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Desire T 
Great Expectations T 


YDS: 5.10 French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b R

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 180'
Original:  YDS: 5.10 French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b R [details]
FA: Steiger and Jurashek; 1984
Page Views: 1,831
Submitted By: eMurdock on Feb 9, 2005

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (15)
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Desire is a classic Lemmon route. The route follows the face and arete of the middle of Nurd Rock. With a 60 meter rope, it should be done as one pitch. Someone replaced the bolts with solid ones and placed two bolts at the mid-belay (which does not need to be used). The route used to have a gear belay there before 60 meter ropes were standard.

This route has it all. Delicate, slabby face climbing gets you started. The first bolt is high. A couple pieces of pro and you are climbing steep, rounded holds up a striking arete to a ledge. Then steep climbing out left takes you up the final headwall into a dihedral to the finish. The pin above the two bolt belay has been replaced with a good bolt.

Falling at certain spots on this climb is out of the question although a couple 40 footers have been logged and legend has it that a certain prolific Tucson climber botched the first clip and took the grounder.


8 or 9 bolts and a handful of small to medium nuts and cams.

Photos of Desire Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Jodi Ketchum feeling the Desire to do more
Jodi Ketchum feeling the Desire to do more
Rock Climbing Photo: Nurd Rock, w first pitch of "Desire" sho...
BETA PHOTO: Nurd Rock, w first pitch of "Desire" sho...

Comments on Desire Add Comment
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By Christian
From: Casa do Cacete
Nov 17, 2007
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b R

Botching the second clip is also almost a guaranteed grounder..If you fall on the runouts on the arete you better hope you fall into one of the really wide parts of "Great Expectations" (to the climber's left) without hitting the other side of the chimney.

Gear for first pitch = Blue Alien through 0.5 Camalot + sling for horn + 5 bolts in about 120 feet of climbing. My partner who led the 50 foot second pitch didn't use any gear on it, just the bolts.
Cold shuts for both belays.

I was about ready to cry for my mommy on this route :-)(11a being my limit at the time)

You can't tell from the highway but Nurd is an imposing and large piece of rock!
By Jeff G.
From: Fort Collins
Dec 24, 2009
rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b R

All time classic Mt. Lemmon route.
By 1Eric Rhicard
Apr 18, 2010

Pretty sure those are big fat 3/8ths bolts and are still bomber. If they are smaller than that then you might want to replace them otherwise leave them be. They still have another 20 years in them.
By Jimbo
Apr 19, 2010

If your going to chop and replace the bolts, chop the stupid anchors some dip stick installed at the top of the first pitch. A bomber gear belay can be had using the horizontal crack that is there.

You can just lead the route all the way to the top anyway.
By John Steiger
Sep 19, 2010

To the extent the old bolts were replaced, thanks. By the way, no one needs to ask my permission to replace any bolts I placed when I lived in Tucson, particularly the buttonheads. We had a bunch of the short ones (1 ½ inch?) at some point, and while we tried to use them only for aid routes (for “rivets”), I’m sure several were placed on free routes in Southern Arizona (forgive us). Now adding new bolts (like the 1st pitch belay), that is not cool with me regardless whose route it is – so I’m with Jimbo, take ‘em out.
By Geir
From: Tucson, AZ
Nov 28, 2013
rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b R

Did this route again today and it was every bit as good as I remembered.

A couple of notes on the bolts since this has come up in the comments above.

The replaced bolts are are stamped "90". Crazy that the replaced bolts are already 23 years old. The last bolt on the climb is still an original bolt with an the old style thin SMC hanger. This should be replaced. The remainder of the bolts are 3/8" wedge bolts with a lot of life in them.

Unfortunately, when the bolts were replaced back in 1990 the original 3/8" split shafts were not removed; instead they were pounded in a bit and the threads mashed up. It's messy and it looks like they would be extremely difficult to remove without core drilling. It is possible to get those types of bolt out if the thread remains intact, so if you run into this type of bolt and want to replace it, consider pulling the bolt and re-drilling the hole. Otherwise other routes will wind up in the same boat as this classic line.
By Jon Ruland
From: Tucson, AZ
Mar 2, 2015

so what is it about this route that makes it a classic? this is a serious question, i'm not being contrary; just trying to figure out if it's worth going to this area to do this one climb.
By Hendrixson
From: Tucson, AZ
Mar 3, 2015

John Steiger's Climber's Guide To Sabino Canyon And Mount Lemmon Highway states the following: "Possibly the finest route in the western hemisphere."
By 1Eric Rhicard
Mar 3, 2015

A tongue in cheek statement as John had spent enough time climbing outside the area to know what a world class route was. Well worth doing if you can get well above your last bolt. Bolted from the ground up, on lead, by hand drill. Well bolted by old school standards.
By Clay Mansfield
Mar 3, 2015

Worthy, and then some. NURD rock isn't nearly as difficult to get to as you might think.

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