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Mount Kinesava - Zion National Park - Utah, United States

by steve625  
with a Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx
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I was lucky enough in High School to have a teacher show a short 30 minute movie called "The Perfect Moment".   After 35 years I can't remember the class or the teacher, if I could I would thank her, because I can remember with "relative" clarity the message of the movie.  It followed three athletes... A surfer, hang glider and a skier.   Each athlete described what was involved in creating "a perfect moment"... Where time stood still, and everything was in perfect clarity.

I remember two of the three elements needed  in creating "a perfect moment".  First:  you have to be out there.  You have to be engaged and trying something.  A perfect moment can never happen sitting on the couch.  Second: a certain amount of physical conditioning.  A perfect moment can slip from your grasp if you lack the physical endurance to follow through in the moment.

These thoughts were far from my mind when my alarm clock woke me at 5:00 am, based on previous trips to the area (see trip reports 1/ 6/12 & 1/13/12) I knew I'd have to be on the trail, at first light, to make it to the peak and down again. I had planned my day for 12 hours, including an hour on the peak and an hour at the petroglyphs.  April is the best month for long hikes in Zion National Park, when the days are longer but the daytime temperatures are still cool.

I arrived at the cumbersome parking lot and Trailhead precisely at 7:00 am, still pre-dawn, but light enough to see the trail without a head lamp.  Rounding the turn into the subdivision I was greeted with a beautiful sight of the West Temple and Mount Kinesava being bathed in the first morning rays.   This trek is all uphill.  Following my previous route information I moved quickly up the Springdale layer, second layer and after approximately 3 hours hiking I arrived at the saddle.  Most of the hike to the saddle is class 2 - 3; grinding out steep loose footing in sand and rock.  Hiking poles are extremely helpful, allowing your upper body to do a considerable amount of work.

The saddle funnels hikers into a narrow ledge system about 3' feet wide and 100' feet long, large exposure also creates impressive views into the Springdale area and the impressive peaks of East Zion.  Across the ledge system is the crux of this hike, bouldering up the last ramp to the plateau, is a challenging class 4 adventure.  The trail is well marked and the views are breathtaking.  Several hoodoo greet you at the plateau and the white stone cap peak of Mount Kinesava awaits across the small valley.

The climb to the summit of Mount Kinesava is an additional 700 vertical feet of slickrock scrambling.  Plenty of shelf systems and weaknesses to arrive at the top.  Be prepared for some of the most awe inspiring views Zion National Park has to offer. 

Mount Kinesava rests on the Southern most edge of the park, the views West are of Kolob and Pine Valley.  The Kolob Terrace sandstone peaks stand out against the green / blue background of the surrounding trees.  The triangle shape of Red Butte is unmistakable, Tabernacle Dome, and the Guardians are easy to spot.  South allows views into town, and farms.  Eagle Crags and the surrounding area is beautiful. 

East is the impressive line of East Zion Peaks.  Mountain of the Sun, Twin Brothers, Spry Mountain, East Temple, Bridge Mountain, G2, Destination Peak, Gifford Peak, Hepworth Peak, Roof Peak and The  Watchman.  North rests the amazing face of West Temple and my "Perfect Moment" for this hike.

I stacked my rock on the summit cairn and looked high and low for a summit registration, but  found none.  Down climbing back to the valley I made my way south to the Petroglyphs wall.  Located south-south-west is a series of cliff bands.  Follow the well worn path across the plateau, through the scrub oak to the cliff bands.  As Bo Beck points out on his website for Mount Kinesava "We assume if you are going to do this difficult of a hike you respect ancient rock... Remember the slightest touch can damage the ancient rock art. Treat it with the respect you would a piece of art in a museum."

What goes up must come down, and the down climbing is especially tricky after a long day.  Use caution and hiking poles to keep balance during the descent.

Backcountry Route! Safely hiking backcountry routes depend on your own good judgment, adequate preparation, and constant attention to your surroundings. Your safety is your responsibility.

In my pack:
75' 6mm static pull rope
25' webbing, locking carabiner (3), ascender, rapid release (2), repelling device
GPS, Camera, Cell phone, TOPO map, compass, gloves, extra batteries, extra socks (2), first aid kit, headlamp, knife, sunscreen, bug spray, matches, light sticks, emergency Bivouac kit.

Carried but didn't need:
50' webbing, harness, nuts

Lunch & energy snacks
Water: 3 liters**(85 degrees F)
**3 liters was barely enough, I was taking mouth fulls of my last .5 liter the final two layer descent.  Plan on stashing at least 1 liter for the descent.
Good shoes for slickrock scrambling.
Permit: NOT required.
petroglyphs, summit, peak bagging, scrambling, scramble
Photos: See all pictures and videos from Mount Kinesava - Zion National Park
Trip Info
April 20, 2012
Trip Location: South Zion, Utah, United States
Length: 8.1 miles
Duration: 11 hours
Activity: Hiking
Trip viewed 907 times
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