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The Outer Shadow aka Morannon

5.8, Trad, Sport, 120 ft,  Avg: 3 from 21 votes
FA: Paul Muehl, Pete Delannoy, & Gene Larson 1983
S Dakota > Custer SP > Sylvan Lake > Middle Earth > Towers of Teeth > Ephel Duath


A steep and balancy start that leads to a beautiful face crawling out of the trees with great positioning and nice exposure. One of the nicest belay ledges on the entire formation! A 70M gets you to the ground with a bit to spare, so use caution when descending.


South West side of the Ephel Duath. First bolt is about 12 feet off the ground behind a pine tree and right of the cleft that seperates Ephel Duath and the Guardian. 1 70M rope gets you down with a bit to spare.


9 bolts and chain anchors. A double shoulder length runner for a flake midway up, or a finger sized piece, may clam the nerves just a touch...

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Morannon on Tower of Teeth
[Hide Photo] Morannon on Tower of Teeth

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[Hide Comment] I ***think*** you may rebolted an old existing 1983 muehl route called 'the outer shadow'. did you find a lone old bolt up there near the top? (its visible from the ground) Jul 25, 2013
el guapo
[Hide Comment] Andrew, If I recall correctly, the Muehl route started in the cleft between Tower of Teeth and The Guardian and worked up the arete via flakes and crack systems and eventually diagonaled, left to right, across Morannon at approx 2/3 height. There is a climbable section 5 to 8 feet right of this intersection that looks like it would take small wires. It looks hard, exciting and definately in the flavor of Muehl. I hope that helps. Aug 1, 2013
[Hide Comment] Fair enough, however, where is the Outer Shadow bolt in relation to your new route? Did you guys remove it, replace it, use it, leave it, or just wish you never saw it? Not trying to bust your balls, just trying to understand where the 2 routes are in relation to the other. Maybe if you draw in Outer Shadow on your topo that would help.

As for clerical bookkeeping, it's my understanding that the Towers of the Teeth refers to the entire ridge or at least the western extent including (Snaga, Narchost, Carhost, Guardian, etc.) and the formation which holds Outer Shadow, your route, Master of Rack, and Waste Not goes by the name Ephel Duath even though as in your case the route tops out on a some what isolated spire/summit.

More than happy to talk offline, message me if you want.

On a side note, do you or Slichter know anything about the origins of the other 'newer' bolted routes on the Towers of the Teeth? Aug 4, 2013
globe trotting
[Hide Comment] definitely used more than 9 quickies on this one. had to down climb three times for the three extra bolts up there. bring.. 12 draws, i believe it was. my first lead! wahoo. May 9, 2018
el guapo
[Hide Comment] Rocket: Morannon is the left-most line on that wall. You climbed a relatively new route called Second Breakfast. Congrats on the first lead! May 20, 2018