Peak Climbed: Burnt Mountain

Peak Height: 7,682'

Route: South Face

Difficulty: 5.2

Location: Zion National Park, Utah

Trailhead: Red Butte 4WD Rd

Mileage & Gain: 9 mi & 2,800 ft RT

Date Climbed: April 22, 2018

Burnt Mountain is an obscure peak in the northwest area of the park known as Kolob Canyons. The expansive summit mesa is well protected by what appear to be impenetrable high cliffs on all sides. When I first layed eyes on it I assumed there was probably no reasonable way to the top, but I've since learned from CP that there is an improbable line on the south side that goes at easy 5th class. This was my most wanted summit of the trip, but I wasn't sure I'd get it because of imperfect conditions.

The route follows an S shaped weakness in the small south face, zigzagging on big ledges to reach the summit plateau. A distinct low 5th class pitch is encountered halfway up. We managed it unroped but it was a little uncomfortable. It had snowed 2 days prior, and the rock was still damp in places. We found some webbing at the top of this section and used it to rappel on the way down.

The crux of the route comes directly below the summit plateau in the form of an exposed, dirty, low angle slab. The moves are not hard, but quite intimidating and committing. The only protection to be had is tiny bushes and the consequences of a fall would likely be bad. If it had been up to me to lead the way, I probably would have turned around here! We rappelled this part on the descent by wrapping our rope around a huge bush at the top as there are no other anchor options in the vicinty.

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