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A heady, enjoyable jaunt up natural weaknesses in a quartzite tower. Quartermoon follows a broken dihedral, traverses onto a face to a wide ledge, and then continues up a variable-width chimney to a false summit to the west of the true summit (the true summit is easily reached by walking from the false summit).
This route was established solo, from the ground up.
P1 (5.9, 90') Start in a shallow trough in the corner between the north face of the tower and the east face of a buttress that juts out northward at the west base of the tower. The climbing is initially quite easy and the protection is easy to find (medium nuts, small and medium cams, if desired). At the top of the trough bear left onto the north face of the tower. Continue following discontinuous weaknesses up steeper, more difficult ground past a fixed copperhead and a single bolt. A bit after the bolt is a shallow ledge. From the ledge bear a bit left and climb relatively easy ground for another 10 feet to the chain anchors. Attached to the anchor there is a metal tag with the word “Quartermoon” stamped onto it.
After belaying the second hop up onto the wide, vegetated ledge and walk into the corner to the right (more-or-less directly below the second-pitch chimney).
P2 (5.9+, 115') Start by climbing the pedestal to the right. Pro is a bit scarce initially, but with a triple-length sling a large horn can be slung at the top of the pedestal. Bear left and start into the chimney proper. The climbing up the chimney is mostly stemming, with a few face moves here and there. The general feel is of leaving a relatively secure location (easy stem, almost-ledges), climbing through a more difficult section that pushes you out away from the chimney and smaller pro, and then getting back into a more secure location.
The crux is probably an awkward, “bomb-bay” section that requires some careful feet and faith that the holds are going to be there.
On the summit is a register.
Two single-rope rappels. A 70m rope reaches the belay ledge from the top; a 60m would reach the top of the pedestal to the right of the ledge necessitating about ten feet of easy downclimbing.
Note that the pitch lengths in the guidebook seem to be reversed.
On the north side of the Quartermoon tower; starts in a trough between the north wall of the tower and the east wall of a northward-jutting buttress.
A set of nuts, a full set of cams from micro to large, and plenty of 24" runners.
There is a single bolt on pitch 1, and both pitches are topped with chain anchors.
Perin Blanchard near the top of Quartermoon
|By Perin Blanchard|
From: Orem, UT
Apr 20, 2008
As mentioned in James Garrett’s Ibex guidebook the chimney section can be protected reasonably well with nothing larger than hand-sized pieces. However, reasonably well in this case means that if you fell, you wouldn’t die, but you might wish that you had.
The problem in this case is that smaller protection options seem to come at the “more secure” locations mentioned in the above description. I found myself placing two pieces, climbing ten to fifteen feet past wider, and sometimes more difficult sections and then placing another two pieces. Had I managed to fall before placing the subsequent pieces it would probably have been painful, and possibly dangerous.
If you’ve got large pieces (e.g., #5 and #6 Camalot C4s) you’ll probably be happier because you’ll be able to better protect the more difficult moves (the largest piece I had with me was a #4 C4).
As of April 2008, in addition to the register, the summit holds a bottle of tequila.
Apr 20, 2008
Dang - it was 3/4 full in February!
|By Lee Jensen|
Apr 21, 2008
The rock is great quality. The belay stations are well positioned (although exposed) and completely bomber. Two short cruxy spots make it hard 5.9. Make sure your leader is comfortable at the grade because a fall almost anywhere on the route would be very painful due to the ledge/chimney nature of the route.
The summit is awesome, but unfortunately we did not get to enjoy it because of the high winds that we experienced that day. However, we were completely sheltered form the south-west wind until we pulled over the top.
The route was completely in the shade the whole day during our ascent in April.
From: Small Lake, UT
Apr 26, 2010
I missed the anchor on top of P1, followed the wavy crack to its end and pulled a scary mantel on the brushy ledge (9+ ish?). You can set up a nice comfy belay at the base of the 2nd pitch in a double crack (.4, #2 and #4 BD but options are plenty).
P2 is long, exposed, packed with fun moves and great gear.
|By Stan Pitcher|
From: SLC, UT
May 7, 2012
If you have only a 60m rope, don't try raping off summit chains to the north or you may wish you drank less tokillya! Either do a short rap or down climb to the lower anchors to the climbers right of the last pitch. From there your rope will just make it to the grassy ledge.
|By Eric Chabot|
From: Thetford Ctr, VT
May 12, 2013
Just got back from Ibex. While there, I found a long sling and 2 locking biners on a boulder next the the corral crag, near Ewe.F.O....I also found a NOLS water bottle on the hardpan, with a small racking biner attached to it and a cool cheetah sticker (c'mon guys, leave no trace).
However, my digital camera fell out of my pocket while i was rappelling quartermoon, I think it is on the grassy ledge up there in the middle of the climb. It's not that nice a camera, but it is waterproof and I don't really have a ton of money to replace it. I'd really like the pictures that are on it. It's a blue fuji. If you find it, text or call me at (eight 4 five) seven oh five-92 zero seven. I will give you a 6-pack if I get it back (beer... or red bull if you are LDS).
regarding the route, Garret's guide states "#4 and larger optional" which I took to mean "not needed". I think a 4 would have helped a lot. If you burrow into that chimney you can find pretty good gear for most of the route though.