Rites of Passage, Red Arch Mountain IV 5.11+


Zion National Park, Utah, USA

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Social climber
Nov 28, 2009 - 12:18pm
If you're not afraid of a little wide crack, this is an outstanding route, in my opinion almost as much fun as Shunes -- with more ascents this will become a classic. Bring lots of bit cams for the first few pitches.

As well, consider bringing a plastic bristle brush for cleaning the face climbing on one of the upper pitches. The rock is bullet hard, but a funky moss is locally caked onto the holds. Once cleaned up, it will be absolutely sterling climbing.

Beware the '11+' crux. I was climbing well at the time, and there is, frankly, a 5.12 move to get the mantle. You are literally staring a bolt in the face when you do it, so it is not psychologically taxing.

Beware the lead off traverse across face to gain upper headwall crack. Geoff Scherer took a 30 foot whipper onto my single bolt belay (!!!!!!!) on the FA (there are now 2 bolts) and I ended up leading it myself. Only about 5.7+ to get across, but much scarier than, for example, the exposed face climbing pitch on the Casual Route on the Diamond.

Upper crack climbing is extraordinary with one of the best belay ledges anywhere about one pitch from top.
Red Arch Mountain - Rites of Passage IV 5.11+ - Zion National Park, Utah, USA. Click to Enlarge
Photo: Bryan Bird
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