Type: Trad, 50 ft
FA: (TR) John Bachar, Mike Lechlinski, Mari Gingery, 1980.
Page Views: 9,783 total · 50/month
Shared By: Randy on Dec 31, 2002
Admins: C Miller, Greg Opland, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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This excellent route is located on your right (south) as you walk into the Cove from the parking area. It takes a fairly direct line about 25 feet right of the large right-facing dihedral on the upper portion of the wall (Boulder Dash, 5.9*).

The climb name is "short" for big dynamo or "mo", the technique used by the first ascent party to solve the crux move down low. Though this move is now commonly done statically, shorter people often "pop" for the huge hand hold.

Great climbing from bottom to top on excellent rock.


If you chose to lead this route (you have to do the crux without pro); bring cams 1 to 2 inches for the two horizontals. Though given an "R" rating, it probably is best given an R/X rating as any fall at the crux would be very bad and if you landed wrong....

Most people top-rope this climb (2 bolt anchor on top). The route is rarely lead, but often free soloed.
M. Morley
Sacramento, CA
M. Morley   Sacramento, CA  
"...shorter people often "pop" for the huge hand hold" - that is absolutely right (I'm 5'6"). However, the fun doesn't stop there. The climbing eases up for a bit, but there are still a few powerful moves just below the top - pace yourself! Jan 22, 2003
C Miller
  5.11a R
C Miller   CA  
  5.11a R
A long-established Josh classic with a distinct crux down low and steep, continuous moves at the top. Climbers with little endurance may find the moves at the top to be another crux if pumped. This route is conducive to doing laps and could be considered the roped equivalent of Gunsmoke. Nov 30, 2004
Crack Addict
San Diego, CA
Crack Addict   San Diego, CA
I climbed Big Moe today and a guy told me about a "proud line" that went straight up from the horizontal crack rather than traversing to the left. Any info? It felt like an 11d or 12a move and definately reach dependant. Jan 15, 2005
Adam Stackhouse

Adam Stackhouse    
The direct line from the horizontal goes, just as mentioned at about 12a. It involved camming one's foot into said horizontal which could cause ankle damage if one fell at the wrong moment. I witnessed Mike Verdugo walk this line 10 or 12 years ago. We called it "Bigger Moe." Jan 28, 2006
Pat W  
Fun, reachy or dynamic crux and creepy pump up high. If it's the roped equivalent to gunsmoke, maybe I just don't have it wired yet. Seemed a bit harder than V2. Good stuff, 3 of 5 stars for a toprope. Would be a quite proud lead. Oct 5, 2007
LeeAB Brinckerhoff
  5.11- R
LeeAB Brinckerhoff   ABQ, NM  
  5.11- R
This really should only get a R rating for the lead not an X. Sure the crux comes before the first gear, but its not like it is so high that you are going to die if you pitch, get hurt sure, or with the way things have been being done lately, just bring pads for the start. A fall from the top would be BIG for the wall that you are on, but again you are not likely to do any real damage. Sep 10, 2008
Gregg Olson
  5.11a/b X
Gregg Olson   ca
  5.11a/b X
This is in my top ten list. Bolts on top for T.R. Its a great training route with super fun moves. I used to go straight over the upper bulge avoiding the flakes to the left with a foot lock under the bulge and a reach to a small edge ( 12 ish ). As far as leading this thing goes... I used to have this climb completely wired and had a bit of a love affair with r rated routes and I think I would rather solo it then lead it !! In Reference to someones comment above... "just bring crash pads ", " you are not likely to do any real damage", " an R rating" ??? Are you kidding me ??? I could not even imagine dragging a rope and a few cams with me up to the bulge unprotected !! A fall from the low crux might not kill you, but would bounce you off the uneven ledge and into the ground from bone breaking height, a fall from the moves above the crux ( there's still some moves here, and remember your not on a top rope ) certainly would. Jerry Moffett's first lead, and any lead ever of this climb, was and is done in classic bold English gritstone style and is a life threatening undertaking.
Oct 4, 2008
LeeAB Brinckerhoff
  5.11- R
LeeAB Brinckerhoff   ABQ, NM  
  5.11- R
First off, I did lead this route, I tried it in 1993 on TR and could not do it at all. In 2000 I rapped the line to see what gear I needed, pulled the rope and lead it and yes I think it is a great route.
Second as far as the R versus X rating is concerned, lets remember that X means that a route is life threatning in the event of a fall, broken bones does not cut it. Oct 5, 2008
Great for parents! The kids have plenty of flat space to play at the base, there is 5.5s to 5.9s 100 ft away, AND BEST OF ALL the kids can rope swing on Big Moe's TR ropes in between your laps! enjoy!
Jan 29, 2010
toddgordon Gordon
Joshua Tree, California
toddgordon Gordon   Joshua Tree, California
Bolts are back...... Jul 8, 2011
Nelson Day
Joshua Tree, CA
Nelson Day   Joshua Tree, CA
Burly sustained great movement. I wouldn't dare to lead this... Not a fan of doing dynos on lead with no gear! Jan 7, 2013
Justin Sarvela
Duluth, Minnesota
Justin Sarvela   Duluth, Minnesota
Terrible climb when it's cold out, I'd imagine in the summer it's utterly amazing (being in the shade and all). Got just past the crux before my hands froze up. Jan 20, 2013
Hey Nelson, what's up buddy. I did this after leading Ground Up or Shut Up with basically no break. I was pretty pumped from that and I didn't have to do any dynos. I am pretty short, 5'7". Mar 7, 2013
chris tregge
chris tregge   Beersconsin  
I was kicking the sand under this route last week and found a penny dated 1936. Could barely read the date. Wonder how long that was under the dirt? Lucky day. Cool route. Jan 6, 2014

Dave Mayville "Too-Strong" doing a lap on Big Moe in approach shoes. Mar 11, 2015