The Watchman, West Face, Central Pillar Watchman Direct, Previously Unreported. This new route (V 5.10 C1+ W.Y.A., 16 pitches, 7 bolts), climbed in September, 1999, by Eric Draper and I, begins dead center in the west face on a 1978 Scott Fischer/Randy Aton route called Pie For Dinner. The first 500 feet consist of a 5. 10d offwidth corner to the top of a dark-colored pillar. The route angles right, up a ramp system, to the central pillar proper. A beautiful three-pitch hand crack splits the pillar. The route then follows cracks and chimneys directly to the summit. We fixed three ropes before blasting off and spent two nights en route on natural spacious ledges. We didn’t use any pins or hooks on the entire route. This is another route that should go free in a day. We descended by hiking south from the summit, heading for the hanging canyon between the Johnson Mountain massif and the Watchman. Two rappels were required to regain the base of the Watchman. The descent took about two hours total. Beware of Russell the Rattler, who enjoys lounging at the bottom of the first pitch.
The rating W.Y.A. stands for “Watch Your Ass,” and is an appropriate addition to the grade of this climb for the serious but almost standard (in Zion) rockfall potential on a couple of pitches.
Bryan Bird, unaffiliated