zion every weekend and trying for weekday evenings too.

Hope to see some of you at the cliff

Joe
Joe Zelman
From Cedar City, UT
Joined Aug 13, 2015
95 points
Aug 14, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Me
Budd Rick wrote:
Old school guys used to camp in hammocks but a portaledge is the way to go nowadays if you can afford/get your hands on one


According to their website Zion Rock and Mountain Guides rents portaledges.
JK-
From SLC
Joined Nov 3, 2012
21 points
Aug 15, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: blah
You don't need a portaledge for any trade routes. Please follow the ethic of fix and fire Rob Warden, Space Lizard
From Springdale Ut
Joined Dec 19, 2011
132 points
Aug 15, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Climbing in Smuggler's Notch
Recommended to practise on a few shorter routes to get the whole system dailed!

Maybe start on some shorter 2 to 3 pitch routes before stepping up to a longer route?

Have fun!
Brian in SLC
Joined Oct 6, 2003
13,072 points
Aug 15, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: On Steve's Arete
Rob Warden, Space Lizard wrote:
You don't need a portaledge for any trade routes. Please follow the ethic of fix and fire


Why is doing the portaledge thing less "ethical"? For many, that's a big part of the experience. It can also be seen as training for bigger walls, too.
Justin Headley
From Tucson
Joined Oct 25, 2013
126 points
Aug 15, 2016
Justin Headley wrote:
Why is doing the portaledge thing less "ethical"? For many, that's a big part of the experience. It can also be seen as training for bigger walls, too.


Hauling leaves a mark on the soft sandstone of Zion. Not hauling on trade routes (most of which can be done in a day or "fixed and fired") is part of the local ethic. There are also ledges on many of the more popular routes that allow an overnight without a port-a-ledge. Being courteous to future users and mindful of the impact our choices have on the rock is important to the sustainability of Zion climbing.
Ryan Hill
From Oakland, CA
Joined Dec 8, 2009
33 points
Aug 15, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: blah
Ethic, in this case is jargon for prefered method. It's not unethical. You are not doing anything wrong. However, you are contributing to scaring the rock (so is any form of climbing in zion) where bags get hauled and needlessly complicating a simple affair. I also have my own personal pony in the race, I think sleeping on a ledge is something that you should do on multi-day walls only. Taking 3 days to do moonlight does not make it a multi-day wall.

I am just some guy, ignore me if you want. I don't care much if you do. But if you areally learning how to big wall, save your self the hassle and fix and fire.
Rob Warden, Space Lizard
From Springdale Ut
Joined Dec 19, 2011
132 points
Aug 16, 2016
Rob Warden, Space Lizard wrote:
You don't need a portaledge for any trade routes. Please follow the ethic of fix and fire


+1 for fix and fire.

Hauling is very damaging to Zion's soft rock. Assuming "Fix and Fire" is understood. Basically, on day 1, fix the first 2 to 4 pitches, return to your car camping spot, eat, hydrate, get a good night's sleep, and then "fire" for the summit on day 2, with of course an early start. We used the same fix and fire approach for the 3 El Cap routes I have climbed. This is good and legitimate training for real big wall routes.
Wally
From Denver
Joined Apr 12, 2006
32 points
Administrator
Aug 16, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Andrew Gram
You can see the wear streak on Angels Landing from hauling on Prodigal Son from a long way off. Yosemite is a better place to go for intro to portaledges and hauling. Andrew Gram
From Salt Lake City, UT
Joined Jan 1, 2001
3,829 points
Aug 17, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: On Steve's Arete
If you fix one day and fire the next, then it sounds like a multi-day wall to me. Justin Headley
From Tucson
Joined Oct 25, 2013
126 points


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