Type: Ice, Alpine, 400 ft, 2 pitches, Grade II
FA: Chad Chadwick, Bill Dockins early 1980's
Page Views: 6,487 total · 40/month
Shared By: Kevin Fox on Jan 31, 2006
Admins: Mike Snyder, Jake Dickerson, Taylor Spiegelberg

You & This Route

30 Opinions

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I think the true crux to this route is the approach. Plan on anywhere from an hour (if you are an aerobic animal) to 2 hours. The Moratorium is the longest continuous flow in the area. Locals said that it doesn't form up every year. The route can be thin and unprotectable to thick smooth ice. The leader definitely needs to be aware of ice that is released.

The 1st pitch leaves the belayer really exposed to falling ice. End of the 1st pitch is a small shelf that is on the left side of the route. Great place to also set a v-thread for the rap off.

The 2nd pitch goes up a steep curtain, and after forty or fifty feet turns into a sloping ledge to an easy finish, or there is a steep curtain on the right.

For the descent you have to rappel the route. Make a V-thread at the top, if there isn't one already. When rappelling, shoot for the shelf that you set up your first hanging belay at. Aaron Mulkey's advice (which worked) was to leave the screws that you set up the anchor with at the first belay. That way, you have something to clip into. The last rappel is pretty straightforward.

This is definitely a classic not to be missed.


Screws and sling material to make v-threads. Two 60-meter ropes. Plan on each pitch being a full rope length.
Hello all,
I was honored to be mentioned in Winter Dance by my old partner Mark Twight. I told Joe Josephson about Monte Madsen's and my first attempt on the Moratorium in the winter of 1983. The approach certainly was of Southfork lore. The spindrift and snow sluffs were very intimidating as was the first pitch of zero pro on 3/4" brittle ice. Monte Madsen named this climb the Moratorium and I wonder why the first ascent party named it the same.

Kirt Cozzens
Southfork Pioneer Aug 6, 2009
Great route. Several years ago Moratorium came in for the first time in a long time. It was new years eve and I was having a few beers with a beautiful girl at the bar. I was young and very dumb. I left her at the bar and went back to the bunk house to sleep because I didn't want to be exhausted and hung over the next day and possibly miss out on this gem of a climb. I think it has come in every year since... Whoops. Apr 2, 2011
jack s.
Kamloops, BC
jack s.   Kamloops, BC
+1 for attempting to not bomb the belayer. I took a six inch piece of ice to the head from 50 meters up. I don't really remember much about the first pitch, but leading the second pitch was sorta nauseating and fun. It is ironic that I jokingly referred to the "moratorium on brains," which is a quote in a book that I read, prior to the climb.

All in all, this is a must-do route if it's in. Feb 27, 2012
My Friend called this route "The Bombatorium" as the belayer has little room to maneuver from the falling chunks of scalloped dinner plates......

Best to be the leader on this one.....

Of course unless you knock ur belayer unconscious and he pulls you off falling down the draw.... Jan 20, 2015