Type: Trad, 225 ft, 3 pitches, Grade II
FA: Scott Baxter, Ross Hardwick, Karl Karlstrom, and Geoff Parker, 1972
Page Views: 9,960 total · 63/month
Shared By: Orphaned on Mar 21, 2006
Admins: Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick, Greg Opland

You & This Route

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Streaker Spire is a fun mostly easy spire for Sedona and a really cool summit view for your trouble. Start from pine tree as described below. For some reason, I remember the route as three pitches, but think the safest way to do it is as described here:

P1) Traverse the limestone band, sometimes up, sometimes below (whatever's easiest!) to get out to a nice flat bivy-style ledge on right end of the north face. There used to be one bolt here and a small tree.

P2) Continue out on the limestone band, passing a last ledge with a tree, then go around the corner, tiptoeing out along the ledges to reach a wide crack that heads up. Belay.

P3) Climb the wide crack to reach a fat slot corner. Climb the corner to a ledge and belay.

P4) Climb cracks up the north face towards an obvious slot that is up and left that leads to the top. Getting into this slot is the crux of the route and is mostly just awkward. Chimney to the top and you're home. Fixed anchor on top.


The route starts on the back left corner (northeast) of the spire and traverses along ledges on the north side at it's start. You have to scramble (or belay if you need to) up onto the limestone band where there's a prominent pine tree. Belay off the tree for the pitch one traverse.

Descent via two rappels down the north face landing roughly where you started. Seems like you need two ropes? Been a long time...maybe someone can confirm or deny...


Standard desert rack, nuts or tricams, plus medium to large cams.
Will Cobb
Flagstaff, AZ
Will Cobb   Flagstaff, AZ
To expand on Greg's description -

Pitch one and two as described can easily be combine into one pitch. Belay below the wide slot which leads into the large left facing corner system. There is one bolt here and a crack that will take 2" to 4" gear.

The descent can be accomplished with one 60m rope. The first rappel is about 100' to a large ledge. Scramble from here to the second rappel anchor. A second 100' rappel puts you in the middle of the 4th class approach pitch.

Does anyone have beta on the direct start to this route? Mar 29, 2006
flagstaff, AZ
markguycan   flagstaff, AZ
To expand Will's description.... this can easily be done in 2 pitches! Jun 3, 2006
Todd R
Todd R   Ophir
The line of the direct start is visible in the topo photo/drawing. Note the lower ledge system that heads out right from way below the start of the Original Route, and follows the face/rt facing corner to the belay at the base of the wide bit of the O Rt. (where it says 5.6 on the topo)

Head out right on a sandstone ledge system for 60+ feet (it's been a while, sorry about the foggy memory). It's mostly 4th class with a bit of exposed low 5th to a bolted belay on a big ledge.

Climb up corner system and out right on the face, passing 1 (2?) bolts to a sweet hand crack behind a monster flake to another (optional?) bolted belay.

Continue up finger crack to limestone overhangs and belay at the wide crack belay of O Rt.

I climbed this route without bolts, by mistake, back in 2000. After finding several pieces of gear that O Rt climbers had dropped, we called it the Booty Chute variation when we went back to bolt it. It offers really fun climbing in the 5.7-8 grade. Nov 17, 2007
Richard Fernandez
Flagstaff, AZ
Richard Fernandez   Flagstaff, AZ
We did the raps with one 60 meter rope. Agree with the wide Climbing not pretty just a dirty fight with the rock. Great summit though. A solid climb. Dec 3, 2008
I have a love/hate relationship with this climb. Every time I rap off this climb I swear to all who are listening that I will NEVER climb/grovel up this P.O.S EVER again. A year later I'm on the first pitch wondering why is hated this thing so much...it's so great.

If you have solid off-width technique then this should be an easy climb...if you are lacking in the OW department they you will grovel, curse, scratch and scrape all your gear and backpack, and know what it feel like being born as you squeeze your body through the pitch 4 crux.

The feeling and view at the summit is well worth the effort. Mar 27, 2010
Portland, OR
rpc   Portland, OR
Dr. Rubos & The Mace are great warm ups for this one :) Feb 7, 2011
Alex Wood
Flagstaff, Arizona
Alex Wood   Flagstaff, Arizona
Combing pitch 1 and 2 is pretty easy. Communication is a little bad, but even with a lot of wind we were still able to communicate. The crux in my mind is getting out of the traverse into that offwidth crack at the start of pitch 3(or pitch two the way we did it). That to me was more awkward then anything I have ever done. A #5 might have been nice on the last pitch, but just bury the #4 in deeper. I have heard lots of bad things about this climb but I actually found it to be quite enjoyable. Awesome summit! Jan 29, 2012
Danger Charles
Flagstaff, AZ
Danger Charles   Flagstaff, AZ
An awesome pretty easy climb, hardest part of the day way the approach. We got lost attempting to head straight up to the saddle between the two spires directly from the Chapel. As far as the approach goes, it would have been way easier to take the Chapel trail to where it intersects with Little Horse and head left (northeast), wrapping behind the two spires and approach from there. Thats how we got down at least.

As for the climb wouldn't bring anything bigger than a #3 Camalot. I found the off-width to be pretty straightforward and enjoyable. The hardest part of the climb I thought was the slab before the off-width on the last pitch, one risky move over harder to protect rock. Mar 18, 2012
Currently Traveling
  5.8+ R
JoeCat1183   Currently Traveling
  5.8+ R
Excellent Climb!!!! GREAT VIEWS!!! Watched the sunset on our desent of the approach which was a prelude to the climb ahead!!! Depends on how you look at it I saw this climb as 4 pitches, 1) from the saddle to the first ledge traverse. ***By the way the prominent pine tree is now a termite chewed stump*** 2) from the nice wide ledge round the corner up the big crack, smear the wall with your body and scramble up to nice double ledge 3) Pick a crack to the top mini roof with super crumbly grips. ENJOY ALL THE VIEWS ALL THE WAY UP THEY ARE SPECTACULAR!! Cant wait to do this climb again next year! Nov 30, 2014
Dj telle
Tucson, AZ
Dj telle   Tucson, AZ
this climb was really fun! For the last pitch of the climb, we took the right/center crack that goes directly to the top. found it to be around .9 for bulge & .10 for a small section.. some loose stuff, but it felt solid! Great way to end this route. Dec 1, 2014
Derek Field
  5.7+ PG13
Derek Field   California
  5.7+ PG13
I give this climb a PG-13 suffix because the P1 traverse is a tad spicy. None of the moves there are beyond 5.5, but a fall from either leader or follower could be really bad. Given the choss factor (several key footholds are nothing more than wobble-blocks), an unexpected slip is not entirely out of the question. Place pro whenever possible.

The first "up" pitch (P2 for those who link the first two traverse pitches) is pretty stout for the first bit, then eases off to easier terrain in the low-angle corner above. Belay from the tree.

The final pitch is by far the best quality, with actual climbing for the whole length. Picking your way up the dissected slabs off the belay can be tricky. The rooflet yields solid jams and face features. Enjoy grovelling up the offwidth (#4 cam protects the upper moves) to the summit, and definitely strip nekked for the tourists that swarm the spire in all directions, including choppers above.

Be sure to read Ethan's comment for what NOT to do on the descend back to the trailhead. Mar 3, 2016
Tempe, AZ
TravKlein   Tempe, AZ
I highly suggest combining the 2nd and 3rd pitch. Rope drag wasn't that much of an issue and you will avoid a cramped belay station at the start of the off width on pitch 3. The traverse sections are super easy but there aren't a lot of opportunities for pro. The 4th pitch crux moves are fun but short. Solid jams throughout. I used a #4 in the chimney. This climb has a little bit of everything. Do it right and make sure someone rocks the birthday suit at the top Apr 3, 2016
Dave Spies
Sedona, AZ
Dave Spies   Sedona, AZ
The direct start (aka Booty chute) is worth doing, and provides a more consistent 5.7 rating for streaker spire; however, I think the original limestone traverse is more fun.

Booty chute is about 100' total and felt about 5.7. No need to break it up into two pitches. A single rack of bd cams from .3-4 with double #1 and #2 and a single 60m rope was a good rack for the entire streaker climb using the direct start.

Historical Note: I remember Scott Baxter telling me they climbed the Original Route on Easter Sunday with just a rack of hexes and streaked on top. This feature is known locally as one of the two nuns. Who wouldn't want to mount the nun and get naked? Please abide by the streaking tradition and give the helicopter tours and Pink Jeeps a show! Oct 27, 2016
David Ellis
David Ellis   Tucson
Traverse is non-sandbagged 5.7, and very easy to protect for the leader and follower (if you take the time to do so (we did)). Hardest part was the very last 2-4 moves getting out of the crack and onto the summit (5.7 is definitely sandbagging the last moves of this climb). Last moves are easily protected and the summit is totally worth it. Apr 9, 2018
Shelby Kincaid
Phoenix, AZ
Shelby Kincaid   Phoenix, AZ
One of the best views you can get in Sedona, hands down. I agree this is best done in 4 pitches. Here's my description:

Gear: standard rack, cams up to #5, and a set of nuts.

P1: Super easy traverse protected by a single bolt. There's an old piton and bolt that you'll build the belay anchor with. Enjoy the shade and spectacular view on this ledge.

P2. Very short traverse to an obvious belay ledge (didn't place any pro). It's very small and cramped here FYI. Only one bolt here so for anchoring we backed up with a #2 deep in the offwidth (start of P3).

P3: Beginning OW of this pitch is the hardest part, but it's short. Then start to traverse right to an obvious corner and it basically climbs as easy low angle slab for the rest of the pitch. The corner crack is somewhat shallow so I didn't place much gear, but if you feel the need to, there will be decent spots to do so. Once you climb over the little shelf, the belay spot is right there. No fixed gear, sling the tree and throw in a couple cams for the anchor.

P4: I found this very stiff for the grade. Granted, this is a 1972 sandbagged Baxter route, but still, I was surprised. Once you get to the large standing ledge halfway up, make sure to not go right. Take the offwidth on the left and climb up toward the little tree. This OW is the crux of the route and I've seen it protected with #3, #4 or #5, depending on where you want to place it. Chimney section is short but tiring. Then you're at the top! Gear anchor once again.

there are 2 sets of rappel anchors: one at the top and another on the ledge directly below that. Can be done with a 60m rope.

feel free to message me for approach beta, and I'll do my best to help :) Jun 27, 2018
Gregory Cooper
Phoenix Arizona
Gregory Cooper   Phoenix Arizona
I did this climb with a single rack up to #5 BD. At one point or another I placed every cam. Used the #5 in the last pitch because if my ass is dragging a #5 (because it's Sedona) I'm placing it damn it! Speaking of the last pitch, I found it much easier than the first crack (pitch 2 or 3 depending on how you do it) As stated before there isn't much room for a belay at the beginning of that crack so I combined pitch 2&3 together. If you do this don't place gear on the traverse it creates some annoying rope drag.

Getting there: Good luck parking at the Chapel of the Holy Cross. Park further downhill and take the little hike to the Chapel Trail. From the Chapel Trail continue until it opens up to a large slick rock area. Head east until you hit the obvious drainage on your left. Head up the drainage until it hits the cliff. Go up the cliff. There is a USGS marker and a cairn. Go up the 3 ft step and contour the cliffline until you meet the large debris field. Cross it at the lower section. You'll see another slick rock/cliff area. contour that until you see the drainage. Go up the Drainage or next to it up and right until you reach the saddle. You'll come across cairns and and obvious path most of the way.

From the saddle you should see 2 dead junipers. head down and left from them. A obvious trail should appear and goes down and right. It contours the cliff band and goes south and around the first tower. Continue following the trail/cairns until you see Streak Spire. Start heading up to the saddle between these two spires. There is a Juniper Tree (Not a Pine Tree) Where you can rack up. Scramble up the east side of the prominate limestone band, it's east 5.4 climbing.

As a Note the Parking lot for the church is open only from 9am to 5pm daily so plan accordingly. It does look possible to approach this from the east side where all the pink jeep tours go but I can't confirm that. Mar 13, 2019