POW, Right in the Rat is a great route to combine with Lap Dance for eight full pitches of 5.10-11 free climbing in Zion National Park. Both are exceptional crack climbs offering pitches within each route that rival anything at Indian Creek. Whereas most of the multi pitch free trad routes along Tunnel Wall start out with great climbing and rock that eventually peters out, POW, Right in the Rat’s best pitch is its last (fourth) pitch, an incredible well protected wide stem box for almost a full rope (60m) length. Draper and Brown established POW, Right in the Rat.
The first pitch of POW, Right in the Rat (POW) starts just to the left of Lap Dance in an off width corner. This first pitch faces east, thus on a hot day in June we chose to do Lap Dance first and then POW. Climb the fun chimney, off width corner to a ledge on the left. Climb around the block to the east to the base of an obvious finger crack just before a broad corner. If you suffer through a bit of rope drag on the belay here, you will be set up properly for the second pitch. The second pitch is the crux of the route. Right off the deck is a tough 5.11 finger crack that demands a certain awkward sequence up to a short off width section with a fun roof to pull on top, and then onto a comfortable ledge below the tall dirty corner and excellent splitters above. The third pitch follows the dirty corner at sustained 5.10, or maybe the rock deteriorates that badly towards the top of the corner that it just felt sustained. Eventually it eases up and you belay at the base of the stem box above. The splitters out right at the base of the third pitch offer fantastic climbing I am told and they look it. The last pitch takes the stem box which, like most stem boxes, looks wider than you can stem, but once in it, goes pretty smooth. Place gear at will in either corner as you make the athletic long stem trek to the top. Exit left and move to the right wall to a fixed rappel/belay.
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 the buttress of a dark varnished tower. Lap Dance is on the right, POW, Right in the Rat is on the left of this tower in a wide crack/chimney.
Route Description550’+/-, 4 Pitches, 5.11
1st Pitch- 45m- 5.9/ This is an excellent warm up pitch for POW, Right in the Rat. Climb the wide corner via off width and/or chimney moves. This is a fun and athletic pitch. Once at the top of the corner, move left and traverse over a large block to access the base of the second pitch. To avoid rope drag, pull your ropes down the north side of the block and belay on gear in the base of the 5.11 crack above.
2nd Pitch- 25m- 5.11/ Enter the steep crack right off the deck. The crux is at the end of this crack before you move into the small alcove above to pull a small roof. It is sort of a transition move left as the crack leans that can really mess you up if you don’t get the sequence correct. Once you have squeezed into the small alcove/box above, pull the roof to a decent ledge with a fixed rappel.
3rd Pitch- 55m- 5.10/ The nice varnished splitters out right are doable, but at a higher grade. Climb the right facing corner. At the beginning the rock is pretty good, but as you near the top, it gets steeper and chossy. Sometimes you are climbing cracks out right, other times you are in the corner. The crux moves are about 4/5th up as you pull a slight sandy overhang on suspect gear. Then the ground eases up a lot as you make a belay at the base of the stem box on a comfortable ledge.
4th Pitch- 50m- 5.10/ This is one of my favorite pitches for the grade at Zion. Stem up the box almost immediately. It is wide and like many such stem boxes looks wider than possible, but at 5’11”, I found no issue with stemming up the entire pitch. If you don’t stem, it will be a grade higher climbing the right crack. Gear is plentiful when using either the left or right crack. Towards the top, exit left and then traverse back right to the fixed rap anchor, careful not to knock loose stones on your belayer. An athletic and fun pitch!
DescentIt takes three double rope (60m) raps to reach the ground. Rap from the fixed station at the top of the last pitch back to the bottom of the fourth pitch. Rap back to the bottom of the third pitch. Because you can rap a straight line back to the base of the route, you do not need to stop at the top of the first pitch rap anchor if you have double 60’s. Rap to the ground at the base of the route..
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