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garrettweaver


Nov 5, 2008, 6:14 AM
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Zion Big Wall Climbing
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Hi everyone,

I live in NY and have climbed for five years. I will be moving to Utah in June. I climb 5.9/10 Trad, but do not have much experience with aid. I am going to aid some free route in NY this winter to improve my techniques. My question(s) are: What would be good entry level routes in Zion, what gear would I need for them, do you need a portaledge for Zion, can yuo climb at Zion all year and how hard is it to find partners.

Thank you,

Garrett


vegastradguy


Nov 5, 2008, 6:41 AM
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Re: [garrettweaver] Zion Big Wall Climbing [In reply to]
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Entry Level Routes:
Touchstone 5.9 C2 (about half and half, aid/free)
Spaceshot, 5.7 C2 (the free is the approach pitches, ,business is aid)
Moonlight Buttress, 5.7 C1 (two pitches of free, rest are aid)
Prodigal Sun 5.8, C1 (i know this is a popular trade route and a popular aid solo.)

Rack: A solid double rack of cams, a set of stoppers, set of offset stoppers. (optional: three biggest offset Aliens, set of ballnutz, three smallest tricams)

Ledge: Nope- just about every single aid route there can either be fired in a day or you can fix the first half with two or three ropes and fire to the top the next day.

Season: It gets HOT in the summer, winter can be pretty cold, but little snow means if you're a glutton for punishment (like me) you can climb there when its cold. Spring and Fall are nice.

Partners: Springdale is pretty small, but I believe there are quite a few folks around who climb in the park. Zion is a popular place to learn to aid solo as well.


coastal_climber


Nov 5, 2008, 9:09 PM
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Re: [vegastradguy] Zion Big Wall Climbing [In reply to]
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I am going to Zion in February/march and am looking to get on some aid routes. Interested?



>Cam


kevinhansen


Nov 20, 2008, 8:23 PM
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Re: [vegastradguy] Zion Big Wall Climbing [In reply to]
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vegastradguy wrote:
Entry Level Routes:
Touchstone 5.9 C2 (about half and half, aid/free)
Spaceshot, 5.7 C2 (the free is the approach pitches, ,business is aid)
Moonlight Buttress, 5.7 C1 (two pitches of free, rest are aid)
Prodigal Sun 5.8, C1 (i know this is a popular trade route and a popular aid solo.).

If your a n00b stay off the trade routes till you can average close to 1 pitch per hour somewhere else. Look for hard trad lines elsewhere on Cirubus and try aiding them. I got stuck behind a lady from Boulder who was learning how to aid and solo with a SP (she "borrowed from a friend") all the same day on P1 of Touchstone. Despite my plea's for a partner she wouldn't have it. I decided to bail at 8 am just as another team of first timers were humping haul bags to the base. I went cragging at the Lodge instead. I was on the 5 pm bus out of there and she was at the top of pitch 2. The other team was at the top of P3. Not bad for 9 hours on Zion's most climbed route.

vegastradguy wrote:
Ledge: Nope- just about every single aid route there can either be fired in a day or you can fix the first half with two or three ropes and fire to the top the next day..

I will totaly agree with this if you are well familiar with Zion aid climbing already. Fix and fire is the way to go. I bought a 400' static line with this in mind.

vegastradguy wrote:
Partners: Springdale is pretty small, but I believe there are quite a few folks around who climb in the park. Zion is a popular place to learn to aid solo as well.

I've lived 1 hour South of Zion (bought a house in Kanab) for 14 months now and still can't find anyone who big walls. That's why I got into solo wall climbing. Most experienced wall climbers in this area already have set partners. I guess I kind of gave up looking and started getting into FA's in more remote parts of the area. I'm totaly up for partnering up with someone who knows what they are doing.


Hay Vegastradguy.... Thanks for your solid review of that Cilogear pack. It really helped me make a decision. Thanks 4 your 2 cents.


vegastradguy


Nov 22, 2008, 1:23 PM
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Re: [kevinhansen] Zion Big Wall Climbing [In reply to]
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no problem- i'm actually eyeing the new 40ish L worksack from Graham...need to get in touch with him.

oh, and btw i learned to aid on Zions big walls- 'course, i did it in the middle of winter, so it wasnt exactly crowded!


garrettweaver


Nov 27, 2008, 4:37 PM
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Re: [vegastradguy] Zion Big Wall Climbing [In reply to]
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Hey,

Thanks for all the information guys. Don't worry I am practicing aid in NY before I move so I don't go to slow on my first routes. Do you guys know what routes usually stay open during perigene falcon season? Also if you guys need climbing parnters starting in June I will be looking for them.

Garrett


scottydo


Dec 9, 2008, 1:15 AM
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Re: [kevinhansen] Zion Big Wall Climbing [In reply to]
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Hey kevinhansen, what solo aid technique do you use? Do you use a Silent Partner or some other method? What's the most common technique for solo aiding that you've seen?

I ask becuase I'm getting into trad and have a very tough time getting a climbing partner when the wife doesn't feel like being my belay b@#$%. Also, the thought of doing big multi-pitch routes solo appeals to me. (nothing i will do till i have a lot more experience though) Thanks!


kevinhansen


Dec 9, 2008, 7:36 AM
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Re: [scottydo] Zion Big Wall Climbing [In reply to]
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scottydo wrote:
Hey kevinhansen, what solo aid technique do you use? Do you use a Silent Partner or some other method? What's the most common technique for solo aiding that you've seen?

.....Also, the thought of doing big multi-pitch routes solo appeals to me. (nothing i will do till i have a lot more experience though) Thanks!

I've solo aided on a clove hitch for one wall because someone on the net said it was the bomb. I supose it was ok, but a little bit spooky with a 10-15 foot sport loop dangeling from your waste, then even more loops to your back up knots (which you should do with any solo system).
I've soloed with Gri-gri and liked it better than the clove because it feed's out rope as you go, it's easy to set up, and is easy to get set up after a pitch change or fall unlike the clove.
I've never liked the idea of "modifing a gri-gri" but basicly you're turing it into a Solo Aid. I've never owned a Solo Aid because it will not catch inverted falls. (I've yet to fall up side down, but it only has to happen once.)
I've soloed Touchstone with a SP and thought it was too much in the way for aid, but it rocked when it came to free climbing the upper pitches.
I remember seeing a poll somewhere asking what was the prefered solo belay method. The gri-gri had like 60% of the vote with the SP 20%, clove and solo aid were way down there.
My advice, if your thinking of doing a lot of free climbing get a Silent Partner (SP) and keep at it till you've got it dialed. If your going to stick to just Aid soloing, a gri-gri is all you'd need.
As with any system, back up your belay. Never trust your life to one piece of gear.

For me... The gri-gri gets the aid pitch's while the SP stays in the haul bag till the free pitches.

There is a good SP discussion over at mountainproject.


pmyche


Dec 9, 2008, 8:35 AM
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kevinhansen


Dec 9, 2008, 9:23 AM
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Re: [pmyche] Zion Big Wall Climbing [In reply to]
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I was asked for my opinion and what I use, thats what I gave...
This topic has been beaten to death else where opinions and all.
http://www.mountainproject.com/...d_climbing/106270733

Back to origional topic.
I know Ron Olevski got into the main crack seam of Touchstone on Christmas day, but are there any other die hard winter wall climbers out there?
Any time I have free it seems I'm chasing ice in the slot canyons instead.

I've never Climbed on a Zion wall during the winter. Any tips, advice, or experience anyone would like to share? Changes in cooking, wind, or descents?


ptlong


Dec 9, 2008, 10:06 AM
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Re: [kevinhansen] Zion Big Wall Climbing [In reply to]
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Hey Kevin, it may be an opinion about the Solo-Aid but it's not factual. The one you're thinking of that won't catch an upsidedown fall is the Soloist.

The Solo-Aid works well, connects to the harness in a bomber fashion, and is small and simple. But it does not autofeed.


kevinhansen


Dec 9, 2008, 10:26 AM
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Re: [ptlong] Zion Big Wall Climbing [In reply to]
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ptlong wrote:
Hey Kevin...The one you're thinking of that won't catch an upsidedown fall is the Soloist.

My mistake.

So how about Zion Walls during the winter? Crazy stuff huh!


scottydo


Dec 10, 2008, 12:55 AM
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Re: [kevinhansen] Zion Big Wall Climbing [In reply to]
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thanks for the reply! appreciate the info


vegastradguy


Dec 13, 2008, 6:13 PM
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Re: [kevinhansen] Zion Big Wall Climbing [In reply to]
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kevinhansen wrote:
ptlong wrote:
Hey Kevin...The one you're thinking of that won't catch an upsidedown fall is the Soloist.

My mistake.

So how about Zion Walls during the winter? Crazy stuff huh!

did moonlight in january....sucked. crossing the river was...ugh, painful. we got benighted, and that really sucked (weather later reported 18 degrees at the time of our summit....COLD)- highs were in the 30s or low 40s, i think.

route was good- i have fond memories of it, but doing walls in Zion in the deep winter is not my cup of tea because none are big enough to justify getting really geared up for them- proper bivy gear, ledges, etc, etc- fixing and firing means light and fast. i'll stick to walls in the fall and spring...but thats just me- i'm such a fair weather climber these days, its not even funny.


iamthewallress


Dec 13, 2008, 6:18 PM
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Re: [vegastradguy] Zion Big Wall Climbing [In reply to]
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vegastradguy wrote:
kevinhansen wrote:
ptlong wrote:
Hey Kevin...The one you're thinking of that won't catch an upsidedown fall is the Soloist.

My mistake.

So how about Zion Walls during the winter? Crazy stuff huh!

did moonlight in january....sucked. crossing the river was...ugh, painful. we got benighted, and that really sucked (weather later reported 18 degrees at the time of our summit....COLD)- highs were in the 30s or low 40s, i think.

route was good- i have fond memories of it, but doing walls in Zion in the deep winter is not my cup of tea because none are big enough to justify getting really geared up for them- proper bivy gear, ledges, etc, etc- fixing and firing means light and fast. i'll stick to walls in the fall and spring...but thats just me- i'm such a fair weather climber these days, its not even funny.

For most climbers' intents and purposes, Zion has a shady side and a sunny side. Moonlight is on the shady side. It's also on the cross-the-river side. The sunny side can allow for a very different experience on a nice day.


(This post was edited by iamthewallress on Dec 13, 2008, 6:18 PM)


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