Rising Moons is a short three pitch route covering approximately 400’
that it took me less than 30 minutes total to ascend and descend excluding the one hour approach. The first pitch runs up a darkly varnished chimney to a treed ledge. The second pitch is made up of solid rock and runs to the top of the leaning tower, via mostly well varnished face climbing out right of the chimney which leads to a fixed belay at top. The last pitch is above the tower via a wide crack in whitish sandstone. If free soloing, you will feel much more exposed on this final pitch.
At the top is a singular bolt (2012) and tree fixed for rappel. I took two single rope raps which got me down most of the second pitch and then down climbed the rest of the route.
Park at the First Creek pull-out on Highway 159. Hike along the trail above the left side of the wash, entering the wash as you enter the canyon passing under Lotta Balls Wall
and the Romper Room area. The first route to mark the First Creek Slabs area is Rising Moon. Hike up the left side of the canyon floor to the base of a white sandstone tower with a triangular block resting below it. The first pitch climbs the chimney up the left side of the triangular block.
Route Description380’+/-, 3 Pitches, 5.5
1st Pitch- 100’- 5.3/
Handren’s guide calls this pitch 150’, but that would have to include all the way to the tree above. I down climbed this pitch on descent, but you could easily rap the next feature skiers left with a single rope from a block if you deemed it necessary. I cleaned up some existing tat over there. In any regard, there is a short walking/scrambling treed section in between pitches. This is a darkly varnished chimney that gives you all kind of options in which to climb it.
2nd Pitch- 140’- 5.5/
Run up the right side of the white tower to its top. This corner forms a chimney, but most of the climbing is on darkly varnished face with huge jugs out right. Towards the top of the tower, the chimney closes. Finish at a fixed belay on the wall out right, just below the summit of the tower.
3rd Pitch- 90’- 5.5/ This pitch will feel much more exposed than the previous one and is the crux of the climb.
Follow the wide crack to a ledge system at its top. Unless you brought wide gear, this section will be mostly run out. From a free soloing perspective, the rock is of lessor quality
than the previous two pitches. At the top is a single bolt currently (2012) backup up by a tree to form a belay/rappel anchor.
I rapped with a single 60m rope back to the top of the second pitch. I then rapped from that fixed station a full 200’ and just down climbed the remainder to the base of the second pitch as well as downclimbed the first pitch. A single rope rap option is available from the top of the route to the east via trees.
If you are not going to free solo the route, take your larger gear for the final pitch. The guide book calls for single rack to 6”. This route stays relatively shaded during most of the day.
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