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West Ridge - part E - top to Xanadu
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Laughing at the Moon 

YDS: 5.10b French: 6a+ Ewbanks: 19 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch
Original:  YDS: 5.10b French: 6a+ Ewbanks: 19 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b [details]
FA: Richard and Joyce Rossiter
Fixed Hardware: 3 Lead Bolts, 2 Lead Pins, 1 Belay Bolt [details]
Page Views: 3,211
Submitted By: Mike Sofranko on May 20, 2001

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (67)
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Starting out and going up.

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This is a nice pitch of face climbing on the upper end of the West Ridge. It is somewhat runout, but the cruxy sections generally have a bolt or pin nearby.

Begin with the first pitch of Muscular Dystrophy. This can be found at the top of the West Ridge, down and around the corner to the right from the clean slab of Prince of Darkness. It is easily recognized by the short right slanting finger crack about 15 feet off the ground. Climb up to the slanting crack, and follow it to the right. Follow the corners up until you are below the steep and obvious crux corner of Muscular Dystrophy. Place some well runnered pro and head left and up on precarious looking flakes and blocks to a slot behind a large block. Belay here off a #3 and #2 Camalots (a #4 Friend is nice, too). You should see a bolt above you on the clean face. Now the fun really begins...

Climb past the bolt and straight up to a second bolt that is hidden from below. Head straight past this bolt over runout ground (possible marginal #0 or #1 TCU placements) until you can clip a pin in a horizontal crack. Hand traverse left past a second pin, but not so far left that you are on the arete. Head up and slightly right past another bolt and the crux moves to the top (climb the face, not the arete). There is a single belay bolt that can possibly be backed up with a tree or some creative cam/nut placements.


For Laughing at the Moon proper, only 5 or 6 QDs are needed (although a tiny cam or two might make you happier). However, bring finger through fist sized cams and a set of nuts for the approach pitch and belay.

Due to the runout nature of the pitch, and the fact that you need to place gear to get to this climb, it's trad not sport.

Photos of Laughing at the Moon Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Chuck Graves laughing toward the sky and nearing t...
Chuck Graves laughing toward the sky and nearing t...
Rock Climbing Photo: Beautiful pitch and awesome weather.
Beautiful pitch and awesome weather.
Rock Climbing Photo: Josh Janes leading Laughing at the Moon.
Josh Janes leading Laughing at the Moon.

Comments on Laughing at the Moon Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Apr 12, 2015
By Anonymous Coward
Jun 5, 2001

Very fun face climbing with a well protected crux and an easy descent. The runouts are easy enough and the harder moves well enough protected, that this is a good lead for a competent 5.10 leader.
By Chris Dawson
From: Denver, CO
Jan 5, 2002

Laughing at the Moon is superfun. It is possible to combine Muscular Distrophy (I think) with the route
By steve dieckhoff
Jan 6, 2002

I agree, this is a good route. You can also do it beginning with THE BAT (good protection) and you can combine them in one pitch.
By Aaron Shupp
Jan 24, 2002

I agree with "the Deuce" Dawson. For its grade, this is one of the best pitches of face-climbing in the entire canyon. The first time we climbed it, "the Deuce" made me lower him back down two more times to reclimb the pitch!
By Ron Olsen
From: Boulder, CO
Aug 4, 2002

One of the best face pitches of its grade in Eldorado.
By Peter Spindloe
From: North Vancouver, BC
Oct 14, 2002

Laughing at the Moon is approached by either The Bat or Muscular Dystrophy as has been mentioned. From the first belay of Musclar Dystrophy you have to traverse (belayed) to a series of horizontal cracks below the first bolt and either continue, or set a belay there. You can also do the crux pitch of Muscular Dystrophy and then rap diagonally down and left and set a belay for Laughing at the Moon. That way you get two great pitches (plus the ok first pitch of MD).
By Shane Zentner
From: Colorado
Aug 30, 2004

Tricky at the top. Very enjoyable climb as both pitches are good. I backed up the pitons with a yellow alien. Climbing to the bolt after the pitons was challenging. Good fun!
By Michael Amato
Jun 7, 2005

Exciting face climbing on beautiful rock, solid bolts and pins, and a well-protected crux.
By Clint Locks
From: Boulder
Jan 21, 2009

As is mentioned on the Bushwhack Crack page, BC is the most direct line to start Laughing At The Moon. You won't need anything more than a yellow Alien and a few small nuts/RPs to protect between bolts. By mistake, I climbed all the way through the hand traverse to the arete, then traversed back in a bit higher to the last bolt at ~ 5.9.
Tons of fun, and one of those pitches you wish was longer. Reminded me a bit of the upper part of Moonlight Drive (Cadillac), which is another one not to miss.
By Andy Kowles
From: Longtuckles
Nov 7, 2011

This great route is best done as the 2nd half of a link up from MD, The Bat, whatever. It's natural to just bust out onto the face without dicking around with a belay.
By jmeizis
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Feb 19, 2013
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13

Awesome face climbing. There are enough bolts, but they're not the most confidence inspiring. The crux is exciting, probably more so if you're short. Started in from The Bat which was also a bit exciting.
By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
Dec 13, 2014
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

If anyone finds the protection (or prospects thereof) to be sparse, a solid #3 Camalot goes in 1/2 way up to the 1st bolt, a green or yellow Alien 1/2 way to the pins after the 2nd bolt. The route is thus G-rated.
By Eric Klammer
From: Boulder, CO
Feb 10, 2015
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13

One of the best face pitches I've had the pleasure of climbing. Sustained at the 5.9 level with a few spots of easier 5.10, this is a continuous pitch with the perfect amount of protection. While in no way outright dangerous, this pitch kept my attention with tricky climbing above somewhat rusty bolts or pitons (even placing gear where possible). PG-13.
By Gregger Man
From: Broomfield, CO
Apr 11, 2015

All bolts replaced on 04/11/2015.
Rock Climbing Photo: Hardware removed from 'Laughing at the Moon', repl...
Hardware removed from 'Laughing at the Moon', replaced with 1/2" stainless.
By SteveZ
From: Denver, CO
Apr 11, 2015

^^^Thanks, Gregger Man. Shoot me a PM if you could use any hardware, money, or beer donations for the cause.
By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
Apr 12, 2015
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

^^^ A.C.E and B.C.C proudly fund bolt replacement in the area. You can find and donate to either on the net or on Facebook.
(Action Committee for Eldorado and Boulder Climbing Community)

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