A Zion 5er

Where: Zion National Park, Utah
When: March 2009
Partners: DB

On the summit of Little Majestic

After a 4-month Zion hiatus, DB and I plowed our way back into the glorious park on a fine spring weekend for some more backcountry action. It started with a glaring oversight: Moquitch Hill.

I never realized that the tiny, unassuming hill hovering over Zion Adventure Company in Springdale was a named summit. Well, waiting Saturday morning for ZAC to open so that I could drop off some of my books they'd ordered, I motored on up. It was a 5-minute affair, and I startled a deer breakfasting up there just below the top.

Dropping off my books, DB and I headed into the park and drove up the Scenic Drive to the Grotto trailhead. Donning our packs, we set out on the trail, soon hiking past Scout Lookout and toward the West Rim. Reaching the head of Refrigerator Canyon, we got onto the slickrock isthmus and working over to the base of our first objective: the SE Face of "Little Majestic," a minor summit on the northeast corner of Mount Majestic.

With a short, easy slab to start, we worked up a steep, vegetated groove that led to the summit. With 2-3 short 5.0(ish) pitches (a reasonable solo, if it wasn't for the absurdly loose and dirty climbing), we soon found ourselves relaxing on the flattish summit with fun views north to the Bodhisattva, Sneak Peak, Wynopits, Mountain of Mystery and Flagpole Mountain.

Dropping down the SW slope of the peak, we gained the nearby south slope of Little Majestic's higher but slighter neighbor, "Majestic Spur". An easy walk to the summit via the SW ridge.

Although the views from the top of Majestic Spur were thwarted by the looming presence of Majestic's northeastern wall, the summit did afford nice views into snow-choked Hook Canyon.
Hook Canyon from the summit of Majestic Spur

After a good nap, we headed back down, worked back across the isthmus and then scrambled up the west face of Refrigerator Peak, a peak I'd been on as recently as last November. Someone had knocked over the cairn I'd placed there, so I rebuilt it and we soon headed back down to the West Rim Trail via Refrigerator's gentle south ridge.

Heading down the trail, I could't resist the opportunity to bag Angels Landing again. Remembering how Tom had told me that he'd once hiked up Angels Landing without using his hands, I thought I'd see how fast I could do the same thing! Despite the traffic jams with all the tourons, I was able to roundtrip it to/from Scout Lookout in 25 minutes. Not bad, I think.

Afterward, we dropped by ZAC again to pick up some goodies then arrived at Oscar's in time for an early dinner. Nice day out!