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Ascent of Mount Kinesava on 2021-04-28

Climber: Chris Gilsdorf

Date:Wednesday, April 28, 2021
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Kinesava
    Location:USA-Utah
    Elevation:7285 ft / 2220 m

Ascent Trip Report

A fantastic scramble up an awe-inspiring desert peak at the gates of Zion...definitely one of the highlights of my trip! If you hiked Angels Landing and are wanting more, without the ridiculous crowds, consider this classic peak.

Previous GPS tracks were very helpful, and the approach was a pretty standard desert slog with some trail segments along the cliff band weaknesses lower down. Aim for the very base of the cliffs at the top of the alluvial fan and turn right, and you'll pick up the cairned route, which is mostly pretty easy to follow up to the plateau. A few awkward class 3 moves with some of the more steep and exposed areas get you to the relatively mild area of slope on the ascending traverse. Beyond this are a few very exposed trail segments that honestly freaked me out way more than the "Catwalk", which requires a slightly exposed easy 3rd class descent to reach. On the far side of the Catwalk are two consecutive brief pitches I'd describe as the only true class 4 on this route; one requires pulling yourself up via a chockstone with both hands. However, they aren't exposed. From here, delightful class 3 gets you to the finally-mellow entrance to the summit plateau--just beware the deep chasm between you and the looming cliffs as you get higher!

We followed recommendations of a previous party and aimed for the saddle between Kinesava and the sub-peak to its right, which was probably a mistake. At the saddle, a faint climber's trail continued upward, but ended at some slightly sketchy exposed class 3 bands that made one in our party throw in the towel, a hundred vertical from the top. The rest of us carefully picked our way up this to the surprisingly broad little summit with its stunning views in all directions. Quite a memorable summit!

We carefully retraced our steps back to our friend and returned to the summit plateau, and were able to find the petroglyphs. The quiet, secluded summit plateau had the feel of a sacred place, and we trod carefully. After a brief lunch a bit uphill from the petroglyphs, we found our way back to the start of the descent and made our way down. We felt ourselves baking in the afternoon desert heat, but luckily still had plenty of water, and made our way back to the parking area at a little over 9 hours roundtrip. Just a heads up, the road down into said parking area is rather eroded and will pose a challenge for passenger vehicles, though my friend's Prius was able to make it down and back up with care.
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