Zion and another "failed" wall.

kellymoe

Expedition Leader
Well this is getting old, three attempted walls and three failures although I have to say this last attempt was not really our fault. I arrived in Zion on a Monday evening from California to meet a friend from Colorado who I attempted El Capitan in Yosemite with late last Summer. This time our eyes were set on Spaceshot on the Leaning Wall in Zion National Park.
Tuesday we sorted gear and drove to the start of the route and started climbing about 2pm. We climbed and hauled 3 pitches to the base of the real climbing and set up our portaledge to sleep and prepared for an early start the next morning.
We slept well and woke early and brewed some coffee and ate a little breakfast. While finishing our coffee we heard a "hello" from below and saw a young guy climbing quickly toward us. As he arrived at our bivy we discussed who should go first while he belayed his partner and girlfriend up. Since we still needed to pack our gear and it seemed they were moving fast we relented and let them play through. This was the death nell for our climb. As he took off on the next pitch we chatted with his girlfriend and discovered she had little climbing experience and no big wall climbing experience. As her boyfriend climbed the next pitch the hours ticked by and the sun rose and began to bake the wall. We had only planned for one night on the wall and as a result only brought enough water for one more day. As her boyfriend finished the first pitch she attached her ascenders to the rope and looked at us and asked us how these things work:Wow1:
We gave her a quick lesson and she was off to the…..races??? We waited until she was about 60-70 feet up and my partner Curt began climbing the route. The first "real" aid pitch of the climb. By the time reached top of the pitch it was well past 2pm and we still had 5-6 pitches to gain the top and then a 4 long rappels back to the car. We would be happy if we could just gain the top and bivy on top where we might be able to find a stream and some water. At 3pm I started the crux pitch that involved some tricky off set nut work but it was pretty fun. By the time I made it to the top of the crux pitch the sun had sunk behind the canyon wall and it became clear we were not going to make the top. Out of water and out of time we made the decision to bail. Rappelling in the dark we made it to the car at 8:30pm and raced into Springdale in time to get a pizza at the Pizza Noodle.
The trip wasn't a total waste, the next day we hiked to Aries Butte and did a 5 pitch climb called Led By Sheep, a easy 5 pitch climb rated 5.7 but really is maybe 5.5
We have plans to return soon and either finish Spaceshot or do the easier Moonlight Buttress. I'm leaning toward Moonlight Buttress to put the odds in our favor this time. And then El Capitan again in the Fall.
 

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freedomrider

Ordinary average guy
"Easy climb." :Wow1: I guess it's all relative. A few decades ago I used to do some piddly rock climbing compared to that and got paralyzed by knee shakes a couple of times. I can only imagine the view from half way up a face like that.
 

K2ZJ

Explorer
"Easy climb." :Wow1: I guess it's all relative. A few decades ago I used to do some piddly rock climbing compared to that and got paralyzed by knee shakes a couple of times. I can only imagine the view from half way up a face like that.
I have never done a wall that big either, that's awesome! Only once did I back down from a climb and I was only 25' off the ground. Sewing machine leg like I've never had before, couldn't make a move.
 
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