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North America, United States, Utah, Monkeyfinger Wall and the Leaning Wall, Zion National Park

Monkeyfinger Wall and the Leaning Wall, Zion National Park. Drew Bedford and Pokey Amory made an exemplary one-day ascent of Monkeyfinger Wall, adding a one-pitch variation and freeing the entire route at 5.11 + . This is Zion’s longest and most sustained free climb. Theirs was the first true hammerless ascent too. After backing off a solo attempt on a new route to the left of Space Shot, I joined Mike Strassman to complete a somewhat different line and the fourth on the wall. The route, Equinox (IV or V, 5.9, A3), was led entirely free and half of the 10% or so aided was freed on a top rope leaving critical pitons fixed. In addition, the single drilled angle anchors on the now standard rappel descent were doubled. Using a variation suggested by Strassman, George Allen and Dave Jones were able to climb the route free at 5.10 two months later. A third ascent was made in September. In October, I finally soloed the line left of Space Shot over five days of very unstable weather (103° to 27° F temperature variation) to produce Moon Patrol (V, 5.8, A3). Both routes could use some cleaning but sport outstanding ledges. They will doubtless become popular due to the ease of approach and descent.

Ron Olevsky