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Preparing for the mandatory double shoulder stand ...
Moondance and its neighbor Sundance
are two genuinely enjoyable routes on beautiful tight-white rock. They're relatively high on the cliff, at what can be a sunny warm spot on a calm winter day. And because they're fairly far down the cliff, you'll likely have them to yourself.
Both routes start from the same little platform nestled among pine trees. To get there, take the last trail up to the main cliff, as for Wasp
. At the cliff, go right, under the big mound right of Wasp
, then up the gully to the cliff. Keep on following a trail along the cliff, up and up, until you're forced to step right around some trees. You should be at the start of the route, at a small pedestal/clearing above some talus below.
P1: Climb up the easy fact of Sundance
. Williams describes a distinct pitch starting at a large left-facing corner, and tells you to climb its arete and face up to the ledge at 5.1 (you'd then have to walk 15' right to get to the rappel tree above the pedestal).
P2: From the tree, make a few big easy moves to gain the rock behind. Move right, up a few moves, then an easy airy traverse left to gain a face below an overhang. Aim for the left side of the overhang, up into the left-facing corner it forms, then step right and up. Wander on up through easier rock and a final groove above to the trees.
Rappel from the Sundance
tree to climber's right.
P2 was fairly dirty and had some loose rock when I last climbed it. The pitch wanders a lot as well - even with doubles, rope drag was considerable.
Standard rack, perhaps more in the hand-sized range.
From: New Paltz
Oct 2, 2013
We really liked this one. Good gear is abundant throughout, this would be a nice early trad lead for someone (although not their first lead, I'd say).
I wouldn't agree that there is a lot of loose rock. However, there most certainly are a couple of very good-sized blocks right above the ledge with the tree. These are obvious and easy to tiptoe around. The rest of the rock is perfect...although I'll admit there's a decent amount of lichen on both this route and Sundance. That's the price of solitude!
I also didn't have any trouble keeping the drag down, although I did sling almost every piece. Definitely didn't feel the need for doubles. Got down with a 70 in 2 raps. Couldn't say if a 60 would work...