Spaceshot IV 5.6 C2 or 5.13

 
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Leaning Wall


Zion National Park, Utah, USA


Trip Report
TR: Team Gumby Giggles Goes To Zion
Thursday May 1, 2008 3:39pm
The essence of any wall climber is to persevere.
(adapted from Seneca)


"This is how it feels to be alive!" I think out loud on the shuttle bus back to camp, slumping exhausted next to the huge backpack filled with ropes and gear. Chelsea and I just completed our first (very small) big wall climb: Spaceshot (grade IV, 5.6 C2) in Zion NP. And I promise myself that next time, I swear, I will train for this. And I'm gently reminded that I said the exact same thing back in October when we bailed off Leaning Tower. And did nothing.

So this is how it went. We practiced on Organasm (4-pitch 5.8 C2), where it became apparent that it takes me 3 hours to lead 100ft (if that) of straightforward aid. Maybe it has something to do with posing for hero shots like this:
(photo by Chelsea. Thank you Moof for the excellent Russian aiders!)

But it's truly amazing to me. I feel focused and efficient, and I'm constantly doing something, yet I look up and the sun is setting and I'm only half-way up. There's something about aid climbing, the way a clueless gumby does it, that warps time.

Then we went to the real thing. Team Gumby Giggles ready for the 7am shuttle bus:

After much thrashing with the haulbag on the free pitches, it was my turn to lead p4. The flaring seam after the bolt ladder (cheater stick!) took lots of small offset nuts, sometimes sideways, and a few very good cams (#1, aliens). I screw around on a less-than-perfect nut too much, and zip! down I go, maybe 12-15 feet. Going back up, the bad adrenaline catches up with me a few feet higher, when I seem unable to reach any more placements, and give up on the lead. We sleep on the ledge on top of p3 (which is a good bivy site for two if one person goes slightly lower).

Seeing how I'm out of shape, slow, and falling on C1, at that point I give over all the leads to Chelsea. My penance for not training for our adventure is to whimper and jug, curse and fiddle with stuck nuts, and trust my life to a fixed line for the entire day.
(picture by Chelsea)

On the plus side, I get to hang out with two locals at the belays. Darren and Andrew, if you're reading this, send me an email and I'll send you some photos of Andrew. Nice meeting you.

Chelsea dispatches the leads one by one with determination and style, here on p8 (the Spaceshot):

We top out in the dark and sleep on top, after the 3rd class scramble. At that point, it's pretty much flat ground and a good bivy for 3, you don't even need to tie in anymore. The next day, it's a few hours of making love to the pig on rappel (less pleasant than it sounds) and we're back on the shuttle bus.

Views of Zion:
and from Spaceshot:

The tiny guidebook for Zion has many neat features, but complains about the shuttle buses. I respectfully disagree. They're awesome! I particularly enjoyed being a local attraction and answering questions such as "how much does your luggage weigh?" and "are you rock climbers?".

Big thank you to Scott, the backcountry desk ranger who gave us lots of info even though he introduced extra doubt into our minds with his tales of big falls and bailing.

Summary of lessons learned:
1) Get in physical shape
2) Take several bags for the poop tube so you don't have to re-open the one that's already been used
3) It's all about having the right gear
4) I really like long, moderate, FREE climbs! :-)

More photos here: http://people.csail.mit.edu/paulina/pics/2008/04_zion_apr/

  Trip Report Views: 2,085
Paulina
About the Author
Paulina is a trad climber from .

Comments
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Wild Bill

climber
Ca
  May 1, 2008 - 03:53pm PT
Thanks for the TR, nice work, sorry about the bags. (Not as sorry as you, I'm sure).

As a noob I tried to convince my (also noob but more experienced) partner that we should do Spaceshot while we were in Zion one May. Already hot as hell. There had just been a memorable article or blurb in Climbing or R&I about the route. My observation that "it's only 5.6 with a little clean aid" thankfully fell on deaf ears.

Bill
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
  May 1, 2008 - 03:54pm PT
excellent, although you sound kinda bummed. You guys did top out, good job! Keep at it.
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
  May 1, 2008 - 04:08pm PT
I'm leaving to jump on spaceshot tomorrow. Thanks for good vibes.

-Greg
Paulina

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Author's Reply  May 1, 2008 - 04:12pm PT
Greg, good luck! You'll love it!

Bluering, I'm not bummed at all, I'm pretty psyched that we did it. It's just that it brought out all the best (giggling perseverance) and worst (slow gumbitude) in us.

That, and I realize now you're really not supposed to haul this route, but do it in a day. Well... we couldn't have done that at our current speeds.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
  May 1, 2008 - 04:16pm PT
Space Shot has the unfortunate combination of an easy rating and substantial commitment with more exposure than most expect.

Hint;
it is better (less scary) to lead the final ladder than follow.




Hope the placements are holding up.
Kartch

climber
belgrade, mt
  May 1, 2008 - 04:16pm PT
Beutiful TR. Makes me homesick.

I agree with you about the shuttle. It can be a PITA but it's better than the six month traffic jam before the shuttle system. And everyone on the shuttle thinks you're a bad ass just for having those "clipper thingies" with you.

edit:
Yeah Ron especially if you follow that last pitch in the dark with visions of the rope sawing in half above you - not that I'd know about that.
Wild Bill

climber
Ca
  May 1, 2008 - 05:13pm PT
Piton Ron, when was that article published I referred to above? I remember mentioned you and had your pic too.
yo

climber
Mudcat Spire
  May 1, 2008 - 05:18pm PT
Nice!



(Hey Kartch, grow a pair why dontcha????)
tolman_paul

Trad climber
Anchorage, AK
  May 1, 2008 - 05:23pm PT
The essence of any wall climber is to persevere.
(adapted from Seneca)

Could also be said the essence of any wall climber is perverse.

Nice tr! Lots of free climbers bag on the wall rats, figuring any one could aid up a wall no big deal. What is underestimated is the massive amount of work dealing with the weight of the rack, bivvy gear, et al.
piquaclimber

Trad climber
SEKI
  May 1, 2008 - 06:07pm PT
Well done you two.

Sounds like it was a grand adventure.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
  May 1, 2008 - 06:09pm PT
Uh ,.. Bill, you got me.

Which article?
In Pursuit of the Golden Dawn, R&I Oct. '87???
L

climber
California dreamin' on the farside of the world..
  May 1, 2008 - 07:00pm PT
Great TR Paulina! Nice photos, too. Glad you had a giggly grumbly good time. :-)
Ezra

Social climber
WA, NC, Idaho Falls
  May 1, 2008 - 07:20pm PT
Nice job and Sweet pics!
-e
FeelioBabar

Trad climber
One drink ahead of my past.
  May 1, 2008 - 07:32pm PT
you go girls! great pics!

First wall is the hardest one to get the mind around, but you polished it off!

CHEERS!
Pewf

climber
Gunnison
  May 1, 2008 - 09:07pm PT
It sounds and looks like you had a wonderful time up there.

Great work, ladies!

Amanda
tokyo bill

Social climber
tokyo
  May 2, 2008 - 12:23am PT
Well done, Paulina!

Coming back to Japan some day? I need an aid teacher...
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
  May 2, 2008 - 12:35am PT
good one Paulina and Chelsea, the whole idea is to go out and do it! whatever happens next is part of the adventure....
Paulina

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Author's Reply  May 2, 2008 - 11:56am PT
Thank you everyone for the encouragement.
Ron, didn't you put up that route? Thank you, it's a beauty! I think there are placements left on it too :).

Bill, I wish!
Yaro

Trad climber
Philadelphia, PA
  May 2, 2008 - 12:09pm PT
Girls, you rock... and very cute! :)
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
  May 3, 2008 - 01:35pm PT
It's just that it brought out all the best (giggling perseverance) and worst (slow gumbitude) in us.

I was hooked from the first paragraph and photos. Looks like you had big fun, and a right to feel proud!

cheers!

Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
  May 3, 2008 - 03:27pm PT
Put up most of Space Shot on my first trip to Zion in April '76. Later finished it with another guy.
Did that roof first in '84 with the Bussman, but somebody had already climbed up to underneath it and bailed. Must have been pre-'78 because that thing is A1 on cams. It sucks them up (and nuts too!)
Double D

climber
  May 4, 2008 - 09:42am PT
Great TR Paulina...you've really captured the essence of "big wall stoke" in your writing.

Mild warning: watch out for those adoring climber type young men...TRUST ME!

TradIsGood

Chalkless climber
the Gunks end of the country
  May 4, 2008 - 09:56am PT
Nice!

The photo with the road rocks!
Prod

Trad climber
  May 4, 2008 - 02:03pm PT
You gals rock.

Prod.
F10 Climber F11 Drinker

Trad climber
e350
  May 4, 2008 - 03:48pm PT

Thanks for the nice TR, way to go
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
  May 4, 2008 - 08:32pm PT
Nice! Thanks.
jstan

climber
  May 4, 2008 - 08:46pm PT
As team gumby moves to the top of the page and threatens to humiliate Half Dome................the crowd roars its approval.
divad

Trad climber
wmass
  May 4, 2008 - 08:49pm PT
Bravo!
GOclimb

Trad climber
Denver, CO
  May 7, 2008 - 04:27pm PT
From one gumby to another, Go Paulina! Great TR, thanks, and nice work - proud accomplishment.

GO
paganmonkeyboy

climber
mars...it's near nevada...
  May 7, 2008 - 04:43pm PT
woo hoo ! nice work !
Michael Nicholson

Big Wall climber
Thousand Oaks
  Mar 26, 2012 - 05:28pm PT
Nice work!
Prod

Trad climber
  Mar 26, 2012 - 07:14pm PT
I miss Paulina, anyone know where she is these days?

Prod.
Paulina

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Author's Reply  Apr 6, 2013 - 04:06pm PT
Hi Prod! :)

I think this is the first time I logged in since 2010... and only a year after your question. I'm in Seattle now. Hope you've been well.
Captain...or Skully

climber
in the oil patch...Fricken Bakken, that's where
  Apr 6, 2013 - 04:29pm PT
Sweet bump, ya'll. Space Shot is a fun route. I dunno about Grade IV, though. I bivied on it.
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Photo: Bryan Bird
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