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Steve's Arete

5.11a, Sport, 40 ft,  Avg: 3.3 from 190 votes
FA: Steve Grossman
Arizona > Southern Arizona > Mt Lemmon (Sant… > Mt Lemmon (Cata… > 3 - Windy Point… > Hunchback Pinnacle


An outstanding overhanging arete. Really positive holds and some great crimps as you get towards the top. Beware of the pump factor, and don't fear the height of the first bolt. It's on the cover of the Rock Climbing Arizona book. Great photo ops.


4 bolts to chain anchors, quickdraws only.

Bolts and top-anchors updated by CASA in 2017.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Rob on Steve's Arete (5.11-)<br>
A very photogenic place indeed.<br>
[Hide Photo] Rob on Steve's Arete (5.11-) A very photogenic place indeed.
Mark Egan looks for his next move.
[Hide Photo] Mark Egan looks for his next move.
Aerial View
[Hide Photo] Aerial View
Steve's Arete
[Hide Photo] Steve's Arete
Caleb Bechman setting the record for the coldest and windiest ascent of Steve's Arete.  Photo by Walter Pafford.
[Hide Photo] Caleb Bechman setting the record for the coldest and windiest ascent of Steve's Arete. Photo by Walter Pafford.
Photographer : Page King
[Hide Photo] Photographer : Page King
Independence Day on Mt. Lemmon. Also, my first 5.11 lead
[Hide Photo] Independence Day on Mt. Lemmon. Also, my first 5.11 lead
Photographer: Grant Stoltz<br>
Climber: Daniel Driscoll
[Hide Photo] Photographer: Grant Stoltz Climber: Daniel Driscoll
[Hide Photo] Clipping
Steve's Arete
[Hide Photo] Steve's Arete
Warming up for New Wave Wall
[Hide Photo] Warming up for New Wave Wall

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

[Hide Comment] The first bolt is a bit of a stretch on challenging rock. Unless you're very comfortable at the grade, you may consider traversing in from the right to clip the bolt first. Then give the direct start a go. Feb 23, 2004
Tucson, Arizona
[Hide Comment] First ascent by Steve Grossman. The first bolt is gained by climbing on the ledge and traversing left. It should be easy to clip for anyone. The direct start (down and left) was bolted about a year ago by Rhicard. It adds some 10+ moves to the climb. Bolts were replaced with more modern equipment within the last two years. May 22, 2004
C Miller
[Hide Comment] Location, location, location. Great moves too on this area classic. Jan 25, 2006
jbak .
[Hide Comment] Hard to give a 20 foot route more than 2 stars... Jan 17, 2007
Joseph Stover
Batesville, AR
[Hide Comment] This route is only popular cause it is popular! Well it's photogenic too. It's worth climbing and projecting, but is not worth it's reputation as a 4 star classic. I think the face start at the bottom is my favorite part!

It is also misleading when people use this route as the "standard" 11a. This route only requires sustain and strength. Many other 11a/10d's on Mt Lemmon require much more technique and not so much endurance. This route took me more tries than any other 11a, and several 11b's! Dec 4, 2007
[Hide Comment] thanks for listing the baker's dozen top sport 11s :)
These routes are great(for grandma)to learn a wide variety of style, skills and techniques. Dec 7, 2007
jbak .
[Hide Comment] You got it !

You not only half half smart.

Chunky Monkey is on the Sunny Side. Dec 7, 2007
1Eric Rhicard
[Hide Comment] Have to agree with Jbak two stars. That is what SQ II says so it must be true! You can add 15 feet by doing the direct start but it doesn't add any stars. Still a fun route. Mar 5, 2008
Jon Ruland
Tucson, AZ
[Hide Comment] classic 25 feet May 20, 2008
Colin Brochard
[Hide Comment] some haters of this route on this forum, a picture of this route is what got me to come out to Arizona on a little roadtrip last year and while this route was short it was certainly classic. About as exposed as you can get in 35 feet of climbing. Overhanging aretes are boss Dec 25, 2010
Jon Ruland
Tucson, AZ
[Hide Comment] this is a 4-star route and here's why:
1. the climbing is classic. while short, the movement is amazing.
2. the route is as aesthetic as it gets. a perfect arching arete coupled with incredible views of mount lemmon and the tucson valley in the background make this one of the most photogenic routes on the mountain. so photogenic, in fact, that it made the cover of one of the premiere guidebooks for arizona.
3. this is many people's first 5.11. anyone working their way up the grades will be told they have to get on steve's arete, and they do. and they love it.
4. 5-minute approach. couple this with items 1-3 and it's a must-do route for mount lemmon. Aug 5, 2014
[Hide Comment] To designate something as classic I usually consider if the climb is historically significant, striking in appearance, has good rock, and is fun to climb. The climb's length is not super important to me. Aug 7, 2014
[Hide Comment] Wasn't this climb on the area's first published guidebook? I know that wasn't anything near the artistic work we have nowadays, but it must count for something. Aug 7, 2014
jaspur Chafer
[Hide Comment] So good to finally get on this one. Curious if my beta is the way peeps to the direct start. I clip the first 3 bolts from the left side of the arete staying on the left face. So I completely skip the ledge. Clipping the third bolt at shoulder level. Pretty cool this way but a fall from there would be a deck for sure. Didn't scare me. The jug your holding is bomber. I like the direct. Some fun moves. Totally classic climb besides the length. But I love over hanging aretes. Id give it a 3.6 star. But I'll round up to 4. Cool how there's a couple finishes. My first lead I got way around the arete left. Cool stuff Dec 29, 2014
[Hide Comment] Awesome new wave bolts for the indirect line. First ones I've seen in AZ. Thanks and thanks again to all the people who put up and replace hardware!!! Jun 7, 2017
Luke Bertelsen
Tucson, AZ
[Hide Comment] Tommy,

Upgrade courtesy of CASA as of a month ago.

It doesn't get any better than those WAVE bolts. Expect to see them popping up as we continue to upgrade all over the mountain. Jun 7, 2017
Ken Duncan
Ft Collins, CO
[Hide Comment] ? Actual FA by Heinz Zak free solo after top roping in 1988.
See the photo of him free solo on the route prior to it having bolts in R&I #253 pg 53. Dec 22, 2018