Crack in the Cosmic Egg V 5.8 C2

 
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Mt. Moroni


Zion National Park, Utah, USA


Trip Report
ZNP - Cosmic Egg: Trip Report
Saturday March 4, 2006 5:08pm


It was 11:30am and Chris and I were still sitting around drinking coffee. The aches and pain of the Streaked Wall still lingered with my muscles in my neck and back. The thought of putting on my harness on my bruised and raw hips made me wince. I sucked it up, gave Chris a smile and said, “Let’s send it”.

We headed into the park toward Mt. Moroni intending on climbing the Smoot-Ellison, also known as Cosmic Egg. I’ve always heard really good things about the route and it has been on my “must do” list for a while now. We arrived at the parking area, pulled out the gear and realized we hadn’t even packed a lead line. Oh man, great start. We definitely are not on the top of our game today, I thought.




After going back into town and retrieving a lead line we were back at the parking area, ready for the approach. A “park visitor” asked us as we were crossing the bridge, “Are you guys camping up there or just practicing?” We assured her that we were merely practicing and that we would be back in a few hours.

It was a little tough to find the trailhead once we hit the Springdale Band and ended up just bushwhacking to the base of the climb. For some reason I figured the climb would be a semi-trade route since I’ve always heard such good things about it. We figured out that it hadn’t seen a ton of traffic and reasoned that it was most likely because of the first pitch.




The plan was for me to lead the first five pitches, which where mostly aid, then Chris lead the last five, which were mostly free. This was a perfect combination for our strong points.

I took off at 12:45pm, not exactly an alpine start. The first pitch got my attention immediately. It wasn’t difficult at all but had to get on a small cam thirty-five feet off the deck. It was an ok piece but if it did blow you would hit the ground for sure. I hurried up my ladder and placed another one, trying not to think about it.




We brought a couple of pins and hammer but tried not to use them. I hooked instead around pin placements. We were able to climb the entire route clean, without placing any pitons. The one thing I wished I had brought more of where medium nuts. I also wish we would have had some off-set brassies. We had zero.




The pitches fell quickly and my five pitch block was soon over after two and a half hours. Chris took over and flew up the next pitch. He did get off route a couple of times but quickly saw the errors and was back on target in no time.

Chris was leading the last couple of pitches, which he linked, and I was jugging the line to the belay. At one point my rope knocked off a basketball sized rock and I had to high-tail it across the face to avoid getting hit. I got up to where the rock was a saw ledges littered with rocks of all sizes, just waiting to get the next party.




I got to the belay and Chris was having a tough time leaning around a corner, trying to clip a fixed angle. It took him a few tries but finally busted a half free move and sank the biner in the eye hole of the pin. A few more aid moves and he was at the top of the route. I sped up the rope while cleaning the gear and was at Chris’s side in no time.

Four hours and ten minutes!!! We did a high five and quickly started the rapells. We were able to do it in five raps, using sixty meter ropes, avoiding a couple anchors on the way down.




We packed up, ate a snickers bar and headed to the parking area. On the way down we found the actual trail that was well marked by cairns. Half way down we managed to get off route, again.




My excuse: Both, my brain was still not functioning correctly from the epic on the Streaked Wall AND I’m still not in sync from the disturbance in the force caused by “yo”.

We headed to the Bit&Spur where my girlfriend, Cheryl had a gift certificate waiting for us to celebrate.

We INDEED had a celebration!!!


  Trip Report Views: 1,767
Ammon
About the Author
Ammon is a big wall climber from Capo Beach.

Comments
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Crimpergirl

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
  Mar 4, 2006 - 05:16pm PT
Beautiful! Thanks for posting.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
  Mar 4, 2006 - 05:23pm PT
another one I've always wanted to do.
I talked with Les when he was leaving the park after that one. Loved the name, lead me to research the monkey god. Then I saw pictures.

Thanks
elcap-pics

Big Wall climber
Crestline CA
  Mar 4, 2006 - 08:55pm PT
Sweet.. another great Ammon climb... and Chris is back in wild man status with his recent spate of BW Climbing.. keep up the fun so that we old guys can enjoy it vacariously!!!
Tom
Kristoffer

climber
Coronado, California
  Mar 4, 2006 - 11:47pm PT
Ahhh sending like a mad man... as usual!
malabarista

Trad climber
Portland, OR
  Mar 5, 2006 - 12:21am PT
That's awesome. You guys continue to inspire. I loved your shots from the JR too Ammon. Did you post a TR on that as well anywhere?
Ammon

Big Wall climber
Capo Beach
Author's Reply  Mar 5, 2006 - 11:55am PT

No TR on JR, yet, Michael. I will post something on my site at some point.



WBraun

climber
  Mar 5, 2006 - 01:02pm PT
Ammon & Chris

You lucky guys, you have all the fun.

That looks like a nice line and fun route.
matty

Trad climber
under the sea
  Mar 5, 2006 - 01:12pm PT
Ammon - You mention that you hooked around pin placements. How long were these sections? Also, what type of hooking, cam or edge?

Matt
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
  Mar 5, 2006 - 10:42pm PT
ahh, another fun day of big wall craggin with the el cap pirate. pretty nice to do a suffer-free route after the streaked wall.

ammon, sorry about rock fall. for some reason i couldn't route find to save my life on this ascent- even though the route finding is relative straight-forward. and as a result the rope criss crossed around and got some big blocks. oops. well, nobody got hurt so its all good, right? arrrrrr

super fun route.

Mike.

climber
  Mar 6, 2006 - 02:02am PT
Good times! Good job, men. Nice TR, AM.
Ammon

Big Wall climber
Capo Beach
Author's Reply  Mar 7, 2006 - 03:36am PT

Aaarrrhh, that's right Chris.

OOOOOaaaaahhhhhh!!!!

Now, I want the TR from RQ.

Good times on Disco today. Yeeaahhh, I'm heading into the mines.....

OUT!!!!

Ammon

Big Wall climber
Capo Beach
Author's Reply  Mar 7, 2006 - 11:36am PT

Matty, the hooking is pretty straight forward. It gets thin at the top of the first pitch. Reach high and hook. No cam hooks!!!

David Nelson

climber
San Francisco
  Mar 7, 2006 - 05:49pm PT
Pretty awesome pix and great color in the rock.

Chris, one of your img links did not fly, so check out your syntax or details on the filename.
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
  Mar 17, 2006 - 11:42am PT
here is a topo i made of the route



there are more topos here

http://www.supertopo.com/topos/yosemite/obscurities.html
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
  Mar 17, 2006 - 11:45am PT
i just looked at the original topo and i now realize i did a variation to pitches 7 and 8. i think the new variation is the way to go because its got some great free climbing. otherwise i think you need to bring lots of big cams to aid in the big chimney thing
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
  Mar 17, 2006 - 12:03pm PT
Does "the big Chimney thing," go free?
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
  Mar 17, 2006 - 11:04pm PT
the big chimney might go free. but according to the topo it is aid on big cams
Ammon

Big Wall climber
Capo Beach
Author's Reply  Mar 18, 2006 - 01:24am PT

Ha, that's right, I forgot about this discrepancy. We were hoping Brian Smoot would chime in and tell us if we were off route, or not.

Ha, too funny. Did we do a new variation?

My fault... ha HA.
More Air

Trad climber
S.L.C.
  Mar 18, 2006 - 01:53pm PT
Hey, Ammon/Chris great job!

The variation looks cool! You must have seen the rap bolts and just headed that direction. How was the face climbing?

The original route also has excellent climbing. The chimney Isn't too bad (5.8+), but exiting it requires aid (unless you want to do a hard 5.11 undercling). On the first ascent we only had 2 #4 friends, which got us by...we didn't need that much big gear. The pitch above that was a clean corner crack on perfect rock. I remember way back, using those old Star Drive-ins, they were kind of fun to place. 2 years ago I climbed the route again and noticed that those old bolts were still quite solid! The rock on this route is quite good.

It's nice to see you guy's climbing all these seldom-done quality routes in Zion. There are a lot more too.
Ammon

Big Wall climber
Capo Beach
Author's Reply  Mar 18, 2006 - 02:31pm PT

Ahhh, thanks Brian. Cool, give us some more ideas on the obscurites in Zion.

Biner

Trad climber
Yosemite
  Mar 18, 2006 - 03:05pm PT
nice "practice" ammon and chris. thanks for the inspiration. ammon, hope to see you in the Valley this spring...jean
Euroford

Trad climber
Louisville, CO
  Mar 18, 2006 - 06:01pm PT

Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
  Mar 18, 2006 - 06:12pm PT
i remember being up there on pitches 7 and 8 thinking: man, this stuff doesn't look like its ever been climbed before. so it took me a lot longer than usual... now i know why!!

once a few loose sections are removed from the variation i did, it will be quite clean and nice with some airy 5.9 face moves and a cool chimney. sounds like the original way is also quite nice so cant go wrong either way. if you go to the following page you can download both the FA topo and my topo. i think my ratings and rack are little more up to date but it would be nice to do the route with both topos.

overall, a really quality route. nice work brian!

http://www.supertopo.com/topos/yosemite/obscurities.html
More Air

Trad climber
S.L.C.
  Mar 18, 2006 - 06:50pm PT
Ammon:
Here are some short aid routes,

- Ancient Gallery...Classic, thin aid line on the far right Twin Brother.

- Lost in Transit...Similar climb 100'left of Ancient Gallery, with more free climbing.

- IdiOdyssey...This is the route that goes left of Swoop Gimp at the 3rd pitch.

- Hello Mary Lou...beautiful clean line on the Angelino Wall.

- Silmaril... Mostly free route on the Watchman.

- Golden Years...In Kolob, Dave Jones' favorite FA, Classic!

Longer aid routes:

- Ghost Dance...steep route up the amazing north face of Lady Mt.

- Tao of the Light...Great mixed route on Mountain of the Sun.

- Peyote Dreams...Don't think it's had a speed attempt.

Ya gotta love it!
Ammon

Big Wall climber
Capo Beach
Author's Reply  Mar 18, 2006 - 10:43pm PT

Ahh, thanks Brian. I will have to look into some of those.

Haa ha haa, it also explains the loose rock that nearly hit me. Damn, looks like we're going to have to do the route again. I was strongly recommending Chris to go that way.... haa haa, back seat/harness climbing.
clustiere

Trad climber
berkeley ca
  Jan 14, 2007 - 02:02am PT
Sweet !!!!!!!!!!!!!
man I must not have been on the web when all this was happening???!!!
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Photo: Eric Draper
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