To our knowledge, we appear to be the first team to record a free ascent of Another Road Side Attraction which was the first route put up at Cragmont (Tunnel Wall). That takes one back to 1978 when Randy Cerf and Mike Allison followed this obvious line to the top of Tunnel wall (Cragmont) and gave it a 5.10, A1, IV rating. Most of this section of Zion National Park was not developed until the 2000’s. I take issue with both the alpine and aid rating on this route. In my opinion, you can aid Another Road Side Attraction cleanly without use of a hammer (C1) if you so desired (there is no fixed gear on the route-2010). We completed Another Road Side Attraction to the top of Tunnel Wall in five pitches of free climbing with a 70m rope. We started the approach by 11:AM and were back to the ground by 6:PM. Thus, the alpine IV grade the FAers’ give it seems a bit much as well.
While Tunnel Wall does offer some of the best free crack climbing in Zion National Park via such routes as Lap Dance, 5.11, Gypsy’s Curse, 5.10 and Pow Right in the Rat, 5.11, Another Road Side Attraction had little to offer in the way of good cracks or rock. In fact, the entire route was a bit nightmarish. The first pitch involves a chossy short chimney start and then pulling a roof that leads to run out ground up eroding edges a full 200’ to a comfortable belay ledge and fixed rap station. The second pitch is by far the tamest of the day; much easier climbing up the corner and then moving the belay over loose easy ground over to the main wall. We might have taken a more difficult variation on the third pitch. You can go out right up a wide chossy off-width section or stay direct up a mossy slab and into a dead vertical seam that involves surmounting a block (crux) to reach the upper crack. Continue through a mantle move up right to a semi hanging belay back left in the tall crack. The fourth pitch is the crux pitch of the route. Climb the precarious and sustained chossy finger crack up a long distance and belay in the wide chimney above. The last pitch (another sustained one) was the most enjoyable in terms of rock quality. Head up the twin crack chimney, stemming and jamming until you reach the huge roof. Make hard moves out of the chimney to a ramp up the left wall and into a pod. We were only able to make this section in one pitch using a 70 rope. Scramble up some loose fifth class choss through some trees and bushes to the top of the wall. We slung a tree on the prominent fin above You and You and I N I and made one double rope rap down to a ledge with another slung tree that (with double ropes) will get you down into the fixed rappel lines of these other routes.
Take the Zion Park road up towards the tunnel. Park on the right side at a shaded pullout on the 2nd to last switchback (vehicle facing east). Walk east up to the switchback retaining wall and pick up a trail on the south end of that wall. Follow the trail across a wash and stay with it as it circumvents east around the tunnel wall above about 50yds below it. Stay with the beaten path until you are below an obvious huge mossy corner at the top of the wall (the last long pitch). Another Road Side Attraction is a consistent crack/corner line to the left of an obvious fin/tower where You and You and I N I is located. Lap Dance and POW Right in the Rat are further to the left. The first pitch is a chossy looking short chimney that bleeds into a crack that runs farther up to a bushy ledge.
Route Description800’+/-, 5 Pitches, 5.11R
1st Pitch- 60m- 5.9R/ Climb up the very chossy, but relatively short, chimney to the roof above. Pull out of the roof with a jam and continue up somewhat run out ground via deteriorating mossy edges to a comfortable belay ledge. At times you are near a crack, other times not and I felt the pro was a bit sparse.
2nd Pitch- 35m- 5.8/ The tamest pitch (by far) of the day. Run up the short corner on some of the best rock and pro you will find all day. Continue along the large bushy ledge up another short corner/chimney until you are below the large main wall and a mossy slab.
3rd Pitch- 35m- 5.10R/ This pitch has two short sections of run out. The first 15’ of blank mossy slab (which can be circumvented some by a less direct approach to the right) and another 15’ or so via the steep mantle move higher up. After the slab portion we took the most direct line, a hard thin finger crack straight up a corner with a large block hanging in it. Make awkward moves (crux of the pitch) to surmount this block and then move up and right out of the crack to the chossy face where you can make a mantle up and right and then angle back left into the crack for a semi hanging belay below the crux pitch of the climb, the tall finger crack above. No doubt the FAer’s might have taken the easier line to the right up an off width section, but it looked even dirtier than what we did.
4th Pitch- 50m- 5.11/ This is the .crux pitch of the climb. Climb up into a short chimney/off width. Move out of it fairly immediate and up the finger crack on crumbling edges. This crack is consistently .3 C4 and smaller for quite a distance. It is difficult to trust any of the edges that exist on either side. This pitch is harsh free climbing, even by Zion standards. Eventually it opens up and the angle eases as this crack lands you atop a comfortable belay ledge with a tall chimney pitch above.
5th Pitch- 60m+- 5.11/ I found this last pitch to be the most enjoyable (if I could even use that wording at that point in time en route) of the day. The 5.11 climbing on this pitch involves just a few moves at the grade: somewhat intense lay back moves to pull out of the roof capping the chimney towards the top. Start into the chimney and enjoy stemming up the twin cracks. The chimney eventually widens beyond stemming. Take a vertical crack on the left wall for a short section until right below the roof on a ledge. Make several moves at the grade to pull the roof out to a ramp and continue to a belay pod below several bushes and trees at a full 200’. There is an obvious small ledge and good cracks about half way up that allow you to easily divide this final pitch up if desired.
Make a few 5th class moves through the bushes and trees to reach the top of the Tunnel Wall.
DescentThe FAer’s (1978) walked off the wall to the east (Gifford Canyon). Knowing the area quite well and faced with 100F+ temps, we chose to scramble along the top of the wall to the west about 100 yards or so to align ourselves right above the dark red fin above the You and You and I N I routes. We scrambled down to a tree close to the edge and rapped a full double rope length to the east to a ledge with another tree. One double rope rap off of this ledge’s western edge put us in the I N I fixed raps on a small ledge below a deep chimney. Another double rope rap took us to a large ledge system. A final single rope rap off of a large tree on the northern edge took us to the ground and the short walk back to the base of Another Road Side Attraction.
- The Many Free Routes in Zion National Park
- Oscar’s Café, the only place for climbers to truly fill their appetite (free range chicken, beef and Hank’s Tanker) and meet one of the finer climbers and individuals I know on the face of the earth, Zach Lee, someone who has established many of his own local FA’s in the area.
- Zion National Park
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