Direct East Face
At the Moro Rock parking lot, follow a decending hikers trail, just left of the main foot path that leads to the summit of Moro Rock. Upon the start of this trail (20 yards downhill), a small climbers trail breaks off right and down from the hikers trail. The trail drops down the east gully of Moro Rock. Caution should be taken while decending as this trail is steep and the forest debris (ie dead leaves, pines needles) can make this a slippery and hazardous descent. Continue down the faint descent trail through moderate foliage and some undergrowth for approximately 200 yards. To locate the start of the climb, look up on the eastern face of Moro and find the first large blocky right facing corner (a large green flake with a large roof below it signatures the end of the first pitch). Scramble to the right side of the gully and over to a broken buttress. Scramble up the broken buttress (some light 5th class move) to where the buttress ends as a large flake leaning up against the wall. This scramble up to the top of the flake can be technically considered the first pitch (5.5). If you are willing to solo up to the top of the flake, the first belay will start here (natural pro).
Pitch #1 (1st option) -
Scamble up a broken buttress, navigate through a bushy ledge and on up to a small right facing corner (5.5). Climb the corner and climb to the top of the flake (exposed 4th). Belay here (use slings for the tip of the flake and/or big gear for behind the flake (#4 Camelot!)
Pitch #1 (2nd option) -
Solo up to the top of the buttress and to the tip of the flake. Start by protecting a small horizontal crack (#2 Metolius TCU or small Alien....C1) and climb to reach the first bolt. Climb this and the bolt ladder that follows (6 bolts.....one bolt missing the hanger). Caution should be adhered as these bolts appear to have been the original bolts placed in 1959! All the hangers are loose and some of the 1/4' buttonheads stick out at least 1/2" (one or two of them are machine bolts!). Slinging each bolt with nut cables is recommended. At the last bolt, protect a small horizontal flake (3/8" Alien) before moving to a crack on the left, just above a very large roof. The crack goes free (5.7) and follows up a left corner to an cave-like alcove. The final moves before the alcove involve off-width moves. Once at the belay (one 1/4" bolts stud and one 1/4" bolt with hanger, a homemade Big Bro slotted into the back corner with slings and a natural chockstone with slings), fix the first pitch here (awkward for the second).
Pitch #2 -
Lead out from the corner to the right on a small horizontal crack with awkward pin placements (A2) or can be lead using offset Aliens (C2). At the end of the crack (15 feet from the belay), clip a bolt and lead up a short bolt ladder (3 bolts). Again, caution should be used as the bolts and the hangers are aged. At the top of the bolt ladder, belay the second (one bolt with big gear, #4 Cam) due to the location and rope drag involved.
Pitch 3 & 4 -
Climb a 4th class ramp for 450 feet to the appex of the ramp near a fractured toe of a blunt arete. Natural belay (pro to 2"). Pitch #4 involves very runout 5.6 climbing, pro is hard to find on the open slabs.
Pitch #5 -
Climb broken terraces and corners (easy 5th) straight up. There is some lichen on a few section leading to the top (3rd). Continue up 3rd class of 200' and to the observation railing.
- Small cams
- (1) set of nuts
- (2) #2 Camelot
- (2) #3 Camelot
- (1) #4 Camelot
- (2) 1 1/2" angles
- (2) KB's
- Extra slings for belays and tie-offs
- 60 meter rope and a tag line
From: Chattanooga TN
Feb 9, 2011
Led all the pitches of this climb in the summer of 2010. The bolt ladders are SCARY!. Old, rusty bolts placed in the late 1950s (?). Still the one hanger missing. After the two pitches of bolt ladders, the upper pitches are quite easy and good. You can see the huge crack if you drive a little bit past the Moro Rock parking lot.
Glad to do it once. Never do it again.
If the bolts were replaced, this could be a 3 star climb.