Moon Goddess Arete 5.8

 
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Temple Crag


High Sierra, California USA


Trip Report
By the light of the Moon Goddess on Temple Crag
Monday July 11, 2011 7:05pm
I and my buddy Justin were ready for another season of alpine rock climbing, and our first goal this year was Temple Crag. We had both looked up at this massive chunk of rock while hiking by Second Lake a number of times and wondered what those aretes were like.

Friday we hiked in, hoping the monsoon moisture would clear up, as forecast. Like last year on the Swiss Arete, there was a lingering chance of t-storms throughout our trip.

N Fork Big Pine trail
N Fork Big Pine trail
Credit: rhyang

Temple Crag, from near Second Lake
Temple Crag, from near Second Lake
Credit: rhyang

The creeks were high, and crossing the Third Lake outlet seemed almost suicidal. Another party was scouting out the same thing, but they got tired of looking and headed back down to Second Lake. We found the log jam described by other parties on the interwebs and then made camp at Third Lake. A few high clouds gathered above the Palisade Glacier, but we never heard thunder nor saw any evidence of rain.

Saturday morning at 4:30am came a little too soon, and Justin kicked me awake. We headed out to the log jam with our trekking poles fully deployed, crossed, and left them on the other side for the return trip.

Justin checking out the log jam at the Third Lake outlet @ 5:45am.
Justin checking out the log jam at the Third Lake outlet @ 5:45am.
Credit: rhyang

My balance is compromised as a result of my injury four years ago and I got a little wet. We crested a small ridge and admired the wonderful talus field beyond, then set out for the snowfield below Venusian Blind and Moon Goddess Arete.

Snowfield below Venusian Blind and Moon Goddess Arete
Snowfield below Venusian Blind and Moon Goddess Arete
Credit: rhyang

As we got up to the beginning of the snow climbing we met up with the other party of three we'd seen yesterday. They were climbing Venusian, so I guess that meant we were doing Moon Goddess :) The other party had crampons, and we'd brought axes (Justin also had crampons). The snow was a bit firm at 7am.

We made our way to the ledges and headed up, simulclimbing with Justin in the lead.

Simulclimbing first pitches; Justin in the lead
Simulclimbing first pitches; Justin in the lead
Credit: rhyang

I think we dispensed with about 4 pitches this way .. a nice warmup. We started pitching out from there and I took the next lead, heading up to the First Tower.

Looking down route .. pitch 5 or 6 ?  It was before we got to the Firs...
Looking down route .. pitch 5 or 6 ? It was before we got to the First Tower.
Credit: rhyang

Wow, the traverse was some pretty heady exposure ! Definitely one of my favorite pitches on the route.

Looking back at First Tower from base of Ibrium Tower.
Looking back at First Tower from base of Ibrium Tower.
Credit: rhyang

And now for the Ibrium Tower -

Ibrium Tower, from First Tower
Ibrium Tower, from First Tower
Credit: rhyang

The routefinding was interesting .. I made a few false starts, not finding a block festooned with slings as noted in the supertopo, but finally headed up the correct left-facing corner, clipping about 3 fixed cams in that one 20' section :) The rock was really nice on that part.

Just below the traverse around to the right of Ibrium Tower
Just below the traverse around to the right of Ibrium Tower
Credit: rhyang

I led the other 5.8 pitch around the right side of the Ibrium. We had lunch, and then Justin headed down and around to the base of the 5.6 "gully" -- pitch 11. This was not too difficult, but beware the occasional loose stuff. Hey, we climb at Pinnacles, we know about loose rock :)

View down-canyon
View down-canyon
Credit: rhyang

We thought we could link pitch 11 and 12, but as I started up #12 ("steep/sustained 5.7") I heard Justin calling out "ten feet !" on the radio. I stepped down to the big block and set an anchor. Oddly enough there were three pitons just around the corner, near the start of pitch 12. One looked almost new, a shiny silver color unlike the black BD's I was used to.

Justin took pitch 12, and it felt pretty steep. I was getting tired. Justin took pitch 13 too, a nice ridge ramble, followed by a short rappel.

Start of pitch 12, Justin's lead.  Note clipped piton.
Start of pitch 12, Justin's lead. Note clipped piton.
Credit: rhyang

Sun Ribbon Arete, from Moon Goddess
Sun Ribbon Arete, from Moon Goddess
Credit: rhyang

We could see the other party on Venusian.

The party next door on Venusian Blind.
The party next door on Venusian Blind.
Credit: rhyang

I took the next pitch, some fun 5.7 and a nice bit of ridge.

Pitch 14 (my lead)
Pitch 14 (my lead)
Credit: rhyang

Only one more pitch and we're done !!

Justin on final pitch (15)
Justin on final pitch (15)
Credit: rhyang

Well, sort of .. at the summit talus field we packed up our climbing gear and headed up the seemingly interminable talus to the summit scramble. We could see the other party.

The other party finishing up Venusian Blind.
The other party finishing up Venusian Blind.
Credit: rhyang

I was moving sluggishly. Tired and breathing hard, it took me a while to get up to the top.

Mt. Gayley and Mt. Sill, from the summit of Temple Crag.
Mt. Gayley and Mt. Sill, from the summit of Temple Crag.
Credit: rhyang

It seemed to take forever to get down to the Contact Pass rappel station. Justin was a good bit ahead, and though I was really tired now I did my best to keep up. My stamina is less than what it was before the injury, but when I dig deep into the endurance reserves, they are still there .. just not very fast.

We made it to terra firma at the pass ~8:20pm and made a beeline down the snow slopes to the talus. Headlamps switched on around 9:30-ish. We were soon grateful for the light of the Moon Goddess (half to waxing gibbous) as we wended our way back to the log jam and stumbled into camp by 10:30pm.

Oh yeah, we survived another great adventure :) Next morning we slept in, hiked out and visited one of Bishop's finest burrito joints.


Gear notes:

 8 trad draws (shoulder length)
 double-length sling
 DMM alloy offsets 7-11 (regular nuts may have been better here)
 cams from Wild Country zero Z5 up to Black Diamond C4 #2
 60m x 9.5mm rope
 2 cordelettes

  Trip Report Views: 1,939
rhyang
About the Author

Comments
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QITNL

climber
  Jul 11, 2011 - 07:09pm PT
Excellent!
johntp

Trad climber
socal
  Jul 11, 2011 - 07:09pm PT
Pretty pictures and TR.

Glad you have done such a fantastic job of getting back on the horse and are having fun doing it.
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
  Jul 11, 2011 - 07:16pm PT
Kick ass$$$SS!!!!

Well done, guys.
sullly

Trad climber
  Jul 11, 2011 - 07:17pm PT
Beautiful.
rwedgee

Ice climber
canyon country,CA
  Jul 11, 2011 - 07:28pm PT
Way to go Rob !!!!
Dirka

Trad climber
Hustle City
  Jul 11, 2011 - 07:35pm PT
Super solid TR. TFPU!
Winter

climber
  Jul 11, 2011 - 07:45pm PT
Too funny - I just logged on to post a TR on this same route only to find your excellent entry. Congrats and well done! My wife and I climbed the route on June 27th and then finished up with a few excellent days at Lover's Leap. Instead of writing a second report, I'll just kick in with a few photos.

Alpenglow on Dark Star
Alpenglow on Dark Star
Credit: Winter

Temple Crag in evening light
Temple Crag in evening light
Credit: Winter

The First Tower with a climber barely visible at the notch
The First Tower with a climber barely visible at the notch
Credit: Winter

After 14 hours on the go, a twilight log crossing presents the last ob...
After 14 hours on the go, a twilight log crossing presents the last obstacle
Credit: Winter

And a couple from the Leap

Unknown climber clearing the classic arete on Traveler's Buttress
Unknown climber clearing the classic arete on Traveler's Buttress
Credit: Winter

Climber approaching 2nd belay on Knapsack Crack
Climber approaching 2nd belay on Knapsack Crack
Credit: Winter

Hospital Corner
Hospital Corner
Credit: Winter

Daphne

Trad climber
Northern California
  Jul 11, 2011 - 09:08pm PT
Wow, Rob, that looks like so much fun and a pretty intense day of climbing. Imagining dealing with the log jam crossing scares the heck out of me. Looking forward to seeing you again soon and hopefully doing Courtwright.
QITNL

climber
  Jul 11, 2011 - 09:21pm PT
Nice shots, Winter. This TR now has extra radness!
le_bruce

climber
Oakland, CA
  Jul 11, 2011 - 09:39pm PT

Loved it, and thanks Winter for the gravy!

That ridgeline to Gayley... something to train, train, and train for. You'd have to be incredibly fast to blast one of the celestial aretes on Temple and then continue up to Gayley, and down the golden brick road. Then imagine firing up Sill? Child's play for Croft, a dream for me.
Captain...or Skully

climber
  Jul 11, 2011 - 09:52pm PT
Excellent TR, Rhyang.
Gravy's good, too. Mop it up, huh?
bergbryce

Trad climber
South Lake Tahoe, CA
  Jul 11, 2011 - 10:50pm PT
sweet!
that log jam looked hairy.
Doug Robinson

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
  Jul 12, 2011 - 04:19am PT
Nice job you guys! Clearly the log jam was the crux of your day -- man, flood stage of a big year.

Thanks for the tour up the route. Brings back lots of memories. I have been afraid of the Moon Goddess. Very close call with rock fall for a client, and two people have died on pitch #12, which I find scary and steep and loose. But you were prepared:

Hey, we climb at Pinnacles, we know about loose rock :)

Way to go for a first day on Temple Crag!
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Maestro, Ecosystem Ministry, Fatcrackistan
  Jul 12, 2011 - 05:22am PT
Nice job rhyang. You're like the energizer bunny, you just keep going and going and going - amazing.

Burl and I epiced on that routed like 15 years ago, got off route to the right in the deep nasty chimney to the right of the arete. Nasty! But we made it haha.

Thanks for the TR and inspiration.

DMT
Alois

Trad climber
Idyllwild, California
  Jul 12, 2011 - 07:36am PT
Congrats Rob, nice TR. Cheers and good climbing, Alois.
Footloose

Trad climber
Lake Tahoe
  Jul 12, 2011 - 08:33am PT
Rhyang, very cool.

Thanks for exciting the memories.
What a great mountain.
msiddens

Trad climber
  Jul 12, 2011 - 10:39am PT
Nice job Rob, I think you pull the long straw when you got this one over Ven Blind. Thats my .02 though both are worth doing.

Enjoy the read
Les

Trad climber
Bahston
  Jul 12, 2011 - 10:42am PT
Nice, dood! Love that Palisades area!
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Jul 12, 2011 - 05:08pm PT
Thanks!
TGT

Social climber
So Cal
  Jul 12, 2011 - 05:43pm PT
Brings back good memories.

The log jam looks the same as 15 years ago or so.

rhyang

climber
SJC
Author's Reply  Jul 13, 2011 - 10:14pm PT
Thanks all ! Daphne, Courtright is still on my calendar.
murcy

Gym climber
sanfrancisco
  Jul 13, 2011 - 10:09pm PT
Excellent adventure. Well done!
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Temple Crag - Moon Goddess Arete 5.8 - High Sierra, California USA. Click to Enlarge
The route as seen from Second Lake.
Photo: SP Parker
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Temple Crag - Sun Ribbon Arete 5.10a - High Sierra, California USA. Click for details.
Sun Ribbon Arete, 5.10a
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The route as seen from Second Lake.
Temple Crag - Venusian Blind 5.7 - High Sierra, California USA. Click for details.
Venusian Blind, 5.7
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The route as seen from Second Lake.
Temple Crag - Dark Star 5.10b - High Sierra, California USA. Click for details.
Dark Star, 5.10b
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The route as seen from Second Lake.