American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Utah, Zion National Park, Zion Canyon, Abraham, Southeast Face, Dr. Thunder, Previously Unreported

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 2001

Abraham, Southeast Face, Dr. Thunder, Previously Unreported. Dr. Thunder (VI 5.10 A3), established in October, 1999, by Boulos Ayad, Joe French, and I, starts in a right-facing corner 200 yards right of the gully beneath the Radiator Buttress. The corner, which ends 500 feet up on a bushy ledge, went mostly free. We cleaned up fixed lines left by a previous attempt. A couple of jungle pitches brought us to a bivy ledge below the headwall cracks on the southeast arête. On the first headwall pitch we found an ancient aluminum bong (another party’s high point). The next pitch, an overhanging crumbly beak crack, was the crux. Boulos led this pitch over a couple of days, taking 12 to 13 hours to complete it. From here, the crack petered out, and sandstone chicken heads appeared. It was time to free climb. A couple more pitches of steep climbing brought us to a sandy ledge some 800 feet below the summit. The next day we went into free-climbing mode and were on top by 1 p.m. We descended the white slabs, rapping off the bushes that looked the happiest. We bivied one more time on the sandy ledge and the next day rappelled to the ground. An inflatable purple alien accompanied us up the route and gave morale boosts when needed. Rinco the Alien now lives on the summit and has words of wisdom for anyone willing to pay him a visit.

Eric Draper, unaffiliated

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