Trip ReportSand in my eyes
This spring I've hit up Zion twice with 2 good buds. Trip one we were able to knock off tricks of the trade a few days before they closed it for falcon nesting, and the 2nd trip we were able to link up touchstone wall to sheer lunacy for a nice long day of climbing.
Tricks was the full meal deal. We went into it saying it was "the half dome of zion". But after the climb we referred to it as "the steck salathe of zion" haha. Lotta wide.
Topping out tricks I found that somewhere during the day I dropped my belay device. I was using a grigri to belay and jug a few pitches, and had failed to lock the biner' my belay tube was clipped to. As a result I involuntarily led every rappel using the grigri while saddling the ropes.
My buddy Troutman is psyched all the time, and a phenomenal off the couch climber. Keeping the psych high, and reminding me to buy extra mexican food at Robertos was key to the send.
Rapping down the touchstone gully we were lucky enough to watch Will Stanhope and Matt Segal climbing the free version. Stanhope walked the 5.13 slab then proceeded to downclimb almost the entire thing back to the belay in order to un clip his draws as to relieve himself of rope drap for the 12+ roof above. does not compute...
Next up was Sheer Lunacy across the river. A quit stop for some delicious carne asada and salsa to refuel. After this nice pit stop, and a quick rerack we waded the river but not before I got halfway up the hill beneath the climb only to hear troutman say, "where's the tagline?" Fock! I left it by the river while putting my shoes back on, haha what an idiot! A quick job down, and huff back up the hill put us back in business.
Sheer Lunacy is now my favorite climb in the canyon. Enjoyable stemming highlights the crux primo crack with the upper crux clocking in around C2, and is fortunately only about 30ft long. The aid cruxes are short, and if you're able it is easy to pull through on gear while freeing the rest.
photo: g. troutman
Here is the face crack. A wonderful patina face with a nice finger crack splitting it. Above me you can see the squiggly tree that marks the top out.
All in all 2 very enjoyable trips, and memories for life. When in doubt just go climbing.
tricks of the trade took 11hr's to top out and 3 hours to rappel. we used the suggested supertopo rack. 18 guidebook pitches, but we did it in about 11 I think.
touchstone took 4 hours to top out and 1 to descend. we short fixed the aid, and freed everything from the 5.10 hands pitch up. We used slightly lighter than recommended rack. 8 guidebook pitches, but we short fixed the first 3 then linked 5 and 6.
Sheer Lunacy took 6 hours to climb. We short fixed no pitches, and only jugged the final 60m pitch from toquerville tower to the rim. we took the suggested rack plus additional green and red C3's for the primo crack. We didn't pitch it out as suggested on the topo, but still climbed it in the same amount of pitches.
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