Type: Sport, 80 ft
FA: Pete Gulyash & Larry Lepovitz, Oct 1980
Page Views: 3,356 total · 15/month
Shared By: Kristin McNamara on Dec 31, 2000
Admins: andy patterson, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

You & This Route

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My first leader route on Bishop Peak, fun for those who are slab fans. Kind of choose your own adventure after the first bolt, you can go past one of the cruxy areas by going left and around. Kind of a soft 5.9


5 bolts and 2 anchor bolts.
With a 200 foot rope, it is possible to link Desperado and Fields of Fire into one, long killer face climb, ending at the Thin Man anchors. Have your belayer stand on the block at the base of Desperado, because it is a full 200 feet! The advantage of traversing over to the Thin Man anchors is that then you can rap to the base of Three to Get Ready, etc. and make the ground in only one rappel with a short, easy downclimb down the gully on the right hand side of Shadow Rock. This method also provides you with a "whirlwind tour" of the entire slab, as you start on the far right and end on the far left - a cool perspective. I guess Slater's book calls Desperado 5.9 and Fields of Fire 5.8, so I would say that the link up is no harder than 5.9, but the rope drag gets heavy and stamina becomes an issue - my feet and calves were burnin'! Feb 9, 2004
John Knight
  5.9 PG13
John Knight   Sedona
  5.9 PG13
This is a great moderate lead for an emerging leader. The grade is pretty solid 5.8. You can make it 5.9 by moving left and straight up after the 2nd bolt. You can also make it 5.7 by skipping the 2nd bolt and moving around right on the ledge. If you do that, be careful! You can hit the deck if you miss the clip on bolt 3!!!! It's probably safer to clip bolt 2 and make the 5.8 move. The bolts are well placed but may be a bit strung out for some 5.7 leaders. Better have you head together. The rock is solid & the lichen has long ago been removed.

Consider extending your enjoyment by climbing Fields of Fire (5.8) in one long pitch. Clip the Desperado anchors with a long draw and climb to the old, upper Shadow anchors. Again, clip a looong sling. You'll start to feel the rope drag if you don't. Move up & right from old Shadow anchors and look for that bolt about 15' or 20' up. Stay on solid rock, just to the left of the munge. You can't see the anchors till you're almost on top of them. Just follow the left edge of the munge, work right a bit & you're there.

I noticed the Slater guide shows the route extending straight up from Desperado. A bit more desperate off the anchor if you try that variation, but a more direct climb w/2 bolts.

Some great views. Bring a 60 meter rope and a ton of draws! There are 5 bolts on Desperado and 2 on Fields of Fire. You'll also be clipping anchors so bring a few extra draws.

john May 2, 2004
To Clarify: Fields of Fire goes straight up off the anchor of Desperado. I know because I bolted it and named it.If you go to the old Shadow anchors and then up as John says, you're doing the second pitch of Shadow, not as good and lots of rope drag, that's why we did Fields of Fire.

Aug 27, 2005
John Dalbey
John Dalbey   California
Sometime in the last 2-3 weeks the first three bolts of Desperado
(on the far right of Shadow Wall) have been moved. That is, the
old bolts were removed and new ones put in nearby.

About the same time someone did a massive bush pruning job on the
trail up to Shadow. I suspect it may have been done by the same

When I asked around some people replied it appears to be the work of John Knight.

Some observations (see the attached photo).
First, whoever did the bolting spray painted
the hangers and left an unsightly circle of "overspray" on the rock.
Also, the second bolt was moved almost two feet to the right,
so now it less adequately protects the 5.9 moves at the crux of the climb.
My guess is they moved the second bolt in an effort to better protect
the 5.7 variation. But the 5.7 variation can be gear protected, so
a bolt isn't necessary.
Lastly, cutting the brush is against park regulations and my fear is that when someone violates the park regulations it could result in sanctions on all climbers. Jun 27, 2009
Yes, it's true, my friend was hiking there with his wife and they saw this guy with sheers cutting away. And this kind of spray painting AFTER isn't the first time. It's all part of the maintenance role this guy has assumed. He treats it like it is his backyard and playground, and forgets that others use it too and also have opinions and preferences as well but don't act on them. I'd love it if Shadow was bolted differently, but it isn't and it is what it is. It gives this route character, and who am I to change it to fit my preferences. Maybe others love it the way it is? By moving a couple bolts up or down 2 or 3 feet you could totally change its character.

I think by moving the bolt on Desperado it protects this individual's preference for the climb, but doesn't help the crux clip on the 5.9 original line. And good point about the natural pro. This individual has taken it upon himself to be the care-taker of the peak. I wish he'd just leave it alone. I also heard that he pounded Shadow Rock into pieces by Inner Sanctum looking to improve the entry moves into this route (or open up some natural pro options?). There is rock scarring there.

I also heard from Ken Klis that he was included on several FAs that he did NOT do with this person, and that some FAs were not true or accurate? Jun 29, 2009
Kyle Olsen
Kyle Olsen  
Climbed Desperado today and thoroughly enjoyed it! The spacing between 3rd and 4th bolts was a little much but it suited the route perfectly. Right when you start to get nervous the holds start getting bigger. Great climb! Apr 22, 2014