Land of the Earth-born Spirit
The Land of the Rising Moon is a rather elusive place. It’s not so easy to find, just head towards Glen Dome, and BEFORE you get there, veer up and right. Keep going until you reach flat ground between Glen Dome and Turtle Rock. It’s not much further. While you will catch a glimpse of it if you go further, the best thing to do is cut up and left at this point, angling NE across the flat slabs until the area comes into view. The moon may or may not be there, but just the sight of the place will turn you into a climbing animal howling at the moon. You will need all you’ve got to conquer ‘Cross of Iron’ (12b) and it’s closest ally ‘Master of Sport’ (12b). ‘Straight and Narrow’ (5.8) is another total CLASSIC sought after by many. Both Moontide (10a) and Moonrise Variation (10d) offer special challenges and Bladerunner is a thin 5.11 testpiece. Colorado Cable Cutter (9) is a long, wandering line to the top of the formation.
RISING MOON TOPOS
M = Moontide 10a Take the right leaning, somewhat over-vertical offwidth past the chockstone and bear slightly up and right along a shelf to a near vertical 10′ offwidth to finish. Belay on gear and downclimb the choppy gulley in back of the climb. (Matous and Heywood, ’75)
Moonrise Variation 10d Climb Moontide to just after the upsloping shelf and go vertical on hands to fingers to face. A real challenge at the grade, but superb!! Belay on gear and downclimb. (Matous and Heywood, ’75)
S = Straight and Narrow 5.8+ Can’t miss it, the long offwidth crack in the r facing dihedral about 30 yards above ‘Moonrise’. A total classic at the grade. Climb a crack within a crack, continue on 3 side by side cracks and belay……..holy moly. Second pitch begins with a great hand crack. Ascend it and move on up to the top. You’ll usually find some rap slings at the top or walk/off – downclimb the south part of the formation. (FA Stevenson, Koedt and Schaap, 66. FFA probably Schenck and Garson, ’71)
Scott Miller taking on the MOONRISE VARIATION
C = Cross of Iron 12c Think you’re honed man?? Try this one on for size !! Go up the first 10 feet of Master of Sport and continue on ever thinning fingers. If you reach the corbel, climb past it and stand on it. With a strenuous ‘iron cross move’ reach over left to the next crack, pull over on some fantasy feet and another corbel and continue to the top. You’re either now an olympic caliber gymnast – or too damned short to make the moves. (Blunk, ’88)
*m = Master of Sport 12b Start up a thin crack on the south facing wall about 15 feet left of Straight and Narrow. Take the 60 degree, right rising crack with unrelenting fingers towards Straight and Narrow. Go vertical from here on the continuing crack to anchors at the top. You are now a true master of the sport. See shot at right. (Piana, ’84)
S = Straight and Narrow 5.8+ See the description above.
** NOT SHOWN ON THE TOPOS:
BLADERUNNER 11C Found on a shelf facing NW about 40 feet below the “MOON CLIMBS”, this is a very thin crack in a right facing dihedral that takes small pro….. if you can find it (the pro that is). An incredible stemmy climb that is technical in nature and will push you to your limits. Well worth the effort to get here!! See shot at top of page. (Piana, Devine and Bein, ’82)
‘Colorado Cable Cutter’ 9+ It starts about 10′ left of BLADERUNNER. It wanders up the north side of the formation to the top in 2-3 pitches (you pick it). On this climb, your goal is to minimize rope drag. First, take the 30′ offwidth to a traverse into a right facing dihedral. Traverse left into another right facing corner and take the offwidth/wide crack to the top. WO or DC the southwest part of the formation. (Kelman and Kovats, ’92).
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