Access to the Main Face is often limited in the spring and summer due to peregrine falcon nesting. Check the DEC web site (www.dec.ny.gov, search for "peregrine route closures"). Closures are posted in the kiosk at the beginning of the approach trail in the (now closed) Poke-O Campground.
Several recent incidents at the Poke-O Moonshine Main Face have heightened tensions with neighboring landowners.
Shortcut Trail (aka the Smitty Trail): The main approach goes from the (now closed) campground to the cliff near Discord. There is a shortcut trail on the right that provides access to the cliff near Pentecostal. This shortcut trail crosses the edges of two parcels of private land, and was closed in the spring of 2014. As of Aug 30, 2014, this trail is open on a tentative basis. Stay on the trail; there are some cairns and Access Fund signage to help.
Northern Trail Closure (aka the Easy Living Trail): There is an old trail that connects US 9 with the cliff near Psalm 32. This trail is entirely on private land and should NOT be used by climbers; indeed, it has been closed and undocumented for many years. Both ends of this trail are now marked with signs courtesy of the Access Fund.
In short, while visiting the Main Face, approach from the campground, and stay on the main trail along the base of the cliff.
This information is a public crowdsourcing effort between the Access Fund,
and Mountain Project. You should confirm closures, restrictions, and/or related dates.
Pitch 1: Sunburst Arete starts up a wide crack to the top of a pedestal on the left of the arete itself. Once there continue up on the left of the arete from good rest ledge to good rest ledge. At about 2/3 height move out right around the arete for a few moves before swinging back left across the arete again. Now finish straight up to a spacious belay ledge. (100')
Pitch 2: Above the ledge you run into a 4 inch crack, that tapers into a hand crack. At the top of this move left under a roof. Pass above the roof on the left side to a grassy ledge and slung block rap anchors to the right. (80')
From here, a two rope rappel will bring you back to the ground, or you can continue above meeting up with the last two pitches of paralysis.
Continue along approach trail past Gamesmanship, and past Fastest Gun for approximately 10 minutes. Once you reach the amphitheater, with Cirrhosis and Paralysis you can see the Arete to the far right side of the cliff.
By Chris Duca Administrator From: Havertown, PA Aug 12, 2010 rating: 5.85b16VI-15HVS 4c PG13
I climbed this route for the first time today, and was amazed at the quality of climbing/position it offered. I also felt that though the climbing on the first pitch was relatively easy, it felt a bit spicy/runout in sections(PG-13ish due to some ankle breaking potential if a couple of brassies about 1/3 of the way up pull). The 2nd pitch, though very straight forward, seemed stout in the grade.
By Greg Kuchyt From: Richmond, VT Jun 20, 2011 rating: 5.85b16VI-15HVS 4c PG13
I agree with Chris. 1/3 of the way up is the mental crux; a few inobvious moves and protected by "okay" micro stoppers/micro cams. The arete is stellar positioning and exposure. P2 is as 5.8 as you can get before being 5.9-. See the comment section for Paralysis for info on how to link up with the upper pitches (P4-5) to make this into an adventurous 4-pitch route that tops out.
An excellent adventure, especially if done in conjunction with P3 & 4 of Paralysis. The gear is definitely thin, so it warrants PG13. The areat moves on P2, while easy for the route, are quite spectacular!
I found the first pitch to be pretty scary! It seemed like you would get gear at a ledge and then have to make a difficult move above that ledge. Lots of ankle breaking potential! Cool route non the less.