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Moonlight Rib T 

Moonlight Rib 

YDS: 5.4 French: 4a Ewbanks: 12 UIAA: IV ZA: 10 British: VD 3c R

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 100'
Original:  YDS: 5.3 French: 3+ Ewbanks: 10 UIAA: III ZA: 9 British: VD 3a R [details]
FA: unknown
Page Views: 5,896
Submitted By: John J. Glime on Jul 11, 2003

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This is taken after walking through the notch to t...


The Moonlight Rib is the ridgeline you see after coming through the notch from the parking lot and looking down to your right. (The Northeast side of the formation.)

You will see some crystals which lead up to a ledge. Climb up to the ledge (about 12-15 feet) and walk straight while veering to your left for a few feet where you will see a gully/chimney on your right. Climb this for about 15 feet and you will see two horns which should be slung on your right while the main formation of the fan is on your left. Climb up, sling the horn(s), step across to the main mass of the rock and climb up on huge horns and crystals (girthhitching and slinging as you see fit) to the top. There is a two bolt anchor on top.

Descent: A two ropes from the chains to the ground.

Side notes:You can see a picture of this route on the cover of Rock and Ice issue #56 (July 1993) Very inspiring to new climbers (which I was in 1993, and ten years later was finally able to find.) Due to the nature, it seems, of the needles. The names I have used to post this route and formation may be incorrect. As well, while the issue of Rock and Ice calls this climb a 5.6, the person who eventually explained to me how to find this climb wrote that it is listed (where?) as a 5.3, again this may be due to the history of the needles as I really don't know what "5.3" climbing is. I feel comfortable telling beginners that this is a 5.5 route with some semi steep intimidating spots but remember that there are huge holds the whole way up the rib, but there are not a lot of protection opportunities so don't pass any by if you are nervous.


A set of nuts, smaller cams, and most importantly long slings (shoulder length runners can be used, but for comfort you should have a couple of double length runners.)

Photos of Moonlight Rib Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: thh black hills night life!!!!!sweeet the step acr...
thh black hills night life!!!!!sweeet the step acr...
Rock Climbing Photo: Almost to the top!
Almost to the top!
Rock Climbing Photo: Very cool route
Very cool route
Rock Climbing Photo: Brenda just reaching the summit of the Fan on Moon...
Brenda just reaching the summit of the Fan on Moon...
Rock Climbing Photo: Heading out of the notch on moonlight rib
Heading out of the notch on moonlight rib
Rock Climbing Photo: The airy finish...
The airy finish...
Rock Climbing Photo: The fun starts here...
The fun starts here...

Comments on Moonlight Rib Add Comment
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By John Gunnels
From: Gillette, WY
Sep 5, 2007
rating: 5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a R

Some routes just "get you". This one does it for me. Can't really explain why... maybe the exposure... maybe the moves...

I now have a Needles favorite...
By joelhagan Hagan
From: Rapid City, SD
Oct 10, 2007
rating: 5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a PG13

I voted PG13 only because the holds were so HUGE!
By Weston Neiffer
From: Rapid City, SD
Jan 19, 2009
rating: 5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a PG13

My first climb, I loved this route with little protection, big January wind, and exposure making for an outstanding experience. I love the climbing history of the Black Hills and want to thank you all.
By Rich F.
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Jul 28, 2009
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a PG13

This is a great route -- easy to get to, easy climb, and great exposure for the last fifteen feet to the summit. Not sure why it is rated 5.3 here (I'm also not sure what a 5.3 route is exactly), but if you look at the pictures you can see that last bit of the climb is nearly vertical. Although the holds are big, there is little protection, unless you tie off a knob with a sling. I'm not a very good climber, but I like the 5.5 rating for this one.

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