The following cliffs will be closed to climbing beginning March 1, 2012: Angels Landing, Cable Mountain, The Great White Throne (beyond single- and double-pitched climbs), Isaac (in Court of the Patriarchs), The Sentinel, Mountain of the Sun, North Twin Brother, Tunnel Wall, The East Temple, Mount Spry, The Streaked Wall, Mount Kinesava, and the Middle Fork of Taylor Creek. All other cliffs will remain open to climbing.
The Minotaur is a huge tower/buttress that stands up against the wall on the west side of the river on the canyon road. It can be found by looking at Angel's Landing from the bend/viewpoint on the canyon road. This tower is northwest of the spectacular Angel's Landing, between that wall proper and the more famous Moonlight Buttress. The Minotaur looks like a big spike in front of the wall proper and indeed has an independent summit.
The wall faces anywhere from southeast to northeast, depending on what side you climb on. This certainly gets a lot of summer sun, but on the short days of winter gets very little due to the shade cast by the Great White Throne at first, and then by Angel's Landing as the sun moves west.
There are two published routes on the wall, and certainly many others that we saw evidence of. All require aid as published. One route, The Megamahedral, goes free, although this is a serious undertaking. Due to the nature of the rock (soft), of the cracks (wide), and of the climbing (hard), any free climbing here should be considered "adventure climbing" or, as a pal put it, "old school trad." The topos for this feature are dubious in their accuracy. It's best to be solid at a full number grade above the reported grades here, as well as in most areas of Zion.
To descend from any route, reach the summit and rap via The MegaMahedral, which can be done with NOTHING LESS than two 60m ropes. If you want to reach the stations and ground with no scrambling and a little rope left, two 70m ropes are even better for the descent.
There are apparently two possible approaches:
Approach as for Angel's Landing, but continue walking north from the switchbacks to get to the tower.
Start from the shuttle to the Big Bend stop, walking out on the point, down a trail, across the river (cold in the winter) and across way up to the trail to the Angel's Landing trail. From the switchbacks cut left near the wall to continue to the Minotaur.
The approach should take from 30 minutes to an hour.
This route is described in Cameron M. Burns' book Selected Climbs in the Desert Southwest.My description will differ on many key points. I feel strongly that the information in the book is not correct. This will cause some controversy, I am sure, but understand that I do not know how the errors were made, nor do I assume to.It is possible that the FA Party either accidentally or intentionally misreported the route. It is possible that a later party misreported the route. It is possibl...[more]Browse More Classics in UT