Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Zebra Zion

Plans get made, changed and cancelled. Life is busy but at least I can go rock climb. Caitlin and I are stoked for June. We're going to Alaska for three weeks but first we're stopping in B.C. to visit family and climb in Squamish. Caitlin's climbing has been improving by leaps and bounds but we want to be ready to take advantage of world class granite when we get there. With that in mind I took her up what many people (Fred Beckey included) call the best multi-pitch route at Smith Rock... Zebra to Zion. This is a 4 pitch, 5.10 trad climb up the biggest wall in the main area. It starts with an easy traverse across large huecos to a hanging belay. From here you climb the crux pitch up a dihedral with small overhangs and roofs to a tiny ledge. Pitch 3 continues up the crack and then traverses face holds to another crack system, which lead up easy slab to another hanging belay. The final pitch traverses over 300ft of air and ascends a flake to ledges that lead to the top of the wall. It was a beautiful sunny day and we were actually worried about sunburn for once. It took us 3 hours from tying-in to topping-out which, while not fast, isn't really slow either.

Morning Glory Wall, Zion follows the crack systems up the middle.
Belaying at the top of pitch 1.
Looking up the route.

Caitlin relieved/happy to be done.

Next week I'll be in the Trinity Alps of Northern California's coast ranges for a week of ski touring. Until then...

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