Use onX Backcountry to explore the terrain in 3D, view recent satellite imagery, and more. Now available in onX Backcountry Mobile apps! For more information see this post.
Elevation: 7,500 ft 2,286 m
GPS: 32.41932, -110.75528
Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 35,285 total · 159/month
Shared By: jbak x on Apr 10, 2006
Admins: adrian montaƱo, Greg Opland, Brian Boyd, JJ Schlick, Kemper Brightman, Luke Bertelsen

Description Suggest change

This Tony Lusk discovery is one of the best small sport crags on the mountain - has lots of stars and very few.....lemmons.

A rarity on Mt. Lemmon because its summit is reachable only by technical means. You can solo after the Two Birds anchor or do a 2nd sparsely-protected pitch of Spiderman to get to the top.

Historical note: the existence of this crag was known back in the early 1980s. But bad rock and lack of protectable lines relegated it to the forget-about-it zone. Tony Lusk was the first to view it through the eyes of a sport developer. It still required a lot of work and cleaning though. Cres Snyder probably contributed more than anyone to the cleanup effort.

Getting There Suggest change

Since the 2020 fire cleared out tons of old vegetation and debris, it may be that the old approach is obsolete. 

Park at Marshall Gulch (gate is closed from Dec 15 to Mar 1 making for fewer parking spaces and a longer hike). Just because the sign says it opens Mar 1, don't count on that. A snowy year could delay that by a month or so.

As of June 2024...

Take the Aspen trail south out of Marshall gulch. After 5 or so min you will see the NEW wilderness boundary sign. Keep going. After 5 more minutes of walking thru the fern/aspen jungle the trail will swing sharply right and up. At this point, BACKTRACK about 50 feet and look for the jump-off point steeply down and east from the main trail. This is the path to Echo, Delta and the Steep.

After 100 yards or so on this path you will hit the ridge crest and you can see Ireland way across Sabino canyon.  There is also a BIG stump here with a big cairn on it. Turn south at the big stump and follow cairns, footprints and blazes until you can see the top of The Steep to the south. Approaching this way you will be looking at Spiderman as you near the crag, but then the path drifts a bit right and uphill, and deposits you at Bunkweed.

This path takes you VERY near to the Echo crag.  The path to the Steep passes just 50 yards west and above Echo.

It takes 15 min to get to the ridge crest near Echo. 10 or 15 more will get you to The Steep.

The firebreak is no longer all wiped out and bare. It is dense with nasty new growth. But there IS a path through. The big cairned stump is also overgrown. Go slightly past it, then head south (through much less growth). Soon you will see the top of the Steep. Allow a half hour from car.

Leaving the Steep

Suggest change

Go up the slab above bunkweed. About 2/3 of the way up is a little tree. When even with the tree, look right (north) and see a big cairn, and a path past a tiny madrone. Take it. Follow this path uphill, crossing a slab. Soon after the slab look for cairns leading downhill. Follow them. Should be easy after that.

25 minutes to parking once you are confident of the way.

26 Total Climbs

Route Finder - Best Climbs for YOU!

Location: The Steep Change
Type:  to 
Quality:
Pitches:
Sort by:   then:
 

Classic Climbing Routes at The Steep

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
 54
Two Birds Too Stoned
Sport
5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 36
Lusk for Life
Sport
5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 8
SE Face
Sport
5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 36
Stone Free
Sport
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 12
Mini-me
Sport
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
 5
Blockhead
Sport
5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 41
George of the Jungle
Sport
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 7
Stepping Into Blue Sky
Sport 2 pitches
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
 36
Spiderman
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 27
Glenn's Route
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 10
Slappin the Johnson
Sport
5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a
 29
Ten Years After
Sport
5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b
 6
Dr. Evil
Sport
5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b
 10
Delt Melt
Sport
5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b
 30
Cressent
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Two Birds Too Stoned
 54
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Lusk for Life
 36
5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
SE Face
 8
5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Stone Free
 36
5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Mini-me
 12
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Blockhead
 5
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Sport
George of the Jungle
 41
5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
Stepping Into Blue Sky
 7
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport 2 pitches
Spiderman
 36
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a Sport
Glenn's Route
 27
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Slappin the Johnson
 10
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Ten Years After
 29
5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a Sport
Dr. Evil
 6
5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b Sport
Delt Melt
 10
5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b Sport
Cressent
 30
5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b Sport
More Classic Climbs in The Steep »

Sun & Shade Suggest change

Weather Averages

High
 
Low
 
Precip
 
Days w Precip
 
Prime Climbing Season
J F M A M J J A S O N D
J F M A M J J A S O N D

Photos

loading