One of the warmest spots
to climb in all of Zion National Park
is on the southern aspect of the Three Marys. The Three Marys are located above the town of Springdale to the right of West Temple
. The steep approach
up the loose sandy hill side provides a nice warm up during cold winter days. The approach is easily accessed from the Tanner Amphitheatre parking lot
More Than a Woman, 5.10
As of 2012 most folks have focused on just one route located on Right Mary, Immaculate Conception (5.10)
. However, I consider Theatre Goddess (5.10) a better climb in terms of rock and varied climbing.
I was not that impressed with More Than a Woman (5.10)
on Middle Mary which is mostly a choss fest with maybe one decent pitch. I have been told that CT Chimney (5.9, left side of Middle Mary) is a worthy objective and hope to add it to this posting soon. Although no other routes are published on Middle Mary as of 2012, there would be plenty of virgin ground for new routes to be established. That being said, both Left and Right Mary look to have steeper walls with better rock for future route development.
Regardless of which route you climb on Middle Mary, the preferred descent is the east ridge down to the col between Right Mary
. This descent only requires two single rope rappels versus many rappels down the west ridge and col with Left Mary.
Drive down the paved road (Lion Avenue) toward the Dixie State College Tanner Amphitheater. Park before the gate and hike in along the road to the amphitheater itself. Right before the amphitheater locate a climbers trail on the right that drops down into a wash and then aims for the obvious break in the steep lower cliff band above and slightly to the west. The trail is rarely used and can be faint, but there are a few cairns along the way (2012). Once through the cliff band, make for the left corner of Right Mary (Immaculate Conception
). Walk along the base of the col between Right and Middle Mary and notice how your descent is best made skiers right. Whatever you are climbing on Middle Mary, suit up here (gully below col) to avoid the bushy trek back to the base of the climb when you are finished. Continue along the base of Middle Mary heading west. Locate a significant roof a solid 200’ above. There is a bail bolt you can see (2012) below the roof on the left wall. This is the start for More Than a Woman. CT Chimney is further along yet. I have included topo photos.
Routes are Listed Left to Right as you Face the South Face
CT Chimney, 5.9/
More Than a Woman, 5.10, 5 Pitches
/It was incredibly loose and chossy with movable blocks everywhere we stepped or pulled. The cracks themselves were also incredibly dirty and frail on the edges. The descent was chocked full of cacti and brush. Bryan states in his guide book “first five pitches are fun, mostly choss free cracks”. I do not agree with that assessment. I led the first 200’+ trying to reach a ledge with a significant tree. Despite simul-climbing, the rope drag become too much and we eventually divided that first corner to crack to ledge section (300’) up into two pitches. The rock was crumbling at about every instance. The third pitch required us to move the belay up and left about 20’-30’ and was a bit more interesting at least. It started out in a corner with a decent crack on the perpendicular wall, but also soon gave way to more chossy white sandstone. At about 200’ I reached a belay tree which marked the entrance to an open gully. The fourth pitch was by far the best pitch of the day. It runs up an obvious hand-finger crack left center at the back of the open gully. After that pitch, we scrambled up 5th class to the summit and descended down the east ridge to the col with Right Mary. The descent down the col required just two single rope raps off of trees staying skiers right. Dow
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.