Ascent of Moapa Peak on 2022-03-14
|Date:||Monday, March 14, 2022|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
| Elevation:||6471 ft / 1972 m|
Ascent Trip ReportI had been working for many years on doing peaks on the Desert Peaks List by completely different routes, but didn’t have much hope for Moapa, since the knife-edge east ridge seemed to be the only way to the summit. In 2004 Ron Hudson and I had climbed a route about a mile and a half east of the normal route, reaching the east ridge near Point 6091 after climbing up to it from the southeast, but we finished on the standard summit knife-edge, so it wasn’t a completely different route. Then Rich Henke told me that his friend Howard Booth had done the summit from the southwest, and I found an old DPS write-up by Jim Roberts describing (briefly) a climb with Cuno Ranschau and Doris McClure that might have been that same route. Howard and Jim both called their routes 3rd or 4th class.
Rich was interested in trying this route with me. We followed the normal route to the shelf that traverses under the summit cliffs, and about halfway across the shelf we saw a gully that looked like the only possible non-technical route up the face. Two and a half hours and six 20-40’ pitches later we topped out on the gentle ridge west of the summit. Rich led all the way and rated a couple of pitches as low 5th class. We climbed out of the gully to the right at its first steep spot and then wandered up the face, so we may not have found the easiest way. We descended the normal knife-edge route off the summit.
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