The West Temple is one of Zion's grandest peaks and the standard route up its narrow, mile long south ridge
defines classic. Dom & I climbed The West Temple back in March of 2009, but it
has been beckoning us to return during recent years. When we learned that it was the #1 desire of Giles & Julie
for the 2014 annual Thanksgiving extravaganza we knew the time had come to make another pilgrimage to
see the King of Zion.
Despite having climbed the route before, we managed
two major errors while trying to gain the notch where the south
ridge begins. The first put us just a few hundred feet below
neighboring Mount Kinesava! Oops. That one I'm blaming on mischievous
Kinesava, the Pauite
god famous for his trickery. This isn't the first time Dom & I experienced such a phenomena up there.
Slightly frazzled by the time and energy deficiencies resulting from our initial mistake,
blunder entailed forcing a route straight
up to the notch on exposed low 5th class rock, later dubbed the Meiser Directissima. Double oops.
Upon finally gaining the notch our team climbed and reversed the mind blowing
ridge with style and efficiency, managing just a single rappel of the crux pitch on the descent. This ascent of The West Temple
was just as special and unforgettable
as the original. Will there be a third?
The southeast facing cliffs below Mount Kinesava bake in the early morning sun.
We reach the base of the cliffs after a steep 2000 foot uphill slog from the Springdale Cemetary.
Is goofing around a good excuse for blowing the routefinding?
Starting up the Kinesava ramp.
I can still remember walking this cool ledge six years ago when Dom & I climbed Kinesava.
I believe this is the 4th class crux of Mount Kinesava.
Just below Mount Kinesava's summit plateau where we realized our FIRST major routefinding error of the day.
Beginning our SECOND major routefinding blunder of the day, later coined the Meiser Directissima.
This ain't looking at all traveled or familiar but we're short on time and push on anyway.
The 5th class difficulties of the Meiser directissima begin.
This ain't getting any easier.
Julie concentrates on some spicy and exposed 5th class moves.
Desperation and joy? This is about where we connected with the standard route just below the notch.
Happy to have made it... to the notch. Still a long road ahead.
Fueling up after our strenuous screw ups. Do we have enough time and energy left?
The ridge is steep and exposed right out of the gate.
Ah, the welcomed security of a well placed slot!
The slot as seen from the opposite end.
The first cruxy section, exposed 5.0 perhaps.
A helmet is a perfectly good point of contact.
Dom drops a handline for Julie on some highly exposed, nontrivial scrambling.
The devious Kinesava. We climbed to that saddle first by mistake!
Fierce "Wussy Peak" lies ahead. Rumor has it that's where people often opt to run home to mommy.
Julie downclimbs THE tree off "Wussie Peak", webbing anchored by Dom in hand.
Most useful tree in Zion? At least the most useful LIVE tree. I can think of a dead one that tops it.
Don't try this at home kids.
Dom descending "Wussy Peak".
Ryan helps Julie up the short step we aided. A nut and a couple of slings does the job beautifully.
Julie climbing up to the start of the crux pitch.
I led the 5.6 crux pitch this time. 3 bolts, a #1 cam, and a slung bush. 0.3/0.4 cam would have been nice.
Behold the summit cap of The West Temple!
Anticlimactic may be an understatement.
Five years ago yesterday we climbed that orange peak in the center, which CP dubbed "The Little Altar". Loved it.
Dom flying down from the summit cap.
Giles rapping the crux pitch from the two bolt anchor.
The long scramble back to the notch begins.
View toward The East Temple (left of center), Bridge Mountain (right of center), and the Three Mary's (foreground).
"Wussie Peak" can be seen in front of Mount Kinesava.
Reversing the aid step high on the ridge.
Rare male groping sighting.
Crab walking down a steep and narrow section.
This classic view down the ridge to Mount Kinesava never gets old.
Julie preparing for the tree upclimb, which is much less heady than the downclimb.
The exposed bypass near the top of "Wussie Peak". Doesn't look like much, but its damn intimidating on the ascent.
Dancing on the ridge.
We managed to eliminate a couple of the rappels we did last time and downclimbed everything but the crux pitch.
White = approximate standard route. Red = Meiser Directissima.
Sunset on the Watchman massif.