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Rising Moons 

YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ ZA: 11 British: MS 4a PG13

Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, 380'
Original:  YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ ZA: 11 British: MS 4a PG13 [details]
FA: Jono McKinney and friends 1990
Page Views: 5,642
Submitted By: Dirty Gri Gri, or is it GiGi? on Jan 20, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (43)
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Look at this little one we saw while finishing up ...

RAIN AND WET ROCK The sandstone in Red Rocks is fragile and is very easily damaged when it is wet. MORE INFO >>>


A fun climb for the grade.

Approach: Hike past the Lotta Balls Wall turnoff staying on the lower trail that skirts along the base of the hill and gradually gains elevation. Spot the distinctive, square-ish, black varnished wall to your left and up the hill from you as you are hiking (i.e the Romper Room area). Continue on the low trail for a little ways until you catch the turnoff that heads up the steep hill. Look for an obvious wide chimney,as you are heading up the hill. This is the start of the climb.
(Note:Rising Moons is a couple hundred feet or so to the climber's right of the square-ish, black varnished wall which houses the routes Doobie Dance, Romper Room and Algae on Parade. An easy trail allows access to Rising Moons from the Romper Room area.)

Pitch 1: Climb up through the easy, beautiful, right leaning ,varnished chimney to a large ledge. Scramble over a couple of bushes to the base of a right facing corner in a nice, cozy alcove. No fixed anchors.

Pitch 2: Climb up the right facing corner, wandering out on the face at times. Nearing the top of the pillar, you will see bolted anchors.(140 feet)

Pitch 3: Climb up the wide crack (Not much pro unless you have wide gear but climbing easy)Crack exits onto a large ledge with rap anchors around a tree. (90 feet)

Rap with two ropes.
Watch out for rope eating cracks/snags.

Rappel from tree to the bolted anchors on top of pitch two, then to the top of pitch one. From the top of pitch one ,walk off to the climber's left. Easy, short downclimbing gets you to the base quickly.

  • ************ BETTER DESCENT ROUTE **********
A better descent option avoids the rope-snag potential and can be done with a single rope. From the top of the route, scramble left (east) about 30 yards to a small pine tree on a good ledge. Rappel from the pine to another rap station on a bushy ledge on the eastern side of the descent gully. From the bottom of this rap, easy scrambling leads to the base.


Standard rack. Note;If you're not comfortable with "running out" a 5.4/5.5, then you may want to bring a couple of bigger pieces for pitch 3.

Photos of Rising Moons Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Barbara Luke at start of rappel from top of Rising...
BETA PHOTO: Barbara Luke at start of rappel from top of Rising...
Rock Climbing Photo: climbers on Rising Moon as seen from P1 of Sunset ...
climbers on Rising Moon as seen from P1 of Sunset ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking at the start of the 3rd pitch.
BETA PHOTO: Looking at the start of the 3rd pitch.
Rock Climbing Photo: The third pitch wideness.  Yumm.
BETA PHOTO: The third pitch wideness. Yumm.
Rock Climbing Photo: Brian W. contemplates the second pitch during his ...
BETA PHOTO: Brian W. contemplates the second pitch during his ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Deep in the heart of the first pitch chimney.
BETA PHOTO: Deep in the heart of the first pitch chimney.
Rock Climbing Photo: The beginning of the route looking up into the fir...
BETA PHOTO: The beginning of the route looking up into the fir...

Comments on Rising Moons Add Comment
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By Dirty Gri Gri, or is it GiGi?
From: Vegas
Feb 3, 2006

I thought I'd mention....

For unknown reasons, someone slung some webbing around a loose looking block (includes one aluminum ring) nearing the top of the first pitch. I was going to cut it off on the way down but I spaced it. I'd hate for a new leader to trust rapping or belaying from this. It's a totally unsafe, unnecessary anchor. That big block could tumble down the chimney onto someones head! So if anyone heads that way, it's an easy solo up the chimney to do a good deed and remove that webbing/anchor.
By John Wilder
From: Las Vegas, NV
Sep 10, 2006
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a R

Holy crap, this route has a terrible rappel setup.

If you're out there and planning on doing this one, I suggest the following:

From the top of the route, rap down and to the climbers right to a nice fat tree about even with the bolts on top of the second pitch, but about 50' to the right (away from the rope eating crack). Bring some webbing and a rap ring and build a station.

From here, a 200' rap will take you to a huge ledge where you can unrope and down climb to the base.

This will avoid the nasty rope snags that are almost inevitable. We got lucky by swinging way to the climbers right on the rappel, but I'd call that luck before skill.

Other than that, this is a great route. Run out, but great nonetheless.
By Karl K
From: Phoenix, AZ
Mar 15, 2008
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a PG13

Good climb, with lots of fun climbing. I thought the second pitch was fun with the best climbing on the route, but had some real runouts; particularly scary for a beginning leader. The climbing is straightforward with mostly very positive holds, but there are a couple of 30-40' sections where pro is virtually impossible.
The first pitch is fine (go under the chockstone).
The third pitch, even without big gear, is not runout.
Easy descent using the single rope rappel route to climbers left as described in the "Better Descent" section.
By saxfiend
From: Decatur, GA
Apr 7, 2008
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a PG13

Nothing particular to write home about on this route, but it's a fun climb nevertheless; for us, it was a nice casual way to end the day. Can't remember if there's protection in the P1 chimney as we just free-soloed it; P2 is the nicest of the three. As others have commented, the rap is an almost guaranteed rope snagger.

By George Wilson
From: Las Vegas
Jun 2, 2008
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a PG13

There is 1 bolt atop pitch 3. Don't know why it's there?? Plenty of natural anchors exist. The bolts on pitch 2 are mighty rusty!!! I was glad to see a new bolt there!!! We added some quick links to the lonely pine @ climber left and adjusted the webbing. We ran into 4 rappel anchors??? If rapping off to the left of the route, skip the first anchor you come across on the way down as it's a bit wonky! There is a nice, girthy pine tree about 15-20' below this. Found another anchor right above the small pool?? Downclimbing from this point was quite easy, saw no point for the anchor. All in all an easy route!! Perfect for regaining confidence after a big fall!!!
By Derek W
Apr 3, 2011

Climbed this last week. Great first pitch, second pitch was a little spicy as I kept it out on the face a little more. However, pro is very sparse for 60 or so feet. Not sure if you should stay farther left in the crack, but that didn't feel right. As for the final (3rd) pitch, I had a #4 and #5 C4 and the crack is wider than the #5 until the top of the pitch. Not sure what I missed but the larger gear was not any help for me, found 3 or 4 placements on the way up this short pitch (= a little spicy for a newer leader, but not terrible...)
By Bill Lawry
From: New Mexico
Oct 16, 2011

As mentioned, the ************ BETTER DESCENT ROUTE ********** should be updated to reference the bolted rap-anchor at the top ledge rather than using the small pine tree. Also, one traverses the nice ledge past the small pine tree. The bolted anchor is on rock that faces away from this traverse and so is not seen until upon it.

From the bolted rap anchor, three clean raps on a single 60 meter rope gets you to the vegetated "terrace" - or, as was said, downclimb last part to terrace. From the terrace, use trail to skier's left and then down ending with some 3rd class scrambling. There is another set of rap slings on the terrace (10/2011) but this is old and unnecessary.
By Idaho Bob
From: McCall, ID
May 28, 2017
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a PG13

After climbing for a second time, I'm upping it to three stars. First pitch is ideal chimney to practice technique and the second pitch provides good "inventive" placement practice on somewhat runout terrain. Single rack to #3, tricams and medium/large nuts. We had a #4, but was not needed. Also a good sun day route, as you're in shade on P1 and P2.

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