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[TR] Half Moon - North Ridge 06/23/2018

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Trip: Half Moon - North Ridge

Trip Date: 06/23/2018

Trip Report:

Me, Fred, and Dave climbed the north ridge of Half Moon (part of Kangaroo Ridge) on June 23. We went in knowing almost nothing: it is 5.7 and you climb up from the notch, that's it. There wasn't hardly even a reference to the route on the internet, a somewhat vague Summitpost page written about a climb many years ago (before I was born), and a short paragraph in Beckey.

We made short work of the approach gully due to some steps kicked seemingly that morning... did someone else climb to the notch that day? Maybe they went down the other side to access the east side of Big Kangaroo? 

It was super cold and windy at the notch, I think we were all wearing pretty much everything we brought. Fred lead out on really roughly textured granite with lots of features... unfortunately most of the features turned out to be hollow flakes. Fred lead two pitches up a featured face to a large sandy bench passing two bolted rap stations (one was good, the other pretty old and manky with home made hangers).

I took the next lead up what looked like a great lie back corner but turned out to be decomposed granite with crystals popping out and hollow flakes. I placed a few pieces for about 40' then the pro and rock quality deteriorated and it felt safer to just run it out. At the top was a large semi-detached flake/pinnacle about body sized or larger that I had to put my entire body on at one point... I was pretty glad it held, and a bit surprised honestly. I thought it was fun but I don't know that my partners shared my enthusiasm for this part. At least it got me warmed up after the cold belay at the notch!

We walked left on a sandy bench for about a rope length then I lead up again basically straight up the arete. The rock was better here and the climbing easier. One lead got me on to walking terrain; I belayed my partners up and we scrambled another rope length to the summit. The summit was nice and flat, large, sunny, calm, warm. Beautiful.

We laid around for about 45 min cloud-bathing and trying to identify peaks in the low ceiling to the west.

Then we rapped and downclimbed the route. We had double ropes for climbing with three so we did a couple of double rope rappels. You could do the route with a single 60m but we wanted to avoid rapping off the crappy old bolts. We did remove and replace a lot of old webbing so aside from the old bolts the raps should be pretty good. This has become a bit of a thing for me lately, there is so much trash laying around the mountains in the form of rap tat. If you add a piece, please take one home with you as well.

On the ascent in the valley:



Easy snow travel:



Looking back on descent, the route is more or less the skyline:



Dave about to wipe out while boot skiing:



Sorry I didn't get any pics while on route, I'm trying to get better about that.

Gear Notes:
single rack to 3" aluminum axe for the ascent, not really needed but habbit

Approach Notes:
Easy due to snow on the slope, will be crappier later as it melts and turns to loose scree.
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Nice report!

And thanks for removing the old rap tat instead of just adding to it. I cut away about 6 slings from a rap anchor this weekend and it was still a complete mess (I would have cut away more but I was eager to get down).

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Dallas Kloke had a link-up involving Half Moon that he took people on over the years.  You start with Kangaroo Temple, then boot over to Half Moon and finish with Wallaby, scrambling down to Kangaroo Pass and the hairpin at the end of the day.  I remember the rock quality on Half Moon being less than stellar, but a great and lonely vantage!

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2 minutes ago, JasonG said:

 a great and lonely vantage!

Lonely is right! I forgot to mention that we were the first people to sign the summit register in four years! I normally don't even look at registers but on a lonely mountain I usually sign them. This one was a tiny pocket notebook, less than half full, and placed there in 1968 on the third ascent.

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