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Elanor S 
North Face T 
Northwest Arete T 
Oasis Red T 
Tortoise And The Hare, The T 

Desdemona Rock Climbing 

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Elevation: 6,300'
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Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Tony B on Apr 7, 2009
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BETA PHOTO: Desdemona from Area 51.


This is a small, roughly pyramid-shaped crag coming it at 1/2 rope length tall, with 6 routes packed in tightly, almost all of which are good. The moderately long approach of 20 minutes is well justified, as once you arrive you are literally just a few hundred yards from the additional dozen routes on Area 51. The rock on both crags is generally solid and well cleaned, particularly on this one. The climbing ranges from 5.3 to 5.11a, without a lead-move over 5.9+ that isn't protected by a bolt, as the harder climbs are either sport or mixed.

The climbs are Northwestward and get shade for most of the day, but the summit will be sunny and warm on hot days.

To descend, rap 100' (60m rope required) from Eleanor, or downclimb the South Gully (less pleasant).

Getting There 

Drive up canyon for 4 minutes to what would be mile 29.2 for the road signs and park on one of the pullouts on either side of the road. Hike up the pant legs, put on the sandals, and walk across a shallow area of stream. Alternatively, pick & hop your way across on rocks if the water is low enough.

A vague trail is marked down low by some Cairns, but fades to mixed game trails on the way up the hill... but the land contour and destination are pretty obvious and would be hard to miss. The approach has some steep sections, but it is not bad at all and should take 15-20 minutes.

Climbing Season

For the South Fork of St. Vrain Canyon area.

Weather station 8.9 miles from here

5 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',0],['2 Stars',5],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Desdemona

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Desdemona:
The Tortoise And The Hare   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, 2 pitches, 100'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Desdemona

Featured Route For Desdemona
Rock Climbing Photo: Upper portion of Desdemona with the route "Th...

The Tortoise And The Hare 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b  Colorado : Lyons : ... : Desdemona
This shares the same start as Oasis Red but moves right after about 25 feet, across the big ledge to the base of the left-facing dihedral. Belay here and then move up the dihedral, traversing at the top under the large boulder to the anchors on Elanor....[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

Comments on Desdemona Add Comment
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By Hiro Kurotsuchi
From: Colorado
Aug 13, 2012
An addition to the approach instructions... if you follow the published instructions to and across the Gross Marsh, you'll find an obvious open field. Go to the middle of it, aim straight up the hill to Desdemona (which you can see). There's a switchback trail which takes you straight up for a bit - my partner and I rebuilt the cairn for this yesterday.
By Dankasaurus
From: Lyons, CO
Oct 29, 2012
I don't know what we would do without Boulder sport climbers rebuilding cairns everywhere?

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