WEST FACE DESCENT ROUTES
There are five main ways to get to the base or ledge systems on the west face of Moro Rock. They can be combined or mixed depending on your preference or destination. I have not measured these routes but I always have double ropes or a tag and it has proved necessary for many of the raps. If you are better with details than I am then please share and I’ll add in the info. Knott the ends of your ropes, you’re not too cool or experienced for gravity, it will still get you!!!
- Used for routes on the northwest shoulder or the slabs. From the bathroom in the parking lot follow the faint trail down along the rock. Traverse out a ramp onto the large sloping brushy ledge above the slabs. Rappel from a tree on the lower, skier’s left end of the ledge onto another ledge with bushes about halfway down. Rap to the ground off of pitons or bring webbing incase they’re missing.
- Best route to reach the northwest slabs and The Bottom Line. Route drawn is approximate, I have not descended the whole thing. When walking up the stairs go over the railing at the first point where you get a view to the west. Just down and to your left there is an anchor with rap rings. A total of seven rappels start here. When rappelling from the 3rd anchor to the 4th move left 100 feet to find the 4th anchor. Anchor #4 is located on the side of a large block, somewhat out of view. From #4, rappel straight down for three more rappels.
- The most popular route to get to the base or many of the other ledges. Go up the stairs until you get your first view to the west and go over the rail. Either 4th class down around the corner or use the anchor for a short traversing rap around the corner. Two bolted rappels from this point will get to Zocalo Ledge. Either continue south and 3rd class down some exposed moves to Condor Watch Ledge or use the anchor below the large roof on the climbers right end of Zocalo (also part of the 4th descent route). From condor watch ledge rappel from the bolted anchor at your feet down to another anchor with three bolts on the slabs below (definitely need two ropes here). One final rappel will get to the ground.
- The route can be used to get to some of the ledges in the middle of the face or to continue all the way down. I have only done this in pieces. Rap off of the railing on the top of Moro Rock to Patio Ledge. Rap off of the dead tree on the north end of the ledge to a bolted anchor at the top of an arching crack. Rap over a few ledges, staying to the climbers right of the large roof below, onto the small ledge below Tier of Vision Ledge. Rap off bolts again down and a little to the north to reach the bolted anchor under the roof at the south end of Zocalo Ledge. You can rap from here to the traverse out to Condor Watch Ledge or rap straight down on to the top of the big pillar. I have not rappelled off of the big pillar but there is a bolted anchor and you can reach a ledge on the north side of the pillar to get to the base of T-Rex and other climbs.
- My preferred route to get to the base of the west face. Walk to the top of the rock, hop the railing while other visitors stare in shock, and walk south and down along the ridge of Moro. Look for a point where you can cut back and right to a big bush. Scramble down to the bush and look for two bolts near a crack below the bush or rap from the bush (if you walk all the way down to the pine tree you went too far). From this point you can do 9 raps with a single 70m rope or link some with double ropes. They are fairly direct with some movement as indicated in the topo. Keep your eyes peeled and it’s no problem. All anchors have rap rings and many are anchors for Modern Guilt.
The west face of Moro is the largest and has more climbs than any other aspect. Because there are so many large ledges is it possible to link many of the climbs for a 'make your own adventure' sort of experience where you can climb bottom to top at no harder than 5.8 or up to 5.12 if you choose. Because the face is so massive the topo only shows major features so keep that in mind when looking for routes.
Getting to the routes on the west face is more complicated than the east or south sides because walking along the base is a time consuming bush whacking affair. Because of this most approaches involve rappelling in from various points. These are briefly covered below. Take these directions with a grain of salt, use your brain, and knot the ends of your ropes!
Moro - West Face (update 6/11/2016)