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Aurora Borealis/Lunar Power 

YDS: 5.10a/b French: 6a+ Ewbanks: 19 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 19 British: E2 5b

Type:  Trad, 6 pitches, 450', Grade II
Original:  YDS: 5.10a/b French: 6a+ Ewbanks: 19 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 19 British: E2 5b [details]
FA: Jason Stevens for AB and James Garrett and Renae Power for LP, 2002-2003
New Route: Yes
Page Views: 4,000
Submitted By: James Garrett on Apr 10, 2008

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Rapping off Quartermoon Tower! Yippeee


These are really two separate routes. I have climbed them several times now, and always seem to combine them to attain the top of Quartermoon.

Initially, Aurora Borealis, named for the lightshow the FA witnessed the night before during their drive to Ibex, started partway up the East Face of Quartermoon. It ended on a big ledge with a two bolt belay on a gargantuan boulder. Lunar Power later started at the actual base of the Tower at its lowest point and then continued to the summit. By combining these two routes, one has one of the longest routes at Ibex and makes for a great option for climbing Quartermoon. This climb has just about everything going for it. The very start is 5.12b (FFA=Tim Toula) for one move but is easily cheatable and well protected.

Pitch #1: Start at the overhang near a large flat topped boulder at the base of the east face of Quartermoon. Getting off the ground will be the hardest move. Pass 4 bolts to a ledge and belay here or continue up passing many bolts and killer gear placements in a long pitch reaching a two bolt belay. 5.10a A0 or 5.12b, 45m.

Pitch #2: Continue up the steep face following more bolts to the the big aforementioned ledge. 5.10b, 30m.

Pitch #3: Lunar Power begins here and climbs an easy step to another down sloping ledge and another two-bolt belay. 5.6, 15m.

Pitch #4: Climb a rightward diagonalling crack to a couple of bolts and move right to a wide bolted layback crack. Follow this until one reaches an inset chimney / ramp. You will find a two-bolt belay here. 5.9, 30m

Pitch #5: Climb the rampish chimney to another ledge. Cross the ledge to a perfect steep hand crack that reaches a two-bolt belay at the base of the final chimney. 5.7.

Pitch #6: Utilize the final pitch of Lunar Power to worm your way through the pleasant and well protected Chimney/OW (one bolt) to a final puzzling finger crack to the two bolt belay on top. 5.9, 25m.
Continue on to the tower top to the north for festivities and sign in.

Descent is best via the northern routes or by Walking The Moonbeam.


Walk along the base of the East Face of Quartermoon to the table top boulder. The bolts will be seen from there. Aurora Borealis is the original route here and Lunar Power provided a prefix and suffix type extension of the climb.
Probably best to descend one of the other routes.


Set of Camalots to #3. QDs, Shoulder runners

Photos of Aurora Borealis/Lunar Power Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Some generous soul left a full bottle of tequila i...
Some generous soul left a full bottle of tequila i...
Rock Climbing Photo: East Face QM  1. Hardpan Heroics 2. Yogini 3. Clev...
BETA PHOTO: East Face QM 1. Hardpan Heroics 2. Yogini 3. Clev...
Rock Climbing Photo: Just past the crux of pitch 2. 5.9++.
Just past the crux of pitch 2. 5.9++.
Rock Climbing Photo: Robbie enjoying the awesome 3rd pitch
Robbie enjoying the awesome 3rd pitch

Comments on Aurora Borealis/Lunar Power Add Comment
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By Luke Douglas
Feb 4, 2009
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

This line is super fun. Spicy old school bolting on bomber rock with in obvious gear placements keep the climbing captivating. Thanks for the work in setting this route up!!! I will do this again.
By Boissal
From: Small Lake, UT
Jun 15, 2009

Unless you're on a mission to send the 12 pitch clean, there's no reason to go through the trouble of aiding it. You can walk around the south side of the tower and traverse back on a ledge to the intermediate anchor on top of the hard 4 bolt section. Enjoy the long 10a pitch from there.
Getting to the 2nd bolt on aid required A LOT of cursing a finally standing in a shoulder length runner to get the clip. Pulling on a draw on the first bolt won't get you there if you're 5'11" or less. Not exactly easy and ridiculously not fun.

You can also bail on a ledge on top of P1 if rain catches you...
By Jason Stevens
From: Ephraim, UT
Aug 1, 2010

The original route (Aurora Borealis) avoids the first 20 feet (ground start). Instead, we moved in from the south (left if looking at the wall) on the obvious ledge and started there. What a fantastic climb! One of my best routes anywhere!
By RPariser
Aug 25, 2014

Great, great route...aside from the occasional breaking hold. Be aware of what you are pulling and stepping on since a lot of the face climbing on P1 and P2 is super thin and fun, but also quite fragile. As stated in another comment, I recommend just walking up the ramp on the left to the ledge above the first couple of bolts rather than aiding through the bottom. P3 isn't really a pitch as much as it is a 5mins scramble up, across, and down a rock to the next pitch. You can easily combine P5 and P6 (we did), but if your climber were to fall on P6 and you are belaying from the P5 anchor things might be unpleasant for both people. FYI, it seems like something may have broken off by the last bolt of P6 since the last move is not 5.9. It is a cool move, but quite difficult. If you're not up for it you can easily aid through by hanging and then pulling on the draw.
By Aaron S
Mar 16, 2015

Such a cool line. The first two pitches are stout. P4/P5 are probably better to link than P5/P6. There is a full bottle of tequila on the summit as of this week.

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