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South Fork Shoshone (Ice)
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The Moratorium 


Type:  Ice, Alpine, 2 pitches, 400', Grade II
Consensus: WI4 [details]
FA: Chad Chadwick, Bill Dockins early 1980's
Page Views: 4,236
Submitted By: kevin fox on Jan 31, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (14)
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Clipinmt, nearing the top of P1, The Moratorium. 1...


I think the true crux to this route is the approach. Plan on anywhere from an hour (if you are an aerobic animal) to 2 hours. The Moratorium is the longest continuous flow in the area. Locals said that it doesn't form up every year. The route can be thin and unprotectable to thick smooth ice. The leader definitely needs to be aware of ice that is released.

The 1st pitch leaves the belayer really exposed to falling ice. End of the 1st pitch is a small shelf that is on the left side of the route. Great place to also set a v-thread for the rap off.

The 2nd pitch goes up a steep curtain, and after forty or fifty feet turns into a sloping ledge to an easy finish, or there is a steep curtain on the right.

For the descent you have to rappel the route. Make a V-thread at the top, if there isn't one already. When rappelling, shoot for the shelf that you set up your first hanging belay at. Aaron Mulkey's advice (which worked) was to leave the screws that you set up the anchor with at the first belay. That way, you have something to clip into. The last rappel is pretty straightforward.

This is definitely a classic not to be missed.


Screws and sling material to make v-threads. Two 60-meter ropes. Plan on each pitch being a full rope length.

Photos of The Moratorium Slideshow Add Photo
<a href='/u/matt-tuttle//106086437'>matt tuttle</a> brings up Ace Welton and K. Hirst on The Moratorium, 01/06.
matt tuttle brings up Ace Welton and K. Hirst on T...
Gentleman John Beaupre styles up the first pitch.
Gentleman John Beaupre styles up the first pitch.
Top of the second pitch...be sure to send the fat guy down first while it's backed up!!
BETA PHOTO: Top of the second pitch...be sure to send the fat ...
Kevin leading 1st pitch.
Kevin leading 1st pitch.
The beautiful Moratorium; perhaps it is the most aesthetic piece of ice in all of the South Fork.
BETA PHOTO: The beautiful Moratorium; perhaps it is the most a...
Mike at the base of Moratorium,trying to figure out where to hide from falling ice.
BETA PHOTO: Mike at the base of Moratorium,trying to figure ou...
Mike leading the 2nd pitch.
Mike leading the 2nd pitch.
<a href='/u/matt-tuttle//106086437'>Clipinmt</a> and K.Hirst simul-seconding P2 of The Moratorium.
Clipinmt and K.Hirst simul-seconding P2 of The Mor...
Approaching The Moratorium.
Approaching The Moratorium.
Wallowing through deep snow en route to 'The Moratorium,' Feb. 2014
Wallowing through deep snow en route to 'The Morat...

Comments on The Moratorium Add Comment
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By Kirt Cozzens
Aug 6, 2009

Hello all,
I was honored to be mentioned in Winter Dance by my old partner Mark Twight. I told Joe Josephson about Monte Madsen's and my first attempt on the Moratorium in the winter of 1983. The approach certainly was of Southfork lore. The spindrift and snow sluffs were very intimidating as was the first pitch of zero pro on 3/4" brittle ice. Monte Madsen named this climb the Moratorium and I wonder why the first ascent party named it the same.

Kirt Cozzens
Southfork Pioneer
By GR Johnson
Apr 2, 2011

Great route. Several years ago Moratorium came in for the first time in a long time. It was new years eve and I was having a few beers with a beautiful girl at the bar. I was young and very dumb. I left her at the bar and went back to the bunk house to sleep because I didn't want to be exhausted and hung over the next day and possibly miss out on this gem of a climb. I think it has come in every year since... Whoops.
By jack s.
From: Kamloops, BC
Feb 27, 2012

+1 for attempting to not bomb the belayer. I took a six inch piece of ice to the head from 50 meters up. I don't really remember much about the first pitch, but leading the second pitch was sorta nauseating and fun. It is ironic that I jokingly referred to the "moratorium on brains," which is a quote in a book that I read, prior to the climb.

All in all, this is a must-do route if it's in.