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150' of sustained liebacking make this a memorable adventure.
Pitch 1, 5.7, 150' (or, in the words of a guide, "Only 5.6 but be sure to send up your strongest leader.") Climb either corner to the top of a pillar (about 70'), then traverse 25' left under the large overhang, and pull the layback flake and exit right and build a belay level with a pointy flake. Look down and realize you are standing on top of the same massive flake you were underclinging on the traverse.
Pitch 2, 5.7, 110'. Step left and down past flake into left-facing dihedral. Climb this corner, exit right, then go up an easy face to a ledge.
Pitch 3, 5.easy, short. Go up and left to the ledge at the base of the huge slab.
Pitch 4, 5.9, 150'. Belay as far left on the ledge as you can. The leader must step out left and down into the corner at the base of the left-facing dihedral. From here you have a clear view of the Half Moon Crack, above you to the left. A finger crack protects the first cruxy moves up into the dihedral. Lieback the long, leftward-arching dihedral. The second crux is near the top, and also protects well.
Pitch 5, 5.8, 150'. Climb up right, then back left over a corner, and pull through a bulge split by a hand crack. Belay on the vegetated ledge. We improved a rap station up and left of the belay and directly above the Half Moon Crack. We used this to descend to the bolts atop Half Moon crack.
Pitches 6 & 7. These should be easy. Jon Sykes says to head up and right to the summit (and the usual walk-off).
Big cams may be useful for the layback crack, but they are not necessary. As with the Half Moon Crack, you will find that part of this flared crack in the dihedral is too wide to take standard cams, but is OK for BigBros. At least Moonshadow's cruxes are far above any ledges.
You can find the crux layback pitch by surveying the dihedrals right of Vertigo's Half Moon Crack. Moonshadow is the rightmost one before the slab, and it's curved the opposite way from Half Moon. The start of the climb, however, is far to the right.
Start in the twin 20' left-facing corners (often partly wet) that are about 150' right of Union Jack/Vertigo, and 100' right of White Iceberg (a bolted face climb). These corners are not in the first large left-facing dihedral right of the bolts -- that dihedral is the start of North-South-West.) To be sure you are in the right place, look for the large overhang that goes left from the top of a pillar, about 70' up. A different route (Down East) continues up a curved crack above this pillar.
BETA PHOTO: Start of the crux pitch at the end of the grassy l...
BETA PHOTO: After the first crux, at least for me: pulling on ...
BETA PHOTO: Looking down from the belay. Rick Buirkle nears t...
BETA PHOTO: Somewhere near the layback crux [photo: Paul Dale]
BETA PHOTO: The start of the route. Follow the left of two lef...
By Fred Dufresne
Aug 13, 2013
It seems that the start of the route is hard to find. I think theres a mistake on the Mountain Project site. When you sort the routes of Moby Grape area from left to right, White Iceberg (5.12) is located to the right of Moonshadow, which is wrong. Its on its left as the description on topo page indicates. The start of the route is approximately 50 left of the pathway going through the scree field. The « twin dihydrals » are one on top of the another, but the second one is few feet further to the right of the one you start from. The second dihedral ends in the roof that you have to traverse from right to left (where a small tree should bother you a little). And its fair to say, that even if pitches 1 and 2 are very nice, the 5.9 pitch makes the route. Its worth it to do all those pitches just for this one.
By Sprax Lines
From: Brookline, MA
Oct 18, 2014
Fred is right. Moonshadow starts to the right of both the bolted face (White Iceberg) and the starting corner of North-South-West. I re-sorted Moonshadow to correct the mistake. If in doubt about which dihedral is the start of Moonshadow (it might be the wettest one, if that helps!), look for the hollow-looking roof traverse (big underclinging moves bring you left past a small tree) that lead to a gorgeous short left-facing corner lieback. That lieback takes you to the top of the huge flake you just under-clinged. That lie-back corner is easy to spot, so let your eyes down-climb from there to find the start.
By kevin neville
From: Somerville, MA
Oct 27, 2014
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Fantastic route! Stays wet for a few days after a hard rain, which matters for all the liebacking-on-smeary-feet moves. Protection is good on the crux P4 -- bring a few extra finger size pieces, and there was one spot where I was happy to have small offsets. There was a scary move near the end of P2 (only 5.6 or 5.7, but far above last gear), unless we were somewhat off route; the best line wasn't totally obvious.
From: Asheville, NC
Dec 19, 2014
Instead of doing the long left traverse on P1...climb up and right following the obvious crack system. Makes linking the first 2 pitches quite manageable. Very natural line....with a spot of well protected 9+/10a laybacking.