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 (5.7 G 60'): Start up the back of the depression and ascend a crack system that leads to a small overhang. Bypass this to the right, via a hand crack in a short left-facing corner which leads to a pleasant belay ledge with a 2-bolt anchor.
Pitch 2 (5.7+ PG 100'): Gain the foot ledge 10' above the belay ledge and traverse to the shallow right-facing corner (pro). Traverse left out of the corner (crux, worse for second) to a series of right-facing corners. Follow the weakness up past a couple fixed pins, keeping an eye climber's left for a spacious belay ledge with a 2-bolt anchor.
Pitch 3 (5.7 R 50'): Make committing, unprotected moves off the ledge using the right-facing corner/arete to a small stance with an opportunity to get some solid gear (RPs, small stoppers). Move right to gain a low-angle ramp system (good gear) and follow this to the large right-facing corner/v-slot to the right of the large roof and a disconcerting fixed anchor (a nest of crap on a slung feature, an old ring piton, and a solid bolt). Beware, loose rock at the fixed anchor.
(Pitch 4: 5.7 PG 100'): Climb the right-facing corner/v-slot (past some fixed pins) until a very obvious traverse presents itself. Traverse left 15' to the blunt arete (keep eyes open for a fixed pin around the arete). Follow a good series of large edges to the top and a fixed anchor on a tree. Beware, loose rock on this pitch. You can position your belayer under the roof with a little planning at the P3 belay.
Start: 50 yards uphill and climber's left from the Positive Thinking area between The Nose and The Great Dihedral.
Descent: Using double ropes, the guide recommends rappelling from the tree at the top of P4 to the P2 anchors. We did this and our ropes presented themselves as un-pullable. The tree on top of P4 is set far back and there is a lot of vegetation that adds friction to the ropes when being pulled. There is a set of three bolts 20' down and climber's left of the P4 tree, you'll have to rappel through a mess of brush to get there and once there, the stance is less than ideal. However, your ropes will pull smoothly at the P2 belay.
Protection: Single rack to BD #3 C4, RPs (micro-stoppers); Fixed Anchors at all belays
On Pitch 3 you make committing moves off the belay with no gear. There is a chance to get a less than ideal RP in before making the most committing of moves, but I question whether an RP will hold with only 10-15 feet of rope out. If you see water running down from above the belay, you might consider just bailing at that point. If the corner and ramp are wet, you might be in for a scary pitch and you may find it hard to reverse the moves back to the belay from where you get your first look at the ramp.
So not much is written about this climb and I did it this weekend and loved it. Yes, a bit scary at times, but nothing a solid leader with a good head couldnt handle.
For P1, the belay is two bolts and cannot be seen from the ground.
On P2, first go right and up the corner (gear available) and traverse back left over the belay to the other corner (gear also available for the upcoming traverse, double ropes helpful). Then step down and around the edge to the left. A fall here would be interesting but not fatal at all as the last gear placement is great. then go up a series of corners heading up and left. When you get to a section that looks very dirty, go left around the arete to the hidden anchor (also two bolts). You can rap to ground from here with 2 60m ropes. Don't know if one would do it.
P3 is heady off the bolts. Go up the corner and about 15 feet higher is a horn/block on the left that can be slung and secured with a nut. After, that the ramp is great for gear. P3 is short and ends on the right side of the huge roof at the bottom of the giant corner. The anchor here is very sketchy (one bolt, and a slung fin). Also keep in mind that the rocks at this belay are loose and directly above the start.
P4 goes up the dirty corner (2 pitons, hollow rock) then traverses left to the arete and scales the right side of the arete. There is a piton around the corner of the arete and I suggest you clip it as protection thereafter is finicky. When you get to the grassy ledge, the tree anchor is about 20 feet recessed. Be mindful of your feet going up the grass as a fall would be nasty. Overall a fun route worth doing to the top.
Two raps with 60m ropes gets you to the ground (rap from top anchor through giant roof to top of P2; angle straight down, don't go down the dirty corner to the right). We had no issues pulling ropes.