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 Watchman is the beautiful and often photographed formation guarding the south entrance to Zion. The impressive 1/2 mile wide west face is cleaved with many vertical cracks, corners, pillars and chimneys. The west face varies from 1,000 to 1,500' high, with at least 15 established routes. 10 of them going from bottom to top. The climbing is very traditional. Make sure you have experience in multi-pitch sandstone climbing.
In May of 1973 Mike Weis and Jeff Lowe made the first ascent of the steep west face via a crack system just below the summit. Their route went all free save a pendulum up high.
This secluded area doesn't get many visitors. Most of the routes are concentrated on the south end of the west face, where the rock is steeper and more compact. Most of the rock is good, but one must beware of the usual loose rock on ledges and wide chimneys.
A good approach is to cross the Virgin River at the Desert Pearl Hotel. A short trail/dirt road leads to the talus. Ascend the small rib that breaks through a cliff band. A trail leads to the middle of the impressive west face. The approach takes about 1 hour.
If you can't or don't want to cross the river, you'll need to enter via the south end of the Watchman campground. Walk south to the break in the cliff band, then head up.
Starts in a 7" crack & follows various sizes of cracks, face & chimney climbing to the top in 10 pitches. There is a good ledge (bivy) at mid height. This is an outstanding route, with some sporty face climbing. Topo available at visitors center.Probably the best route on The Watchman.Descent: Hike off or rap route. ...[more]Browse More Classics in UT