Getting Neat with Nature in Zion

Tara, our climbing correspondent, checks in from Zion, UT.

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Attempting to catalog the events of 2012 thus far proves to be somewhat of a challenge...I'm reminded that my occasional memory loss (of the sort commonly reserved for those who receive senior discounts at Wal-Mart) Is my passport to a state of ignorant bliss...Thanks genetics! - Best year yet I think?
Several minutes later, after reviewing the teetering stack of tick tacs equating my value as a human according to the 8a.nu, I'm fairly certain my mind was left somewhere in the Mojave desert. It's possible - I left my heart there two years ago and have failed to retrieve it since.

Enter - Trad Climbing

Last summer, I procured a tendon injury that ultimately resulted in an unforgettable off-season powdered with substance abuse and questionable life decisions. Since then, even the slightest ache or pain will send me hunting for free range grapefruits and top shelf vodka with a side of ice baths - remove - repeat - remove - repeat.

It all makes sense now...

This all led to a relatively rash decision as of late that resulted in my learning to trad climb when hard crimping wasn't an option (thanks Greg!). Within two weeks, I managed to send my first three trad lines - Moondance 5.9, Wartley's Revenge 5.11a, and Sunshine Dihedral 5.12a. When granted 5 days off work, clearly a trip to Zion was the obvious choice for this sport climber who doesn't own - let alone know how to use - a daisy chain.

 

 

So, all said and done after a fucking amazing trip, here's what I learned about medium walling in Zion:  The infamous hand jam - Yellow Black Diamond - WIN! Purple Black Diamond - FAIL! 5.11 off-width is harder than 5.13 face climbing. Slab Dyno - It is exactly what it says. It can take aid climbers several days to climb 10 pitches.
If a top out lacks anchors, simply tie in to a bakers dozen root systems and don't fall.



Racking - Drinking and Driving - Unauthorized showers at public reservoirs. 


I feel incredibly lucky to have been dragged up some of the most famous cracks in the United States - Moonlight Buttress 5.12d, Monkey Finger 5.12b and Shuns 5.11+. After Greg sent Moonlight (rad), we spent the next day sport climbing and sending at Cathedral (awesome) followed by a long drive back to Oregon in search for better beer. Zion…I might be back. Cathedral - I'll be back for sure. Maybe someday I'll even climb a big wall...



One of the many amazing photos by Greg


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