The Moonlight Buttress (Clean Aid)
Avg: 3.9 from 166 votes
Routes in Moonlight Buttress
|Looney Tunes 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b A2+|
|Lunar Ecstasy 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b C2+|
|Moonlight Buttress (Clean Aid), The T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c C1|
|Moonlight Buttress (Free), The T 5.12+ 7c 28 IX 27 E6 6b|
|Sheer Lunacy T 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c C1|
|Sheer Lunacy (Free) T 5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b|
|Type:||Trad, Aid, 1200 ft, 10 pitches, Grade V|
|FA:||Jeff Lowe & Mike Weis - Oct. 1971|
|Page Views:||98,652 total, 523/month|
|Shared By:||Casey Bernal on May 24, 2002|
|Admins:||Andrew Gram, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq|
Seasonal Raptor Closures
***** RAIN AND WET ROCK ***** The sandstone in Zion is fragile and is very easily damaged when it is wet. Holds rip off and climbs have been and will continue to be permanently damaged due to climbers not respecting this phenomenon. After a heavy storm the rock will remain wet, sometimes for several days. PLEASE DO NOT CLIMB IN ZION during or after rain. A good rule of thumb is that if the ground near your climb is at all damp (and not powdery dry sand), then do not climb. There are many alternatives (limestone, granite, basalt, and plastic) nearby. Seasonal Raptor Closures
Closures in effect March 1
Check for current Raptor closure conditions at:
Check for current Raptor closure conditions at:
DescriptionThis route is great. The line can be spotted from the road as a distinct dihedral with a roof/chimney at the top that runs up just past half way. The rock looks blank above that but a beautiful, direct, crack system runs almost the whole way up. This is a great easy aid route or a hardcore free climb on beautiful crack systems.
The belays are all bolted and the bolts are in great condition (thanks to the ASCA, I think). A hammer is nice for cleaning but do not nail anything on the route.
The start is a pain in the ass. On the far left side of the 3rd class ledges, locate a right angling ramp. It is somewhat obvious.
P1 (5.8+, ~200') Climb the ramp, step right, and follow short hand cracks to the bolt anchors. Pull up the haul line and throw it down to the pig. This is the worst hauling on the route (except the top).
There is a direct 5.10 variation that would make this much easier. This pitch is not so well protected but it is not too bad.
P2 (C1, ~100') Traverse far right and start aiding up the shallow right facing dihedral just after a small roof. Follow the crack system to a nice belay ledge in an acute dihedral with a bolt anchors.
This pitch could be free climbed at 5.10.
P3 (C1, ~100') The angling bolt ladder. Mostly QDs and a hook. Walk right on the ledge and stretch up to the first clip. Follow the line of bolts and drilled pins to where there are two pins next to each other.
From here we believe you do a free move then hook move to the next bolt. We decided it would be faster to do a long stick clip with the pole from the ledge's fly. We were told by a party later that the day before the pin had pulled or fell out so they hammered it back in. What ever you do here be careful as it is not a good pin at all. It is dead vertical so the fall is clean but it would be long and involve a swing.
This pitch ends on the rocker block with bolt anchors.
P4 (C1+, ~180') The Grand Dihedral. Clip two bolts and enjoy leap frogging cams up the steepening dihedral. This a beautiful pitch; long, so have plenty of carabiners and cams/nuts to take you the whole way (or back clean). Have the #2 and #3 cams for the couple of wider parts.
This is the first of the hanging belays from bolts.
P5 (C1+, ~150') Continue up the steep dihedral and decipher the step left on a hook. We used the big bros to aid the initial part of the chimney/v-slot and they worked great.
Follow the shallow dihedral system for another long pitch to an awesome ledge. There is a series of bolts along this ledge to accommodate bivies. A double portaledge is nice for comfort but one could sleep on the natural ledge. (Aahhhhh...sleep!)
P6 (C1, ~100') The beginning of the nice splitter crack system. OK stance, bolt anchors.
P7 (C1, ~100') Same stuff. Decent stance, bolt anchors.
P8 (C1+, ~100') The rock here turns into a rather broken crack system for a little ways. Watch where you place gear because some of the blocks seemed loose (although they didn't move).
Somewhat tricky; hanging belay, bolt anchors.
P9 (C1 5.7, ~130') Continue up the splitter clack system to a small roof with hand-sized pro. This can be free climbed at 5.10.
Arrive at a small ledge with the final 5.7 slabs. Belay here or run up the scary slabs. We belayed here and brought up the second to finish up the slabs.
The 5.7 slab is about thirty feet long and there are about two pro placements (red cam and red alien). Traverse right, up, back left, up to the top. It would be very scary without rock shoes. There are a couple of trees to belay off of on top.
When hauling at the top, it would be best to extend the tie-in to be over the lip. Otherwise you will only get it up with a Z-pulley and you will deepen the grooves in the lip. Be ready for the gawking tourists as the trail is only about 100 feet away.
For the meat of the route you don't need any hand-sized or larger gear (#1 cam and up) except for the 5.10 pitches and the chimney. Most of the pitches are TCUs and nuts and an occasional small hand-sized piece.
It would have been nice to leave the hand-sized pieces in the top of the pig and tag them up when needed. Be ready for the typical free move in the middle of an aid pitch.
If you know what you are doing it would be reasonable to do it in a day. You can fix lines down the rap route from the rocker block with 2 ropes. You can bivy on the rocker block but the best one is at the top of P5. There are no other good places to bivy as they are all hanging belays.
The route gets morning sun and is shaded after about 2pm or so.
ProtectionLots of TCUs, especially red and yellow aliens. We had six of each and were pretty comfortable. You could do with less, but at least triples, and at least doubles in the other TCUs. Narrower brands are nicer because they are all pin-scarred placements.
Doubles in cams to a #3. Double set of stoppers with triples from #6 to #11. Offsets would be useful.
Big Bros 2 and 3; maybe 4 also. 2 Hooks.
Small tricams and a set of hexes to fill it up.
One portaledge. One pig. One gallon H2O/person/day. Stick clip. Belay seat.
Do not use camhooks.