What the local Zion route setters have named the “Confluence area” is really just the north end of the west face of Bridge Mountain.
By Zion National Park
standards, the Confluence area is relatively new in terms of established climbs. In fact the oldest route on this section of Bridge Mountain is Better Safe Than Sorry (2002) which runs up to the top of Bridge Mountain’s northern sub peak. The rest of the routes are more crag like (single or double pitch) trad and sport climbs that were not established until the past few years (2010).
The beauty of Confluence is three fold. First and foremost this is one of the more private areas
you can climb in Zion National Park. By hiking up a faint, but enjoyable, trail from the last switchback before the tunnel, and then circumventing the northern wall to the southwest, you have basically eliminated the road noise and gawking tourists. Second is how much sun the high west facing walls receive
that makes this a sweet spot on cool or cold fall and winters afternoons. Third is that Zion really does not have many cragging (single pitch) areas, and particularly none that are warm. Confluence offers an excellent selection of both sport and trad single pitches in the moderate climbing range (5.8-11)
. Crimson King (5.11) would rate among the finer 5.11 finger crack pitches in southern Utah.
From the west entrance, drive up the hill towards the tunnel. On the last switchback (turning back left), pull off. In 2010, they were revamping the road. Due to construction we were forced to park as we would for Cragmont (Tunnel Wall), the previous switchback and hike up the road. I cannot tell for sure, that when they are done with construction whether or not they will leave it such that you can still pull off on that last switchback. They actually might make that old pull out into a lane.
At the very apex of the bend on that last switchback, locate a faint trail that angles up and right to the base of the wall above. Circumvent this wall on this trail all the way to where it turns south (left) giving up a full view of Springdale and facing true west. The routes start fairly immediate at that point.
Routes are Listed Left to Right as you Face the Wall(s)
- Day Bender- Single- 5.9/
- Newman’s Own- Single- 5.8/
- Junk in the Truck- 2 Pitches- 5.9/ Fun and easy first pitch. Second pitch has a short section on a cool rock formation: "brown tombstone". The 5.9 variaion is quite burly to finish on. Crack widens up and then closes down completely with a bit of choss thrown in. The 5.7 variation out right is easy and quick. Single 70m rope with two fixed stations works. Dow
- Barely Legal- Single- 5.7/
- Ghetto Booty- 2 Pitches- 5.8/
- I’m No Sports Climber- Single- 5.9/
- Qi Wah Wah- Single- 5.7/
- Maintenance Wipe- 2 Pitches- 5.10/
- Battered Wright- Single- 5.10+/
- The Tribute- 2 Pitches- 5.10/
- Salty Dog Arete- Single- 5.9/ This pitch is a bit chossy. The crux is a solid slab move about two thirds up on the face above the bolted section (4). It is sort of a balance move on sandy ground that is ill protected. Once through this short crux, the angle eases up. I rapped Crimson King. Dow
- Crimson King- Single- 5.11+/ Speaking with the locals who have spent some time on this stellar finger crack, it definitely leans towards the 5.12 grade. I had a hard time with it, but it is a striking varnished finger crack by Zion standards. I felt the lower third was the crux. Mostly all fingers for the first two thirds. I lay backed the last third on the off-setting edge. Must do, but it will work you. Rap off fixed station. Dow
- Gunswinger- Single- 5.10/ This is a great pitch and the first one I did at Confluence. From below, it looks shorter and easier than it is, but it is taller and more sustained than it looks. Easy climbing gets you up to a finger corner (.4”-.75”). Trust your feet in the corner and finger lock your way up fun ground. Towards the end it opens to hands and fist and the angle eases. Rap off fixed station. Dow
- Better Safe Than Sorry- 4 Pitches- 5.10+/
- Suppository- Single- 5.9/
- Fecal Impaction- Single- 5.11/
- Baby Wipe Slab- Single- 5.6/
- Mossimo Experiment- 2 Pitches- 5.10-/
- The Tribute- 2 Pitches- 5.10/
- No More T-bones- Single- 5.9/
External LinksThe 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
trail conditions or closures, wildlife notices/closures, weather conditions, camping permits, canyon water levels, etc.
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