American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Utah, Zion National Park, Zion Canyon, Bridge Mountain, Northwest Face, Desert Alpine, Previously Unreported

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

Bridge Mountain, Northwest Face, Desert Alpine, Previously Unreported. The name of the route, Desert Alpine (V 5.11 A1+, 18 pitches), doesn’t come, by any means, from the style that we climbed it in, but from the fact that it is, by Zion standards, more of a mountain climb than a wall climb. The route can be scoped in its entirety as one looks across the river from the old visitor center. Desert Alpine begins in the middle of a series of three 30-meter hand cracks, 1,000 feet left of the huge rockfall scar, and below a prominent left-leaning chimney, in solid black rock. This adventurous route climbs a series of three headwalls separated by large ledges.

Eric Draper, James Martin, and I spent three weeks’ worth of workdays, fixing lines and hauling gear to our high point at pitch ten. We jumared our lines one last time and spent two nights climbing the remaining eight pitches to the summit. We summited just before sundown in October, 1998, and spent enough time on top for a photo, then rapped the route. Good natural bivies can be found all over from pitches six through ten. Future parties could free all but a couple of pitches.

Bryan Bird, unaffiliated

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