Zoroaster Temple, America’s Holy of Holies

It is often said that the Grand Canyon is America’s Cathedral. In that case, Zoroaster Temple–the most symmetric and beautiful of the dozens of towers rising improbably from the center of the Grand Canyon–is the Holy of Holies. The entry below the photo is brief (but includes a list of beautiful mountains around the world!). Also also posted here is the full trip report of our climb…

I first laid eyes on Zoroaster in 2005, when my brother Eric and I took this shot from the Colorado river at bottom of the canyon. Since then, I have been obsessed with the peak. I wanted to climb it with Eric, and hopefully one day we will climb it together. But this ascent was done with Shay from Pullharder, my climbing collective.It was an incredible experience to climb this gorgeous peak. It left me in a state of deflation as I had been looking forward to it so much for six years. The views, tranquility, climbing partner, attitude, the style of our climb, the level of exertion required, everything was amazing.  For those who doubt the religious experience of the Grand Canyon, Bob Dylan’s only recorded poem touches on this very topic. An excerpt:

You can either go to the church of your choice
Or you can go to Brooklyn State Hospital
You’ll find God in the church of your choice
You’ll find Woody Guthrie in Brooklyn State Hospital

And though it’s only my opinion
I may be right or wrong
You’ll find them both
In the Grand Canyon
At sundown

Our trip report of the climb is here, along with pictures, posted by Shay but written by us both. Shay even made a couple of videos, check it out!

NB, here are what I consider to be my favorite peaks (by looks only). The most beautiful, pristine, shapely peaks. Zoro is the only peak in the USA that makes the list. I’ve only climbed 2 of my top 10, and several of the honorable mentions. In order, the list is:

1    Laila Peak (Hushe Valley, Karakoram)
2    Khan Tengri (Tien Shan)
3    Alpamayo (Andes)
4    Ama Dablam (Himalaya)
5    Matterhorn (Alps)
6    Macchapuchre (Himalaya)
7    K2 (Karakoram)
8    Cerro Puntiagudo (Andes)
9    Zoroaster Temple (Grand Canyon)
10  Mt. Assiniboine (Canadian Rockies)

Honorable mentions: Masherbrum, Nameless Tower, Table Mountain, Devils Tower, Kluchevskaya Sopka, Rainier, Shivling, Cerro Torre, and the list goes on…


About zoomloco

I zoom-zoom loco like the pony express.
This entry was posted in Climbing, Great Nature, International, Lists, Physical Exertion, Pondering and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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