Mount Spry is one of the smaller rock formations in Zion National Park (a spur peak of East Temple) but also one of the most aesthetic. It is the triangular looking red peak that makes for one of the great photos on your way up the road through the park, towards the tunnel at the east end. Most climbing in Zion National Park is such that if you are not in a crack, the rock can be quite suspect. Mount Spry lacks the huge continuous cracks that are found deeper in the canyon, therefore it does not provide for much of a climbing destination in comparison to the more infamous routes of Zion National Park.
Jim Beyer put in the first few routes on Mount Spry in 1979, Moria, III, 5.8 and Black Crack, III, 5.9. However, the first major free route established on Mount Spry was Sandblaster, IV, 5.11, put in by Jeff Lowe and Mark Wilford in 1987. In 1996, Dave Jones and John Middendorff found a free line utilizing splitter cracks and dihedrals up the center right portion of Mount Spry and named it Dancing with Zully, II, 5.10+. Zach Lee and Joe French are in the process of establishing quite a few new free routes in Zion National Park and therefore established a short three pitch route up a splitter crack on the Twin Brother side of Mount Spry in 2009 and thus far named it Sharks Tooth, 5.10.
Mount Spry routes may be closed for nesting raptors in the spring and summer, check in at the visitor center for that information and possible topos in the ranger book for any of the climbs listed or not listed here. Chris McNamara (Supertopo) is publishing a new guide book in 2009 that will list many free climbs in Zion National Park that have yet to be published. No doubt Mount Spry will encompass several of those.
When accessing the park through Springdale, UT (from the west), continue through the park gates to a bridge crossing the Virgin River. You can park on the right here and take the shuttle or walk in to access the short routes on the Twin Brother side of Mount Spry, or continue driving up the hill, towards the tunnel, and park at a variety of pull outs depending on which of the longer face lines you would be attempting.
Route Listed Left to Right, North to South
- Sharks Tooth- 3 Pitches- 5.10/ Joe and Zach put in chained rappel stations (single 60m rope) and added several bolts where the protection was suspect. I consider the route well protected albeit still loose and sandy. Even though they did a lot of scrubbing, it will take quite a few more climbs for this route to get it cleaned and the holds to become more reliable. The crux is off the ground, but high enough to protect well, in a great hand/fist jam over a roof, pulling your feet out onto the face. After that, the first pitch follows a nice crack to a semi hanging belay. The second pitch is pretty short and has two bolts protecting a white flaring thin crack to the right of them. This 2nd belay gives a more comfortable stance. The third pitch rises over a bulge from the belay and follows a thin vertical seem, utilizing a .3”, .4” and a spot perfectly made for a .5” in addition to one bolt towards the end. This pitch is nice and steep and has a short crux section about 2/3rd up. The top belay is on a small ledge. Dow
- Sandblaster-IV- 5.11/
- Moria- III- 5.8/
- Black Crack- III- 5.9/
- Holly Roller- III- 5.11/ The first two pitches up Holy Roller are fairly tame. The first one is a 5.9 corner that lands you atop a comfy belay ledge. The second, 5.10+, is mostly bolted (7 bolts) through 90’ of face climbing with a small roof pull and then some trad and jamming to a semi hanging belay. The third and forth pitches are the business end of this route. The third pitch offers the most technical move of the route, 5.11, before you actually reach the bulge. It is mostly face climbing, protected with a few bolts and crack before you find the consistent crack which carries through the bulge and makes up the fourth and final pitches. The fourth pitch (5.11) is burly beyond measure, loose, dirty and sandy, without consistent hand or finger jams. Knowing the FA’s had a hard time with this pitch (based on who they are) restored a bit of my ego later in Springdale. The final pitch can actually be combined with the fourth pitch, which you might consider as that is a full on hanging belay. That last pitch finally did give up the perfect hand jamming we had hoped for lower down. All the stations are bomber bolts (2009) with rap rings. One 60m rope makes five raps. Dow
- Dancing with Zully- III- 5.10+/ ”1st pitch has a bolt about 20-30 feet up on a small ledge, I think I got a #1 Camalot a little before the bolt. There is a sporty mantle above the bolt that I stood in a sling off the bolt to mount it. The rest of the pitch is very sporty face moves and kind of hard to protect. I remember being way run out and was so happy to reach the splitter. There is a bolt to the side of it I suppose to build an anchor but I just ran the two pitches together. There was about 30 ft of #4 Camalot before the next anchor. Be careful it's sporty. You need two ropes to rap that first pitch. We bailed off the route at this point due to only having one.” Zach Lee
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