The routes we remember most are the ones that stretched our ability and psyche; the big, beautiful routes that sometimes deposit a pit in your stomach. The routes where you focus all day, and sometimes get struck in wonder at the sheer beauty and lunacy of your position, and a sort of intense electricity runs along the rope between you and your partner.
Sometime in 2016 we decided that we wanted to climb some long routes again. We wanted to feel that pit in our stomach, some 30 years after our last wall together. We went up on The Prow in Yosemite, but had a scary rockfall on the first pitch, and rapped off after 3 pitches. Coming back to it this year, we decided to climb Moonlight Buttress. It is perhaps the most perfect line we've ever climbed. Although plenty of people cruise up this route with ease, for us, in our late 50s, this would be plenty of route. Not technically difficult, but still plenty long and exposed. It has the nice benefit of being easy access - a simple approach and descent. The climbing still requires all the basic wall skills. We hoped to take our time, bivy on the wall, gaze at the stars and feel the sun in the morning.
Our plan was to aid most of the route, and climb it early in the season. We were hoping to avoid teams working to free climb the route (this pian worked perfectly). Going in early March, we also were able to access the canyon before it was closed to private cars, which gave us more flexibility on the approach. Typically the canyon is closed to private cars starting the second weekend in March, and you must use the bus service which operates only during normal daylight hours.