Trad, 200 ft, 2 pitches,
Avg: 3.6 from 23
FA: Dave Furman, July 2001
> A: Lake Champla…
> Poke-O-Moonshine Main…
Peregrine closures and approach trail issues
Access to the Main Face is often limited in the spring and summer due to peregrine falcon nesting. Check the DEC web site (www.dec.ny.gov, search for "peregrine route closures"). Closures are posted in the kiosk at the beginning of the approach trail in the (now closed) Poke-O Campground.
Several recent incidents at the Poke-O Moonshine Main Face have heightened tensions with neighboring landowners.
Shortcut Trail (aka the Smitty Trail): The main approach goes from the (now closed) campground to the cliff near Discord. There is a shortcut trail on the right that provides access to the cliff near Pentecostal. This shortcut trail crosses the edges of two parcels of private land, and was closed in the spring of 2014. As of Aug 30, 2014, this trail is open on a tentative basis. Stay on the trail; there are some cairns and Access Fund signage to help.
Northern Trail Closure (aka the Easy Living Trail): There is an old trail that connects US 9 with the cliff near Psalm 32. This trail is entirely on private land and should NOT be used by climbers; indeed, it has been closed and undocumented for many years. Both ends of this trail are now marked with signs courtesy of the Access Fund.
In short, while visiting the Main Face, approach from the campground, and stay on the main trail along the base of the cliff.
For the hidden sport climber in all you trad climbers.
Casual Observer starts on what looks to be a dirty face roughly 30 feet to the left of the Fastest Gun. Once on it, however, you will be graced with a technical sequence that leads to a traversing crux directly below the menacing flake/chimney hanging above.
Style your way into the chimney and either place a cam and a nut (a blue Alien works well) or brave the secure, but short, runout up to the next bolt out to the left, right before you exit the chimney.
Pull out of the chimney on steep and pumpy moves in a positive crack system. Place a couple small TCUs (blue, yellow, and orange work best) and continue up the less strenuous face to the chain anchors. (5.10- / 90 feet)
Many parties stop here and rap, but if you want to continue on...
Climb up the face on the arete, then trend right into the corner.
Make some difficult, but well-protected moves up the corner, until it is possible to step left to a good belay. (5.10+ / 80 feet) Note: For this pitch carry a single rack of cams up to a yellow Camalot.
Make two rappels to the ground, or carry two ropes and make one, long rappel to the ground.
30 feet to the left of the Fastest Gun on a bolt protected face below a giant flake/chimney.
10 bolts on the first pitch, plus supplemental gear. Carry a dozen QDs and a single rack to #2 Camalot. Be sure to bring #1-#3 TCUs, and a small assortment of stoppers.
Casual Observer, pitch 2
Casual Observer, pitch 1