Kung Fu Theater, 5.8-5.11

Kung Fu Theater, 5.8-5.11

Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 37.21228°N / 112.96536°W
Activities Activities: Trad Climbing
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
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Inner Chi, 5.11
Inner Chi, 5.11

This wall offers great crack pitches and routes similar to Tunnel Wall’s climbs across the road and to the east. But Kung Fu Theater is not as tall of a wall as the main Tunnel Wall, thus the routes are not as long. Also like Tunnel Wall, Kung Fu Theater is a hot day destination, offering the best shade in the park for free route climbing. The best 5.11 free climb in all of Zion, Smash Mouth, if just around the corner of Kung Fu Theater on Bridge Mountain proper. On a hot summer day, you could complete Smash Mouth in the morning and finish off any energy you have left on a route on Kung Fu Theater on the way back to your vehicle. Most of the climbs are short, one to four pitches, and are relatively new (2005 on).

Park at the last switch back (on the right) along the park road before you enter the Zion tunnel heading eastbound. Locate the trail heading west for Bridge Mountain (Smash Mouth, 5.11). The entire north facing wall above you on your left is known as Kung Fu Theater. Cat Hole, Cave Dweller and Walk in the Park share the same start (photo) in a chimney system surround by bulging walls on each side. These are the first routes on the wall walking east to west. Kung Fu Fighter (300’ tall arch) and Kung Pao Kitty are the next group you come to.

Route Description(s)

Kung Fu Fighter, 5.11-
Kung Fu Fighter
Enter the Dragon, 5.11-
Kung Fu Fighter, 5.11
Blood Sport and Enter the Dragon
Kung Fu Fighter, 5.11
East Temple
Mortal Combat, 5.10
Cave Dweller, 5.10
Japanamation, 5.10

The Routes are Listed Left to Right as you Face the Wall

  • Cat Hole- 4 Pitches- 5.10/

  • Cave Dweller- 4 Pitches- 5.10/
  • Cave Dweller’s upper three pitches are worth the effort of the first chossy pitch (5.7). There are several meters of heads up climbing through a sandy roof. It was my belayer’s first experience climbing in Zion and I was in no hurries therefore stuck to the FA’ers topo which has you stopping at approximately 20m or less on each of the first two pitches. However these first two pitches would be easy to combine. The second pitch (5.9) involves much better climbing and starts the varnished chimney which encompasses the gut of this route. Again you must pull a small roof to start the pitch. In fact the first three pitches' crux is each at a roof. The third pitch is the business on Cave Dweller. After pleasant but run out chimney climbing, you pull a significant roof with athletic moves out to the edge (crux). Through 35 meters on this 3rd pitch I placed three pieces of gear, C4 #4, #5 and #6 along with the lone pro bolt on the entire route. The last pitch was a pleasant surprise. Looking up at it from the belay, I figured it would be mostly chossy and bushy. It actually delivered 20m of fun climbing in a well varnished flaring chimney (not continuous with the previous feature) placing medium pro at will. Dow

  • Drunk Hippie- Single Pitch- 5.10/

  • Kung Pow Kitty- 4 Pitches- 5.11/

  • Kung Fu Fighter- 3 Pitches- 5.11-/
  • The first pitch has an alternative start (5.8) to the left, but I can’t see any reason why one would use it. The direct line up the right side of a short tower offers a pleasant hand crack (5.9). The second pitch is the business of the route. After a few laid back meters to start, it pours into a large fist crack (5.11-/C4 #4’s) with few features to assist along with little to no rests. The third pitch (5.9+) offers dramatic exposure traversing below a large roof (see photo looking out from roof!) and then pulling a smaller one before finishing up a hand crack to a belay ledge. There is a fourth pitch but the FAer’s don’t recommend it. Dow

  • Pu Corner- 2 Pitches- 5.10/The crux on Pu Corner is exclusively a tips corner down to Metolius 0, but mostly C4#.3's.  Quite the contrast to neighboring Kung Fu Fighter's C4#4 splitter.  Having triples in .3 and .4 would make the pro warm and fuzzy on this pitch.  I did not stem it on lead, kept my toe in the corner, but stemming might make it easier if you can make the transition.  If you want to try something new, go ahead and rap Kung Fu Fighter to the ground and start over on the next crack to the left so Pu basically has its own starter pitch as well.  Rap hangers at the top, 60m rope sufficient. Dow

  • Splinter Crack (The Sewer Rat Sensei)- 3 Pitches- 5.10/

  • Blood Sport- 3 Pitches- 5.10+/
  • The first pitch direct variation (independently named Last American Ninja, 5.10) is no slacker pitch offering a C4 #4 small roof pull shortly off the deck. After that it turns into a surprisingly good hand crack. The second pitch (5.9) climbs the worst rock on this route. Varying ground covers delicate and dirty sandstone to a comfortable ledge and fixed belay below the varnished third pitch in the corner/chimney above. The third pitch is a full on almost 200’ of climbing through chimney, off-width and a wide crack that follows the corner proper to the top. The entire pitch is quite stout and sustained for the grade. The end gets a bit dirty. Dow

  • Last American Ninja- Single Pitch- 5.10/
  • This is nothing more than the best (direct) start to Blood Sport. Stout couple moves to pull the wide crack bulge/roof shortly off the deck, but it is well protected. From there it is a fun 5.9 hand-crack to a comfortable belay ledge via a gear belay. Dow

  • Sumo Wrestler- Single Pitch- 5.10-/

  • Enter the Dragon- 2 Pitches- 5.10+(11-)/

  • Mortal Combat- 3 Pitches- 5.10/
  • All three pitches of Mortal Combat offer decent climbing. The first pitch offers a surprisingly clean hand crack out right that peters out toward the top when you switch to the wide crack in the corner itself. The middle pitch involves all kind of moves and 360’s as you stem, chimney and jam your way up an almost full 200’ of good climbing in mostly varnished rock. You should empty your entire rack on this pitch minus the smaller pieces. The last pitch goes back to pleasant hand jams with a short stemming section to mantle up and out of the tall corner you have been climbing in for the entirety of the route. Then scramble up the next corner so you can traverse left past loose and bushy ground to Blood Sport’s rappel. Dow

  • Miagi- Single Pitch- 5.9+/
  • This is a decent pitch. Follow the right side perfect hand crack. The crux is about ¾ up when it gets a bit thin. Just a move or two called 5.9+ on the topo, but pretty mellow. Then some bushwhacking to the shared rap with Hong Kong Phooey. Dow

  • Hong Kong Phooey- Single Pitch- 5.10-/
  • A sport climb up some patina. Crimpy start and juggy towards then end. You did not come to Kung Fu Wall to do this though, but something to combine with the other single pitches on this wall to get your pump on. Dow

  • Japanamation- Single Pitch- 5.10/
  • This is a great moderate crack pitch. Start in the wide pod between the bolted route of Hong Kong Phooey and the aesthetic (tips) corner of Inner Chi. You start getting hand jams and placing gear at will. The crux is pulling a bulge half way up. Be careful not to steal away a stemming hand jam (place a C4 #5 deep in vs a C4 #4 out) as you pull out and find a crimp on the right outer wall to help overcome the sloping bulge. From there it is quite steep, but fun positive holds past two well-placed bolts to the ring bolt anchor. Dow

  • Inner Chi- Single Pitch- 5.11/
  • One of the more aesthetic pitches in all of Zion, albeit short. Just to the right of Japanamation. As of May, 2013, just a one bolt anchor. Entire bolt has been extracted, new hole needs to be drilled. Take all the small gear you have, top half is smaller than tips. Starts out at .4 and goes to .000 for pro. I used a hybrid of stemming and chimney technique on the crux upper half. The crux move is a dyno at the roof for a jug, with a bolt for pro. Fun pitch. Dow

  • The Dark Tower- 4 Pitches- 5.10+/

  • Danielson- Single Pitch- 5.8/
  • This pitch is right next to Shadow Warrior (left side). Go ahead and rope up on the ground as the ledge above is loose and bushy. Climb up the bush filled gully and start climbing the hand crack about 20’ left of the corner. This pitch climbs better than it looks. Eventually take the right of the twin cracks above to the fixed rap. Fun 5.8 hand jamming, hard to find in Zion where most everything is considerably harder. Dow

  • Shadow Warrior- 4 Pitches- 5.10/

  • Rabbi Jah- 3 Pitches- 5.11/

  • Bruce Lee Memorial Crack- Single Pitch- 5.10/
  • Horrible looking short crack that runs left of Micro Chuck's good second pitch. You either have to climb Micro Chuck's first pitch or Sweep the Leg Johnny to access it. Did not look worth doing to me. Needs cleaned, but not worth the effort in my opinion. Dow

  • Micro Chuck- 2 Pitches- 5.9/
  • he first pitch (5.7) is dirty and lacks intrigue, but the second pitch is worth the trip up. Bryan has the route listed as 5.8 in text, but labels the last pitch crack 5.9 on his topo which seemed to be on target for Zion grades. On the first pitch I chose to stop below the huge chock stone for rope drag consideration. The chimney below the chock stone was fun and of course the splitter/slight corner above to the tree rap was real good (.4 to hands). Bruce Lee Memorial is a second pitch variation to Micro Chuck that does not look to appetizing, a slanting dirty crack out left that leads to the same belay/rap. Dow

  • Sweep the Leg Johnny- Single Pitch- 5.10/
  • Not as good as Japanamation, but similar style. Start up a short dirty chimney protected by a black painted bolt out left. Pull a small bulge into a decent hands/finger crack in the corner. Finish on a well bolted moss covered face (crux) up to fixed rap rings (2013). Full 35m rap to ground. You cannot top rope it with a 70m unless the belayer scrambles up the blocks way to the left. Single rack to 4" is plenty of gear. Quite a few bolts, save eight draws for the face climbing above. Dow

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Children refers to the set of objects that logically fall under a given object. For example, the Aconcagua mountain page is a child of the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits.' The Aconcagua mountain itself has many routes, photos, and trip reports as children.