Weeping Wall is better known as a Zion tourist attraction, but Alex McAfee’s old guide book, “Zion Rock, The Finest Climbs of Zion National Park”, lists three routes as specific to “Weeping Rock Cragging”. Conrad Anker and Brad Quinn put up Ion Shadows, 5.11b R, what McAfee calls the “best route EVER”. To the right of Ion Shadows is the Weeping Rock Chimney, 5.7, which McAfee also labels “one of the best in the canyon for its grade”. I tend to agree with the latter comment. The Zion Canyon tourist objective, “Weeping Wall”, is actually to the right of these three routes. When you turn the corner up canyon, you run into Cerberus Gendarme Wall which has a ton of routes. There are two significant arches that separate Cerberus Gendarme and Weeping Wall. To the right of these arches are the three routes that make up “Weeping Rock”. Access does not get any easier, just take the shuttle stop at Weeping Wall or park at the Weeping Wall parking lot if out of tourist season (best time to visit this crag). There are restrooms at this location.
The name "Zion" meaning "place of refuge," was given to the canyon by Mormon pioneers in 1919. The park is comprised of 229 square miles of protected wilderness and is home to Kolob Arch, the world’s largest. Continuous water "weeps" out of Weeping Wall resulting in a lush over hanging eco system. The weeping is from a slot canyon above known as Echo Canyon. Impermeable shale makes up the floor of Echo Canyon preventing the ground from absorbing the water and forces it to penetrate the wall, thus weeping through the rock.
The Routes are Listed Left to Right
- Face-tastic, 5.11/ 100’-
- Ion Shadows, 5.11b R/ 100’-
- Weeping Rock Chimney, 5.7/ 185’- Weeping Rock Chimney is a delightful training corner/chimney. I took a fellow SPer on her first ever trad multi pitch up this route. The first pitch does not get much better, perfect crack to place gear on the left while slinging a tree to the right. Continue up a ramp that rides into the shaded chimney. As it steepens, you end up with two cracks on either side of the ramp. Place all the gear you want, switch to the right crack until you reach a webbing anchor on bolts on the right wall of the chimney. The is a very comfortable spot to bring up the second and set up your belay for the next pitch. The 2nd pitch is a classic chimney squeeze where you actually have to move out into space to find enough room to proceed upward in the chimney. It is quite dirty as most appear to climb the first pitch only. There are some loose blocks you want to avoid, but plenty of other features to utilize. Half way up is a rusted bolt/hanger on the left wall no doubt placed as most pro at that point is into large loose blocks. Continue playing the walls back and forth until you hit a rusty bolted station on the left wall. Again, this belay provides a super platform in which to bring up the 2nd. The whole chimney provides total and complete shade making for a very comfortable climb even on hot days. Rap the route. Dow
- Great Beyond, 5.10/ 800’+/- The Great Beyond is mostly a pure trad line sprinkled with a few pieces of fixed pro. Most of the belay stations via ascent are made with gear but you can rap the route with doubles (60m) from trees and a few fixed stations. The first two pitches (5.7) are essentially the Weeping Rock Chimney route, and can be combined with a 70m rope. The third pitch is a non-sustained pitch with a 5.8 move or two. The fourth pitch is best begun by moving the belay right along a significant ledge (French Lee Variation). It is a decent 5.8 pitch that follows a hand crack corner (left facing) through a small roof pull to another comfortable ledge and gear belay. The fifth pitch is a 5.6-8 pitch up through a few bolts on a varnished face and then left up an easy corner to a fixed station on a ledge. The sixth pitch (5.9-10) is the classic pitch of the route. Follow a bolted traverse at the grade up and left into an exposed steep off width/hand crack (back to the original line). This pitch is fairly long and will eat triple .75”-1” if you brought them. It was difficult for me to get all warm and fuzzy about some of the delicate varnished holds or even the pro on this pitch due to the composite of the sandstone despite how aesthetic the line was. The seventh pitch (5.9) was fairly uneventful and a bit brushy but sets you up right below the crux move of the route, the short but difficult off-width move (5.10) through a small squeeze to the left of a large roof to the top of the wall. Dow
Getting ThereDrive less than five miles, from the left hand turn over the bridge heading down Zion Canyon, to the Weeping Wall parking lot on the right hand side across from Angel’s Landing on the left. Walk out of the parking lot down to the road and continue up canyon, easily identifying the two stations for Ion Shadows with Weeping Rock Chimney to the right. There is no discernable trail, just head up one of two minor washes to the base of the routes.
Red TapeYou do not need a climbing permit but you will have to pay a National Park fee to access the park. During tourist season, you will only be able to access the road by shuttle. I always purchase an annual pass to US and Canadian National Parks. If you are going to make more than 4 visits per year, I advise this option.
Zion National Park will have manned kiosks on Highway 9 and you will be required to pay a US National Park fee ($25 per vehicle for a day/week pass, $80 for an annual pass-2007) if you drive by them. Backcountry permits are required for all overnight trips in Zion National Park, including climbing bivouacs. Climbing bivouac reservations are available for Moonlight Buttress, Lunar Ecstasy, Prodigal Son, Spaceshot and Touchstone climbing areas. The permit fees are based on group size: 1-2 people: $10, 3-7 people: $15 and 8-12 people: $20. Reservations are available for many backcountry trips in the park. A reservation does not guarantee that you will receive a permit. Reasons that a permit will be denied include high water, flash flood warnings, and wildland fires. Depending upon the backcountry zone, 40%-60% of the total number of backcountry permits are available through reservations. The remainder of permits are available as walk-in permits.
Some rock formations and routes are closed to climbing from March 1 to mid-July each year to protect nesting peregrine falcons. Some areas that are routinely closed include the Great White Throne, Cable Mountain, Court of the Patriarchs, and the Streaked Wall.
My favorite place for dinner in Springdale is the outdoor patio at Oscars. It also appears to be the local’s favorite. Most of the staff is into climbing as well, so it is a great place to plan your next climbing day and maybe even pick up a partner. Ask for Zach. The Mean Bean across from Oscars is one of my favorite independent coffee houses period. Ask for Joe.
When to ClimbSummer days are hot (95-110°F), but overnight lows are usually comfortable (65-70°F). Climbing in the middle of the day during the summer in southern Utah is not recommended. Carry plenty of water regardless. Afternoon thunderstorms are common from mid-July through mid-September. Storms may produce waterfalls as well as flash floods. Sandstone is weak when wet, so avoid climbing in damp areas or right after a rain. Winter in Zion Canyon is fairly mild. Winter storms can bring rain or light snow to Zion Canyon and much heavier snow in the higher elevations. Clear days may become quite warm, reaching 60°F; nights are often in the 20s and 30s. Zion roads are plowed, except the Kolob Terrace road, which is closed in winter.
Camping/LodgingThere are two great campsites inside Zion’s south entrance. I have stayed at the South Campground just inside the gates. The scenic spots are on the North Fork of the Virgin River. This is a first come, first serve campground via self registration of $16 per night in 2005. This is a popular park however and I advise booking a site ahead of time at Watchman Campground if you think you are going during a popular period. Facilities include restrooms, drinking water, picnic tables, fire grates, RV dump stations. No showers are available at these park campsites but are available at an in town private facility for a fee. There is also a 6-site primitive campground called Lava Point, no water, no fee, and it is not open all year.
Springdale has tons of lodging options as well including a privately owned campground right before the entrance to Zion National Park. If you demand the luxuries of town, I recommend Majestic View Lodge. I have stayed here on several occasions and the rooms are first class with great views. There is also the privately run Zion Lodge which is in the heart of the park.
It is actually “illegal” in Zion to camp at the base of a climbing wall or in your vehicle.
Mountain/Route ConditionsThe Zion National Park website has most everything you need including trail conditions or closures, wildlife notices, weather conditions, camping permits, canyon water levels, etc.
DowClimbing.Com- Weeping Rock