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[TR] A Week in Zion - 4/14/2013

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Trip: A Week in Zion -


Date: 4/14/2013


Trip Report:

Spent another great week in Zion with Trish and her family. Trish's folks have a motorhome, and I gotta say, while I would never own one...knowing people who do certainly has it's perks.

We loaded up the Lara family truckster late Saturday for a very early Sunday am departure from San Diego, and arrived in Zion in the afternoon.


Setting up our accommodations for the week, under The Watchman



The weather forecast was pretty sketchy for the first couple days, with wind, rain and snow all variably in the mix. But we figured that we should be able to climb something on Monday before the precip moved in.

And when we got up in the morning, we set off for Voice from the Dust (8p. 5.11), with a raging hangover and threatening weather.








fortunately the precip held off, and all we got was a serious dose of gusty winds. The climbing was great following thin hands splitters, cool face, and interesting offwidths and chimneys to the top of Mt. Moroni.


Trish following the pumpy thin hands on p2.




Trish somewhere higher on the route



Looking up the upper half of the route



The weather cleared, as the winds picked up







Voice from the Dust is a cool climb...would recommend it.

The next day the weather went to shit. Rain and snow ruled out climbing for the day, so we took a leisurely stroll up around the Temple of Sinawava.


The Silverback....









Wednesday we woke to clear skies and snow on the upper slopes around the canyon. We had a lazy morning and a huge breakfast before finally deciding to head up and do some cragging at Cerberus Gendarme. Lots of fun splitters to climb there and a good way to spend an afternoon waiting for the rest of the canyon to dry out.


Thursday we wanted to climb something bigger again, so we took the shuttle back up the canyon to hop on Monkeyfinger. When we got off the shuttle and walked over to the climb, we saw a party of two already about to start up the slabs, and a party of three just behind them. Not wanting to climb with a crowd we mulled other options. It was pretty cold in the shade still so we looked around for something getting morning sun. Took the shuttle down to Big Bend and looked around, nothing really caught our eye. So we went back to the Temple of Sinawava and gave The Silverback a good long look. It looks so sweet, but I really wasn't in the mood for 5.12 offwidthing, so back on the shuttle we went after we finally made our decision. Bits and Pieces (8p. 5.11) climbs the southwest face on Red Arch Mountain just up from the Zion Lodge, and turned out to be good fun...and sunny!


Trish finishing a pitch on Bits and Pieces



Looking down canyon



Looking at the start of a very funky Zion pitch!



The pitch involved a wild lunging chicken wing into a flaring chimney/offwidth thingy about half way up the pitch. Good fun!


Trish exiting the chimney at the top of the pitch...looking pretty worked....and I don't blame her that pitch was WHACK!



After finishing off the climb, we hustled to get down as the sun was setting...



...and barely made the last shuttle back down the canyon from the lodge.


Friday we had a nice chill morning at Casa Lara, before heading into town for a killer breakfast at Oscars. Afterwards we mulled around town being tourists, buying trinkets, I picked up a #5 Camalot for shits and giggles, and because I was tiring of running out so many offwidths.

And finally after lunch we decided to go for a quick jaunt up Coke Explosion...which turned out to be a super fun little climb!


Trish following p1



p2 is the hero pitch...so fun!




Trish yodeling her way to the top



Yeah, Zion is pretty



Back at camp...er...our hotel on wheels that evening with The Watchman ever looming above



Saturday was our last day to climb so we figured we ought to go climb something up there. There's lots of routes to choose from, and we finally settled on Negative Ghostrider (IV 5.11).


Trish on the approach, which actually turns out to be quite mellow.







Looking up the lower half of the route or so. There's a giant detached white flake just above center in the photo called 'the ghost'...it's quite scary, and you climb around the right side of it, and then belay on top of it :shock:



Trish following p2...chimney to sweet face and cracks...even a little moss thrown in.







Looking down at Trish on p3. I'm standing on 'the ghost', a giant completely detached flake. Fortunately the anchor is in solid rock on the wall above.



p3 has some sweet laybacking around a bulge to a steep short finger crack.



Looking up the sick splitter on pitch 7 or so



Trish nearing the top of p7



Trish following a pitch high on the route



as usual in Zion the last couple pitches to the top are FUNK!



This route finished with a shrubby ramp followed by a wild unprotected face traverse, into the wideness above, back out onto unprotected chossy face, and finally back into an easy but way runout stem box chimney thing. I was so glad when I finally pulled up and out onto the top.


Trish coming up the last bit







relieved to be done!



On top...with the scene of a previous EPIC behind me in the picture :crazy:



One last look up the canyon



Trish starting the raps down



several surprisingly quite easy raps lead down the route to the base.





Heading down for well deserved burgers and beers!



Until next time...





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