Desert Storm requires an approach via Stradivarius or Fender Strat (Both excellent lines on their own) but despite it being "out of the way" is, in my opinion, one of the best .12 pitches in the gorge. The pitch ascends a beautiful golden face with big exposure and incredibly sustained moves on crimps and small pockets. Though the route is only 6 bolts long, when you look to place your feet you feel that you are much higher off the deck as all you can see is the river, and not the small tower on which the belay for the route is situated. The rock on the route is much more coarse then other rock found in the ORG and climbs more like the Sad Boulders. I feel the only reason this route is not 5 stars is because it has not received much traffic and is relatively short by gorge standards.
Desert Storm can be approached via Stradivarius (8) or Fender Strat (10a), or Sly Little Fart Blaster (11d, which finishes at the shuts for Strad. All these approach routes make great warm-up for Desert Storm. It is important to note that a chain belay for Desert Storm exist directly on top of the tower, about 10 feet past the shuts for Strad. or Fender. This belay is much more comfy then attempting to belay from the shuts for Fender or Strad. After lowering off desert Storm, rapp down whatever route you used to approach the top of the pillar.
The pro is 6 bolts, there are cold shuts at the top, and there's a chain belay on top of the tower.
Mar 27, 2007
Superb position and moves atypical of ORG...
|By Tyler Logan|
From: Bishop, CA
Mar 12, 2008
rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ E5 6a
Spectacular climb. Not super technical like many of the harder climbs in the Gorge. Steep pocket and edge pulling with wild exposure.
|By Jeff Hebert|
From: Seattle, WA
Jun 24, 2010
This was a great route with good holds and fun movement throughout. There was almost no chalk on the route when I did it and the hardest part was figuring out what to reach for.
Feb 3, 2012
I'd give this route five stars if...it was on better rock, like granite, had a better approach, like 15 pitches of stellar cracks, and was located somewhere better, like a hundred miles east on the side of el Cap.
|By Kyle Townsend|
From: Oakland, CA
Sep 15, 2012
I normally don't get into online debates, but I have to address the previous comment.
James, I have to say it grinds my gears for you to post negative commentary about the Gorge. The Earth offers us many different rock types, each of which is unique and lends itself to its own characteristic features and movement aesthetic. Not everything can be Valley Granite. The joy of rock climbing manifests in many ways: exposure, position, movement, scenery, rock quality, the aesthetic of the line, etc. and all of these traits have their respective value. The gorge is a sport climber's paradise, with amazing features, long sustained routes, extraordinary route density, aesthetic lines, year-round climbing season, relative ease of access, and every possible sun aspect within a stone's throw, making shade or sun a choice with which the climber is empowered. Not to mention well over 300 days of sunshine every year. Come on, man, give it some credit.
|By Neil Rankin|
From: Greensboro, NC
Apr 1, 2013
rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ E5 6a
There's some choss but it still shines.