Kate and I have been hanging in Zion National Park for past week trying to relax and get some climbing in after a hectic travel schedule. We’ve had some sends and some shutdowns while here. Now that the new Supertopo guide book is out we’ve have plenty of options as far as routes go. We checked out a route called Freakshow deep in Zion Canyon that turned to be more of a choss show. Definitely not the best route in Zion.
We’d heard good things about a route called Golden Years IV 5.12D+ over in Kolob canyon that we also went and checked out. Route probably hasn’t seen a second free ascent yet, though I came close to pulling off the onsight. Might go back for this one. It’s cold up in Kolob so we need some warm weather to make it happen. Here’s a pic of Rob Pizem on the FFA of it.
After a couple rest days we set our sight on the Gentleman’s Agreement. We hadn’t heard anything about the route except what is written in the guide book. We figured it maybe be a little to hard for our motivation levels right now but what the heck we figured. Our first day on the route was a total recon day as the temps were in the upper 80’s and the route faces south. After figuring out the approach I french free’d and aided my way up the first pitch which is the crux 13b pitch. It seamed pretty doable. I fell once on my first TR burn but cruised it my next go. Kate had an identical performance. We were surprised to say the least.
So we left our gear at the base and planned to return the next day.
I had some pretty serious shakes trying to lead the first pitch in the sun first thing in the morning and really doubt I could actually pull of the lead. I fell on my first attempt just 10ft shy of the anchor but felt like total crap. But after a long rest and some time to regain my composure I went back up and managed to sketch my way through the pitch and clip the anchors. After the crux pitch follows four 5.12 pitches that we figured would also give us a run for our money. Much to our delight they turned out to be pretty easy, that is except for the first one which felt pretty tough in the short down poor of rain. We also had two 5.11 OW’s up high that could of also proved to be challenging but again they were much much easier than expected. Overall the route was of outstanding quality and not nearly as hard as it’s graded. I wish I could say I dispatch of 13b and numerous pitches of 5.12 in a day, but I’d be lying to myself….