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Big Game Hunter: A Ground-Up Zion First Ascent

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This past winter, Lane Mathis, Dakota Walz, Collin Turbet, and Sam Stuckey set off into the Zion backcountry with the goal of climbing a ground-up big wall first ascent. Their efforts culminated in Big Game Hunter (5.12d) on Kolob Canyon’s Beatty Point. The team hand drilled all of the bolts on lead—a legal requirement for national park areas—for the 800-foot line. They spent 8.5 days of effort on the route, first for an ascent with aid and then coming back a week later to free the line. The above video by Mathis is an entertaining and honest look at the group’s effort, highlighting the group’s success, but also the uncertainty and mishaps along the way.

Read a feature by Big Game Hunter team member Dakota Walz about his year completing a vertical mile of first ascents in an upcoming issue of Climbing Magazine. A subscription is included with our Summit Membership.

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