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North America, United States, Utah, Zion National Park, Mountain of the Sun, Eye Shadow

Mountain of the Sun, Eye Shadow. In mid-October, Warren Hollinger and I climbed a major new wall route on the west face of the Mountain of the Sun. Eye Shadow (16 pitches with 200 foot ropes, VI 5.9 A2+ ) climbs the lower 1,000-foot buttress on the west face before ascending broken ledges for 400 feet to the final 800-foot headwall. The route was named for a prominent round “eye” that lies on the upper headwall. The route lies to the left of the John Middendorf— Paul Turecki route The Tao of Light (17 pitches, VI 5.10 A3), which climbs the southwestern corner of the Mountain of the Sun where the west and south faces meet.

Warren and I spent six days, from October 19-24, working on the route; we drilled 13 holes for the ascent. We drilled another half dozen or so during the descent for rappel anchors. The climb was the first time Warren had ever climbed on sandstone. Although there are numerous short, one-pitch climbs along the foot of the Mountain of the Sun’s western and southwestern faces, Eye Shadow and The Tao of Light are believed to be the only routes that climb to the summit.

Cameron M. Burns