Buzz and I snuck down to Zion for a quick 2 day trip over the March 15th weekend. Our first objective was the “TTT” Temple Throne Traverse. An objective simply can’t stand on its own without a good acronym to reference it. The “TTT”, as Buzz called it, is in reference to the fact that it starts by tagging the summit of East Temple and finishes on Great White Throne with a few peaks (Mt. Spry, Twin Brother, Mountain of the Sun, Deertrap) in-between. Whether the route is actually a “Traverse” can be argued…. We descended Hidden Canyon. Buzz has already done a great write-up so I’ll simply add a topo map, and note that the route is ~17.5 miles long, and a caution that it is a serious route with high-consequence scrambling!
The next day we set our sights on the “West Face Scramble” route up the Watchman, and hoped to also add in one of the summits (there are three) of Johnson Mountain. After all our combined years in Zion, it was embarrassing that neither of us had been on top of the Watchman, we needed to change this. I had climbed The Vigil back in November 2008, but sadly the route stopped just shy of the true summit. The Watchman is the most viewed and likely the most photographed peak in the park because it lies directly to the east of Springdale and is lit-up beautifully nearly every night by the setting sun. This quick little route was so much better than I imagined. It involves a sneaky scramble to acquire the Johnson Mountain ridge, followed by a contrived but well-marked (w/ cairns) route up to the Watchman summit. I HIGHLY recommend this route and plan to work it into the standard repertoire. Summitpost has some good beta here, Courtney Purcell’s guidebook also has details, and below is a map that may be useful despite the GPS scatter. Our route, including the middle summit of Mt. Johnson was only 6.9 miles long.
Pictures from the weekend here.