Led By Sheep, Aries Butte III 5.7

 
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Zion National Park, Utah, USA

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bergbryce

climber
East Bay, CA
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   Oct 13, 2010 - 01:05am
Really a great route and as the guide states, a great first multi-pitch route for a somewhat beginner. Climbed this with my girlfriend who is a beginner and she cruised the whole thing.
The approach can be a bit involved given you are in canyon country and even small canyons can be a problem.
We went up what we assumed was Petroglyph Canyon, directly across from the parking area (which was actually 1.5 miles from the east end of the short tunnel, not 1.4. This matters because there is another pullout right before 1.4, you don't want that one.) anyways... probably went about 500 FEET up this canyon and then exited to the right on some slabs. Then contoured right along the top of a small canyon, crossing a short exposed section of rock until reaching a dirt/sandy corner where you could downclimb (~30') into the slot you were previously climbing above. Followed this slot for maybe another 500' and then exited left into some trees -> sand -> slabs which leads you towards the saddle mentioned in the guidebook. From here it's simple, you see the patch of trees in the picture, where you can stash a pack if you'd like. The route starts another ~150' up and to the right of the trees, gotta look for the first bolt some.

As mentioned in some other places, there isn't an anchor for the first pitch. One of the junipers is completely gone and I wouldn't bother tying the other one. No pro there either, at least that would do anything. I just didn't go onto belay until I clipped the first bolt which wasn't a problem. The route does start a bit further right of the remaining tree, took me a bit to find the first bolt.

We did it in 4 pitches, accidentally skipped the last anchor which wasn't a big deal. The top is very loose, tread lightly and there was not a rap station off the very top, a short downclimb (gf's first lead) led to the first rap anchor. Use one strand for the first rap, two strands for the next three.
The anchors, bolts and glue in pitons in general are bomber aside from a glue in at the top of the 3rd pitch. It's well rusted, the glue has come out and the angle it has been placed in has created an odd angle and has worn this piton. Another bolt would be nice. I'm not a bolt expert and certainly not in this type of rock, so this is really just a observation/suggestion.
I think we climbed it faster than we rapped it due to a new, super twisty tag line. Was really a lot of fun, the gritty and runout nature will keep the leader on their toes while the follower will feel comfortable at the spacious belays.

Comfy belay at top of 1st pitch on Led by Sheep.
Comfy belay at top of 1st pitch on Led by Sheep.
Credit: bergbryce

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Double D

climber
Oct 17, 2010 - 03:22pm
 
This is possibly one of the coolest 5.6 climbs around. I've usually approached from the end of Horse shoe canyon (a canyoneering route) veering up the right side of the drainage until there is a 7' jump over a 200' slot canyon (Horse shoe).

The namesake comes into perspective when, upon reaching the top, you see numerous sheep tracks and then it dawns on you that the route you just took up is the most likely path that the sheep use to gain the summit.
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Tacohotsauce

Mountain climber
Denver, CO
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   May 20, 2011 - 09:38pm
Hey all! Just wanted to put the word out that the belay/rap anchor at the top of pitch #3 is in poor shape. I climbed up to this point last week and was alarmed at the condition it was in. The anchor consists of one bolt and one piton and chain. I always inspect/test anchors when I arrive. In this case, the hangar on the bolt spun and the bolt easily moved back and forth in the rock. I pinched the piton with my thumb and forefinger, and with minimal pressure, it came right out of the rock!
It was bad enough that I elected not to bring up the rest of my party. Some sketchy down-climbing/lowering got me back to belay #2 safely. We bailed on the rest of climb.
I thought about bringing a bolt kit in case I encountered something like this but didn't. On future climbs of this nature, I'll bring one for sure.
Just wanted to put the word out since there in no pro of any kind up there, and because it's difficult to lower off of a nearly a full rope-length pitch. Had I the skills or equipment, I would have improved the situation. I shall add both before venturing onto a climb of this nature again.
Thanks and stay safe!
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Rudyj2

Trad climber
UT
May 21, 2011 - 05:50pm
 
Regarding the loose anchor bolts....I contacted the FA and let him know. He responded by asking me to go fix it. Hahaha.....I would but I don't have time nor do I live in the area. Not sure when but I am sure it will get fixed....eventually. I am amazed at how popular this route has become.
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zona

Trad climber
tucson,az
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   Jul 15, 2011 - 11:41pm
Yes loose but hammered in piton and tightened bolt. Didn't replace piton or bolt feeling safe for down climbing rather than rappel. Only one bush at start of climb. First piton about 20 ft up to the right. Hard to spot but once cliff goes vertical(almost) about 15 ft up.
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Aries Butte - Led By Sheep III 5.7 - Zion National Park, Utah, USA. Click to Enlarge
Photo: Bryan Bird
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