Visionaries contains one of the more enjoyable (solid rock) and longer 5.9 leads on Prophecy Wall
near Veyo, UT, just north of St. George
. When we finished with this two pitch route, we made one short rap from the top and I led an unpublished run-out (meant for trad gear) alternative last pitch that was no more difficult than 5.9 in my opinion with a neat small roof pull. Once you finish the first pitch, you can move right on the ledge if you have some trad gear unless you are real competent at the grade and are comfortable running it out as I did, and finish an easier variation of Visionaries. However, the final 5.10c finish is quite tame for the grade. Another way to maximize your experience on this route is after the 2nd rappel back down. Move right and you will find two, yet to be published, really fun 5.9ish bolted routes on the pillar that forms the trad corner for the Book of Prophecy variation.
Both run through a small roof problem on stellar rock and are decent length.
BEWARE: On more than one occasion, a local rattler has been known to sunbathe underneath the rap chains at the top of the route.
The chains absorb more heat which is what attracts him/her to that spot. If you are not paying attention at this location, you could easily get bit. Another fascinating event occurred on the same day I was first climbing 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.
Harbingers is the best and most difficult route at Prophecy. 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. Fascinating to have these kind of experiences though as long as the outcome is all good. 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. Do not turn left when it forks.
Route Description200’+/-, 2 Pitches, 5.10c
1st Pitch- 145’- 5.9/
A really nice and casual pitch on solid 5.9 edges and holds past 13 bolts to a large belay ledge with two finish options. Goss has it at 5.9+, but that seems soft as would be the norm on his ratings.
2nd Pitch- 50’- 5.10c/
Continue straight up a steep finger crack past three bolts to easier ground and rap chains above. A rattler makes those rap chains his sun spot. Been spotted on more than one occasion right underneath them.
You can also go right on the ledge and finish via two bolts on what seemed like 5.9 through a roof. It is run out
as whoever bolted this variation intended on it being a mixed route. The run out portion felt easy, but had decking potential.
The 5.10c move or two on the original line does not seem anything like 5.10c to me. It seemed much easier.
Rap the route with one 60m rope, three raps to ground.
13 draws (you can skip the first bolt, serves no purpose, 14 in total) and a little trad gear if you want protection doing that easier variation. 60m Rope. Will rap back to your gear. This is a north 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