Type: Trad, 300 ft, 3 pitches
FA: unknown
Page Views: 14,327 total · 96/month
Shared By: caughtinside on Jan 23, 2007
Admins: Aron Quiter, Lurker, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

You & This Route

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Deception shares the same start as Deception Direct, which takes the obvious vertical crack which goes up the entire formation, to the right/west of Knapsack.

Start up the crack in the corner, and once it becomes feasible to mantle up to the left, do so, and continue up and belay on a blocky ledge. If you miss the obvious mantle/traverse and head straight up, you're on deception direct, which has a thin 5.9 rp protected crux.

2nd pitch goes up, traverses left to a crack which parallels the first crack. Continue up this crack for a long way, then make an exciting 5.6 crux slab smear traverse to rejoin the original crack, and belay on the ledge.

3rd pitch pulls some blocky 5.6 mantles to the summit, short.


50' right/west of Knapsack crack. I would suggest this climb to fledgling leaders, since there is a lot more 5th class terrain on this route, as opposed to Knapsack. Plus, you don't generally have to wait in the Knapsack line, which often features very, very, slow parties.


standard rack.
Good climbing for someone new to the area or grade. It's well protected.

The crux is a slab traverse from crack system to crack system. i got a bomber nut in and took off. Still a bit pucker inducing, but doable if you keep moving.

Cheers Mar 6, 2008
Sacramento, CA
Michaeld916   Sacramento, CA
Very notable crux section. Slab between two cracks like Evan Horvath stated, climbed up left, put a .25 in, and down climbed till I could get feet on the thin ledges that are the only support for the traverse. You'll want to pro up as high as you can on the left, gnarly fall if you mess up traverse without high up pro. Oct 11, 2010
Josh C
Somewhere out West
Josh C   Somewhere out West
The best route on the Hobsback. I've always climbed it in two long pitches. A 60m rope will do, but the second pitch will be a rope stretcher. For the first belay, belay in the alcove after the stacked blocks after you traverse to the left. Then last pitch takes you to the top where you can belay off the tree. You won't be able to hear your belayer so be sure to have some alternative form of communication besides yelling.

For an added bonus, instead of traversing left after the stacked blocks, continue to the top of the blocks then up a 5.6ish finger crack. Takes #3 metolius cam or nutes to protect. Jul 17, 2011
Brendan Moriarty
Berkeley, CA
Brendan Moriarty   Berkeley, CA
This is good quality, easily-protected and fun crack and flake climbing. Pitch 1 you can practically walk up. Pitch 2 is the most interesting and offers a really fun 5.7 finger crack alternate route. I'd highly recommend it if you're comfortable climbing cracks and/or 5.7s. If you're not, you might get a bit freaked. Either way you'll probably find some goodies stuck in there from parties past. Overall, this is a great into to Lover's Leap. As a beginner trad leader, you'd do well to climb this first upon arrival. Jul 4, 2012
Karsten Duncan
Sacramento, CA
Karsten Duncan   Sacramento, CA
Before the crux section I was able to place a large #5 camalot C4.

I did an alternative to the crux traverse. Where you would traverse right I continued up the corner. A few feet up you can exit the corner on left on a series of dikes. This is runnout but maybe only slightly more so than the traverse and once you step out onto the dikes the climbing is fairly easy. Continue up the dikes and make an easy traverse back right onto the usual line. Mar 25, 2013
Justin Johnsen
Sacramento, CA
Justin Johnsen   Sacramento, CA  
Karsten thanks for sharing, I'd been curious about that finish! I've been off route so many other little sections of this climb, may as well try that line, too. Mar 25, 2013
Darryl Styles
Darryl Styles  
I think the trail round the back (off main lovers leap trail) is the way to go. Faster, easier terrain for those not wanting to stumble around on loose talas.
Good climb, went up the 5.9 crack section which I think is accurate considering most of the sandbagging that happens at the leap area.. The rest i would personally rate at 5.7, and only for two or three moves. The rest 5.6. Sep 4, 2013
Angie C
Mount Vernon, Wa
Angie C   Mount Vernon, Wa
I put in a .3 at my feet right before the crux traverse. I think the traverse is 5.6 not 5.5. The 5.6 crack below the traverse is fun, protects well and has great hands. May 25, 2014
Rob Davies UK
Cheshire, UK
Rob Davies UK   Cheshire, UK
Carrying straight up on P2 (5.7, small cams protect) seems easier than the 5.6 traverse! Oct 3, 2014
Boriss   Sacramento
Just climbed Deception today in 4 pitches to reduce rope drag. Heres the current route info.

P1: Easy climbing up a dihedral with not a lot of good pro. There are spots to place a cam or nut but not a lot. When you can climb to the left onto the blocks do so and continue up the cracks and blocks until you get to a small ledge. Make an anchor with cams in a vertical crack.

P2: Climb up some flakes and cracks until you see a shallow wide crack. There is a fixed nut jammed here. Continue up and traverses to the left on a good crack, then climb up and right to a comfortable ledge.

(optional belay with cams in a vertical crack)

If you continue without belaying you end up climbing some cracks to to the left until you merge with the main crack. Easy climbing with pro opportunities here and there. When you reach a small roof and see small dykes going to the right thats when you know you reached a traverse. Not a lot of good protection here but you can throw in a small nut around foot level. There could be more options to protect the traverse but I did not find any. Slowly traverse right using the dykes for foot holds. Its not very hard but still a bit scary. Once you reach the other side continue up the dihedral until you reach a good ledge. Belay here by slinging a block. (Be careful because the block didnt seem too solid. But I didnt really have another option.)

P3: Climb up very easy and loose blocks up and left until you hit a dirty slab. Throw in a bomber #2 Cam and either climb up with more pro options or traverse left. Traversing left is a bit runnout but very easy. Just take it slow and top out. Alot of anchor options up top. You can sling a tree (like we did), make a gear anchor, or sling a block.

Overall this is a good climb! Protection is pretty good. The traverse is kinda scary but not that big of a deal. Like I said just take it slow and you'll be fine! Oct 19, 2014
Highly recommend doing this in two pitches with a 60m rope. Belay is ~20ft past the large ledge at a smaller ledge/flake area. Really fun route Jul 26, 2017
Nathan Z
Sacramento, CA
Nathan Z   Sacramento, CA
This was my second lead climb on gear. The crux/traverse right was my first experience where I actually wondered if I would be testing my gear placement with a fall, but the traverse was really fairly easy. I thought Deception was a better climb than Knapsack. It definitely took some time to read the route and was a great confidence-builder.

Conditions: some easily-avoided ice and wet rock, but otherwise perfect for climbing! Jan 13, 2018
Wendy L
Washington, District of Col…
Wendy L   Washington, District of Col…
On 5/11/18 had to bail because of rain and some hail. Left two .75 BD ultralight cams for an anchor and a pink tricam somewhere on the route. All gear is labeled with toughtags for Heather Gilbert and an email to contact. If you hear/find anything please DM me, or email Heather with the address on the tags. Thanks!! May 13, 2018
James Ovens
San Francisco
James Ovens   San Francisco
Climbed this route on Saturday just gone. Super fun climb involving many techniques. There was a slow party on the main route so we chose to use Deception Direct until we could move back over to the main route and over take the slower party. We did this by climbing the 5.7 finger crack variation that links the Direct route back to the main route. Climbed it in 2 long pitches:

P1: Started up the 5.1 corner. Instead of moving left at the ledge, I chose to continue over a bulge and onto a long 5.5 layback that is part of Deception Direct. The layback is super fun and sustained. Bring a 4" cam in order to protect this section. Just before you reach a second bulge, climb left round the layback dihedral and on to the face. You will see the obvious 5.7 finger crack. This was the crux for me. The crack is around 12 ft and is easy to project with 1" pieces (there are 2 pieces that are stuck in the crack that help protect this section even more). Once you get to the top of the crack, move left and arrive at the first belay (marked as optional belay on the Topo).

P2: Move left from the belay and climb straight up over several small hanging flakes for around 20 feet. You will then reach the traverse. The traverse is super fun and airy. It takes around 3 moves until you hit the the crack on the far side with good hand holds and protection. Extend your gear placements to reduce rope drag. From here, it's pretty easy to the top. There is a solid tree to use as an anchor at the very top. You will be out of sight of your partner which makes communication difficult, particularly in high winds. Jun 11, 2018
John Clark
San Francisco
John Clark   San Francisco
Actually a pretty fun downclimb. Reversing the traverse moves surprisingly bumped the grade up compared to traversing going up. Sep 28, 2018
Ricky Harline
San Jose, CA
Ricky Harline   San Jose, CA
If anyone finds a phone on route please let me know. I'll have Find Your Phone causing it to ring multiple points throughout the day (I was unable to do this yesterday when I was there, unfortunately). If ya pick it up I'll buy ya some beer. Apr 28, 2019 · Lost & Found