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Cadillac Crag
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Moonlight Drive 

YDS: 5.10b French: 6a+ Ewbanks: 19 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b PG13

   
Type:  Trad, 2 pitches
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10- French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a [details]
FA: Greg Davis, Dan Hare, 1984
Fixed Hardware: 2 Belay Bolts, 4 Lead Bolts [details]
Page Views: 1,667
Submitted By: Ken Leiden on Sep 22, 2001

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (41)
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Jeff and Jules (?) following Mike (?) on P1. Mike...

Climbing reopened after flood MORE INFO >>>

Protection 

Standard rack. There are 4 bolts on the 2nd pitch, but gear is needed to augment the protection for a lead.

Description 

Start between Fin 2 and Fin 3.

Pitch 1: Climb up a slab to a fun, but very thin flake on Fin 3 (a junior version of Wheat Thin in Yosemite). Layback the flake (5.8+, be sure to pull down, not out) and traverse left on decent holds (5.7/5.8) to a 2-bolt anchor. This could potentially be a stellar pitch, but it ends too soon.

Pitch 2: Head up the left side of the arete, past 3 bolts on sharp holds and a section of 10b. I found the climbing easier than other climbs of the same grade in Eldo. There was a long runout (perhaps 25 ft) and a switch to the other side of the arete to reach the 4th bolt, but the climbing wasn't difficult. Right above this bolt was a 10a slab, and then a hand and fist-sized crack that led to the summit of Fin 3.

A good climb for sure, but nothing spectacular. Down climb to the north past Fin 4 and the walk-off ledge.


Photos of Moonlight Drive Slideshow Add Photo
Mike and Ross on the second pitch.
Mike and Ross on the second pitch.
Clint approaches the final 10a crux on the second pitch of the route.
Clint approaches the final 10a crux on the second ...
Gingerly working the flake on the first pitch. Photo by Holden Harris.
Gingerly working the flake on the first pitch. Pho...
A 60 degree January day draws "crowds" at Cadillac. The climbers on the left are on Gonzo. V3 is the big dihedral right of that. On the middle fin are Jeff, Mike (?) and Jules (?) on Moonlight Drive. Right of them is Chuck Graves on the upper half of Stargate 11b.
A 60 degree January day draws "crowds" a...
Midway on the loose and spooky P1 traverse.
Midway on the loose and spooky P1 traverse.
Mike (?) is trailing 2 ropes so he can belay his two partners simultaneously, but he forgot to clip the one rope to any gear. Startgate 11b is the face right of Mike.
Mike (?) is trailing 2 ropes so he can belay his t...
At the P2 crux at the second bolt. Hand and foot holds are a bit small but positive. Sequence is tricky.
At the P2 crux at the second bolt. Hand and foot h...
Rope salad with Jeff leading P2 and Mike (?) and Jules (?) at the hanging belay. On the right, Chuck Graves has just finished the 11b crux of Stargate.
Rope salad with Jeff leading P2 and Mike (?) and J...
Above the third bolt. It's a long way to the 4th bolt, but the climbing is easy. You can get some mediocre gear above where Luke is.
Above the third bolt. It's a long way to the 4th b...
shot of P1
shot of P1

Comments on Moonlight Drive Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jul 12, 2011
By pete cogan
Jul 24, 2002

With the rap anchors at the top of the first pitch, this makes for an excellent moderate lead at about 5.8+ (Rossiter). The pro is fine with the exception of the top traverse, which is easy, the position airy, the flakes very funky. Just be aware that you'll need to traverse left before you reach the top of the roof in order to get to the anchors, and you'll have to place some funky pro to protect your second. (I used a pink tri cam and a small camalot).
By Bryson Slothower
Aug 22, 2002

To me this did not seem like a good moderate lead up to the bolt anchor. There are some very suspect flakes above the wheat thin flake that are waiting to be pulled off onto someone's rope. This may be a moderate lead for someone more accustomed to ice climbing but anyone at their limit on 5.8 has a good chance of pulling something big off. I strung both pitches together without drag problems and thought the upper part was pretty good but found the bottom half to be rather dangerous and definitely not worth a trip in it's own right
By steve dieckhoff
Aug 23, 2002

I would concur with Bryson. The 1st pitch is rather spicy and I definitely wouldn't recommend it to a 5.8 leader. I do think the route is well worth the long approach when you're comfortable at this degree-of-difficulty.
By George Bell
From: Boulder, CO
Aug 23, 2002

I agree with Steve and Bryson. I remember leading the first pitch and being pretty nervous about taking a big fall in the final 10' . After Pete's comment I figured I was just being a wimp, or was missing some placements.
By pete cogan
Sep 19, 2002

Re my first comments. I led this pitch after following it the year earlier, so I think my comments are affected by that. I would hate to describe a pitch as easier than it is; I'd rather be on the conservative side. I defer to those climbers with more experience who commented above, and appreciate all the feedback this site offers.
By M.Morley
Administrator
From: Sacramento, CA
Sep 21, 2003

This is a great climb! The first pitch flake is cool - unique and fun. The runout traverse to the anchors isn't too bad (S-). Keep in mind that it's likewise S- for the follower. Pitch 2 is superb - airy and exposed on quality rock. It's peculiar (to me anyway) that the first ascentionists placed 3 bolts to protect the first 20' of this pitch, then ran it 30' to the 4th bolt! The difficulty eases to about 5.7 for this stretch, but a 60' fall past your belayer would be, well...exciting to say the least. I found a marginal smaller nut placement (#5 BD?) about half way between the 3rd and 4th bolts in a tiny pocket, but was sure glad to clip that last bolt. Used a .5 Camalot and yellow TCU to protect from there to the top.

Airy and exposed!
By Anonymous Coward
Sep 21, 2003

Great Route! P1 is moderately long 60-70 feet. Some suspect rock, that could be pryed loose with poor cam placements. IMHO not a great first lead for a 5.8 leader. 20 foot traverse left to the anchors if an onsight would be would be quite serious trying to route find because anchors can not be seen from last pro placement.P2- after Bolt 3, I was able to place a Blue Alien and Black/Blue Alien in a small slot on the ledge and equalize them with a sling. Either one on it's own with a higher impact fall would probably fracture the rock and you would take 40-50 ft fall, equalized they would likely hold, however the climbing is not that difficult getting to the bolt, unless there are 40-50 mph wind gusts?

Save a 3, 3.5 or 4 Camalot for the top.

I have climbed several routes at Cadillac, and this is one of the best.
By Ernie Port
From: Boulder, Colorado
Oct 4, 2003

This is a superb route! Climbing the P1 flake is excellent... to an airy hanging belay. I have to say the P2 (10b) face is fairly graded, and a very worthy pitch of Cadillac fin climbing...
By Clint Locks
From: Boulder
Oct 9, 2003
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

This is one of my favorite pitches. Tons of fun! The flake on P1 is a blast, but placing gear is sometimes hard as you have to contort around to see it. I'll aslo concur that the final 10-15 feet is a)S, and b) has some suspect rock in places (thin flakes waiting for their chance to go) and c) really fun. I doubled up on a couple of placements right out of the crack and felt OK about it. Don't head right to the roof; the bolts are a bit lower.I blew off stringing the 2 Ps together, therefore making my partner pull the cruxes, but I regret that. I think with long slings, they'd go together withough THAT MUCH drag.

When you get to the top, hit Midnight Trundler if you're so inclined.

Enjoy!
By Jeff G.
From: Fort Collins
Jan 23, 2005
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

This route definately rates two stars. Very nice position with good exposure on both pitches.
By Shane Zentner
From: Colorado
Mar 15, 2005

The move from the third bolt to the fourth bolt is not too bad minus the wind guts which really sucked. I didn't see any placements between these bolts at all. Pick a calm day to do this.

I followed the first pitch and noticed rotten flakes that probably wouldn't hold a fall. Solid 5.8 and fun, though.
By nolteboy
Jun 21, 2005

Recommended. Green or yellow alien before the traverse left on pitch one. Don't remember much gear on pitch two apart from the bolts.
By Brian Sorden
Sep 25, 2005
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

If you didn't find any gear between the third and fourth bolts, it's because it's at your feet when you're standing on the big ledge. Set two opposing small stoppers. Maybe it was the comfort of clipping bolts, but the second pitch seemed no harder than 5.9. I certainly concur with all the [trepidation] expressed over the first pitch death flakes. Pull carefully.
By Umph!
Oct 1, 2005
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

"No harder than 5.9" I just don't get it (my partner said the same thing, "5.9"). I think it is solid 10- for 3 moves. Also, this route should be considered S (Serious), due to the exfoliating/thin/rotten nature of several sections in P1 and the RO in P2. . . . at least remember this warning (and the others) if you're using this website as beta.Really fun climb - and exciting for the grade!
By Ivan Rezucha
From: Fort Collins, CO
Nov 18, 2006
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

I lead this today having followed it a year or two ago. It seemed very easy. The first pitch is maybe 5.7. The big flake was more solid than I remembered. The rock on the traverse left is atrocious--don't pull out on anything, but the gear is pretty good, and the climbing is very easy if you stay low. The crux is on positive 1/2 joint or bigger hand holds and pretty big feet, and is all in balance. One standup move is all. I had followed Deviant (9+) that morning and had more trouble following that than leading this. As for the gear between bolts 3 and 4, it is indeed at your feet. I used a #00 Metolius.
By D. Shaw
Sep 10, 2007
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b R

Read all the comments. Good route indeed, but everyone who says watch out on p. 1 is quite right. Very suspect little holds, and the big flake is going to break if you pull out and hard on it. We all know it is possible to rate things differently, and maybe the folks who say p. 2 is 5.9 went some different way. The way we did it, definitely 10b. Also I said "R" as you do NOT want to fall at the 9+ move just before you clip the 4th/last bolt on the arete - pretty run out at that point (previous bolt maybe 25 feet down).
By Tom T
May 4, 2008
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a PG13

I didn't think the runout between bolts was too bad. It would be an uncomfortable fall, but not a dangerous one. I found the suspect rock on P1 more spicy than anything else on the route.
By Jeremy
From: Boulder, CO
Aug 9, 2008
rating: 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b

I agree with Ivan.
"As for the gear between bolts 3 and 4, it is indeed at your feet. I used a #00 Metolius."
I used a blue Alien.

I also found this and Ichiban Arete about as difficult as Deviant. For the record I think Deviant is 10a easy.
By Gold Plated Rocket Pony
From: Boulder, CO
Sep 27, 2008

Great climb. Both pitches are on the spicy side but not bad. I enjoyed this climb more than both V3 and Gonzo. Definitely don't agree with the description of "A good climb for sure, but nothing spectacular." The flake on P1 is cool. I don't think it's going anywhere, but I also didn't even think of place any pro behind it. I got a suspect #2 Metolius curved nut in on P2 between the 3rd and 4th bolt, but it was probably just mental help.
By Patrik
Jul 12, 2011
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a PG13

Copy Ivan's comments above. Compared to Deviant, Highway of Diamond, Chockstone, Xanadu, and other 10a in Eldo, I think Moonlight Drive is a bit easier. There's a bunch of suspect rock on the first pitch, bit being careful, you only need to touch one suspect rock (the very large flake) while climbing it at 5.8 level. Just avoid the big suspect jugs and use the smaller and more stable features. Gear can also be placed away from the suspect stuff with a bit of imagination. Make sure your second is a solid climber as the traverse (5.6?) at the top of P1 doesn't have a lot of solid gear.