Blitzing – Zion Duo scores first one-day ascent of Streaked Wall, and three other speed records
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In February, Brian McCray and Ammon McNeeley made two visits to the sandstone big walls of Zion National Park and came away with four speed records, including the first one-day ascent of the 1200-foot, wildly overhanging Streaked Wall. After bivying at the base of the Streaked Wall, the duo quickly launched onto Latitudes (VI 5.10 A4), a demanding 13-pitch route that follows a diagonaling seam. “Eighty percent of the time the placements had something to do with a beak,” McNeeley says. They finished the route after weathering a hail and rainstorm on the final two pitches, topping out in 18 hours and 40 minutes. Following four days of rigging work in nearby Las Vegas, McNeeley and McCray were back in Zion looking to enchain five Zion walls in under 24 hours. Though it didn’t happen, they did score three major speed records in the process. The duo fired the Angels Landing trade route Prodigal Sun (IV 5.8 C2) in two hours, 36 minutes (McNeeley led the entire route), ran across the rim to the proximal summit of Moonlight Buttress (V 5.12d or 5.9 C1), and simul-rapped. McCray then flew up the route (“He freed 90 percent of it,” says McNeeley) in an incredible one hour, 57 minutes, and 40 seconds, besting the previous record by nearly an hour. After another quick simul-rappel down Moonlight, the pair smoked up Lunar Ecstasy (V 5.9 C2+) in just over four hours, making the summit at nightfall. “We were cold to the bone after that,” says McNeeley, highlighting their decision to abort the enchainment after 12 hours rather than suffer through a night of sub-freezing February temperatures. “We decided we were satisfied with our effort … for now.”