American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, Contiguous United States, Utah, Zion, Court of the Patriarchs, Enchainment

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 2000

Court of the Patriarchs, Enchainment. During three days in late March, in Zion Canyon’s Court of the Patriarchs, Dan Stih and I climbed all three of the Patriarchs and the Sentinel in one push. This traverse also included a possibly unclimbed formation known only as point 6,892'. All five towers were climbed by new routes. No holes were drilled on any of the routes, but one fixed pin was left on the Sentinel’s north ridge at the 5.10R crux. This was the only pro on the pitch of near-vertical white cap slab. We did, however, drill two hanging rappel stations, the first in the 150-meter deep slot between Jacob and Isaac, and the other on the descent of the massive southwest face of Abraham. Besides the one pitch on the Sentinel, the climbing is fairly low key. There is nothing over 5.9, though long and serious “if not deadly” falls were in no shortage, especially on the descents. We simul-climbed almost all of Abraham and Isaac. The descents were far more intense and committing than the climbs, the one of Abraham taking more than six hours, and the Sentinel taking about four. The descent from point 6,892' was no picnic either, requiring at least ten rappels. All of the routes went completely free and clean. Most of the rock on the traverse is poor, and all of the routes offered little in the way of protection. We climbed alpine style with a light rack, melting snow for water and going without food for the last 25 hours. We gave the traverse a high adventure level rating and an Alpine rating of EDII, as this best describes it.

Ron Raimonde

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