Zodiac, El Capitan A2 5.7

   
Search
Go

Yosemite Valley, California USA

  • Currently 5.0/5
Avg time to climb route: 4 days
Approach time: 45 minutes
Descent time: 4 hours
Number of pitches: 16
Height of route: 1800'
Overview
Easy hauling, a straightforward approach and a great location make Zodiac the first El Cap route for many climbers. The climbing is clean and exposed, following a series of large features through overhanging rock. Though the aid climbing is much harder than the Nose or Lurking Fear, only 16 pitches mean that Zodiac is less of an ordeal.
Photos - View all 292 photos of Zodiac as: Thumbnails | Slideshow
Climber Beta on Zodiac
  A total of (80) submissions of route beta on Zodiac
Which SuperTopo guidebooks include a topo for Zodiac?

Yosemite Big Walls
Find other routes like Zodiac

 
First ascent history
Although one of the easier El Cap routes today, Zodiac was once a test piece, with numerous pitches rated A4 and A5. Charlie Porter went through two attempts before he climbed the route solo over seven days in 1972.
During the climb, several strange events occurred. When Porter reached the top of Pitch 3 he found a dead bird “upside down with its feet in the air” and dubbed the spot accordingly. More ominously, as Porter explains, “This was at the time of the Zodiac Killer, a serial killer in San Francisco. I would go up on the wall, come down, and find that he had killed again. His killings seemed to be timed with when I was on the climb.” This disturbing coincidence led to the naming of the route. Also, “It was that time when everyone was running around talking about the stars.”
Porter remembers that one of the wilder moments of the climb came when he reached the Nipple pitch. Right at the tit, the crack became too wide to nail. Porter took off some of the hardware and then liebacked the feature at a 1970s rating of “hard 5.9.” Bolts were later added to this section, and today parties will gawk at the fact that Porter liebacked the feature.

Porter topped out after spending seven days on the climb and placing 74 bolts. He remembers the climb was during ...   [full history for SuperTopo members only!]

Sign In or Join SuperTopo (it's FREE!) to read the complete route history, the recommended strategy for climbing this route, and useful tips should you need to retreat.
Approach
Sign In or Join SuperTopo (it's FREE!) to read this route's approach information.
Descent
Sign In or Join SuperTopo (it's FREE!) to read this route's descent information.
Everything You Need to Know About Yosemite Valley
Search the internet for beta on Zodiac
  Search the internet for information on Zodiac
Source: SuperTopo Guidebook Staff Last update: November 20, 2013
El Capitan - Zodiac A2 5.7 - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click to Enlarge
1800' of fantastic climbing.
Photo: Chris McNamara
Other Routes on El Capitan
El Capitan - The Nose 5.14a or 5.9 C2 - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click for details.
The Nose, 5.14a or 5.9 C2
El Capitan
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

The Nose—the best rock climb in the world!
El Capitan - Salathe Wall 5.13b or 5.9 C2 - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click for details.
Salathe Wall, 5.13b or 5.9 C2
El Capitan
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

The Salathé Wall ascends the most natural line up El Cap.
El Capitan - Lurking Fear C2F 5.7 - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click for details.
Lurking Fear, C2F 5.7
El Capitan
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Lurking Fear is route number 1.
El Capitan - East Buttress 5.10b - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click for details.
East Buttress, 5.10b
El Capitan
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

East Buttress with top of The Nose on left.
El Capitan - The Shield A3 5.8 - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click for details.
The Shield, A3 5.8
El Capitan
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

The Shield is route number 7.
More routes on El Capitan
SuperTopo on the Web