Jonathan Siegrist: Moonshine (5.14d)

posted by dpm on 07/15/2013


Some of America's top climbers came out for the twentieth annual International Climber's Festival held this past week in Lander, Wyoming. Yesterday, as the events wound down, Jonathan Siegrist managed to send his Wild Iris project, Moonshine (5.14d).

Siegrist stares down the target hold that marks the end of the crux section of Moonshine (5.14d). All photos: DPM

The route is located at the Erratic, just left of the famous 1991 Todd Skinner route Throwin' the Houlihan (5.14a). Skinner had inspected what would become Moonshine and sunk a single bolt, but it was Lander local BJ Tilden that finished equipping it in 2002. After a spread-out effort of ten years, BJ claimed the first ascent in August of 2012. Since then it's seen two repeats by Daniel Woods and Dave Graham. Siegrist's ascent is the fourth.

Moonshine is currently Wyoming's hardest pitch and requires some V-double digit bouldering  to make the 5.14d grade in its short height of just 45 feet. Jonathan exaggerated, "It's the shortest 9a I've done by 100 feet!" Although Moonshine is currently the hardest established route in the state, the potential for harder and much bigger pitches exist close by at the recently developed Wolf Point crag, an impressive cliff that boasts 40-meter pitches out a massive overhang. Word around the festival is that Wolf Point may become one of America's premier hard sport climbing crags...for those willing to brave the rattlesnakes , mountain lions, and grizzly bears.

Keep an eye out for video of Jonathan Siegrist climbing Moonshine. Here are a few screengrabs.

Big pulls on pockets up the blunt prow before the crux.

The big jump to the pocket is the crux of the route.

Setting up for the crux isn't easy either. A sideways lunge to an angling crimp with nonexistent feet. 

After the crux, the route is "over" with nothing but a short V8 section to better holds and the chains.

Between taking care of his awesome little 3-month old son and being the keynote speaker at the event, Tommy Caldwell snuck in a burn on Moonshine too. And he damn near sent it 2nd try. Yup, Tommy's a badass but we knew that already.