Tag Archives: zion climbing

The Hit List: Zion’s Best Climbing Routes and Areas

In Zion, the sheer volume of climbable terrain and inconsistent rock quality make it difficult for visiting climbers to maximize their time here. Zion climbing is wild, untamed, and unpredictable, and there are few local climbers who have not had a day of climbing turn epic. The most recent local guide book, Zion: Free and Clean, by Brian Byrd, offers a wealth of information and is opening up the Park to a whole new audience, but without a defined rating system it may be just enough information to get folks in over their head. While I think a climber’s seasoning depends upon some degree of misadventure, my time logged on sandy, chossy, run-out, and off width rock could help you avoid the same. For specific information on routes listed below, consult the guide book and/or mountainproject.com To all the climbers out there looking to experience the full value of Zion climbing, I offer you my “greatest hits collection”. All the usual small print and conditions apply; don’t assume you’ll enjoy them just because I have. But hopefully these will help you gain a direction, if you don’t have one already… Here are some great areas to get a feel for … Continue reading

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Small Gear for Your Zion Free Climbing and Clean Aid Rack

Climbing in Zion is gear-intensive and specific; for most free climbs in Zion, the guidebook recommends a double rack from .5″ to 3″. There are many ways of approaching the protection dilemma, but there is a delicate balance between having enough gear, having the right gear, and not bringing so much equipment that it holds you back. Aspiring Zion big wall climbers should pay special attention to the small gear. Climbing above thin pro can be nerve racking, and feeling secure can be a tremendous mental challenge. The sandstone in Zion is typically quite good, but when you are climbing on small gear (1″ or smaller), it typically means the climbing is difficult, and you need to trust the gear to hold a fall. When you know and trust your gear, you gain significant confidence that helps you climb better. Passive Protection (i.e. nuts) The DMM alloy offset nuts are, hands down, the most useful passive equipment for Zion climbing, especially in the big wall and aid categories. These nuts are light, inexpensive, and fit pin scars and flaring seams where no other nut or cam will. The larger DMM brass offset nuts (sizes 4, 5, & 6) are also … Continue reading

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