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cracks not to miss
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By Brandon H - SC
From Jackson SC
Aug 1, 2013
cover

Hey guys and gals I'm planning to be in Moab and Zion for a week in early October with some climbing buddies. Will be doing some tower bagging but will have several mornings and afternoons free

what are the absolute can't miss trad cracks in the area?

5.10 and below for this group

thanks for the input!

Brandon


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By Rob Warden, Space Lizard
From Springdale Ut
Aug 1, 2013
blah

Not really, the grades cluster to the point of absurdity at five ten and up. there are a handful of worthwhile routes below five ten... but they are less than a handful. if you went to snow canyon state park you would be much better served.


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By Dow Williams
From Saint George, UT
Aug 1, 2013
Dow Williams, 2011

In regards to Zion, I agree with Rob...the Headache might be the one route maybe one of you can lead (prob going to be harder than what you are used to), it has been featured in Climbing and Rock and Ice. Classic 3 pitches of 5.9-10 sandstone crack. Here is a link to the great Zion free climbs. They get harder from the Headache. Wallstreet in Moab has some easy cracks to go along with your tower bagging. Here are the Snow Canyon climbs don't have many good crack pitches beyond Atomic Indian, which is 5.11, but Bluff Street in St. George has easy 5.9's and 10's. Snow Canyon has several good mixed climbs and the grading is much softer than Zion typically. Living on the Edge has been featured in the Mags. Good Luck


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By Cor
Aug 1, 2013
black nasty

I feel the need to beat Locker to it...


These guys just hiked this awesome crack!
Although location is unknown...


crack hikers
crack hikers


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By Brandon H - SC
From Jackson SC
Aug 3, 2013
cover

just checked out the headache.. looks awesome! Any others?


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By Brandon H - SC
From Jackson SC
Aug 3, 2013
cover

specifically near moab?


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By Dow Williams
From Saint George, UT
Aug 3, 2013
Dow Williams, 2011

The best cracks near Moab are on the towers....if you are going tower bagging, you are set, Primrose Dihedrals, Washer Woman (In Search of Suds), North Face (not chimney) of Castleton, both routes on Lighthouse, Fine Jade, Jah Man...those are my favorites, all of them ten times better than Stolen Chimney (Ancient Art)

Moab Towers


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By Brandon H - SC
From Jackson SC
Aug 10, 2013
cover

Thank you for all the help! Sunny skies and good climbing to all of ya


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By Ryan Williams
Administrator
From London (sort of)
Aug 10, 2013
El Chorro

I second the Castle Valley routes.

- Castleton is a classic summit that must be done and you have two easy options. Don't be fooled by Dow's suggestion above to do the North Face. It is nails hard.
- Fine Jade on The Rectory is not a soft 11a, but the cruxes are short and safe. Most of the climbing is mid 5.10. It was my first 11a in the desert.
- Jah Man in the Sister Superior group (different approach) is awesome. Again, it's no gimmie.
- Holier Than Thou on the Nuns is a fully bolted sport climb AND it's very easy for the grade. A very cool and unique route that you should do if you can.

The setting is amazing, the camping is great, and the route selection means you can climb no matter what the weather. Visiting Moab without climbing in Castle Valley would be a crime. But it does sound like you need to up your game a bit for some of the routes. Try a bit of cragging first... the desert can be hard for an east coast climber.


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By Simon Hatfield
From Oakland, CA
Aug 17, 2013
Me placing a cam at the crux - photo courtesy G. Helm

I've done a couple of trips to Zion/Moab and its an awesome area - cracks are not hard to find but like previous posters have mentioned, they largely start at 5.10. The good news is that they're often splitters, so the pro is usually pretty straightforward/frequent. I find that I'm more willing to try harder stuff if I can easily down-aid off of it, or place a quick piece right in front of me if im going to fall.

Ashtar Command in Zion is as fun as they say, the first pitch is a crack and the second a bolted face. Very near the Headache.

Root Canal is a great 5.8 right next to the road on the way to castle valley from Moab, we did this after climbing Castleton - its a fun bonus pitch in the shade with no approach.

In regard to castleton, I've heard it said that North Chimney is the easiest way up. We did K-I which was pretty hard for a 5.9, and has some some scary loose rock. Its much warmer though.

Stolen Chimney on ancient art in the fisher towers (45 min from Castle valley) is a must do tower, although you will find crowds. The 5.10 bit is both safe and easy, but the "ungradable" summit pitch is quite the mental challenge.

A day or two of cragging at Indian creek should be on the list too - Chocolate Corner and Generic Crack are excellent ~.9s and are close to each other. Generic crack buttress is a good place to go to get your bearings if its your first time in the creek.

Southern UT is endless, you'll no doubt find routes you want to do but don't have time for, so my advice is to sample a bunch of areas. Have fun!


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