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Modern Guilt 

YDS: 5.12 French: 7b+ Ewbanks: 27 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 26 British: E6 6b

Type:  Trad, 10 pitches, 1200', Grade IV
Original:  YDS: 5.12 French: 7b+ Ewbanks: 27 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 26 British: E6 6b [details]
FA: FFA: Brian Prince and Musiyenko, Vitaliy (April 2016). FA: Tom Ruddy with a few friends did the FA but moved before finishing the line
New Route: Yes
Page Views: 1,661
Submitted By: SirTobyThe3rd on Apr 4, 2016

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (3)
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BETA PHOTO: find the route

Always check road conditions and peregrine closures MORE INFO >>>


The route is a modern beauty. Variable, powerful in spots, techy, juggy, crimpy, at times even slabby. It combines an easy approach, sustained difficulties on all but the last few pitches, but most important of all enjoyable climbing on a proud face. The difficult climbing is well protected and majority of easy climbing has adequate pro as well. A single rack from tiny to a gold camalot is sufficient to climb the route. It is approached from the top of the Moro rock and rapelling the route. You can leave the single rack of cams on top of the 3rd pitch, as you won't need it on the first three. If one wants to work a certain pitch from the top, it is always a possibility to do so. In my opinion this route is up there with the best multi-pitch free climbs in the state, get psyched and jump on it!

Pitch 1 - 5.11+. The 'Golden shower for breakfast' pitch. Get your big-boy slab shoes on and smear your way up to the first crux (11+) - an improbable side pull to a dyno chicken wing. Send or pull through the gnarly boulder problem, than continue up to the second difficult section (5.11-), a traverse under, than over the roof to a two bolt anchor. 170 feet/16 draws.

Pitch 2 - 5.11 or so, difficult to rate. Hard but easier than the crux pitches. Get over to the first bolt and onto the dike. At the third bolt you will want to go slightly higher on the dike and use crimps above the nice knob so you could highstep your way to the top of it. Shuffle your feet and traverse left than up past wild little knobs. to a two bolt anchor. 5 bolts 60 feet.

Pitch 3 - 5.10. Get over the dike, just left of the anchor and clip the first bolt. Climb up past three more bolts on runout, but somewhat juggy face to a two bolt anchor. 4 bolts 85 feet. (pitches 2 and 3 can be linked without much trouble).

Pitch 4 - 5.12: The 'Rudbud's last dance' pitch. This pitch is long and sustained. Begin by climbing through a few cracks with gear from .5 to #2, than get to the top of the flake, clip the bolt from a nice undercling and become one with the gnar. Work your way up the powerfull and well protected sweet crimps to the overhang. Transition left from the overhang to SICK knobs. Once you are at the basketball sized knob, mantel to the top of it, using a few smaller features above and right of the feature. From here, easier, but engaging climbing will take you to a great belay ledge, called the Twilight ledge. Unloading any extra weight (and packing it out in a haul bag!) is a good idea before taking on the next slabby crux... 160 feet - 16 draws and a few longer alpine slings to extend the widgets (med to hand size) you placed.

Pitch 5 has two variations (5.12- or 5.10+ish). The anchor bolts are so far to the left because there was an old bolted anchor, which was replaced. The bolt in the middle of the ledge is to protect the follower for the badass who wants to link this pitch with the last but not f**k the second. Upper variation - the 'Slab-gangster' traverse, takes you past 5 bolts to a two bolt anchor - 5.12-. For lower variation, the 'Havana' traverse, clip the first bolt and climb down about 20 feet. Traverse right for about 20 feet on improbable but surprisingly relatively easy face. Than up to a bolt. Two wild mantels take you past another bolt (last bolt of the original traverse) to the two bolt anchor (10+). 40 feet.

Pitch 6 - 5.11. The ‘Tip Drill’ pitch! Memorable climbing on clean knobs takes you to the next two bolt anchor. Your fingertips will remember this one. 100 ft - 10 bolts.

Pitch 7 - 5.10+. Climb up and left past the three bolts. Get around the arete from the giant hole into a slabby corner. You can either place a purple metolius cam at your feet, get psyched and climb up past the difficulties, or bring a few small nuts (maybe offset?) to get yourself on a mini top rope before doing the slippery moves. 100 ft - 3 bolts/gear to #1 camalot. Move the belay to the left (north) end of this AWESOME ledge - the Spice Ledge and give your best Nature Boy Rick Flair WOOOOOO!!! Time to get psyched for Knobbo Loco! (In case you are running low on gas or a thunderstorm is coming in, it is possible to climb out from the spice ledge on 5.8ish terrain by traversing right and following the right slanting ramp/crack system. I am unable to accurately rate it, as I did it in a downpour a while back and it was fairly full on with a single set of cams)

Pitch 8 - 5.11. The ‘Knobbo Loco!’ Great pitch and an end to the steep, knobby gnar. To begin you can clip the first bolt and either go left to the end of the ledge under it (I think easier) or climb above and traverse left on knobs to the second bolt above it (harder). Whatever you choose, very fun and juggy terrain takes you to a SICK undercling with fun moves to gain the stance above it (10+ish?). Work your way slightly left using pea sized pinches and pull a few cruxy sections to a traverse right. Mantel the small ledge and work your way up the obvious ramp. Plug in some little pro (singles purple BD and smaller) and make your way to the two bolt belay anchor. Fuck yeah! 10 bolts 160 ft.

Pitch 9 - 5.9ish. Clip the first bolt off the belay and climb straight up to the big flake above. Plug in small offset nuts, if you brought any, or run it out like a granite gangster that deep inside you want to be. Get to the flake and unload the #2 camalot. Climb up to a nice ledge and up the slab past two more bolts to another two bolt anchor at a great stance. 120 feet 3 bolts and gear.

Pitch 10 - 5.8ish. The ‘Summit sprint!’ Climb mostly easy slab over a bulge, which takes small gear (up to BD 0.4), than more slab to the top! 6 bolts with a longer draw for the small cam placement - 120 ft.

Walk back to the summit, take photos of the Castle Rocks and tell all the tourists about the epic climb that you had. They WILL be impressed. Some MAY even share their weed with you... :)


The best way to approach the route is to find the top and rapell to the base using a single 70M rope, or two 60s would work well too. If using two ropes, you can haul a small pack. Better yet, leave your approach shoes on top of the route and stash the food/water on Spice and Poop ledges while rapelling.

The route is located on the big West Face of Moro Rock (southern part of it).
To find the top, hike up the stairs to the summit from the parking lot. Go over the rails and hike/scramble south along the ridge for another 5 minutes or so. Good friction on slab most of the way. Stay on the SW side.

Before reaching the pine tree at the top of Piece de Renaissance cut right (west) and down-climb exposed but solid 4th class to the tree/bushes. There is an anchor with a section of white rope, which could be used to get to the first rap anchor. 9 or 10 clean raps will take you to the base. For great overlay of the West Face of Moro Rock go to


Maybe 14 draws, three (?) alpine slings and a single rack of cams from purple metolius to #2 camalot (gold). A few small offset nuts could be nice, if you are light.

Photos of Modern Guilt Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Steep jugs!
Steep jugs!
Rock Climbing Photo: Great views from Moro Rock
Great views from Moro Rock
Rock Climbing Photo: Topo for the route
Topo for the route
Rock Climbing Photo: Brian on the crux traverse (pitch 5). Thin, delica...
Brian on the crux traverse (pitch 5). Thin, delica...
Rock Climbing Photo: Great climbing on the route
Great climbing on the route
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking down on pitch 1
Looking down on pitch 1
Rock Climbing Photo: Alternative traverse on pitch 5
Alternative traverse on pitch 5
Rock Climbing Photo: Brian Prince sending the crux, with the fixed line...
Brian Prince sending the crux, with the fixed line...
Rock Climbing Photo: Beginning of the 2nd pitch
Beginning of the 2nd pitch
Rock Climbing Photo: Brian Prince pulling down on one of the sickest ro...
Brian Prince pulling down on one of the sickest ro...
Rock Climbing Photo: Vato Knobbo homez! The 7th pitch as seen from the ...
Vato Knobbo homez! The 7th pitch as seen from the ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Brian pulling on sweet crimps on the easier altern...
Brian pulling on sweet crimps on the easier altern...
Rock Climbing Photo: Climbing up the clean corner on the 7th pitch.
Climbing up the clean corner on the 7th pitch.
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 6 - the Tip Drill!
Pitch 6 - the Tip Drill!
Rock Climbing Photo: First pitch
First pitch
Rock Climbing Photo: Brian following the 9th pith
Brian following the 9th pith

Comments on Modern Guilt Add Comment
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By limpingcrab
From: Visalia, CA
Apr 4, 2016

As of now, the info on is not accurate for this route. That topo is from one of the first attempts several years ago and is now outdated (as mentioned on the site). Just a heads up. I'll delete this message after I get it fixed.

It's an awesome route!
By limpingcrab
From: Visalia, CA
Jun 13, 2016

Alright, updated the west face topo for Moro on so this route should be good to go.

The topo you see in the pictures on here is more detailed but it's a pretty easy route to follow

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