Route Guide    Partners    Forum    Photos    What's New    Journal        
Sign Up  |   Log In:Login with Facebook
REI Community
Moss Canyon
Select Route:
Island in the Sky Traverse T 

Island in the Sky Traverse 

YDS: Easy 5th French: 1+ Ewbanks: 3 UIAA: I ZA: 5 British: M 1c

   
Type:  Trad, Grade II
Original:  YDS: Easy 5th French: 1+ Ewbanks: 3 UIAA: I ZA: 5 British: M 1c [details]
FA: 
Season: anytime the route is dry
Page Views: 318
Submitted By: fossana on Jan 2, 2016

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (2)
Your todo list:
Your stars:
Your rating: -none- [change]
Your ticklist: [add new tick]
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [0 people like this page.]
BETA PHOTO: south end descent

Description 

There was not much actual climbing on the route, but it was an interesting mix of ridge scrambling and canyoneering with great views of the park. I didn't use the raps, so the hardest part was a bombay chimney boulder problem with a squeeze exit, which I think may be optional.

Paragon Adventures, a local guiding company, rates this route as 5.6, perhaps to justify their services. Courtney Purcell's 5.2 rating is more like it.

Red Tape
You'll need to pick up a permit for the traverse from the park.

Route
Starting from Moss Canyon take the ledge system up, trending toward the toe of the buttress and following the path of least resistance. If you have basic mountaineering skills you'll have no problem routefinding. Someone (not mentioning names here) has kindly left tick marks indicating the route, along with unnecessary fixed lines.

Once you gain the ridgeline the route alternates back and forth between a ridge scramble and a canyoneering adventure. I didn't bother to look at the beta, but it wasn't that difficult to figure it out. You're never that deep in the gullies, so just pop out onto one of the ridge domes if you need some navigational assistance. Basically you're heading for the south end of the formation where you'll find an optional rap anchor.

Drop down to the lower tier on the formation and head back toward the north for quite a ways until you can drop down one of the gullies to the base and your car. There are moki steps and a chain 'hand hold' once you get to the correct gully.

Location 

It's easiest to leave a car at the West Canyon parking area and walk to the north end of the Island in the Sky formation. Take the Pioneer Names trail along the way if you want to check out the pioneer graffiti on the lower part of Island in the Sky.

A short distance up Moss Canyon you'll notice a worn trail leading through the scrub oak leading to a series of mossy ledges. The route starts here.

Protection 

Alpine rack and 120' rope for those roping up. Bolted rap anchors present.


Photos of Island in the Sky Traverse Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: looking toward the West Canyon parking lot
looking toward the West Canyon parking lot
Rock Climbing Photo: another view toward the West Canyon lot
another view toward the West Canyon lot
Rock Climbing Photo: looking down the bombay chimney
looking down the bombay chimney
Rock Climbing Photo: looking back at the final slot
looking back at the final slot
Rock Climbing Photo: handlebars
handlebars
Rock Climbing Photo: view eastish
view eastish
Rock Climbing Photo: elephant
elephant
Rock Climbing Photo: one of the canyoneery parts
one of the canyoneery parts
Rock Climbing Photo: dihedral with unnecessary fixed line
dihedral with unnecessary fixed line
Rock Climbing Photo: another short boulder problem
another short boulder problem
Rock Climbing Photo: the tunnel at the top of the dihedral
the tunnel at the top of the dihedral
Rock Climbing Photo: on route to the ridge top
on route to the ridge top
Rock Climbing Photo: view northwest
view northwest
Rock Climbing Photo: mossy traverse start
BETA PHOTO: mossy traverse start
Rock Climbing Photo: view from the south end of the traverse
view from the south end of the traverse

Comments on Island in the Sky Traverse Add Comment
Show which comments
By Ryan Marsters
Apr 4, 2016

Cool route. I could see hitting this one a few times and finding a different line each time.
The first third is pretty straight forward. The second third requires thought as to which side of the formation to stick to, and the last third mainly involved canyoneering style downclimbing to the SW tip. We ran into one single bolt 20 ft rap about halfway that was downclimbed by shooting through a hole and a couple two bolt raps near the S end that were fairly easy to find a downclimbable line. All in all, difficulty shouldn't exceed the 5.easy and no raps with careful route finding. N Wash style canyoneering skills definitely a plus.