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Schultz's Ridge
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The Moratorium 

YDS: 5.11b French: 6c Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E3 5c

Type:  Trad, 4 pitches
Consensus:  YDS: 5.11b French: 6c Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E3 5c [details]
FA: Livesey & Jones - 1975
Page Views: 6,983
Submitted By: Josh Janes on Oct 16, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (64)
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Leading up P1 of the Moratorium. Thanks to David ...

Closures for Peregrine Falcon Protection MORE INFO >>>


The Moratorium is three (sometimes four) pitches of technical and powerful stemming and jamming up a steep, right-facing corner system at the base of El Cap. It serves as a great approach to the classic "East Buttress" as they finish and start within a few meters of one another, but because the climbing is of such a different nature (that is, East Buttress being much easier, wandering, and adventurous), the Moratorium is perhaps better as a stand-alone climb.

The corner is easily identified on Shultz's Ridge. Approach via a short third class scramble in from the right.

P1: Climb up the steep, pumpy 5.10 corner via jams and quite a bit of laybacking. The top gets thin but just when things get desparate, one can step left to a great belay ledge. Belay at bolts. 5.10d.

P2: Step back into the corner (airy), and continue up on fun climbing until an ultra-thin, creative stemming affair at the top. 10d.

P3: Climb up some hollow flakes to a stance a little ways out from the belay. The crux involves steep liebacking and stemming up a seasonally wet crack. Kinda tough 5.11b. Link this pitch into the next one if you're continuing up to the East Buttress, or rap from here with two ropes.

P4: A short 5.9 pitch up flakes and blocks to the top.


Double set of cams with a strong emphasis on small gear (RPs not needed, but bring plenty of TCUs/tiny Aliens). Two ropes if you wish to rap.

Photos of The Moratorium Slideshow Add Photo
Leading the first pitch of the Moratorium
Leading the first pitch of the Moratorium
First pitch of Moratorium
First pitch of Moratorium
the 10' of wild stemming in P2.
the 10' of wild stemming in P2.
pitch 1
pitch 1
2nd pitch stemming
2nd pitch stemming

Comments on The Moratorium Add Comment
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By m-earle
From: USA
Sep 28, 2007

This climb is a superb intro for valley 5.11 multi-pitch
By Mark Hammond
From: Eldorado Springs, CO
Nov 19, 2007

Excellent but desperate with the algae/seaweed in the crux tips section. Felt harder than other 5.11's on this trip such as the Rostrum. My experience linking the final 2 pitches would lead me to break them up next time.
Nov 28, 2007

seemed to me that of the first two 10d pitches, the second one worked me over way more. i felt like i was barely in there for the slappy moves to the anchors.
By toettch
May 3, 2010

What a great route! Something to note though: the crux section can be quite wet in the spring (especially after a snowy winter), as it was the first weekend of May this year. When wind blows Horsetail Falls over onto the East Buttress, you might find yourself getting some water spray on the 3rd & 4th pitches :)
By Kurt Swanson
From: Philadelphia, PA
Mar 1, 2012

The late great John Bachar gives his account of on-sight free soloing the Moratorium (about 25 minutes in):

By Dmitriy Litvak
From: Pacifica, CA
Apr 15, 2013

Pitch 1 belay is more of a rappel. The chains are easy to miss in action. Building gear anchor on one of the small flake ledges in the crack worked better for us. 70m could link 1st 2 pitches for a mega endurance pitch. Haven't tried it yet.
By Dmitriy Litvak
From: Pacifica, CA
May 19, 2014

Do not leave any food or valuables at the base of the climb. The crows have learned to unzip pouches. Took sandwich, TP, sunscreen from me and the lunches from others climbing that day. So beware, you might not find your diamond watch if you leave it there.
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