Just got off the route. I had climbed this 15 years ago and it seems to me that many of the placements have been blown out and flared. It still goes, but the last couple pitches are a bit harder. Larger off set aliens work best.
Great route, great location.
Prodigal Sun is a sweet route in a great location. Food for thought, if you are looking at the SuperTopo for this route. There are no mandatory hook moves and there is no mandatory free climbing until the 9th pitch, which is more of a scramble. Ive climbed this route 14 times without ever stepping out of my aiders on pitch 4. Also the hook move off the Chair of forgetfulness can be easily bypassed by getting into your second steps. The rest of the topo is spot on. Great job BB.
(actually, Jason, I would recommend not stopping below the right leaning ladder but continuing 10m to the outstanding incut stance below the Arch Crack)
Much of the route actually follows Archangel (FAS, 10/1-8/78)
I added the bottom and top in '81 (then a V 5.9 A3 FAS). The name came from the amount of sun this NE face receives.
Originally the first pitch nailed the crack running out the lip of the roof, hence the jog right.
The route remained unrepeated for a half decade.
I returned with a bosch and nut rack.
A V 5.9 A3 became a IV 5.6 C1
Got a lot of crap for it, and at least one selfish irresponsible joker likes to strip the gear.
I hope current users take the time to maintain it. I can't be bothered.
Does the end justify the means?
Let climbers be the judge.
Anybody know when the bolt belay after the pendulum showed up?
Not my work.
Just got back from soloing this over Thanksgiving. It was in the shade all day, but was comfortable to climb as the days were about 65 degrees. Head to Oscars or the Mean Bean to let the day warm up. I got started around 10 to 11am each day and was done with the day's work with just enough light to not need the headlamp. Fixed three ropes the first day then topped out the second. The route can be climbed in 7 pitches as follows (need 60m ropes):
1) Link 1 and 2
2) Link 3 and the first half of 4 - there's an obvious anchor halfway up 4.
3) Link the second half of 4 and the first half of 5 - belay off the first two bomber relatively closely-spaced bolts at the base of the right-trending bolt ladder.
4) Link the second half of 5 (the bolt ladder) and all of 6.
5) Climb 7
6) Climb 8
7) Climb the pitch 9 exit chimney/sandy gully all the way to the tree near the Angel's Landing trail - don't stop at the 'intermediate' anchor (190 feet).
Other miscellaneous beta:
Take at least one red alien and back-clean it EVERY time. I used it at least 20 times on the route. It makes you smile everytime you place it - just perfect.
The first bolt at the end of the crack on the 3rd pitch, at the short bolt ladder just below the ledge, is missing. Hooking the hole is easy. I cleaned some bail gear just below it, but found it to be a solid hook placement.
Many rack lists say take two hooks (talon and cliffhanger). I had all three BD hooks and used them more than the topos said to - it sped things up a bit.
With the exception of the last chimney/gully, I found no 'mandatory' free climbing on the route.
The ledge at the top of 3 will accommodate two ledges.
Great route. I think it gets a reputation for being easy - and it is - it's just not a splitter yellow and orange tcu crack jumar-fest like Moonlight. While it's never dangerous, there are occasional spots where you'll likely be trying a few different pieces to find the right one. Think pin scars and flared cracks instead of splitters.
One of my favorite Zion locations. Being in the middle of Angels Landing is about as good as it gets. Remember to check the Raptor closures on this one. And be ready for some cold stream crossing certain times of year!
This was my first solo. Good strait up route to figure out the solo system. Pitch 3 was the crux for me. Its a bit thin back in a corner. Sleeping at top of three would be uncomfortable, I portaledged it on top of five or six. One could fix from mid way 4th pitch anchor to top of two and two to the ground with two 60m ropes. Great route, lots o fixed gear. I think the rack was small: 3 sets tcu; 2 up to 2" and one up to 3.5 camalot. Easy, fast, and clean. The penj up high was weird to solo, I got all hung up and ended up pulling in with my arms, uncliping, and just taking a big swinger while cleaning. Cool top out on the Angels Landing trail. All the tourons think you are a rock star, I even had some kid wanting to help carry gear out. Fine by me! Do it. No cam hooking please; perserve the sand stone.
I ahce done/been on this route a few times with partners and solo. It was teh first wall I ever got on. My last time was solo and I ran out of water in september (100deg in the shade), came down sobbing, but with no tears. A really great into wall route with bolt ladders to make up for time spent on teh trickier placements. Enjoy!!! Thanks Piton Ron
Photo: Eric Draper
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