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h. The Arrow Wall - CCK
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Amber Waves of Pain T 
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Arrow T 
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Keep on Struttin' T 
Last Will Be First, The T 
Limelight T 
Lost and Found T 
Man's Quest for Flight T 
Moby Dick T 
Modern Times T 
Moonlight T 
No Glow T 
Nurse's Aid T 
Proctor Silex T 
Proctoscope T 
Quiver T 
Red Pillar T 
Silhouette T 
Smilin' the Hard Way T 
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Step Lively T 
Supper's Ready T 
Three Doves T 
Three Vultures T 
Traverse of the Clods T 
Twilight Zone T 
Unholy Wick T 
Updraft T 
Wop Stop T 


YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 230'
Original:  YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b [details]
FA: Bill Ryan, Willie Crowther, 1960
Page Views: 11,196
Submitted By: John Peterson on Mar 7, 2006  with updates from Kurtz and 1 more

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (157)
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Tom finishing the end of Moonlight. Photo cred Ju...


This is a delightful 5.6, almost as nice as Madame G's or High E. The crux is as exciting as any 5.6 in the Gunks.

The first pitch is easy to locate: Use the same access trail as for CCK, just past the Andrew boulder. At the top of the access trail you'll see an obvious crack/corner system leading straight up. This is about 35' left of the huge Erect Direction corner.

P1: Climb up the face just right of an overhang and head for an obvious anchor on some small trees. Then follow the corner up to the GT Ledge. 5.5, 130'. Alternatively, you can start by climbing the crack behind the flake to the left, at 5.7+R, then continuing up the left-facing corner.

P2: Move right on the GT Ledge about 40' (this is the same as the start of the 2nd pitch of Erect Direction) and climb up, diagonaling left, towards a large roof. Once you reach the base of the overhang, look for a fixed pin to the left and place a nut or two to back it up. Now, the crux: cower left, down and around the corner to a stance. This is all balance - no big jugs to save your ass until it's over. Then up through a nice finger crack to the final corner (easier on the right-hand wall) and the top. 5.6, 100'.

If your second falls at the crux, lowering to the GT Ledge may be your only way to get back onto the rock.

Descent: there is a bolted rappel line fairly close to the south, starting with a fixed cable then rappels from bolted anchors, over No Glow, which will get you to the ground with a single rope.


Standard Gunks rack

Photos of Moonlight Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Craig Plescia rounding the crux of Moonlight.
Craig Plescia rounding the crux of Moonlight.
Rock Climbing Photo: Starting Moonlight
Starting Moonlight
Rock Climbing Photo: Partway up P1.
Partway up P1.
Rock Climbing Photo: Rich Gottlieb, just after the crux on P2.
Rich Gottlieb, just after the crux on P2.
Rock Climbing Photo: Drifting out towards the difficult section of moon...
Drifting out towards the difficult section of moon...
Rock Climbing Photo: starting up 2nd pitch Looks like a weekend...
starting up 2nd pitch Looks like a weekend...
Rock Climbing Photo: The (intended?) start to P1 of Moonlight.
The (intended?) start to P1 of Moonlight.
Rock Climbing Photo: The white rock at the end of this route is the bes...
The white rock at the end of this route is the bes...
Rock Climbing Photo: The P2 Crux
The P2 Crux
Rock Climbing Photo: Over the crux!
Over the crux!
Rock Climbing Photo: Contemplating the crux
Contemplating the crux
Rock Climbing Photo: Unknown climber above the crux on pitch 2 of Moonl...
Unknown climber above the crux on pitch 2 of Moonl...
Rock Climbing Photo: Nice view of Pitch 2
Nice view of Pitch 2
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 1 is a beautiful corner and face climb.
Pitch 1 is a beautiful corner and face climb.

Comments on Moonlight Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Apr 29, 2017
By Adam Catalano
From: Albany, New York
Apr 30, 2006

Absolutely a classic climb. Tops High E in my opinion. Stay low through the crux. The crux arete move is a good distance from your last piece, so keep your head about you.
By Michel
From: Montreal, Quebec
Mar 5, 2007

This is such a thought-provoking climb. Thoughts that were provoked: man, how do I start off? Do I follow that arch? Where's the damned piton? Oh crap, I'm slipped, will that piton hold?
In other words, great climb.
By losbill
May 30, 2007
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

Fabulous climb. The P2 business features beautiful rock, nice moves with outstanding exposure and position. I am just not very good at this star thing. In terms of exposure (and feeling exposed) and moves I think Moonlight has it over High E. However I guess it it the truly airy aspect (position) of High E's P3 that gets it the 4th star.

If High E is busy, don't hesitate to do Moonlight. I don't think you will be disappointed.
By Spiro
Nov 16, 2007

great climb, same level as Madame G and just as much fun. Good beta about staying low thru traverse. Easy route to find while climbing. I would give it 3 stars if I could figure out how.
By GMBurns
Aug 12, 2008
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13

P2 has some of the best climbing I've done in the Gunks. The traverse is well exposed and committing, and so is the face / crack at the top.

I found the first pitch to not be that great, but P2 makes this definitely worth it.
By T Roper
Oct 30, 2009

we climbed a really wet first pitch of CCK and walked over and did Moonlight P2, next time I'll do first pitch of Erect Direction to get to it. great climb!
By doligo
Apr 26, 2010
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

A must do 5.6 in the Gunks. If you think after you clear the traverse, the hardest part is over, you'd be up for some rude awakening. The climb keeps on giving for all 100' of it. Don't forget your pink tricams and stoppers. Exciting lead!
By gblauer Blauer
From: Wayne, PA
Jun 20, 2012

I find this a somewhat serious climb for a 5.6. If you blow the traverse on P2, you are looking at an ugly fall back into the corner. The crack is beautiful, though.
By Andy Laakmann
Site Landlord
From: Bend, OR
Oct 18, 2012

Damn fun second pitch!
By Kurtz
Nov 6, 2012

Holy Guacamole, Batman! That is a spicy great 5.6! The start of P1 is much tougher than it looks, but P2 is the bomb. The rock looks suspect at first but improves. The pro is there but you have to really look and be creative. Routefinding becomes obvious as you go (Eliminate the impossible; what's left, no matter how scary, is the route). Note that the piton cannot be seen from below. Stepping around the arête is a real eye-opener. Good feet and I found just enough hands to avoid incontinence. But wait! There's more fun ahead!
By Benjaminadk
From: San Pedro, California
Apr 4, 2013

i havent found a spicier 5.6 at the gunks. Not sure how the first pitch is only 5.5. getting started isn't that easy is it??? and the traverse on the second pitch is a boxer checker for sure. i snuck a purple c4 low to back up the pin but it still felt like it was a while before i got something else in. this is a sleeper classic climb. get on it and get scared.
By Joe Grossmann
Apr 30, 2013

P2 can totally rival High-E. A totally different climb, but yet similar. The crux is at the point with the most exposure and same level of exposure like High-E. Just a beautiful, classic climb. Only your last piece is terribly far away at the crux. Spicy for sure ...
Even P1 is worth doing on its own - WAY better than P1 of High-E. Good pitch to put a new 5.5 leader on since it's easy to protect
By A.wilk Wilk
From: Olympia, WA
Jun 13, 2013
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

This is a great climb from the ground up. P1 is one of those long pitches that just keeps giving. Great holds, moves, and gear all the way to the GT ledge. Then P2 starts the real fun. Some easy climbing up to the roof. The incredible traverse to follow. And then when you think you are in the clear you get some more tricky moves all the way to the top.
By kenr
Sep 6, 2013

A #4 camalot (or two) could be useful for the P1 crux off the first big ledge. The non-positive moves keep coming for longer than you'd expect for a Gunks 6. Both ledge-hit and swing-hit potential? It's a bit of shock the first thing in the morning. (If you just want to focus on the semi-famous situations of P2, consider leading P1 of Updraft, since most of the rest of Moonlight P1 is fairly easy anyway).

If you only have one #4, consider placing it for the first move into the P1 traverse, then moving it (to reduce ledge-hit + swing-hit potential on the later moves?)

P2 (as gblauer points out) could be a big swing for the leader near the end of the traverse. With a single rope, the exposure might continue for the next thoughtful moves after the P2 traverse -- if the leader refrains from placing pro to avoid exposing the follower to substantial swing. Double-ropes on P2 might help reduce rope drag.
By Peter Lewis
From: Bridgton, Maine
Sep 18, 2013
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

The second pitch is stunning. Airy climbing on marble-white rock. The crux traverse is really just a move or two (if in doubt, make another move left) and then comes more nice 5.6 climbing up a little crack. The thing that makes this little route is that looking up off the GT ledge it just appears so unlikely---but it's all there.
By Tony Lopez
From: NJ
Apr 3, 2014

Don't know what I was thinking trying to OS p1 in wet conditions, in the dark, in approach shoes. Starting up into the flake off the ledge had me spooked. After getting my climbing shoes, #3 and #4 cams from the ground, I was a bit more confident. Long, fun corner after the crux. Williams has it at 5.6PG. The variation, similar to the description on this page, is 5.2G.
By Systematic
Oct 5, 2015

A really high quality climb. P1 start to the left of the flake is ~5.7/7+. Big gear useful. May be a better idea to start on the face to the right.

P2 is fantastic. Thoughtful, delicate moves combined with gunks big air. The only reason to not do this climb would be having an inexperienced or easily spooked follower.

Gear beta for P2: Many good nut placements of all sizes. I found offsets particularly useful. Cams up to #1 C4.
By Rob D.
From: Brooklyn, NY
Apr 12, 2016

If you are confident in the grade, I strongly recommend doing the 5.7+ version of pitch 1. A big cam will make it pg, or some thoughtful extending and climbing makes it pg-13.

The new rappel on No Glow is quite close to the top of the climb. Walk climbers left about 30ft.
By Ben Hoste
From: Brooklyn, NY
Apr 19, 2016

Once you pop around the corner and before you start up the hand crack there is a beautiful right facing corner to your left that would be nice to layback. What climb is this corner part of? Is it part of Keep on Struttin?
By SethG
Apr 20, 2016

Yes that's P3 of Keep on Struttin'.
By Ben Hoste
From: Brooklyn, NY
Apr 24, 2016

Thanks Seth! It looks awesome.
By B. L.
Aug 22, 2016

Awesome climb and scary traverse. I'd say the traverse moves are mentally but not physically challenging. It's not a pumpy climb.

You are unlikely to see the piton protecting the crux until you are just about to make the traverse moves to the corner. It sticks up above a small ledge for your hands. I placed a .3 x4 above it to the right. Pro is a little hard to find around there.

Once you get around the corner there are good feet where you can hangout and regain your composure. I had bad rope drag once I got around the corner - to a stupid extent near the top. Might go without saying, but do what you can to minimize rope drag.
By Molly Zhu
Apr 10, 2017

Double rope can not reach the ground from rap station
By Optimistic
From: New Paltz
Apr 29, 2017

I think it's pretty reasonable to call the traverse on p2 R-rated. You're probably 12 feet from your last piece by the time you finish stepping around the corner, and the rock all along the traverse (ie the rock keeping your small to medium wires in place) is pretty fragile looking. Great route though!

One thought,if you think your second is going to have trouble or need coaching, various belays can be set just beyond the traverse. Just be sure that the second has a good directional after the traverse if you belay over in the corner (which is the base of the Gottlieb finish to Keep on Struttin and is a great pitch too, but 5.9). Belaying here is a nice way to enjoy all the exposure up there too.

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