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Moonlight Buttress
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Sheer Lunacy 

YDS: 5.11 French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E4 5c C1

Type:  Trad, Aid, Grade IV
Original:  YDS: 5.11 French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E4 5c C1 [details]
FA: Ron Olevsky
Page Views: 9,879
Submitted By: Joe Auer on May 12, 2002

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (17)
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Starting up the amazing flake pitch.

Seasonal Raptor Closures ***** RAIN AND WET ROCK ***** The sandstone in Zion is fragile and is very easily damaged when it is wet. Holds rip off and climbs have been and will continue to be permanently damaged due to climbers not respecting this phenomenon. After a heavy storm the rock will remain wet, sometimes for several days. PLEASE DO NOT CLIMB IN ZION during or after rain. A good rule of thumb is that if the ground near your climb is at all damp (and not powdery dry sand), then do not climb. There are many alternatives (limestone, granite, basalt, and plastic) nearby. Seasonal Raptor Closures MORE INFO >>>


This route is located in the recess to the left of Moonlight and shares that route's first pitch and a half. It breaks out left at this point and follows an interesting line of corners, flakes and face climbing with a cool, steep jamming pitch as the finale.

This is a fun route that doesn't get as much traffic as the surrounding trade routes. Aiding the whole route would probably warrant a slightly harder rating (C2ish?). This route is best enjoyed as a long free climb with the occasional french-free move as opposed to climbing it "wall style". The aid is straight-forward and when it gets tricky a moderate free move will get you to the next bomber placement. The only pitch we aided in entirety was the crux 5.13 RP crack (there's a 12b variation that starts down and right) and the rest of the route went free or french-free. The bolts are like Moonlight's: fat and bomber.


  • Two each #.5 - #3 Camalot
  • One each. #3.5 and #4 Camalot
  • Double set of TCUs/Aliens (offset Aliens helpful)
  • One set of RPs (offset HBs helpful)

Photos of Sheer Lunacy Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Somewhere on high.
Somewhere on high.
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 10
Pitch 10
Rock Climbing Photo: Some pitch I can't remember.
Some pitch I can't remember.
Rock Climbing Photo: Climbers on Sheer Lunacy.
Climbers on Sheer Lunacy.
Rock Climbing Photo: Shuttling the pigs, pitch 4
Shuttling the pigs, pitch 4
Rock Climbing Photo: The Shroud of Elvis
BETA PHOTO: The Shroud of Elvis
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 4.
BETA PHOTO: Pitch 4.

Comments on Sheer Lunacy Add Comment
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By Anonymous Coward
Nov 28, 2005

Two friends and I did this route on 11/25/05. It was a great route, tons of fun, very mellow aid. There were only a few times where an aid piece was anything less than bomber.

The topo from worked well, however we didn't need or use any cam hooks or lowe balls. Hybrid aliens, and offset HB's were great. Fixed gear was fine...there were a few more bolts and drilled pitons than seemed necessary, though.
By MikeSLC
Oct 21, 2008

Camalots: Two each #.5 - #4 (#4s only used on pitch 9)
Aliens: two blues, triples through red. Offsets not needed.
One set of offset nuts (brass and aluminum)

Pitch 8&9 link easily.

Could link pitch 10 and half of pitch 11 (intermediate anchor).
By Adam Sanders
From: Erie, CO
Dec 4, 2010

Can someone give me an idea of what the grade would be if you aided pretty much all that you could? What is the hardest mandatory free climbing, keeping the aid grade at about C2?
By Michael Schneiter
From: Glenwood Springs, CO
Dec 4, 2010

I believe it's about 5.9 C2.
By Stevie Nacho
From: Utah
Dec 4, 2010

I'd rate it C2-. I've done it twice and aided most of it. I probably claim 5.8/5.9 being the hardest I freed. Take a big cam and some brassies. This route is funner than it looks.

By Greg Gavin
From: SLC, UT
Apr 3, 2014

Conversely if you want to french free or fraid through the tough free sections this climb is an absolute riot, and goes way faster than something like moonlight or lunar X. Highly recommend not using aiders or jugs until the last pitch off toquerville tower.
By greg t
From: Chevy, Silverado
Jun 27, 2014

When in doubt, Fraid it out

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