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Streaker Spire
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Original North Face Route T 

Original North Face Route 

YDS: 5.7+ French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b

Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, 225', Grade II
Original:  YDS: 5.7+ French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b [details]
FA: Scott Baxter, Ross Hardwick, Karl Karlstrom, and Geoff Parker, 1972
Season: Fall through Spring
Page Views: 7,537
Submitted By: Orphaned on Mar 21, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (61)
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The final off-width section and best part of the r...


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.

Photos of Original North Face Route Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Old piton and bolt on the traverse. This is where ...
Old piton and bolt on the traverse. This is where ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Topo
Rock Climbing Photo: Direct start (aka Booty chute) in green, original ...
BETA PHOTO: Direct start (aka Booty chute) in green, original ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking up at the off width to finger crack on the...
BETA PHOTO: Looking up at the off width to finger crack on the...
Rock Climbing Photo: On the last pitch
On the last pitch
Rock Climbing Photo: one rap down, one to go. a single 60m rope is enou...
BETA PHOTO: one rap down, one to go. a single 60m rope is enou...
Rock Climbing Photo: Crux move. Just before pulling the buldge. There i...
BETA PHOTO: Crux move. Just before pulling the buldge. There i...
Rock Climbing Photo: Greg following pitch 3. Fun stuff
Greg following pitch 3. Fun stuff
Rock Climbing Photo: David peering around the corning on the traverse. ...
David peering around the corning on the traverse. ...

Comments on Original North Face Route Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Oct 27, 2016
By Will Cobb
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Mar 29, 2006

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?
By markguycan
From: flagstaff, AZ
Jun 3, 2006

To expand Will's description.... this can easily be done in 2 pitches!
By Todd R
Nov 17, 2007

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.
By Richard Fernandez
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Dec 3, 2008
rating: 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

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.
By bjglenn
Mar 27, 2010

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'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.
By rpc
Feb 7, 2011

Dr. Rubos & The Mace are great warm ups for this one :)
By Alex Wood
From: Flagstaff, Arizona
Jan 29, 2012

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!
By Danger Charles
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Mar 18, 2012

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.
By JoeCat1183
From: Currently Traveling
Nov 30, 2014
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c 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!
By Dj telle
From: Tucson, Arizona
Dec 1, 2014

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.
By Ethan Y
Feb 13, 2016

I feel it necessary to post a description of my recent experience descending from this route, as slightly different circumstances could have had a perilous ending... If you are leaving streaker spire in the dark (as we were) you may feel inclined to look for another gully on your way out to avoid downclimbing the gully you came up during your approach in the dark. We sure did, so we went to the gully that is directly in front of the spire or slightly to the right (looking from the spire down). After about 100 feet into the crevice from the initial slab, you will come upon an old detached log with a white sling around it, backed up by a series of boulders and rubble. We thought that this was an obvious sign that someone had rapped here before and, because Streaker Spire can be rapped with one rope, that it would be a one rope rap to the bottom of the gully. THIS IS NOT THE CASE. If you have two ropes, you can make it to the bottom below to overhanging outcrops, pull the rope easily, and descend 25 feet of boulder hopping onto the faith trail or whatever it is called. You have a slightly longer hike out from here, but you are on the trail and it is totally solid and a fine hike. In fact, if you have two ropes, I would encourage this descent, although it is hard to not find the rap sketchy as hell, as you are descending 200 feet off a very dead log that you can easily pick up and the boulders supporting it are poorly emplaced. Nevertheless, it worked for us.
HOWEVER. If you have only a single rope, you will not make it to the bottom of the gully and will instead end up on a platform that seems to dead end on both sides, 100 feet off the ground. It was pitch black and I didnt look to the left much, but it seems as though there are no other anchors on this platform and no way to hike off it without putting yourself in serious risk. Luckily, we had a second rope and were able to tie it on, pull it down and double rap to the bottom. If we hadnt had a second rope we would have been screwed(I was comfortable prussiking back up, but we had two very-much beginners with us who would not have been able to pull there way up an overhang without spending hours setting up foot-aids). SO PLEASE, be aware if you come upon this rap station with only one rope at night, you cannot see the bottom and it is easy to assume that it is only a short rap--it isnt.
By Derek Field
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Mar 3, 2016
rating: 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b 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 chossy rock (several key footholds are nothing more than wobbly death-blocks), an unexpected slip is not entirely out of the question. Keep your head on and place protection whenever possible.

The first "up" pitch (P2 for those who link the first two traverse pitches) is pretty stout 5.7 for the first sequence, 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 insecure and tricky. The roof has jugs below it and solid jams above it to get through. 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.

Double-rope rappel down north face back to packs. Be sure to read Ethan's comment (just above) for what NOT to do on the descend back to the trailhead.
By TKlein
From: Tempe, AZ
Apr 3, 2016
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

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. Overall, I would say the 3rd pitch is the burliest and pretty stiff for 5.7. This climb has a little bit of everything. Do it right and make sure someone rocks the birthday suit at the top!
By Dave Spies
From: Sedona, AZ
Oct 27, 2016

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!

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