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Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Elanor S 
North Face T 
Northwest Arete T 
Oasis Red T 
Tortoise And The Hare, The T 


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Elevation: 6,300'
Page Views: 949
Administrators: Ben Mottinger, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman
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

5 Total Routes

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

The Classics

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

Featured Route For Desdemona
Joe heads into the steep (steeper than it looks) crux of the NW Arete (5.9+) on Desdemona.

Northwest Arete 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a  CO : Lyons : ... : Desdemona
Start on the left end of the west ledge (just left of Oasis Red). Go up easy rock heading for the nice looking slab with a crack running up it. Continue up this crack to where the wall bulges and continue through the bulge (crux, good hands) to awkward moves moving right to gain a stance above the bulge. Move left around the corner to the north face and climb up the easy crack that lies just left of the NW arete to the summit.Rappel from Elanor's chains....[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

Local Information for Desdemona
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Comments on Desdemona Add Comment
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By Hiro
From: Boulder, CO
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?