Thanks for all the great route info on here! We did as much research beforehand as we could and did minimal route finding. 8 hours car to car. Lovely, lovely day. Saw lots of sheep and a peregrine falcon. Largely class 3. There was still a fixed rope at the one sustained class 4 section. No class 5 for us. I was really glad we had the GPS with us. The route was lightly cairned, and certainly not marked well where you really needed it (on the way down where terrain funnels you one way but you need to traverse and wrap another way). Since I couldn't find any (non-corrupted) GPS data here are a few waypoints:
N 37.17928 W 112.98586
N 37.18008 W 112.98307
N 37.18346 W 112.98085
Unseasonably warm. The neurologically-impaired team made the top in less than 3 hours, after promising each other we would take our time. Thanks to Sarah for waypoints.
This was probably the toughest route finding I have ever done on a peak, and I wasn't in the lead much! We got shut down 4 times before we finally figured it out. It ended up taking ~13 hours!
3/21/09 - Another fantastic Zion scramble! The routefinding was incredibly time consuming but eventually we were victorious. We made the summit right at 3:30pm, our decided turn-around time.
11/28/09 - Climbed The Watchman as a bonus after summitting Johnson Mountain (finally :)). MUCH faster this time since we already knew the way. Had sprinkles, ominous clouds, and distant thunder but luckily that was it.
I've followed many others attempts and victories. I only hope that one day I might achieve.
Have you been yet? I'll probably be back there this spring
I’ve been looking at this mountain for years while camping at the Watchman Campground. The approach up to the notch went up a steep mountainside of rock and dirt. It was typical Zion terrain. I tried to visualize my route up the west face before down climbing from the notch into the canyon. Climbing up the crux was no problem. We then entered the steep canyon than cuts into the mountain.
The route finding became complicated and time consuming. It turned into difficult scrambling so we went up the drainage to the left that had steep slick rock slabs covered in sand. I traversed even farther left to find the easiest way through the upper cliff bands. Luckily, I found some nicely placed cairns that we followed up the final pitch. It was a great climb and more strenuous than I expected.
Fun hike w/ some added scrambleing. Beautifull area w/ a view looking up the throat of Zion lined with majestic peaks and fun canyoneering valleys to explore.
Additional Watchman Beta (Pic's, GPS tracks and Map)
Johnson Peak - http://healthshaman.com/s/Zion-Johnson-Mountain/ via the east face let us down after many variations and our over confidence by leaving climbing gear in wash below. I don't beleive there is a less than 5th class up to summit from this direction and will be back w/ gear next time. (did end up being 5th class, see slides/beta above)
*Descent tracks on GPS for Watchman go a bit easier than ascent one and I recognize the sporty "bush climbing"
Great scramble with lots of route finding challenges. Easy to get into 5th class slots. Without an idea of where to go, we would have been searching. Of course a rope and pro would have made this easier, but we went light and without the gear. Summit views are exceptional and you can see most all of the park.
We saw Bighorn Sheep on the lower slopes.