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Sundance and its neighbor Moondance 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 face straight up to a tree with rappel slings; may not have as much protection as you'd like (5.3).
P2: Make a big move or two to gain the rock behind the tree, then keep climbing up and generally rightward, finding the line of least resistance, to the cliff top.
P1 and P2 can be easily combined.
Rappel from a tree at the cliff top (2x 60m). It's possible to toprope the face to the right of the route, at about the same grade and enjoyability.
|By Dana Bartlett|
Aug 25, 2011
There is also a great place at the top to lounge around and enjoy the view.
From: North Kingstown, RI
Aug 20, 2013
If you look at Williams' and Swain's guidebooks these routes are distinctly different. They do not start at the same place. I've climbed here a couple of times and I suspect that I, and probably others, start up Moondance and finish up Sundance. I'm on something because there are pitons that I follow. Not that it matters, it is a fun romp away from the crowds and a great place to have lunch under the pine tree on top.
Aug 20, 2013
Brian, you're right, and I think I remember that way long ago the first time I climbed there, we did climb a separate first pitch to the right (traversing from the pedastal, maybe?). Then on subsequent visits, the face to the right looked like it had more lichen then protection. I'll take a look at the books and try to straighten it out.
|By Peter Lewis|
From: Bridgton, Maine
Sep 18, 2013
This is quite a nice route and I'd like to clear up a few things about the description. The route starts with 40 feet of very easy (5.3) climbing up to an obvious ledge with a pine tree and rap anchor. The description says there is no pro, but in fact the protection is just fine.
Here are more details for the second pitch: climb up the left-facing blocks directly behind the pine, then traverse right a few feet and go up over a steep bulge. You should now be below an obvious, shallow, right-facing, right-angling corner-thingy (yeah, I know that sounds goofy, but hey, that's what it is). The description says to just wander up this to the right and to the top, but I don't think that is the correct, or most aesthetic way. Climb up and right along the corner thingy with good pro for about 15 feet. When you reach a good piton, go straight left about 6 feet and up and over a little bulge (crux). From there, go straight up, then step right to a little ledge with a right-facing corner and old ring piton (and now, how convenient, a good fixed wire). Instead of going straight up (which seems obvious but is harder than it looks), go left 5 feet and then up to the obvious tree at the top.
If you do this climb in one pitch, as we did, be very careful to sling things properly to avoid rope drag---it's longer and more wandering than it appears. Ending the first pitch at the pine after the easy face is probably wise. Note, you would probably need two ropes to rap this climb. If you only have one, wander straight back from the belay tree for 100 feet or so, pick your scramble over an easy little wall to the crest of the ridge, then walk right (toward Sky Top) for maybe 300 feet to the top of a 4th class descent gully on the right marked with a cairn. You may need to rap one short scrambly bit in the gully.
Sep 22, 2013
Brian -- my Black Dick says there's a distinct pitch for Moondance, and that the straight-up romp is Sundance.
Peter - thanks for the additions. I originally under-described the pitch on purpose, in the spirit of adventuring, this much further down the cliff.
From: New Paltz
Oct 2, 2013
This is a really pleasant route, with a lot of nice climbing. The climbing I'd say is slightly more challenging and interesting than Moondance, and the gear, while fine, is a little more spaced in spots than on Moondance, so if you're a budding leader, you might want to warm up on Moondance first.
We avoided the tree and diagonaled right from the initial face onto the face above the ledge. The tree would add some drag if you clipped it.
Also, you may want a couple of smallish wires (not micro, just small) for the little seam at the top, which was the crux of the route, I thought.