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Steppin' Stone 

YDS: 5.11b French: 6c Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E3 5c

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches
Original:  YDS: 5.11b French: 6c Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E3 5c [details]
FA: E. Barrett, G. Connor, Dave Stam, 1978. FFA: Dick Richardson and friends, 1979.
Page Views: 3,248
Submitted By: Blitzo on Oct 19, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (24)
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Start in a prominent, left facing, corner, right of "Fear of Flying". Climb up this corner, undercling left at a small roof, continue up, undercling left at a big roof (5.11a) to a belay with two bolts.
Continue up face.


Pro to 3".

Photos of Steppin' Stone Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Rest after the cruxy dihedral.
Rest after the cruxy dihedral.
Rock Climbing Photo: knobbage
Rock Climbing Photo: wear a helmet
wear a helmet
Rock Climbing Photo: 1st
Rock Climbing Photo: Cool stems in the dihedral.
Cool stems in the dihedral.
Rock Climbing Photo: Mike moves toward the crux on a beautiful spring d...
Mike moves toward the crux on a beautiful spring d...

Comments on Steppin' Stone Add Comment
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By Karsten Duncan
From: Sacramento, CA
Apr 23, 2008
rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

A pretty fun route but felt more like .11b to me. This is a really interesting climb because it has several different styles of climbing.
By Eric Barrett
From: Spokane, WA
Oct 24, 2008

Wow! Fun to see this route as the "Featured Route" on the Mtn Project home page. I'm listed as the FA guy when in fact I only did the FA of the first pitch. Never did get back and get any higher. Dick Richardson and friend (maybe Malcolm Jolly?) went up and pushed the upper face which was inspirational for the time. Neat memories!

Eric Barrett
Spokane, WA
By Ol Toby
From: CA
Feb 8, 2009
rating: 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c

The first pitch offers two distinct, technical .11- cruxes, separated by an airy rest. Thin gear in the dihedral, off-finger to protect the undercling. Paste the feet and go. Superb.
By Monica Jones
From: Bishop, CA
Jun 13, 2010

Placed way too much gear in the roof at my first lead attempt out of fear and pumped off it. I only placed two pieces in the roof the second time around and got it. Seems harder than 11a to onsight.
By Peter Valchev
From: Truckee, CA
Apr 29, 2013
rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

My favorite route at the Spires that I've done so far (well, that and Candyland!) Came back for a second time and this time did the second pitch...

I wondered: has someone led the first pitch without cams? The first ascent being in the late 70's, I imagine they have? That seems truly incredible, I'd love to hear stories of those early ascents. Personally, I placed 4 pieces under the roof, and couldn't imagine futzing with anything but cams there...

The lower stemming section was also quite memorable, and lots of fun - hard moves are followed by decent rests in the lower part.

Second pitch - nothing too scary but definitely some thin slab moves needed in a couple of sections to connect the knobs. Trickier and more sustained than it looks from below, I found that pitch much less straightforward and in a way, harder.

Altogether these two pitches combine into one sweet and memorable line!
By Rennie Putnam
From: Davis, CA
Nov 6, 2013

Is sitting on the big ledge to the right of the crux roof technically off route? It was a much needed rest but felt a little like cheating.
By J. Albers
From: Colorado
Nov 6, 2013
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

Hi Rennie,

I don't think that most people consider the ledge to be 'off'. In fact, I think most folks probably regroup there and try to reach over and stuff some pro in before casting off into the undercling. Such a good route.
By Vlad S
Feb 2, 2015
rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

I'm a bit confused. The rating for the route seems to only go for the first pitch, which is pretty cruiser 11a. The 2nd pitch is clealy the crux with a few very thin sections and climbing as hard as on neighboring "Lesbian Love" or perhaps even less secure, so 11b or even c seems more appropriate. One of the best routes at the spires! I've been waiting to do this one for a very long time and wasn't disappointed.
By J. Albers
From: Colorado
Feb 18, 2015
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

^^^ Interesting take on this route Vlad. I actually felt that the second pitch was more like 10c and that the first pitch was the clear crux (I think Lesbian Love is quite a bit harder than anything on SS). I also didn't think that it was super easy at 11a, but its hard for me to remember because its been close to a decade since I have done it.

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