Zion, various ascents. On the southeast face of West Temple, from March 19-21, Bryan Bird, Brody and Jared Greer, and I put up The Big Lebowski (21 pitches, 5.10 Cl). The route is characterized by clean crack climbing and lots of ledges. It ascends the obvious crack system in the white rock approximately 400' left of Getting Western. Chimneys, double crack systems, and a splitter offwidth (just right of the two striking splitters) make this route easy to see from Springdale. We bivied at pitches 7 and 11. To descend rap the route with two 60m ropes or go down the Mountaineering Route. It’s grade V or VI ? (Hard to tell, when McCray climbs it free in a day.) [On April 13, Brian McCray and James Martin made a one-day, all-free ascent of the route in about 17 hours. They stopped at the ridge, forgoing the final 5.5 pitch to the summit—Ed.]
Bryan Bird and Joe French made the first ascent of the Southwest Ridge (9 pitches, IV 5.9R) on Mt. Spry on November 16. The bottom three pitches (5.8-5.9) are on good, black rock and are hidden from view, inside a chimney. Next, traverse a few hundred feet right to three pitches of obvious crack climbing (5.8), leading to a giant ledge (bighorn country) and the summit cone. Three pitches of interesting patina and slab climbing (5.9R) up the southwest prow gain the top. Walk off the summit cone, then, reverse the route by abseiling from trees and large bushes. Bird and French used two ropes, but other options exist.
On November 19 Bird and French climbed a new route, More than a Woman (10 pitches, IV 5.10+), on the southeast face of the Middle Mary. The route starts in the middle of the southeast face, marked by a hand crack that passes through three roofs. Start in the crack leading to these roofs, then take a right into a continuous crack system. Six pitches of good crack climbing (5.10+) lead to a couple of pitches of 4th class, then two more pitches of 5.8-5.9 to the top. The first-ascent party abseiled down the west ridge into the notch between the Middle Mary and the Left Mary and followed the standard descent for Gentlemen’s Agreement (one rope will do). They mentioned, however, that the descent between Middle Mary and Right Mary might be better.
French and I, on November 12, established The Groper (7 pitches, IV 5.10+) on the east face of Mt. Moroni. The route can be identified by splitter double cracks in a patina headwall, just right of the smooth shield in the right-center face of Moroni. Four broken pitches of offwidths, chimneys, and gullies reach a big ledge with a tree. Traverse right to a black corner and a bolt belay, where the real climbing begins. Two pitches of exciting headwall climbing end on a ledge halfway up the formation. We rapped the route, although continuing to the top and down the Lady Mountain trail is also an option.