Cheesy Routes in “The Narrow”

My Dad and I recently took a trip to Saint George, UT and visited a new climbing area in Pioneer Park. The area is called “The Narrow.” Now, do not confuse this with Zion’s Narrows, this area is much smaller. “The Narrow” is a slot canyon that is only a few hundred feet long and 35 feet tall.

Here is a video tour:

There are only four routes set, which are within the first one hundred feet of the canyon. Then, the canyon narrows to nine inches wide. The tight canyon attracts a lot of non-climbers who are intrigued to face the challenge of fitting through. My Dad and I decided to take this challenge on. We started at the north end of the slot canyon and inched our way through. There were some very tight spots, as the canyon does narrow and widen throughout. Despite the struggle, we made it through!

narrow slot canyon

As we explored the rest of the slot canyon, we found many climbable routes that we would like to come back and bolt. I was able to climb three of the four routes set in the small canyon. The title for this post is Cheesy Routes because the setters decided to name the climbs after cheese. The first route I lead climbed is called, “Baby Swiss” 5.9. I can conclude that this route’s name comes from the bounteous amount of small pockets throughout the climb. The start is somewhat difficult as the first move is on a small roof and your first foothold is about three feet off the ground. Besides this move, I found the climb to be quite easy and I would rate it a 5.8. The reason for this rating is that there were a plethora of holds to choose, this is actually what I really enjoyed about this climb. There are so many hand-hold options that you could climb this route several different ways.

baby swiss

The second route I lead climbed was, “Swiss Emmental” 5.10c/d. I would like to mention that this area is red sandstone which can break off easily, so as the grade increases I always get a little uneasy. The beginning of the route was pretty simple to figure out and I was able to see the hand holds I needed up to the first bolt. I do think the first bolt should have been placed one or two feet to the right. As I headed to the second bolt, the sun was blinding my eyes and I had to guess and feel around where the hand holds might be (I would advise you to avoid this climb around 2 p.m. in the spring because of the sun’s position). Nevertheless, I could not stop there, the next part was exhilarating and technical. To reach the third bolt, you have to traverse left using a deep, solid under-cling to a left crimp. Now, to clip the third bolt you have all of your weight on your left foot and a tiny right-hand crimp. After this bolt, there is an awkward gaston to excellent crimps and flakes to the end.

The third route I climbed was, “Unknown 4” 5.10d. Due to time, we had to set up a top rope. To set up the top rope you can scramble to the top of the climbs where the slot canyon starts. There are two anchors set about 7 feet away from the top of “Unknown 4.” To start this climb, I used the canyon wall parallel to it and stemmed my way up. I do not believe that the wall behind you is meant to be part of this climb. But for the sake of time and because I was on top rope, I wanted to have fun. Stemming against the canyon wall helped me tackle this climb fairly easy.

“The Narrow” was a really cool area to climb in and I look forward to going back to tackle the fourth route, “Lacy Swiss” 5.11b. There are also 48 boulder problems in Pioneer Park that I plan to explore.

Have you visited this area? What was your experience? Comment Below!

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