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Routes in 4. Moby Grape Area

Dark Hallow T 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a A4+ R
Manhedral T 5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a
Moby Grape T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13
Moonshadow T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Peppy's Face S 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a R
Psyche Dike Bradley Leblanc's variation T 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R
Reppys Crack T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Tip Trip (Formally 11a) T 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Union Jack T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Vertigo T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a A0 R
White Iceberg, The T 5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b
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Type: Trad, Alpine, 600 ft, 7 pitches, Grade III
FA: Al Long, Lindi McIlwaine, Al Rubin (May 1976)
Page Views: 9,237 total · 117/month
Shared By: Sprax Lines on May 24, 2012
Admins: Jay Knower, M Sprague, lee hansche, Jeffrey LeCours, Jonathan Steitzer, Robert Hall

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150' of sustained liebacking make this a memorable adventure.

Pitch 1, 5.7, 150' (or, in the words of a guide, "Only 5.6 but be sure to send up your strongest leader.") Climb either corner to the top of a pillar (about 70'), then traverse 25' left under the large overhang, and pull the layback flake and exit right and build a belay level with a pointy flake. Look down and realize you are standing on top of the same massive flake you were underclinging on the traverse.

Pitch 2, 5.7, 110'. Step left and down past flake into left-facing dihedral. Climb this corner, exit right, then go up an easy face to a ledge.

Pitch 3, 5.easy, short. Go up and left to the ledge at the base of the huge slab.

Pitch 4, 5.9, 150'. Belay as far left on the ledge as you can. The leader must step out left and down into the corner at the base of the left-facing dihedral. From here you have a clear view of the Half Moon Crack, above you to the left. A finger crack protects the first cruxy moves up into the dihedral. Lieback the long, leftward-arching dihedral. The second crux is near the top, and also protects well.

Pitch 5, 5.8, 150'. Climb up right, then back left over a corner, and pull through a bulge split by a hand crack. Belay on the vegetated ledge. We improved a rap station up and left of the belay and directly above the Half Moon Crack. We used this to descend to the bolts atop Half Moon crack.

Pitches 6 & 7. These should be easy. Jon Sykes says to head up and right to the summit (and the usual walk-off).


Big cams may be useful for the layback crack, but they are not necessary. As with the Half Moon Crack, you will find that part of this flared crack in the dihedral is too wide to take standard cams, but is OK for BigBros. At least Moonshadow's cruxes are far above any ledges.


You can find the crux layback pitch by surveying the dihedrals right of Vertigo's Half Moon Crack. Moonshadow is the rightmost one before the slab, and it's curved the opposite way from Half Moon. The start of the climb, however, is far to the right.

Start in the twin 20' left-facing corners (often partly wet) that are about 150' right of Union Jack/Vertigo, and 100' right of White Iceberg (a bolted face climb). These corners are not in the first large left-facing dihedral right of the bolts -- that dihedral is the start of North-South-West.) To be sure you are in the right place, look for the large overhang that goes left from the top of a pillar, about 70' up. A different route (Down East) continues up a curved crack above this pillar.
It seems that the start of the route is hard to find. I think there’s a mistake on the Mountain Project site. When you sort the routes of Moby Grape area from left to right, White Iceberg (5.12) is located to the right of Moonshadow, which is wrong. It’s on its left as the description on topo page indicates. The start of the route is approximately 50’ left of the pathway going through the scree field. The « twin dihydrals » are one on top of the another, but the second one is few feet further to the right of the one you start from. The second dihedral ends in the roof that you have to traverse from right to left (where a small tree should bother you a little). And its fair to say, that even if pitches 1 and 2 are very nice, the 5.9 pitch makes the route. It’s worth it to do all those pitches just for this one.

Aug 13, 2013
Sprax Lines
Brookline, MA
Sprax Lines   Brookline, MA
Fred is right. Moonshadow starts to the right of both the bolted face (White Iceberg) and the starting corner of North-South-West. I re-sorted Moonshadow to correct the mistake. If in doubt about which dihedral is the start of Moonshadow (it might be the wettest one, if that helps!), look for the hollow-looking roof traverse (big underclinging moves bring you left past a small tree) that lead to a gorgeous short left-facing corner lieback. That lieback takes you to the top of the huge flake you just under-clinged. That lie-back corner is easy to spot, so let your eyes down-climb from there to find the start. Oct 18, 2014
kevin neville
Oconomowoc WI
kevin neville   Oconomowoc WI
Fantastic route! Stays wet for a few days after a hard rain, which matters for all the liebacking-on-smeary-feet moves. Protection is good on the crux P4 -- bring a few extra finger size pieces, and there was one spot where I was happy to have small offsets. There was a scary move near the end of P2 (only 5.6 or 5.7, but far above last gear), unless we were somewhat off route; the best line wasn't totally obvious. Oct 27, 2014
Asheville, NC
Lucas   Asheville, NC
Northeast Alpine Start
Conway, New Hampshire
Northeast Alpine Start   Conway, New Hampshire
Rescue on this route last night:…… Nov 20, 2016
Anyone climb this in the last few years? Going to try it in a few weeks and would be great to know that there hasn't been any major rockfall leading to changes in the route. Some good info on here but any helpful tips re route finding/gear are appreciated as well. Looks like an awesome climb but havent seen much online about anyone actually climbing it. Jun 13, 2018
Gerry Eaton  
Hey Mark,
We climbed it yesterday, 6/16/18! Everything is still as described in the postings. The start photo is great - go up the lower left facing corner, then angle over right by 15' to the 2nd left facing corner. From the top of that you traverse under the roof (a little tricky getting into this), and then head up the obvious flake.
We thought it was a serious climb - the route finding wasn't too bad due to the help from this posting(thanks!) but it was non-obvious if we were taking the easiest line at times, and the gear was tricky in some places. That's part of the adventure! On P2 above the dihedral there's a 25' face with little to no protection, above a ledge. I found a little nut. I thought it was 5.6 climbing, but a bit heady still.
As someone else mentioned its helpful to bring a few extra finger sized cams for the money pitch, P4. There is a rap station (slings on boulder) about 50' above the end of P4 as described here. Its about 195' from the fixed anchor at start of P4 to this rap station - we did it in one pitch. This rap station is directly above half moon crack. We did two 2-rope (60m) raps from this rap station. The first was 190' - definitely put knots if your rope if doing this. Jun 17, 2018
Brent D
Brent D  
We climbed part of Moonshadow yesterday so I thought I would give my thoughts on the route. We only got 3 pitches in and bailed before the money pitch, since we were pretty toast from Vertigo just beforehand.

Overall, I thought the first three pitches were pretty poor quality. Loose rock abounds, which made placing gear really stressful when you weren't sure whether your cam would dislodge an enormous block. Twice I almost pulled off microwave sized blocks on-route. The route-finding was fairly straightforward thanks to all the helpful comments here. Additionally, both myself and my follower felt it was pretty sandbagged even by Cannon standards, but hey, there's always the possibility that we just suck :)

P1: Looks pretty wet from the ground but there are pretty easy ways to escape the wetness and avoid getting your shoes dirty. The moves into the roof are a bit awkward and marred by kitty litter handholds. Once you get to the undercling it's smooth until exiting, which I found to be another awkward move. Awkward climbing was the story of the pitch. I protected all the moves up the dihedrals and into the roof with the right of two ropes, then the moves up the flake with my left rope, and was battling some serious rope drag, even with double length slings on the dihedral and roof (after back cleaning many pieces). If I were to do it again I would go directly up on the right side of the roof as mentioned in a previous comment.

P2: Fun dihedral, but again the feet were not inspiring and crumbly. Lots of loose rock on the right side of the corner near the top of the dihedral. We combined p2 and p3 (according to the topo map), so above the dihedral is the run out section but there's a spot for a small nut on a block. My follower said she felt the block reverberate when she tugged on the nut though, so might be more mental pro than anything.Otherwise, expect to be about 25 feet above your last piece when you gain the ledge and build an anchor in some horizontals.

P3: Very loose and where I almost pulled two blocks out. Maybe we were off-route at this point, but I couldn't figure out which way was the easiest/least chossy line. I got halfway over to the left side of the slab before the step down into the dihedral, and just decided I didn't want to be on the climb anymore. Climbed back right and threaded a large block then rapped. Left a biner for anyone interested.

I know people will say, "you shouldn't grade a climb if you didn't climb the whole thing," which is a fair criticism. However, even if the money pitch were sooo money as many people say, it still only gets 2 stars from me. Climbing through three pitches of Cannon choss to get to it just isn't worth it in my opinion. There are much better ways to spend your day on Cannon. Aug 29, 2018
Thanks Gerry! We climbed it yesterday and I really appreciate all the info.

P1: fun pitch though damp right at the start, we did the variation to avoid the traverse and I found it pretty stiff 10a/b though it protects really well.

P2 & P3: We linked these and there was a ton of loose rock and dirty, grimy holds, also agree that it wasn't totally clear where to go but we just kept heading towards the ledge at the start of P4.

P4: I found the lower crux to be far more difficult than anything later in the pitch, and agree with previous comments on extra finger size pieces, I placed more than I expected low on the pitch and was forced to run out sections later on. We also climbed this pitch straight to the anchor/rap station above Vertigo.

We topped out which took another three full rope length pitches from the rap station heading up and right to the climber's decent (which I definitely wouldn't have found if I didn't see a group heading down from Moby Grape haha). We just took the easiest/cleanest line which was mostly 5.4ish with one or two 5.6/.7 moves, I'm sure some people could simul climb it pretty easy and I would probably just rap down if I did it again. Sep 10, 2018

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