Re climbed this thing up to the top of pitch 5 yesterday. The crux on pitch 5 (harder of the two IMO) has gotten more blown out since the last time I did this thing 5 years ago. A couple blue slider nuts, and several small grey c3's along with offset cams will see you through. I think the crux on this thing is harder than that of the desert shield at the moment with fall potential up to 50-60ft if you blow the top moves, and rip gear. I know one person who's taken that plunge!
The first aid pitch has/had a funked out part. A mid-sized slider nut is what I used also maybe another weird placement. The rest was cruiser. I wouldn't sleep on "Earth Orbit". The fact that it is steep and leaning makes it committing after the first aid pitch. But it was our first "wall" and the commitment was great cause we really had no choice but go up! Fixed then fired. The descent was a little tricky in the dark in terms of "when are you down?" We walked across a ledge (upstream) unroped and realized (when a car drove by) we weren't down yet. Amazing experience!
Fun, easy climbing on the entire route. If it's your first aid route the fix and fire method will probably suit you best, but if you've done a few routes in Zion there should be no need, so just send it in a day. All anchors on the head wall are double drilled pin anchors with the exception of the top of pitch 6 which sports one SS bolt.
The "Space Shot" pitch is by far the most exhilarating "easy" free climbing I've ever done, and the bolt ladder is a blast! No need for a big cam at the top as the free climbing off the final bolt is super easy.
Bring one normal hook which you'll use on the first bolt ladder and the final. One set of offset cams, and one set of stoppers will get you through the crux easily. We brought triples from yellow alien to #3 camalot with doubles from purple C3 to #4 camalot. Never used any cam smaller than 0/1 offset metolius.
The raps are super easy to find in the daylight, and probably not much harder in the night time if using the supertopo beta.
A great line!! The blown out pods take HBs and up hight has awesome handcracks to one last pitch of aid.
Photo: Chris McNamara
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