South Face

Page Type
Washington, United States, North America
Route Type:
Technical Rock Climb.
Time Required:
Most of a day
5.9+ or 5.7 & A.0, Grade III

Route Quality: 2 Votes

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South Face
Created On: Jan 26, 2005
Last Edited On: Apr 11, 2007

Overview & Approach

S Face & Dome
Half Moon is a visually interesting peak; the crescent-shaped rock fin rises abruptly on two opposite faces to create a long, narrow crest. The South Face route is a fun and moderate climb on good rock in a great setting with one caveat; the rock on the first pitch is somewhat eroded.

From Kangaroo Pass traverse E (slightly below the level of the pass) and find a low point along the ridge where you can cross N (between Walaby & Little Finger) over into the basin S of Half Moon. In this photo from Klenke you can see the approach-route crosses the snow field S of Wallaby and over a shouder to the talus field leading up to Half Moon. From here make an ascending traverse N towards the (now visible) South Face across snowfields and or talus, depending upon time of year, to the base of the Peak.

Photo provided by Eric Sandbo

Route Description

S Face route (highlighted)
Five pitches (four upon the Face).

Find the beginning of the route near the E side, See Here, of the Face at the lowest toe of rock protruding from the S Face, scramble up ~100' to the first belay location.

The first pitch or two climbs bottomed-out, flaring and rounded cracks (these are the hardest climbing). Initially the rock is of poor quality but as you climb higher it becomes better and easier to protect. There are several ledges for belay stances located along the way, take advantage of them. The final pitch (upon the face) begins, from a good ledge at the base of a shallow & wide chimney, with a long step-across. Climb the chimney to it's top and reach the ridge N of the summit. From here it's Class 3 or easy Class 4 to the top. Descend the route or if carrying all your gear with you and if you're familiar with the North Ridge route you may descend that (saving a couple of miles travel on the return in the process).

Essential Gear

A medium rack of Stoppers and Hexes were all that we had available at the time and worked just fine (friends or similar camming devices could be helpful in the lower section). Double ropes and slings or runner material for rappels would be nice. We found no fixed gear on the route. Ice axes in early season for the approach.

NOAA Digital Weather

You can check the NOAA weather site here for current local conditions.