As you approach Zowie from the south, you will see the chimney on the West side of the South face, this is the standard route. On the East side of the South Face there is a "flatiron" which is the route described by Bell/MacDonald comments in the South Face description.
Just left (West) of this variation, there is an large, overhanging, left-facing dihedral. The one-star rating accounts for the moss and lichen. If it were cleaned it could become a classic pitch.
This dihedral starts with some moss and lichen on slopers, but becomes much better after the first 15'. There is still much lichen and moss to be avoided or cleaned, but the rock is really quite good and the moves are really fun.
Climb the wall on the right to move up and into the crack. This is insecure and should not be attempted by novices until it is cleaner. After 15' step left and start stemming and jamming you way up the dihedral and through some overhangs and grooves until you are 100+ feet up and at the end of the dihedral. There are good feet out on the left for all overhangs, so the grade remains mellow.
At the end of the dihedral, step out left toward the arete for a move or two, but be careful to avoid the 1000+ pound death block on a ledge near the arete. Climb up a featured face from there, getting protection as necessary (but not necessarily as desired) and go to a large ledge with gear for a belay.
Continue to the summit on the South Face route.
A full set of cams to a #4 Camalot + a set of stoppers.
BETA PHOTO: The small flatiron to the lower right of the South...
BETA PHOTO: Looking down on the direct start pitch 1.
BETA PHOTO: Another look at the direct start options with clim...
|By Tony B|
From: Around Boulder, CO
Aug 10, 2006
Dougald MacDonald wrote:
"Kate Bartlett and I climbed a fine variation to the initial pitches on the South Face, in 1996 I think. It climbs the Flatiron-like face to the right of the obvious left-facing corner on the right side of the south face. (Rossiter has it going up the corner -- this isn't what we climbed, though it looks OK.) What we climbed was a pitch and a half of fun, somewhat run-out 5.8 face climbing -- no scarier than the offwidth at the top of the route. Start at the bottom and climb where the holds lead you, then join the regular route."
This is that 'obvious, left-facing corner' to the left of what Dougald and Kate did.