Checkerboard Mesa, Wheat Chex, East Zion II 5.6/5.7
Zion National Park, Utah, USA
Avg time to climb route: 1 day
Approach time: 1.5-2 hours
Descent time: 2 hours
Number of pitches: 6
Height of route: 600 route
OverviewFA: Carter Howell and Eric Sanford, 4/25/76.
The Crux of this soft rock adventure isnít the technical difficulty of the climbing but figuring out when and where to stop and belay. The route follows the most continuous crack system on the northeast prow of the mesa when viewed from the parking lot. Wheat Chex was reportedly free soloed in 1977 by Bill Engle and Mark Thurm. Like most of the climbing on the east side of the tunnel, the experience is unique and isnít for everybody. Climbing petrified sand dunes is an acquired taste. Donít let the 5.6 rating fool you. This is an old school route with run outs and shitty pro but lots of fun, too.
Rack: 1-2 ea to 4Ē, nuts, long slings for looping bushes, and one rope.
Descent: walk south along the rim of the mesa to the steep gully on the southeast side of the formation. Hike and down climb the gully and follow the base of the slabs back to your pack.
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