Type: Sport, 350 ft, 3 pitches, Grade II
FA: Brian Spiewak
Page Views: 30,266 total · 192/month
Shared By: Marc Kajut on Feb 1, 2006 with updates from Jacob Zehnder
Admins: Marc Kajut, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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Access Issue: Current San Diego County Advisories Details


This climb is pretty straight forward. The route starts left of a 20 ft tower of blocks.

P1: (5.9) Clip the first bolt from atop the blocks and follow the bolt line up and right for approximately 170 ft to a hanging belay. A slightly steeper section right before the anchor may be considered the crux of the climb.

P2: (5.9) Continue climbing up and right past another dozen of so bolts, clipping an anchor bolt along the way, to a comfortable belay ledge. The anchor is positioned about 10 ft left of the route's line.

P3: (5.9) The route finishes up a short ramp up and right from the belay ledge.

Descent: Rappel a short distance down to a prominent tower. From the tower rappel down through four more stations to the ground.


Highly Recommend: 60m rope, 12 quickdraws, 6 apline quickdraws, and a helmet.
San Diego, CA
ccross   San Diego, CA
You no longer clip the anchor to Meteor on P2. Someone added a bolt for Leonids a few feet left of that anchor. It took us 4 rappels with a single 60m rope to get to the ground instead of 5. From the top, we skipped the anchor at the top of the Triton Tower and rappeled to the mid anchor on Triton, then the low anchor on Triton, overhang rappel and a little left, last one to the ground. Jun 25, 2009
I wouldn't climb this without a helmet - plenty of ready-to-snap micro flakes and a few larger hollow bits - but it borders on over-bolted... Oct 18, 2010
Robert Buswold
Northglenn, CO
Robert Buswold   Northglenn, CO
I had a great time on this route... lots of fun. Oct 26, 2010
Josh Cameron
Josh Cameron   California
The guide book says the crux is the steep section at the end of the first pitch, but I felt like it was the last half of the second pitch. It's more technical, sustained, and exposed. As my friend said, "Pitch 2 is the money pitch." Mar 8, 2011
The best 5.9 in san diego IMO, great for a 1st multipitch. I would recommend stopping at the 1st anchor , then linking the pitches above. This way you belay from ledges, avoiding the semi hanging belay at the 170' anchor. Mar 20, 2011
James Harper
James Harper  
When rappelling off the overhang of Triton's Tower, be sure to go off the east side. The rappel is much more intense, more exposed and more fun. A great ending to a great climb! May 3, 2011
Climbed the first 2 pitches (ran out of time) yesterday (7-24-11) and it was great! FYI on the distances of pitches: they seem shorter than indicated above, and you are always sufficiently close to a rap route to the ground in case your second can't make it (a concern I had yesterday). The Metolius rap hangers at the top of P2 are a bit rusty. No cracks or spinning, and the bolts themselves look great, but I just thought I'd let others judge whether or not this warrants replacement.
Jul 25, 2011
Climbed it on 5/4/2012. Absolutely loved it! Rock is clean and very well bolted! A slabby technical start immediately wakes you up after the first 2 bolts, and then it steepens to some very nice face climbing. This continues up the seconds pitch and just as I was getting comfy and use to the climbing style the 3rd traverse pitch totally switched it up! I love the exposure as I used the undercling on the slab and then stepped out to the good foot before getting to the ledge - it was soooo fun! As good as any climb I've done all over the world. Definitely a 4 start route. Though my toe was sore from the slab and small edging, it was totally worth it.
May 14, 2012
Encinitas, CA
RockyR   Encinitas, CA
Was only able to lead the 1st pitch that day. Super fun!! Was lucky enough to time the hike early. Misty, cool and foggy morning!

vimeo.com/44138782 Jun 17, 2012
Will P.  
Tons of bolts and super fun. P2 seemed the toughest. Nov 4, 2012
Ryan Shockey
Dana Point
Ryan Shockey   Dana Point
Did all 3 pitches on June 4th. Had a blast, definitely worth the stout approach (temps permitting) Great sweeping views of Alpine, el cajon, and even the Coronado islands on a clear day.

Please take note...

2nd belay station has a loose nut on the right metolious hanger. *The threads are smashed at the top so there is no way the nut will come off the 1/2" bolt. It is safe but should be engaged on the hanger to prevent undue wear. If your heading up bring an adjustable wrench and give it a wee tightening. I emailed the guys at allied climbers of San Diego, they said it was still bomber and recommended I post this in hopes the next team up might remember to bring a wrench. If you are not familiar with the mechanics of a bolt please read up before tightening. Its actually safer as is than if you were to over tighten, this could likely cause the bolt to partialy pull out of the stone making it much more sketchy in the case of a dynamic event in particular. It just needs to engage the hanger then an 1/8 to 1/4 turn beyond. If you are not comfortable taking care of this just leave it.

Post if you fix it, post if you don't and it still needs attention. Ill be up there again after summer so if need be I will take care of it myself.

See you at the top!

-Ryan Shockey Jun 21, 2013
Tor Andre Skjelbakken   La Jolla
I did the route Sept 21. and tightened the loose hanger on 2nd belay station.
It is OK now.

Nice route, BTW...

Tor Andre Skjelbakken
(visiting Norwegian climber) Sep 28, 2013
Ryan Gittins
San Diego
Ryan Gittins   San Diego
I hesitate to add more praise for this route because there are so many other good moderates up there, but after doing this for about the 10th time today it was clear that…yes, its worth doing 10x, and I'm sure I'll do it many more. Years ago, I think a circulating PDF had p3 at 5.7, which would catch you by surprise. Although short and adds some raps, I always do p3 as its improbable/thoughtful. Thanks to all the FA's for all their hard, and no doubt hot, work up on ECM. Apr 1, 2014
Ash Gambhir  
A classic route! The rock is great, the protection is superb. A great experience every time you climb it. Apr 30, 2014
San Diego, CA
alleyehave   San Diego, CA
The left bolt on the two bolt rap anchor at the top of P1 was loose as of 05/06. I hand tightened it but it needs to be wrenched on a bit.... May 9, 2014
Alex May
San Diego, CA
Alex May   San Diego, CA
Left bolt at two bolt rap anchor at the top of P1 is still loose. There is a 3rd bolt a few feet to the left of these anchors if you want to use it, but it might make the angle of your anchor a bit too wide. I did not use it.

Pitch 1 was stellar. I felt that the crux was moving above the flake system after the 3rd bolt. All of the holds are there, just look around. I followed pitch 2 and felt that it would be a bit more heady on lead than pitch 1 due to the steeper angle and more difficult route finding. Pitch 3 was easy and very short. Highly enjoyable climb.

We rappelled to the top of triton tower where we joined ropes with another party and did two double rope raps with two 70m ropes to the ground. First rap from the top of triton tower to the anchors at its base. Second rap from the base of triton tower over the east edge took us all the way to the ground. Pretty awesome! Mar 21, 2016
Scotty Dusek
San Diego
Scotty Dusek   San Diego
We saw a peregrine falcon, It didn't seem bothered by us and wasn't too close but we were ready to bail off the route if necessary - please do the same.

Great route, definitely a classic. Mellow but sustained 5.9 the entire way. I thought the movement and sequences were fun as hell. It's well bolted and route finding was straightforward. Excellent bolt placements. I lead every pitch, each was different and interesting. It was a perfect first multi-pitch for my partner.

Descent: We rapped with a 60mm to the mid-anchors on Triton tower, then a short rap to the bottom anchors of triton tower just above the overhang (Meteor P1 anchors). Then **rapped off the EAST side of the overhang** to prolong the fun freehanging. There was a set of rap anchors just where we needed them. The final rap took us to the ground. So only 4 raps with a 60m.

The approach is a doozey. Start at the "Road Ends in 1000ft" cross a small wooden bridge. Head left at the power lines (big path). You will quickly see a path leading right with a raptor info sign (read it!) follow that path all the way up. Lot's of foliage on the lower part, be prepared to walk through some foliage (no big deal, we did it in shorts). You can see the wedge and where you are going. There's only a couple of spots of shade on the way so rest and drink when you find one. Took us 55min. It was 85 degrees so the approach left us soaked in sweat. We had a nice breeze on the route. All the flowers began opening up on our hike out and put on a color show rarely seen in the desert. It made us feel thankful for El Nino this year. Get out then and get on it.

We had heard about squirrel problems and left our backpacks propped open with no food inside - had no issues. Apr 19, 2016
When rapping down from the top of Leonids, be VERY mindful of where you throw your rope. Looking down at the top of Triton Tower, make sure you FAVOR THE RIGHT SIDE (Right side as you're looking down at the tower - NOT THE DIHEDRAL). Our rope got caught in the wind and blew into the dihedral where the knots in the rope got stuck and we couldn't pull the rope back up. After a minor melt down and a lucky call to Kenny Powers, we just set up a rappel down into the dihedral from the top of the tower and freed the rope. When setting up the rappel off the backside of the tower into the dihedral, make sure you put something like a shirt in between the rope and the rough rock to protect your rope (the rope will be super unorthodox and be set up backwards from the anchor into the dihedral). A stressful hour of problem solving but overall not a huge deal so you'll be fine. Here is a overview picture of the process.

Jun 29, 2016
Robert Karl
Pasadena, CA
Robert Karl   Pasadena, CA
Left two draws on the second pitch of Leonids yesterday when it started raining. If you find them and feel like returning them, ping me please and I'll identify them! Oct 31, 2016
San Diego, CA
steverett   San Diego, CA
If someone is on Meteor, you can skip the first 3 (shared) bolts by climbing up the crack on the left, and traversing across to the 4th bolt (you can protect this move w/a 3" cam).

Did the first 2 pitches, but opted not to do the 3rd pitch after watching the party ahead of us get their rope stuck rapping onto the tower (see 2 comments above); rapped back down Leonids instead.

Route was OK, a bit too straightforward & repetitive for me. Not worth the hike IMO. Dec 19, 2016