Thursday, September 30, 2010

Lunar Ecstasy, Zion NP

Last week I had a random Thur and Fri off, so brother JD and I made a dash to Zion to get back on something steep and beautiful.

This is what we found

Our route, Lunar Ecstasy, ascends the dark varnish on the left of the large pillar (Moonlight Buttress). At grade V, 5.10 C2+, and a touch harder than the routine Zion trades, we thought it would be fun to commit and try to make it off before night fall.

We caught the first shuttle and were on route around 8:00 AM, just in time to catch the early morning light.

The Great White Throne and Angel's Landing

A look up canyon with classics Space Shot and Desert Shield visibile.

The first few pitches are a nice mix of free and aid. Here's JD freeing the 5.10 slot of pitch three.

A look up at pitch five and a couple sketchy moves over the belay ledge.

Ecstatic on ecstasy

Looking up pitch six. Steep.

Jugging up Pitch 7

JD topping out the route with a bit of daylight to spare. STEEP.

After getting down, JD and I went to the nearest faucet and downed two liters of water each. Waterlogged, we met Zack in town for some dinner, and then I had to drive through the night to make it to work the next day. I made it to a rest stop between Beaver and Nephi, slept in my car, and then zipped up I-15 to work, just in time.

The other guys? Those lucky bastards stayed and climbed the ultra classic Moonlight Buttress. It's alright, I'll be back for that one soon. Southern Utah is such a beautiful place, I always come home feeling alive and blessed by the wild travels.

Anyone up for a desert big wall?

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