Type: Trad, 90 ft
FA: Aidan Maguire
Page Views: 439 total · 5/month
Shared By: Scott T on Feb 12, 2011 with updates from Aidan Maguire
Admins: Aron Quiter, Lurker, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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Access Issue: Dirt road winter closures Details


This route now has it's own direct start. It stays to the right of the Stepping Stone start.

Cruise up past a downward facing flake and continue easily to a rest and a small right facing ramp/corner. Bust left out of the corner to a splitter finger crack which continues to the anchor. This is the first belay of Desperado, just before the roof. Lower or rap off.

Moving onto the face at the bolt is the crux...pretty insecure and barndoor-ish. Might be easier to step down to a break, then onto the face. Another hard move in the finger crack up higher.

A small flake broke at the crux, and is probably now rated 10a.


East face of The Upper Spire


Up to a #3 Camalot. Extra in the yellow alien to .75 Camalot size. Bring yer small/smallest wires for the final finger crack.

Long slings before and on the bolt will minimize a lot of drag and keep your rope off of a rough edge on the arete.


Aidan Maguire  
This route now has it's own direct start. It now stays to the right of the Stepping Stone start. a small flake broke at the crux and is probably now rated 10a. A #3 camalot is handy for the roof after bolts Oct 22, 2011
Cam Parry
Angwin, CA
Cam Parry   Angwin, CA
No kidding on the small wires at the top! There is a placement for a blue (#3) Camalot down low - just before pulling over the corner - but all the rest of the gear is smaller. Think wires and 0.75 Camalots or below. Leave the heavy stuff at the base. Aug 21, 2012
Darshan Ahluwalia
Petaluma, CA
Darshan Ahluwalia   Petaluma, CA
Is this route misnamed? Isn't this the "East Face"? It has a scary offwidth at the top. Oct 13, 2013
Salamanizer suchoski
Janesville Ca.
Salamanizer suchoski   Janesville Ca.  
No! Oct 14, 2013
Rude Boy
San Francisco, CA
Rude Boy   San Francisco, CA
No need for any big gear to the bolted anchor. The upper "finger crack" wasn't much of a finger crack for me. Too small to get my fingers in. More like a seem that takes small-medium stoppers for pro. Oct 30, 2015
Colonel Mustard
Sacramento, CA
Colonel Mustard   Sacramento, CA
We thought the upper crux was comparable in difficulty to the lower crux. Either way, this is very enjoyable climbing with thoughtful knob climbing and jams and two bolts right where they are needed. One of the larger RPs slotted perfectly in the high laser thin crack, otherwise, pro beta of fingers-sized cams to #1 camalot with a single #3 camalot suffices nicely. Plenty of stopper placements. Apr 19, 2016
Aidan Maguire  
This route now has it's own direct start making an independent line from Stepping Stone
Climb slab to 1st bolt, passing which is the low crux. Climb to roof (#3 Camalot). Around left of roof to easy ground to gain thin crack with crux 2/3 up on very small but solid gear
Great morning sun makes this a great winter warm up. 101 feet. with a little tensioning left on decent a rope can be put on the Stepping Stone anchor which allows for TR of 3 routes: Burnt Offering (10d), Holy Smoke (11c/d) and the first pitch of The Arete Route (11b/c). If you do all 4 routes your well ahead of the game by lunch time. Dec 29, 2017
abandon moderation
abandon moderation   Tahoe
Do yourself a favor and at the chains continue up the Desperado roof for pitch 2, I think the linkup makes this one of the better routes at the spires. Have your second haul up another #3 and a #4 for it.

If you don't have your micro nuts with no worries a normal set will protect the moves at the top, though you will probably pull the crux a little ways above them unless you find something I didn't. I found no crux until the last 20ft before the anchors. The crux is more heady, technical, and tricky than strenuous though. May 7, 2018