I've been playing around with lunar launch delta-v requirements, and it seems that you can get a lot of bang for your buck if you launch "sideways" so to speak. Well, in the absence of atmosphere obviously... But I'd see that as a huge safety hazard to the crew if a certain threshold was exceeded. I wouldn't want to be flying 100 meters above the surface of the moon flying at 100m/s.
Does anyone have a diagram of the LEM ascent trajectory that illustrates the maneuver used?