I’m not sure how such an awesome route can have such a lame name. “1/2 Route, AKA Unknown.” It’s listed in Mountain Project as a “warm-up” route to the 12a next door, but for me a 10+ is a worthy route all on it’s own, not just a warm-up for the harder stuff around it. What it should be called is “Best Route Ever.” Or maybe “Most Beautiful Route Ever?”
Look how pretty it is:
Four of us went out to Red Rock Canyon (outside of Vegas) last week to do a few whirlwind days of sport climbing (trip report forthcoming). On our ‘rest day,’ we drove up to Zion National Park and hiked an hour in to climb this beauty.
The route is at the end of a beautiful finger canyon in Kolob Canyons, at the northern end of the park. It was a beautiful hike, with 1,500 ft red rock cliffs on either side of us. The canyon narrowed the further we hiked in, and the last third of the hike was in the red sand that extended to the base of the cliffs.
We had the route to ourselves. In fact, we had the whole canyon to ourselves! Us and a very noisy raven that was flying high above, obviously not happy about our presence. I got on the route first, one of my most challenging outdoor sport leads to date.
This route leans back quite a bit, but the holds are awesome. Anytime I put my hand in a hueco and it didn’t feel great, all I had to do was move it over a bit and a great edge appeared. The moves are big, the bolts are spaced out (which was definitely the mental challenge for me), but the route is really really fun. I’d say this is my favorite route to date (it’s getting it’s own blog post!). Hands down.
I hung at a few clips, grunted, whimpered, and made it one clip from the top before I was tapped out mentally (that’ll be its own post, as well). I left the draws up, and my rope gun friends were able to push through and clip the anchors.
Honestly, even though I didn’t clip the anchors myself, I still feel pretty awesome for getting on this route and leading it. An hour’s hike down a canyon, with nobody around except that dang raven. It was great. And I’ll definitely be back to finish it up.
If you’re in Zion, this route is worth the hike! And on the way out, you can work on your pull-ups.