Moonlight Buttress/ Aries Butte, Zion National Park
This month I made two trips to Zion from my home in Burbank in So Cal. The first trip was a family trip with my wife, son and daughter and the second was last week when I met my friend who drove out from Colorado to climb Moonlight Buttress with me.
During the family trip my son and I climbed the four pitch route on Aries Butte called Led By Sheep. LBS is a enjoyable and easy climb that is rated 5.7, III. There really is maybe two or three moves of 5.7 on the entire climb, most of the climbing is very easy 5th class but very runout between bolts so having a good lead head is essential.
Last weeks climb of Moonlight Buttress was great "mini" big wall climb of 1200 feet spread out over 9 pitches rated 5.8 C1 Grade V. We ended up spending two and a half days on the climb but could easily have done it in 2 days and one night if we had not gotten stuck behind a team of two germans trying to free climb the entire climb. Overall the climb was pretty easy aid climbing with a few awkward aid moves and easy free climbing. The awkward moves generally involved aid climbing a deep V cut chimney making awkward to place gear and move up in your aiders. Most of the climb is up a beautiful splitter 1/2" to 1" crack system. The climb eats up cams and it is very easy to leap frog gear which lets you save gear over long pitches of uniform cracks.
Our climb was made more difficult by both of us forgetting to pack food. Between us our only food for the entire climb was 3 cans of ravioli and a few Jolly Ranchers. Both thought the other had packed the food bag, oops. At least we had the ravioli.
A friend and I just spent some time on the road at City of Rocks, Zion (also did Led By Sheep) and Canyonlands where we did South Six Shooter. She also did some climbing at Red Rocks while I took off from Vegas with another friend to hike The Wave.