The Big Lebowski, West Temple IV/V 5.11a/b
Zion National Park, Utah, USA
Avg time to climb route: 1 day
Approach time: 2 hours
Descent time: 2 hours
Number of pitches: 21
Height of route: 3800' of gain
OverviewFA: Eric Draper, Brody Greer, Jared Greer, and Bryan Bird 3/19-21/04. FFA: James Martin and Brian McCray, 4/13/04.
This is one of biggest, longest and best free routes in Zion. Almost every pitch is challenging and high quality. The route follows an obvious crack system that terminates on the large forested ledges under the left end of the plateau below the actual summit cap. Just to the left of the route lies a white headwall with a prominent red streak in it. The crux is a five-inch crack a couple of pitches from the top. The Big Lebowski was originally 5.10+ C1 put up over several days, 95 percent of it going free. Three weeks after the first ascent, James and Brian climbed it in an impressive, one-day push freeing all pitches.
Approach: from the Springdale town hall and City Park walk west up the dirt road across the street to the south until it forks. Take the left-hand fork until it starts to curl back around to the east. Pick up a faint trail that heads up the ridge towards the toe of the lower cliff band. Climb easy ground through The Springdale Band and follow the ridge to the base of the West Temple. Just before the foot of the wall the trail traverses right and downhill to the start of the route.
Rack: see topo.
Descent: rap the route (the rappels are surprisingly clean and straightforward) or descend the Southwest Ridge route.
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