Most of us who have climbed Harbingers really don’t feel it is a 5.11b. Todd Goss’s ratings are soft in general throughout the St. George
area and in particular at Prophecy Wall
. Harbingers is no exception. That being said, Harbingers is by far the best route on this wall. The second pitch climbs a classic mini tower arête on spectacular rock and then makes a stiff overhanging traverse on huge jugs to a free air anchor.
The first pitch is rather non-descript. There are two very nice and long 5.10 bolted routes to the right of Harbingers, Conditional Bliss
and Caging the Zealot
, making this a good location to spend some quality time on Prophecy Wall.
A fascinating event occurred on my second ascent of this route. It has happened to me one other time in the southwestern desert while climbing Mrs. Butterworth (Zion)
. A very large swarm of bees
moved swiftly along the base of the wall and up the Harbingers pillar which we were on. We were up the first pitch and had yet to get too high up the crux pitch. We both froze and did not make a sound as they ran up our back side and followed the contour of the pillar to exit above the wall blocking out the sun partially just like what you see on Discovery Channel. If they were of the killer bee variety, which is nothing more than a variation in temperament towards mammals born in Africa out of necessity to protect their hives, and one were to become upset at a reaction by either one of us, a chemical could have been released and well….I believe we were in more danger in this circumstance than most grizzly and rattlesnake encounters I have had. Very unique nature item to observe such a fast moving swarm like that.
Drive north of St. George on Bluff Street which is State Highway 18. Stay in the right lane as you exit town. Continue north past Snow Canyon
on the left to mile marker 18
. Turn left onto a gravel road and drive past the Sand Cove Water Reservoir on your right. Prophecy Wall is obvious to your left. You can turn down one of two roads on your left and drive to a large above ground reservoir pipe. There is a decent trail that leads to the right side. Just follow it right up to the right side of the wall. Turn left when at the base of the wall and scramble over the corner formed by Harbingers.
Route Description140’+/-, 2 Pitches, 5.11b
1st Pitch- 80’- 5.8/
Harbingers, Conditional Bliss and Caging the Zealot all share the same start. Climb up a whitish slab with varnished horizontal plates past several bolts until it turns into a ramp/ledge that trends left. Climb up easy run out ground left following a ramp to the base of an obvious pillar/arête with a fixed station and comfortable belay at the base of it.
2nd Pitch- 60’- 5.11b/
Start up climbing the arête direct, finding easier moves slightly to the left, but clipping bolts (6) on the right. Plenty of rests along the way which make this grade suspect.
Seems like good hand holds the whole way. The rock is real good on this pitch. Make the crux traverse right, hanging on jugs to the free air anchor, clipping with one hand, hanging off a jug with the other.
Rap the route with one 60m rope, two raps to ground. Would be impossible for the leader to clean it. Either the second must climb the route or the first will have to re-climb to clear his/her draws.
10 draws. 60m Rope. Will rap back to your gear. This is a northwest facing wall, will see afternoon sun in the spring. When 90+ degrees in St. George, this is a nice morning destination. Dress accordingly.
Other useful sites beside the BLM
site include the weather forecast