Dec 2, 2011

Leaving Zion with Moonlight butt and a Touch stone

the Happy campers back on top, this time of Moonlight Buttress 5.12d A Zion Classic and Must Do

Going Country on Moonlight Buttress, Zions no.1?!

The autumn is about to leave Zion and so are we. For this time at least.
At it's about time.
On the television it's big news about the high winds and heavy rain or even snow that's arriving. The winter is standing behind the corner.
And this time I'm not to disappointed, cause my arms, back and head needs some Vacation!!

mind your step

As usual, some weeks of climbing with the goal to put in as many routes as living possible.
-I think we have done the best of it though
Finishing the trip with free climbing one of the best climbs ever, MOONLIGHT BUTTRESS and then the following day of to TOUCHSTONE WALL
Which is an other of the hard mega routes in the Zion Valley

Anna on pitch one of Touchstone

Bang! The #1 Camalot hits my head as we say "clock clean"
A couple of seconds and I can feel the nice warm blood slowly flowing over my skull. At least I didn't break any expensive helmet!

After a sleep in morning we brought our fragile bodies to the base of Touchstone Wall. But after giving the original start a not full on try. I realized that with nine pitches Moonlight of which seven is 5.11c or harder (up to .12d) in the arms of yesterday. This wasn't the day for freeing 5.13 on Touchstone Wall
So on to the bolt ladder instead and then it's only a couple of 5.11 pitches and easier to free
Turns out that's not an easy trip either. The guy who bolted up must have been a "stor Mange" or something even taller, is there!?
Up to the big reach school and after a lot of cussing I reach the first belay.
Next pitch is a more mixed aid pitch with less bolts and the gea placements brings me up to the roof where an Old V-piton sits smiling at me. Showing it has taken many years and falls over the time. Half broken it flexes really nice...
Don't wanna hang around here to long so a ok looking cam might do the escape. Then it smash my head!
At least it inspire me to make my reach a bit longer, an other not so good looking placement this time makes it possible to use it as a hand hold to reach a better looking half way bomber. In for that and then fast up to something better. And then its a cruise about the rest finis ing pitch 2

Touchstone Wall, pitch two

And then the free climbing begin
Nice perfect finger cracks, specially for a body at the top of performance.
Something mine isn't at this time. But it works. Taking a couple of shake loose now and then on the way
With my crimping toes in the to small shoes the feet remind me of better days in my boots
But more cussing on that crack bring me to a nice free hanging none existing ledge. Fourth pitch of Touchstone is an other perfect finger and small hand crack. With sour arms and lady skin hands I enjoyable jam the last out of the day. Rushing up the fifth pitch and belaying Anna up before we use the last 30 min of daylight to rap to the base

Anna on jamming tour at Touchstone Wall, 5.11

After a 2 pitch breakfast 5.9, it's time to hit the interstate for Vegas country night
But up to me, I will be back on the vertical sand stone quite soon again
And this time topping out Touchstone and climbing the Butt out of Moonlight B, with out any fall next time

hauling the "turkey" up moonlight buttress

One of many 5.12 on Moonlight

one of many 5.12 on Moonlight Buttress

Free climbers rack for MOONIGHT BUTTRESS*
5-6 Quick draws
Aliens black and blue, 1 each
Aliens green, yellow and red , 2 or 3 each
#.5-#.75, 2 each
#2, 1 each
There is a perfect bolt on the chimney 5.8 after the roof so no need for any BIG things to haul up there
Some mid size nuts, offsets works best in Zion
Rope. We used one single 65m (50 is enough) and a trail line for hauling the pack or in case of any reason need to rappel the route
The descent is a pure pleasure down the interstate footpath

Anna following on pitch 3 of Moonlight

Layback and hard work out on Moonlight Buttress

Free climbers rack for TOUCHSTONE*
12 Quick draws
Aliens green, yellow, 1 each
Aliens red, 2 each
#.5-#1, 2 each
#2-4, 1 each (no.3 and 4 might be useful on the upper pitches, but we didn't climb the last 3 pitches so cant say if or not they are needed)
2x50m ropes
For aiding the alternative start
Some small offset nuts
9 quick draws or loose biners
2 etriers
A quick reflex if you make that #1 cam placement after the roof:-)

*as I see it

/It's all about country

Weighting in at the airport with my 50.5 Ibs pack, allowed 50!

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