Saturday June 28th, 2008
After an excellent day involving a fast descent of Imlay Canyon, we decided to follow-up it up with a quick ascent of East Temple, one of the more iconic peaks in Zion National Park. Ryan had to return to Pocatello for family matters so that left just Buzz and I. Buzz had done it before so he had good beta on the route. A slight variation had been described by Aaron Ralston to Bill Wright so we had that up our sleeve as well. Buzz had done it prior with his girlfriend in ~9 hrs. They brought ropes and gear and had to do all the route-finding, so we figured it would take us no more than 6 hrs.
We left the parking lot just east of the tunnel with shoes (I wore Fireblades, Buzz and Exum Ridges) shorts, t-shirts, and water-bottle fanny packs. We cruised out to the over look point on the easy trail. Once at the overlook point, it immediately takes a change of terrain as you’re instantly on incredibly rad slabs. They’re the perfect angle. We called this some of the best “slab running” around! We traverse to the north west trying to not gain too much elevation (in other words, not heading straight up to the base of the large red cliffs), knowing that eventually we’d have to drop down into a gully. So, we trended in a northwest directly to a set of hoodos, dropped down into the gully losing maybe 300-500′ of vert, then climbed the face to the left of another gully (easy class 5), gaining maybe 500-700′ of vert to the skyline where there were some more hoodos. Instead of climbing a more difficult dihedral, we wrapped around by traversing horizontally (maybe 1 or 2 class 5 moves) and then climbing up a short gully of perhaps 200′ of vert. Then we were on the best rock of the entire peak. Maybe 400-500′ ft of excellent rock on the northwest ridge of the peak. Once we reached the top of this were were on an upper plateau with trees, brush and dirt, the only thing above you is the top band of red rock. We traversed the north face of this red rock all the way to the east side of it, and then even wrapped around to the southeast to an easy class 2 trail to the summit plateau. We reached the high-point in 1 hr 36 minutes from the car. It was great.
We hung out for 10 minutes and then cruised back down, reaching the car in a total time of 2 hrs 52 minutes. What a perfect journey.
More Pictures here. A couple “beta” pictures are provided below although I hope to post some better detail later on….
Total vertical gain is ~3000-3500 ft.