WE on ZE

Page Type
Trip Report
Utah, United States, North America
Date Climbed/Hiked:
Apr 19, 2008
Aid Climbing
9668 Hits
96.38% Score
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WE on ZE
Created On: Apr 22, 2008
Last Edited On: Apr 27, 2008

Day 1

Tower Of BabelZE from Argon
Tower Of BabelZE from 3 Gossips

Zenyatta-EntradaEnd Of Day 1

We’ve been wanting to climb Zenyatta Entrada (IV 5.4 C3) for a few years but nerves, weather, opportunity never came together at the right instant of time and space until last weekend. Taking advantage of Southwest’s airfare slashes (a poor aircraft inspection record becoming public might have induced this – I dunno?), we flew down to Salt Lake last Friday night. Due to late arrival in town and our laziness, we got to the base of the line after 10am following the arduous 90 second approach. The weather was sunny but there were strong gusts of wind. At this point we were pretty sure we’d be fixing the first couple pitches and returning for more on Sunday.

The first two pitches offer lower angle climbing and positive nutting and so they went relatively quickly (mostly C1 I’d guess). Third pitch is where things got steeper, thinner and less positive (small nuts, largish RP’s mostly). The going was fairly secure until I came to within 10 feet of the intermediate belay anchor. Well in sight of the bolts and chains, I would spend the next hour trying to put together a house of cards to get my fat ass up this final short stretch. With a long string of questionable gear below me, I did a fare share of praying as my attempts at hooking the section resulted in small flakes blowing off. Similar results were obtained when trying to nut a sandy looking groove which would be nearly out of reach had I not been able to string three nuts together to extend my range. All for nothing. A half engaged #2 Camalot in a blown out pin nest combined with some well-timed updraft (you know, levitation…) and I finally clipped the anchor. Thoughts of finishing up to top of P3 proper were nixed and so we fixed the ropes and came down trying to secure the lines from abrasion the best we could. Did I mention the windy conditions?

As it was early afternoon, Shirley & I went into Moab and did the tourist thing: first we had a couple beers at McStiff’s and then a couple margaritas at the Mexican joint, followed by more margaritas with dinner in the evening. We carb-loaded in anticipation of having to do the arduous approach again. At this point the thoughts of wind + Entrada abrading the shit out of our ropes were almost out of my mind. We headed back to our discount motel in Green River where the sounds of a trucker next door doing his share to support the rest stop economy lulled us to sleep.

Day 2

Zenyatta-EntradaGood morning!

Expecting a fuller day 2, we got to the base of ZE after 8am once again following the arduous approach. The wind was trying to outdo its performance from Saturday with more sustained blowing and bigger gusts. We jugged the lines which pleasantly enough held. For breakfast, I ordered 15 feet of C2-ish blown out scars to a bolt, to a penji, to an easy crack. And then we were looking up at what reports call the “C3 roof”. We were trying to find a stance for Shirley that would allow her to avoid the human meat rocket (that’s me!! That’s me!!) should I fuck up at the crux thinness. The going was thin and funky but I was still only within a bone-breaking distance of the belay ledge (not a “lights out” kind of a fall) when I got some small but positive RP’s and small nuts. Like a typical gumby, I supplemented lack of skill and nerve with excess of purchasable technology in the form of countless aid screamers. An interesting hybrid placement under a mini-roof, then a few more thin RP’s (…technically mid-sized RP’s as they go from #1 to #6, but “thin” gives more drama) and I was singing “Hallelujah” at the bolts under the big roof. Quick traverse on drilled angles and soon I was watching Shirley swinging out from under the roof as she cleaned the pitch. It should be noted that this route is a real draw for crowds down below: some choose to drive by and yell while hanging out the window while others stop and take photos. [And once in a blue moon, a kind sould will send you some of those GREAT shots from below - thank you Adam!!] I was waiting to get a drive-by flash next. Did not happen. The last pitch went quickly and smoothly as it has been restored to its FA condition in interest of preserving the stone (a great effort by some very dedicated and hard working people – see below): a touch of C2 followed by a reachy bolt ladder. It’s not supposed to be a bolt ladder but with my 6’7” height and top stepping I did not have to do any hooking or other funkiness. Sitting on the formation’s sloping shoulder just below the summit I was being sandblasted by relentless wind that kept coiled rope nearly horizontal. Shirley arrived and we hiked over to the back of the summit “bulb” and did a quick pitch to the top (A0). Unlike Saturday, the horizon was cloudy and LaSals were nearly invisible. We first thought that a rainstorm was about to roll over us but then realized it’s only a dust storm. We did not linger as we were expecting an epic rappel. Did I mention it was windy? With care and diligence we avoided any rope snags and reached the ground smoothly however.

Quick drive to town and soon we were putting away all-you-can pizza at the what-chummacall-it place on the main drag along with bad-but-cold-so-who-gives-a-shit beer. Salt Lake City again and back to work Monday morning. I have to say that ZE was the best aid route thus far for me but I always say profound things like this on a Monday morning after…

Notes & Acknowledgments

Zenyatta EntradaUnknown Party
Zenyatta-EntradaShirley on summit
Zenyatta EntradaZE from 3 Gossips
Shirley saluting the tourons...Shirley pointing out ZE

The route in its present form ("post restoration") does not have the C3+ sting as described in Chief’s topo. The crux now is somewhere at the roof on P4 or (as I personally thought) on P3. The Arches Taskforce (see here) have kindly put the time and effort (looks like a huge amount of work!) into restoring the route to its FA condition in hopes of reducing the damage due to pounding in & removal of pins (which is now ILLEGAL in Arches by the way) and hooking of pin scars (more blown-out pin scarring).

Thanks must be given to those who have maintained the route throughout the years, most recently The Chief & Matt Schutz upgraded the belay bolts and even more recently Sam Lightner Jr. and friends put further upgrades into belay anchors (all are tat-free, painted chain anchors) as well as doing the restoration work (see above). ASCA as a whole should be acknowledged as well.

Tyson Arp has put together a very nice topo of the modern version of this route. Much thanks!

Finally, as it is usually the case with desert towers, Brad provided the initial stoke years ago....yeah, so thanks a lot dude - thought I was gonna die on this thing!!!

The Views





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Viewing: 21-37 of 37
Martin Cash

Martin Cash - Apr 29, 2008 5:36 pm - Voted 10/10

Re: Awesome job!

Hi Radek. Things are good man. Been out to Little Si, Leavenworth, and Index a couple times this year. Repeated routes we've done before. Looking forward to the summer.


Dan Dalton

Dan Dalton - Apr 29, 2008 8:52 pm - Voted 10/10

Great TR!

I am always inspired and truly amazed by what you do. Thanks for contributing so much to SP! Great shots! You and your partner are amazing partners!!!!



rpc - Apr 30, 2008 12:09 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Great TR!

thank you very much Dan! Nice ice root page :)

T Sharp

T Sharp - Apr 29, 2008 11:35 pm - Voted 10/10

Far Out!

Great trip report Radek, you and Shirley just keep on ticking off the classics! I always enjoy the read and the terrific pics, they are truly inspirational!


rpc - Apr 30, 2008 12:10 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Far Out!

Hi Tim - many thanks for your kind words Sir.

Climber Dave

Climber Dave - Apr 30, 2008 12:17 pm - Voted 10/10

Great report

sounds like a cool climb.
Fantastic pictures!!


rpc - Apr 30, 2008 3:30 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Great report

thanks for good word Dave.


marauders - May 1, 2008 8:34 pm - Voted 10/10


I'm up in SLC and have always stuck to the ski, snow, ice, alpine stuff. This TR is incredibly inspiring. I'm missing an entire segment of the outdoor paradise in Utah. No longer. Sheer beauty and exquisite terrain like this just can't be missed. Thanks for the motivation to explore further.

Also thanks for posting high-res photos. My, they look good on my desktop!


rpc - May 1, 2008 10:24 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Inspiring

thanks for the kind word Marauders!


rpc - May 2, 2008 11:44 am - Hasn't voted

Re: desert weather

temperature was pleasant esp. when the sun was shining on you (I'd guess low 60F) but the wind was very sustained and with very strong gusts (at times felt like my helmet was lifting off my head). Makes the long aid belay sessions pretty chilly. thanks for visiting & your good vote.

Nigel Lewis

Nigel Lewis - May 2, 2008 8:24 pm - Voted 10/10

As ever....

.. a great report, well written with excellent pics.
Nice one both.



rpc - May 2, 2008 8:30 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: As ever....

Hi Nigel - thank you very much for the good word Sir!


thorgon - Nov 26, 2008 8:13 pm - Hasn't voted


Awesome, T.R. I am very jealous!!! Stellar, shots! Way to go, keep up the good work!



rpc - Nov 30, 2008 10:06 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Zen..

Thanks Thor - appreciate the good word.


thorgon - Nov 26, 2008 8:16 pm - Hasn't voted


Awesome, T.R. I am very jealous!!! Stellar, shots! Way to go, keep up the good work!



Marcsoltan - Jan 14, 2009 7:05 pm - Voted 10/10

Great TR

Very engaging and intense. Love it.
Have a question, or did I miss it? Is ZE on the Tower of Bable?
BTW, I changed the caption of my shot of "Ballanced Rock" to "Off Balance Rock", the way you had it.
I wish I was still climbing, I miss it terribley,


rpc - Jan 14, 2009 7:07 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Great TR

thanks Marc. Yeah, zenyatta entrada is on tower of babel. appreciate the visit, cheers.

Viewing: 21-37 of 37

WE on ZE

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