Intro/Strategy

265 Steep, intimidating but not too hard and with great one-person ledges, Zodiac is one of the best bigwall aid routes in the Valley. Stances or ledges at many belays, beautiful thin cam cracks, the insanely beautiful White Circle pitches make Zodiac a five star route. Zodiac is Intermediate the same way Lurking Fear is Beginner--both routes usually have fixed gear at the cruxes that makes them much faster/easier than they were initially(or if the fixed gear is gone).

 

*Plan: Most parties fix a couple pitches the first day and bivy at the base or low on the wall, and then spend 2-4 days on the wall. You will need a 50' lowerout line for your haulbag for pitch 4. Most of the pitches are 150' or less from belay to belay so if you have a 60m haulline it works fine to tie off your bag at 150' and use the rest of the rope for the lowerout.

 

*Ledge: The single-wide ledges at the Black Tower, Pearly Gates and Peanut Ledge are stellar.

 

*The Elements: Zodiac gets Sun about 9-5. If climbing the Zode in Winter or Spring when runoff can pour down pitch 2 and pitch 3, make sure to climb/fix to pitch 4 and haul from the ground to there and your bags will be dry(only two ropes to the ground from pitch 4(ropes have to be tied together) on two intermediate stations on Shortest Straw).

Trip Reports

History

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Speed

1. Partner
01h:51m:34secs
Alex & Thomas Huber
Jul 2004
1. Solo
11h:18mins
Nick Fowler
Nov 2002
19hours
Rick Cashner, Werner Braun, Kevin Fosburg
Aug 1989 (first one day ascent)
17h:52mins
Steve Gerberding
Oct 1993 (first one day solo ascent)