have owned one (till now), always thought they were stupid and over kill, but
to each his own. A book can't climb the route, nor can Chris and Bird give all
the beta, and in fact sometimes is just wrong, which makes the whole supertopo
thing useless anyways. I like the fact they put in so much free climbing,
hopefully to spread apart some of the crowds off the big 5 (moonlight,
touchstone, etc) and also to Mike Anderson. I don't agree with him on many
issues, including some items in the book, but he is a hard man and what him and
Rob have done in the park is a great achievement. Anyways, just wanted to make
it clear that I do have strong feelings about items and I let my mouth write
things before I truly process them.
I haven't wall climbed in well over 4 years. The last route that I did was the
FA of Silverback in the Temple with Flyn Brian. I stopped climbing got really
fat, just kinda had given up after my injuries.
So last week I dusted off the ole credit card and bought some wall gear,
thought it was time. God we need a lot of crap for this dance huh? Anyways, I
had been on Swoop twice before. Once many moons ago with a guy named Josh and
we tried a one day, got royally spanked and came down. The 2nd time I meet this
guy who wanted to just jumar, perfect I thought, beats soloing! Our first wall
together he was cleaning the first pitch, a sideways 5.6 leaner, decides
instead of lowering off a cam to the anchor and retrieving it on the next
pitch, that he could just walk across the slab. I assured him that if Chris
Sharma climbed slab as good as he can pull on limestone, no way in hell he
could do it but bigwall'n Bob had other plans. He took one step, slipped, and
rockets at mock 3 across the wall breaking his ankle really bad. Bob is a
really good guy and great partner he ended up getting drug up Ball and Chain in
a day, some new routes, and the Zodiac in a day, all jugging just chasin me.
Really good guy. So anyways, I needed to get this route done.
I left Vegas after school at around 9pm. I was so stoked and nervous to get
back on a wall, but I needed it. I stopped for some 5 hour energy shots in St.
George, and was in the park faster than I could think. I has gotten a permit to
drive into the canyon so I was parked and getting out of my scrubs and into my
climbing apparel before I had time to think. I threw on my pack that was so
fu*king heavy, and did the river crossing dance at 1 in the morning. I thought
I knew the trail to the base, god was I wrong! About 2 hours later of the Zion
scramble to get to the base I started racking gear, flaking ropes, and started
freeing the first pitch. All went well as is should, and then came the second
pitch. This pitch is one of the coolest on the route. A splitter on an
overhanging wall for 160ft. All on small brass with the occasional cam or
bigger nut. Since it was dark I had no pictures of the pitch so sorry Chris I
am stealing one of yours.
I couldn't believe how fast the pitch went for me. I didn't have a watch but I
thought for sure it would have been a 3 or 4 hour job since I haven't climbed
in so long. I rapped down got my bag off the anchor and was wondering why the
sun wasn't coming up. I took off on the next pitch which continues along the
same splitter for a ways (I think it's the crux of the whole route bad brass
etc) to a ladder that cuts left. A few bad bolts to some really cool hooks to
the belay. As I rapped off the sun was just coming up. Not bad I thought for a
I cast off on the hooking pitch, which on those kinds of hooks you can move
quickly and even take pics while on them
This pitch is a quick one, rapped and cleaned. From the topo, I thought I was
in there, all C1 5.9, 6 more to go, I am in like flinn, even thought I could
make it before dark.
Boy was I wrong...
I started up the pitch then as I got higher the crack got wider. I got in the
slot, but with no pro I freed up in my Madrock Appraoch shoes, and before I
knew it I was way out above my pro and falling out of the slot. I placed a
hook on a really hollow flake and fell on it with a my daisy attached! It held!
I unpumed myself and finished the pitch taking everything out of me and over 3
hours to lead. It finshed on a really cool ledge.
Started off leading pitch 6 after a ten minute break on the ledge ate half a
cliff bar, one shot of 5 hour, and listened to some Manson on the Ipod. Chris
Mac said t he next pitch is 5.8 fun to a 5.9 fun OW. I was totally expecting
clowns and ballons since it was so much "FUN". Well if loose Zion rock and
weird gear are fun, you will be in heaven. It really was fun, I was just
totally cooked at this point, and I ran out of water, I was a barrel of laughs
at this point. The beauty of soloing is there is no rope drag, so I just
linked 6/7 together which doing as a team would be a nightmare. Now the last
I was so cooked at this point, I looked up and saw the 5.7R section and said
what the FU*K! If this is 5.7 I will slap my mom right now, I got up on top of
this little tower and reached up to the big jugs that seemed to be glued to
kitty litter. I did the nice lock off throw and my lead line was stuck! I had
to reverse the death fall free the line and start over. I think a tear fell
from my eyes at this point and the phrase I fu*king hate this. I re did the
drop knee Egyptian campus throw lock off thing, then started up about 20 feet
off the tower which is 10 feet off this ledge. If you fall your tib and fib
will come rocketing threw your knee caps for sure! I started getting the
dreaded arm locks (were your arm locks in the bent position) and I was going to
fall. There is a really big bush on the ledge I contemplated jumping for it to
soften the landing, then I just said at least break your bones trying you
puss. I stood up ditched for a side pull and slammed in a cam and just
weighted it. Glad it held. I finished the pitch and was relived I only had
350ft of 4th to go.
I decided to leave the rack and bag at the belay and I soloed to the top with
the ropes on my back. I got to the top and rapped back in put the rack and bags
on my back and jugged out. I topped out just after the sun set, and was so
happy that I pulled it off. Now just a quick walk down...
I was going to rap Moonlight, but thought it was a total dick thing to do with
parties on the wall, so I walked. I made it down and the tram dropped me off at
my truck. Drove to St. George and slept for a few then back home to Vegas. It
was a great trip, great route, just wish I was lightning like my bros Ammon and