This is a great clean aid line to the left of the moonlight buttress route. A beautiful straight up line with lots of good nutting and tricky clean aid. Original first two pitches are loose and not recommended.
Pitch 1 and 2 follow Moonlight Buttress. Leave bags below anchors of pitch 1 where 5.10 variation goes. Pitch 1 (5.8): Start way left and scramble up 3rd class ledges and toss rope around bushes. Belayer needs to go up a few ledges, about 20 feet so that 60 meter rope will reach anchors.
Pitch 2 (5.10 or C1): traverse right and throw overhang with small gear. Follow crack to anchors below large closed book corner. Don't haul on pitch 2, just drag haul line up P2 and P3 then easy haul from anchors on top of P3.
Pitch 3 (5.10 or C1): Moonlight goes right, Lunar goes left up through large flared chimney with good crack in back. Good free climbing, much easier than aiding.
Pitch 4 (5.9 C1): Can be done in two sections, not a bad idea due to rope drag. From ledge ascend obvious crack (5.9) to mantle, traverse right ~15-20 feet to bolt and beginning of C1 and Halfmoon Traverse. If done in two sections can easily belay from nice ledge above mantle and haul all of pitch as one.
Pitch 5 (C2): Pitch is called "Old A4". Drilled angles to steep, beaten-out crack.
Pitch 6 (C2): "Leapfrogging Aliens" and that's what you do. Steep, thin crack. Hanging belay.
Pitch 7 (C2+): Amoeba Pitch - Same thing - steep, thin crack, this time broken by the Amoeba, a large mass of rock mysteriously clinging to rock face. The top of the pitch has dicey, sandy, mandatory 5.7 move to anchors.
Pitch 8 (5.8 C1): From belay ledge carefully free climb (5.8) up sandy rock steps to crack. Possible to place small gear in horizontal crack. Easy C1 up crack takes you to huge ledge.
Pitch 9 has two options. The original finish goes up right from multi-bolt anchor and has loose sections with mandatory free climbing. The Jarrett Finish (recommended) starts from the left side of the large ledge from the two bolt anchor. Pitch 9 Jarrett Variation(C1): Loose C1 at start to bomber, steep, and exposed C1 for bulk of route. As of 11/05, the final aid bolt is in very bad condition. Finishes at two bolt anchor at lip. Can back up bolts with extra lead line tied to tree. Bring bags and follower(s) up to two-bolt station first. Then, make easy work bringing pigs and people over lip.
Bivy: Huge ledge on top of Pitch 3 with 1 distanced pin, three equalized bolts, and one distanced bolt. Good for two portaledges. Good ledge on top of pitch 4 with three equalized bolts and additional bolt for portaledge. Best suited for one portaledge. Pitch 7 is okay bivy with three or four bolts and one pin. Easy to set up two ledges. Huge, monstrous ledge on top of pitch 8 two bolts on left side of ledge and multiple anchors on right (2 or 3 pins and 3 or 4 bolts) Great for multiple ledges. Ledge on top of pitch 3 could be slept on without portaledge, although uncomfortably. Pitch 8 would be a great sleeper ledge without portaledge.
Descent: Hike up and right from tree to canyon rim and you can easily spot the paved trail that takes you to the Grotto Picnic area.
Pro: Offset aliens and nuts work great. Multiple sets of aliens, as many as five per certain sizes. Up to #4 Camalot with 1 each #3, 3-1/2, & 4. 2 sets ball nuts. Didn't need hooks. 60 meter ropes recommended.
Submitted by: crotch on 2005-11-28
Route ID: 5018
I did this climb solo over three days, 5.13-5.15.11. This was my first true big wall (grade V) an first multi-pitch solo. it was a huge learning experience but a great time. nothing to bad. A couple of hook moves on the J. variation on top, the one before the bolt as a little sketchy. I took the 5.10 variation to the first pitch as i could not get a good anchor built for the standard first pitch and took the second pitch variation (sheer lunacy pitch) as i didnt really feel like cleaning that right traverse.
2 nights on the wall, could be done in 1 night if you fixed the first 2-3 pitches. There are some definite tricky sections in the head wall, you're going to want some offset nuts and there are definite sections were leap frogging TCU's or C3's is necessary. Couple of very interesting tri-cam placements in pin scar pods. Be careful of loose rocks near the upper sections of the headwall. There are only two places to bivy w/o a portaledge (we had one)...I believe top of 3 pitch at base of head wall, then on the 8th pitch there is a sloping large ledge. Don't bring a #4 cam or larger...you won't use it. One guidebook indicated bat hooking.... we didn't have one, and really never saw a placement for one. Hauling is pretty easy...slightly over-hanging headwall...enough said. Did he original finish because the traverse over to the Jarrett Finish with the pig didn't look inviting. The original finish is tricksy.... some horizontal cracks that accept tricams towards the end...although I was blowing a large amount of sand out of them. Make sure to throw some climbing shoes on for the last pitch. I was pulling the free moves in clunky approach shoes...not fun.
1.5 days on the wall. 20 feet up P5 was the crux, after that it was cruiser. Great position, fun climbing. Bring some larger DMM Walnuts and you'll be stoked. Ian took the last bolt out with his fingers, and kept it as a souvenir. Does the last pitch go free at 5.hard??
First aid route and my first big wall. Started early in the afternoon due to traffic pile-up on the first 2 pitches of Moonlight. Bivied on top of P4 and topped out and walked off before dark the second day.