Cirque of the Moon Rock Climbing
|GPS:||42.755, -109.139 Google Map · Climbing Area Map|
|Page Views:||21,677 total · 177/month|
|Shared By:||Mark Dalen on Dec 29, 2011 · Updates|
|Admins:||Mike Snyder, Taylor Spiegelberg, Jake Dickerson|
This is a compact horseshoe of walls and buttresses lying south of the North Fork of the Popo Agie about 12 miles in from Dickinson Park between Long Lake and Papoose Lake. Rock is generally high quality Wind River granite and the location secluded relative to the nearness of the Popo Agie. First routes were done in here in 1978/79 by personnel including: Mark Dalen, Mark Leonard, Dave Baltz, Dave Dahrling, Paul Horak and Mike Head.
Since this page was first posted in 2011 there has been a burst of activity in this area. Apart from Pipeline seeing its 3rd ascent, a number of quality lines & at least one boulder problem have been reported. These include 1) a multipitch choss challenge left of the main face of Cowcatcher, 2) an ascent of the 3rd buttress of Tycho Wall, plus another route in the vicinity, 3) an array of difficult slab & crack climbs to the left of Sunset Buttress below a feature which the first ascencionists have named Sumac Point. The Mansion is an overhanging highball/TR problem found in the forest below the talus bench leading into the cirque ...
Speaking of boulder problems, it bears mentioning that the rubbly floor of the cirque offers virtually unlimited potential for development ... on our first visits to the area our group would indeed spend evenings ranging the boulderfield in search of problems....
North of Lander, WY, turn into the Shoshone National Forest and follow service roads up to Dickinson Park. Trail climbs a shoulder to the east before dropping down to the Popo Agie following the river first south then curving west toward the Cirque of the Towers. Only one river crossing is required as long as the bridge is not taken that lies about 1 mile downriver of the turnoff to the Cirque of the Moon. Wander instead through dense forest on the south side of the river until boulders appear from the talus bench leading into the cirque (open sky will also be visible). Floor of the cirque is largely boulders and rubble (a moonscape, if you will) but for one patch of tundra which has supported up to 3 tents and lies within a hundred yards of a tarn where water can be had.
NOTE: Most, if not all, recent visitors to this area have approached via Cirque of the Towers ... Ian Dorko, whose team gave Pipeline its third ascent, writes:
'Approaching from the Big Sandy trailhead is pretty easy (although long, ~15 miles one way). All but the last ~1.5 miles where you drop down to the river and then up the other side into the cirque are a good trail.'
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