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Moonlight Spire T 

Moonlight Spire 

YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a C2

Type:  Trad, Aid, 3 pitches, 170', Grade II
Original:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a C2 [details]
FA: Bill Duncan, Steve Anderton
New Route: Yes
Page Views: 947
Submitted By: Bill Duncan on Sep 1, 2009

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Watch our for loose blocks and sandy rock below th...

RAIN AND WET ROCK The sandstone around Moab is fragile and is very easily damaged when it is wet. MORE INFO >>>


The route ascends the crack system on the east face.

Pitch 1: Ascend to the saddle between the spire and the butte behind, C2.

Pitch 2: Climb up some big steps to a chimney, climb the chimney to a drilled pin, pendulum down and left until a thin crack is within reach (tiny cams). Climb the C1 or 5.11 thin crack to hands (5.9), then fist and offwidth (5.9) to a nice ledge and belay. Take two fat ropes for this pitch to be safe. Use one for the climb through the pendulum, then the other after the pendulum.

Pitch 3: Climb C1 past a couple of drilled baby angle holes, a couple of 5.7 moves brings you to the summit.

Descent: One full rope length rappel to the east from two drilled anchors.


Moonlight is located in Jackson Hole, south of the Amasa Back. This is southwest of Moab a few miles as the birds see it. Jackson hole is a Rincon, and Moonlight is hidden on the east side of the island of rock in the middle of the Rincon. You can take a tube, canoe or raft and float across from the Potash mine (this is the shortest approach), or hike there via one of two ways. You can also drive there (high clearance only!) by taking Kane Springs Valley Road to Hurrah Pass. Descend the other side of the pass and turn right (west) at the first drivable drainage (near river level). Go down the wash about 1/2 a mile (.8km), then turn right (north) and follow a (faint at first) two-track which crosses another drainage before heading northeast for awhile then gradually turns back to the west. It then veers north and begins the descent into Jackson Hole where a loop goes around the Rincon.


Standard desert rack with extra very small and very large gear. A selection of knifeblades and angles up to 5/8" or equivalent clean gear.

Photos of Moonlight Spire Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Nearing the wide, soft section on pitch one.
Nearing the wide, soft section on pitch one.
Rock Climbing Photo: Getting started on Moonlight Spire.  As  you can s...
Getting started on Moonlight Spire. As you can s...
Rock Climbing Photo: Wondering if the blocks that I'm touching are as l...
Wondering if the blocks that I'm touching are as l...
Rock Climbing Photo: Moonlight Spire
Moonlight Spire

Comments on Moonlight Spire Add Comment
Show which comments
By A. Roberts
From: Boulder, CO
Sep 1, 2009

Nice Find!
By Brad Brandewie
Nov 19, 2009

A few thoughts:

The drive over Hurrah Pass isn't too bad but I wouldn't drive to Jackson Hole in my Subaru.

The river approach seems problematic with all the tamarisk lining the banks.

This tower is in an interesting area that feels pretty remote despite it's proximity to the Amasa Back trail and Potash Road.

You will definitely want to tie into two ropes to lead the first pitch.

You can backup the lone pendulum bolt with an old #5 and/or #6 Camalot.

We left baby angles in the holes on the second pitch. The holes were not that deep though so you may want to bring a drill and hammer and set them deeper.

Bring some webbing for the anchors. The tat we pulled off the top was the worst I had ever seen. I was able to tear it apart by pinching it between my thumbs and index fingers and pulling lightly.

Judging from the webbing, we may have been the second ascent?

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