Zach Lee is in the process of establishing quite a few new free routes in Zion National Park. He has committed many years to climbing in Zion and is the guy responsible for introducing me to the climbing potential of southern Utah quite a few years back. His routes are extremely well thought out and executed. Until I hear different, I will call this route Sharks Tooth (officially now named Shark Tooth Freighter) as that is the name he was throwing about when I climbed it. David and I made the 2nd ascent of this route and as folks who are seeking out moderate free climbing in Zion discover this small area of Mount Spry tha Zach is continuing to develop, the route(s) will no doubt get cleaner and safer over time.
They 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.
Drive or take the shuttle on the road leading back to the narrows in Zion National Park. At about one mile or so, pullout to the left at a fire hydrant. This pull out holds about three to four vehicles. If during shuttle season, you are best to walk down the road or ask the bus driver to drop you off. Walk to the opposite side of the road and left a bit accessing a significant gully. Zach and Joe are going back and forth up the hill establishing new routes on Twin Brothers as well, so try and help them by following their tracks the best you can. Stay on the left side of the gully as it rises a bit then drops down into the boulder filled gully. Hike up the gully until you come to a walled boulder. Turn right out of the gully and follow some short switchbacks up the sandy hill to the varnished lower wall with a splitter crack right up the middle. This is where Mount Spry meets up with one of the Twin Brothers. That crack is your route. There is an obvious roof at the start of the first pitch.
Route Description250’+/-, 3 Pitches, 5.10
1st Pitch- 85’- 5.10/ Begin in a left facing corner below the roof. If you place a piece in this corner (.75”), I would place it well below the chimney and sling it to avoid rope drag. It is easy to protect below the chimney with a “1-2” and then as you get a left hand jam and pull up above the roof, you can place another piece of equal size. There are better feet out right than left. Follow the crack above placing good gear at a variety of sizes to the fixed belay which shows up lower than you would think looking at the route from the ground. (photo)
2nd Pitch- 70’- 5.10/ You can see two bolts up and left protecting a thin whitish seam to the right. Thin face moves will get you through this section on the left with good gear below and after the bolts. Belay at a more comfortable ledge below a wider crack and bulge. Fixed chains. (photo)
3rd Pitch- 85’- 5.10/ Start in some dirty off width and try to avoid getting dirt on the bottom of your shoes because you need to smear on the face as the crack narrows. Place large gear at first, up to 4” and then follow a nicely varnished crack (the inside of the crack is decent rock) up placing smaller pieces. I used a .5” where it fit like a glove in one particular spot and also used a good .3” and .4” above it I believe. Pass one bolt as the ground eases for the last couple meters and lands you on a decent belay ledge with fixed chains. (photo)
DescentSingle 60m rope gets you to the ground in three rappels.
- 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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