Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Kolob Canyon, Zion National Park

Today we woke up [kinda] early and left St. George for Kolob Canyon.

Kolob is a sector of Zion National Park that is accessed by Highway 15, a completely different entrance than the main Zion approach.

The south fork of Taylor Creek hosts some of the only sport climbs in Zion.  Indeed if you read the literature they give you when you arrive it will state that there are 'no sport climbs in Zion'.  Untrue.

There are not many, but there are a few of the most stunning lines I have ever climbed on.  And they're long.  Real long.  I took 18 draws with me and when Amanda lowered me, our 80 meter rope was completely taught and I was a good forty feet or so away from the wall.  Sick.

The routes were 130 to 150 feet long, I onsighted the five routes I tried within the three hours we were there.  I was so impressed by the quality of the stone and how fun they were to climb.  Lines of huecos led up the red sandstone cliff deep in the slot canyon.  Time sorta flew by--I love long routes.

Since it was just the two of us, we couldn't take photos of the climbing, but we did get a few descriptive shots of the action after the fact.

(Google image search Namaste 5.12a and Huecos Rancheros 5.12c at Kolob Canyon for other folks' shots of the routes in action.)

We're spending the night in Cedar City this evening and then will be heading on to Joe's Valley in the morning.

Weather is perfect and we are ready to rip it up.

We probably won't be able to post many more blog entries until we leave Joe's Valley, but we will try.

This is taken from the parking area of the South 'finger' of Kolob Canyon, notice how the canyon narrows toward the back--that is where we are headed.  Roughly a mile hike or so.

Gettin' closer to the action.  I've never heard echo's like the ones this canyon provided.

Rackin' up 16 draws for Namaste, 5.12a.  First route of the day.

Here is a nice detail of the giant pod-like hueco's that decorate the wall.  So much fun.

Another detail, the wall is a lot steeper than it seems.  Check out our neon blue 80 meter rope on the right, thats hangin' from the chains gettin' ready to be pulled through.  The route it's hanging from is Hueco's Rancheros.  About 150 feet tall.

And another detail shot.

Here is a detail of the ladder of jugs of Namaste, 5.12a.

One of the 'shorter' routes I'm cleaning.  Last route of the day.  Amanda is zoomed in for this shot by the way...

"Ah man I can't believe I just ripped all those routes like a total badass..." or Amanda telling me that my hair looks funny.  See how steep that wall is above me!?

And I said:  "Whats funny about this hair?"

She looks good doesn't she?

It was cold in the canyon.  Stone cold.

Magical approach trail.  Leaves fallen over red sand.

More trail, more magic.

On the way out of the slot canyon into the warm air.

So I says:  "Take a photo of that tree"  The only red leafed one we passed.

Yes. Yes. Yes.

How do you make beautiful scenery better?  Add twizzlers.

Her and I at the end of the day.


  1. In the picture with the twizzler you look like Robert Downey Jr. I'm serious, it's uncanny. Am I right or what?

  2. Sweet photos. I am headed up to Zion to do some canyoneering in July and am planning to take a day to go check out namaste and HR. I am curious if you have any idea what the sun/shade will be like. I am guessing it will be mostly shady, being in a deep canyon, but I thought it may be good to know for sure. Thanks!