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Checkerboard Mesa
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North Face T 
Wheat Chex T 

North Face 

YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b R

Type:  Trad, 6 pitches, 1000', Grade III
Consensus:  YDS: 5.7+ French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b [details]
FA: Unknown
Page Views: 638
Submitted By: John Peterson on Jan 3, 2012

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (3)
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***** RAIN AND WET ROCK ***** The sandstone in Zion is fragile and is very easily damaged when it is wet. Holds rip off and climbs have been and will continue to be permanently damaged due to climbers not respecting this phenomenon. After a heavy storm the rock will remain wet, sometimes for several days. PLEASE DO NOT CLIMB IN ZION during or after rain. A good rule of thumb is that if the ground near your climb is at all damp (and not powdery dry sand), then do not climb. There are many alternatives (limestone, granite, basalt, and plastic) nearby. Seasonal Raptor Closures MORE INFO >>>


Back around 1997 we climbed a route on Checkerboard Mesa. Here's some beta for anyone crazy enough to follow us.

There's no way to be sure exactly what our line was. It's easy to traverse around from crack to crack. We started up good cracks in the toe of the buttress. After about 4 good pitches, the angle of the bedding changes and the cracks bottom out. What had been well protected, pleasant climbing turned into something quite different.

Although the difficulty doesn't really increase, the rock becomes increasingly questionable as the summit gets closer. The "crux" was the last pitch - we belayed on a decent ledge but the only anchor was a bush with about 2" of stem. Above, the rock became progressively looser and the bedding made every hold a sloper. Falling is not an option at this point. The only pro was an occasional tied off bush. The top was met with considerable relief.

Don't let the quality of the climbing lower down mislead you - things get dicey up high. Perhaps there is an easier finish but we didn't find it.


Pick a crack and go!


Good wires and cams down low. Not much near the top.

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