Over Easy, Phantom Spires, Middle Spire 5.7


Lake Tahoe, California, USA

  • Currently 4.0/5
Sort 24 beta reports by: Most Recent | Most Helpful
What is route "beta"?
Summary of All Ratings

SuperTopo Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Average Customer Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Your Rating:     (none)
Rating Distribution
2 Total Ratings
5 star: 50%  (1)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 50%  (1)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
climbing bear

Trad climber
lotus, ca
Sep 24, 2012 - 06:59pm
Mistakenly picked up a SLT Guidebook at the base of Over Easy belonging to Kat and ? on 9/23/12.
Sorry ladies, our bag dumped and we thought your book was ours.
Post a way to contact you and we will get it to you.

A friends backyard with the neighbors wifi
May 18, 2010 - 02:35pm
Chopped the slings off the top of Fancy Dancin' and added quick links for rappelling.

I didn't have a wrench to crank them super duper tight, so don't steal them (or TR off them and wear them out).

Trad climber
SF (via NH & CO)
Sep 11, 2007 - 01:50am
"Removing the bolts and patching the holes is one thing and can have it's [sic] place."

Yup. (not being facetious)
the Fet

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
   Sep 10, 2007 - 04:02pm
Yeah people are funny, I don't understand how people don't understand you catch more flies with honey...

I was up there with a group of 6 adults and 4 kids yesterday. We got lucky on the timing and got on over easy as another group left. At the top we setup at TR on the bolts (they were right were Greg mentions them, we had brought cams to set a natural anchor, so it just helped speed things up to have the bolts) and then 2 of us continued up and did the arete 5.10 climb (the prow?) while others in our group did OE. All the adults and 1 kid got on Over Easy, and we also setup a TR on the ~5.5 gully to the left for the less experienced climbers.

Another party came around looking for shade. Instead of talking to us and asking if they could jump on our ropes, or how long we'd be, a guy starts talking loud to his partners about how the shade is being monopolized and acting all pissy. As mentioned below people get all pissy when there's a line, but I have almost always had good luck just talking to people and working around them. It's imperative at a place as small as the Spires.

Three of us then did Slow Dancer. Seemed like harder than a 5.9 start to me, and it started more to the right than indicated in the Falcon book.

None of us even saw one pro bolt on Hooray, Hooray, and we were all using different holds on both climbs. So either the bolts were pulled, or were clear of OE or SD IMO. I wish I saw this thread before, we would have jumped on HH too.

I really hope this comment is facetious:

If I really felt the need to destroy your handiwork I would have taken my North Conway textbook and referenced the chapter on "How to smash a hanger into an unrecognizeable blob." However, I think that discussion, however "anonymous," can be a good learning experience for us all.

Removing the bolts and patching the holes is one thing and can have it's place. Smashing hangers shows it's all about ego, and the smasher doesn't care about the rock or other people's experience.

Trad climber
Nairobi, Kenya
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
   Jul 31, 2006 - 05:19pm
Climbed Hooray Hooray (Greg's new route) on Saturday as an enjoyable warm up. I could not see the anchor bolts Greg refers to in his initial post so I headed out left to pre-existing bolts. They might be there, but well hidden if they are.

I took two semi-experienced gym climbers out for their first outside climbing...lean and mean, the arete on shark's tooth, regular route on middle, crispy critters....and (shock!) they thought Greg's new route was the most enjoyable of all the routes we did - pulling on knobs, sweet sweet 5.8ish fingerlocks leading up to the first bolt, fun pulls on knobs to the top.

Ethical debate aside (and maybe it should be, maybe it shouldnt) it is a fun route.


Trad climber
SF Bay Area
May 18, 2006 - 02:08pm

Thanks for laying out your reasoning and discussing it in more detail. I see your points, but I still have a different opinion.

Where we differ is in your statement "yes, the route is close, but not that close, and certainly well within the standards for the area." In my opinion, your route is too close and NOT within the standards of the area, and sets, and/or contributes to bad precedent. I would hate to see this area with even more climbs right next to and/or cross each other (like some of the routes you cite) and getting more gym like. Does a relatively easy face on a not very big spire really need a route every double arm length?

A comment on your reference to the "in-crowd"....I can only assume you have run into people in the past who "claim" areas as their own since they have been climbing there umpteen years etc. As far as I am concerned, so long as someone does their research and thinks through the local issues and/or standards there is no reason for them not to put up a route. Dialogue with other climbers who frequent the area (like we are doing right now...and preferably BEFORE a route is added) will contribute to sustaining a good local ethic whatever the outcome.

Your question regarding a hypothetical 5.13 goes to the central point of our differences...I do not believe a 5.13 climber would put up the route in the manner you suggest in the first place...ie. claim "new territory" for a route in between Hard Up and Slowdancer. I would imagine a climber that good would breeze up the face anywhere, start placing protection bolts where it got difficult out the roof, call it a variation of one of the existing climbs like over easy, and perhaps even name it "Well Done".

As far as your statement that "In any case, I've noticed over the years that a lot of people get very riled up about new easier routes"...I am all for new easier routes that are non-sport, and I won’t die on, particularly since, despite many years of climbing, I top out at hard 5.10 (or less now that I have a kid...).

There used to be a lot more debate about routes at this area. I think perhaps the old guard who watched over the area have retired. I don’t consider myself to be an ethics enforcer but maybe the past transgressions you cite should be reexamined. IF anything should be done, the community as a whole should contribute including the people that put up the “offending” route/bolt etc.. Maybe a discussion should be started in the forum section about this area. I know Jay Smith is really pissed about retro-bolting his old routes like Lesbian Lust did. By the way, do you know what the story is with Candyass? It used to be R/X with two bolts…perhaps it should be added to your list of not so ethical actions out there.

Ben Smith
Greg Barnes

May 18, 2006 - 01:27am
Well Seth, guess you'd have to be in my shoes to understand my reaction. I have quite a bit of experience on granite knob routes (including breaking off Candyland-size knobs on lead!), and that knob 4' above the first bolt is small, slightly fractured, and NOT bomber (besides it being very runout for a 5.8 leader to get to). The alien placement is totally useless - if you think that would hold, I have no idea what you're thinking. The huge knob left of the last bolt will definitely not hold a sling for pro.

Despite what you might think, I do (and did for this route) consider long & hard before pulling out the drill. If you've ever hand drilled granite, you probably realized that already.

Here's my view - my thoughts prior to doing the route. I hope you can see my viewpoint, and if you still disagree, we can agree that climbing has room for variety.

 Over Easy is great fun and so is Slowdancer.
 there is a good section of rock between them that does not intersect where anyone ever climbs on lead, and it looks like it would be a really really good route.
 while it could easily have been done 25 years ago, no one did it, and it would be a great addition to the 5.8 range routes at the Spires (not exactly tons of good routes in that range).
 the area is already ridiculously crowded and this won't really affect that.
 yes, the route is close, but not that close, and certainly well within the standards for the area.

Anyway, that about sums it up for what I was thinking. From my standpoint, all of your posts have been nasty and personally insulting for a very weak reason. This isn't a retrobolt, it isn't THAT close to the others, it isn't THAT well protected for the grade, it was done in good style. And what does the ASCA or Supertopo have to do with anything? Are you mad at the SLT guide (which I had nothing to do with at all), at guidebooks or Supertopos in general, or at replacing old bolts?

In any case, I've noticed over the years that a lot of people get very riled up about new easier routes - people who don't get pissed at the exact same situation if the route is 5.12. Maybe we should all consider what that means about our approach to climbing...

Trad climber
SF (via NH & CO)
May 18, 2006 - 12:36am
Greg, to answer your question:

I get the feeling that if the "local in-crowd folks" were to bolt out the roof at 5.13, they wouldn't feel it necessary to protect so militantly the 5.7 slab with superfluous bolts. It's also unlikely that they'd bother to "advertise" the new route.

With all due respect, I think your reaction to my comments, however sarcastic in tone, are a bit over the top, and paint you very firmly into an uncomfortable corner. Go up there again, if you feel the need: there's good gear, as good or better than other Spires knob climbs. The Alien placement I refer to below is absolutely truck, I assure you. Otherwise, without the bolts you tossed in, the route may be a wee bit r/o, yes, but this ain't the Gorge, right?

If I really felt the need to destroy your handiwork I would have taken my North Conway textbook and referenced the chapter on "How to smash a hanger into an unrecognizeable blob." However, I think that discussion, however "anonymous," can be a good learning experience for us all. If this silly wee route and its bolts are to be emblematic of your behavior, the ASCA, and the Supertopo raderatti, then you will have succeeded in having educated me as to your personal and collective M.O.

Take care!
Greg Barnes

May 17, 2006 - 11:20pm
With all due respect superboy, slobmonster's first post is the one that's loud mouthed and insulting. Funny how people see each other on the internet - doubt you could find anyone who knows me who'd describe me that way!

OK, you asked for "a thoughtful response." Here's an interesting thought experiment - and please try to be honest about your answers:

Let's say the local in-crowd folks put those same bolts in, then bolts out the roof at 5.13. Posted it on the route database and people went out to check it out.

Now the crux - answer honestly! - if those same bolts were there but the route was a 5.13 continuing out the roof, would you have had the same response?

Pollock Pines
May 17, 2006 - 10:58pm
Just had to chime in again as I imagine you're feeling slammed (even though just 4 of us posted).

We're all talking about a few pieces of steel in a bit of granite. Not much in the scheme of things. So although you probably don't need to hear it.. No Worries! How about we rail on someone who really trashes the world or hurts people?

I bet by now your work with ASCA has at the very least kept someone out of the hospital, but more likely has saved a life or two.

Oh, and that 3rd bolt on Blue Note at the Spires is a see-through spinner last I checked.... peace.


Trad climber
SF Bay Area
May 17, 2006 - 05:03pm

I saw your original new route announcement prior to my going up for the weekend and thought "wow there was room for a route there?". I have not been a big commentator to these forums in the past even when I see routes I don't agree with such as yours, but what got me more fired up than anything was your loud mouthed and insulting reaction to what I thought was well thought out (albeit sarcastic) criticism by slobmonster (I am referring to the original post here…).

My issues with the route are: 1) Major squeeze job too close to routes around it 2) like dwell said, makes it more gym like in a largely traditional area (related to the squeeze issue) 3) Can't believe it's not been climbed before. Like many others I have seen, I have top roped and followed this entire face before. The argument that "Multiple guidebooks over many years gave plenty of chance for anyone who led Hooray Hooray! without bolts and wanted it in the guide" is a disingenuous argument. What about the people that do not want it in the guide and don't think it should exist as a separate route? They would never report it...Most climbers I know wouldn't give claiming "first ascent" on this a second thought.

As far as the anchor alone is concerned, I haven't fleshed out my own personal ethics that far to give a definitive opinion. I think it will make that face busier and personally I think that the "inconvenience" of going to the left or right and actually topping out is part of the experience a lot of people will miss if the anchors stay. As a historical note (and you may have more information or a better memory than I) but I thought the lean and mean anchor is actually a replacement to the original(?) piton anchor that wasn't exactly bomber (and many peopled rapped off of).

Underneath your deliberately provocative and belligerent insults, you make some good points. But you make it so impossible to listen to them. I thought supertopo was a forum to provide an opportunity to have a dialogue about issues and routes as well as talk about great climbing experiences….Looking forward to a thoughtful response.

Ben Smith

PS. Davisgunkie--my wife climbed at the leap on Saturday and saw no less than SEVEN rattlesankes on the walk off.
Greg Barnes

May 16, 2006 - 08:36pm
Yeah dwell, I suppose you're right (even though my first reaction is the rebel fighter pilot crashing into the super star destroyer in Return of the Jedi - "It's too late!!!") - since Over Easy climbers had to compete with Cockabooty or Lean & Mean for an anchor, having another could make it more "zoo like." But then if Over Easy folks use the new anchor instead of the other two, then they'd block the new route. Still, I suppose it could end up with slightly more people. I guess it was already such a horrendous zoo on the weekends that I couldn't see it getting any worse. You get spoiled on the eastside!

But just to play devil's advocate - would the Middle Spire be so busy if there were no fixed anchors on Cockabooty, Lean & Mean, or Candyland - just the original rap off the south side?

Pollock Pines
May 16, 2006 - 04:04pm
1st. thanks for the anchor. Over Easy has always been a pain to finish either left or right. The anchor makes sense and will help. I also have no problem with a well protected climb.

However, I think you must see Greg that this route will make the already busy middle spire more zoo like. I imagine now seeing someone on Over Easy, Hooray and Lean and Mean. That's gym like for sure.

A lot has changed at the spires in 20 years and I guess that's just the way it is. I certainly don't enjoy the place as much on weekends as I used to. But i don't own it. I'll enjoy the climb when i'm there next. peace.
Greg Barnes

May 16, 2006 - 03:23pm
Well, fine, slobmonster. You're entitled to your opinion.

Here's what I see: anonymous postings on forums, and people pissed off at the crag for no reason that anyone has stated clearly. Or maybe one person pissed off and others just following the leader. In my experience 8 people at the base of a crag will never include 8 people who have an independent opinion about something like this (unless you include "who cares?" as an opinion).

Since you do seem interested in talking, slobmonster, where do you get these comments?:
 "you drilled this new ladder" - this is no ladder, drilled (by hand) from stances, less tightly bolted than many bolted routes at the Spires. I bet many a 5.8 leader would be nervous getting to the first bolt. I bet many of them will be nervous getting to the anchor. I bet if this was a 5.12 and rap bolted, people would already be complaining about the "irresponsible runout from the crack to the first bolt."
 "Please, Greg. Please. It's all getting too easy to predict." - What "it's all" are you talking about? Just the standard "how dare you put up an easy route with pro similar to what I need when I do a 5.11?" - or something else?

I haven't seen anything that indicates I shouldn't upgrade the 1/4" bolts. If some anonymous cowards actually plan to chop (not just whine) because I didn't have a "member's card", guess I'll just use some nastily unchoppable bolts. If anyone with a name wants to talk seriously about why I shouldn't do that, my email is in my profile (and everywhere else!). I'll hold off on upgrading the bolts for a while so no one can say I didn't listen.

Oh, and DavisGunkie - didn't see any snakes, but someone said they'd seen a rattler in the bushes near Lower Spire.

Trad climber
SF (via NH & CO)
May 16, 2006 - 02:54pm
Greg, again, with all due respect:

Just because there is precedent for such behavior, does not mean you have to keep it up. I was not living around here in '84 or the mid '90s, when the routes you mention were retro-bolted, so any opinion regarding those routes is a little late to the party.

However, you drilled this new ladder, what, a week ago? And I noticed it. And I didn't love it all that much. And there was significant agreement with the motley band of climbers who happened to be hanging out on Sunday. I don't feel the need to re-state anything else.

Best wishes with your adventures.

Greg Barnes

May 16, 2006 - 02:23pm
Yep, hard to figure out where to go on Over Easy, especially with the sun in your eyes! But, regardless, the various ways that a 5.7/8 leader might go will not intersect the new route until above the last bolt.

And before people get too high-and-mighty, here's some history - and this is only partial, and only from Middle and Upper Spire:

Routes crossing and/or sharing bolts:

T-bone (1984) crossing Price-Smith (1983)
T-bone (1984) close enough to get to Robert's Crack (1979) thereby skipping the runout.
Cabin Fever (1990) shares bolt with Sizzler (1986)
Golden Brown (2002) close enough to avoid runout on Robert's Crack (1979)
Lesbian Lust (2002) blatant retrobolting of T-bone and Price-Smith

Routes with added anchors:
Over Easy/Cockabooty
Lean and Mean

And that's not even listing routes that are just as close as the two in question. And not even getting into rap-bolted stuff, or bolted boulder problems, etc.

Local area ethics are pretty clear at Phantom Spires. Multiple guidebooks over many years gave plenty of chance for anyone who led Hooray Hooray! without bolts and wanted it in the guide. I have to say, I can't see that anyone complaining about Hooray Hooray! has even a scrap of a leg to stand on.

Trad climber
Davis, CA
May 16, 2006 - 01:41pm
i agree about that anchor, i have led over easy countless times and it would be nice to have an anchor in the middle.

I think people just don't know where you go on over easy, i don't think i have used the same path the times i have done it. Without seeing wherer th route goes but it seems like there would be room for another route in there sort of a direct over easy that trended right, i will have to give it a whirl next time i am up there.

How is the snake scene? they were out in full force on saturday at the leap
Greg Barnes

May 16, 2006 - 01:31pm
Thanks caughtinside,

Man, people are weird. Over Easy is pretty close, but not close enough to share holds (led the surrounding routes multiple times recently). Unlike many of the harder routes at the Spires. As far as the anchor, it's about frigging time there's an anchor under the middle of the roof instead of traversing 25' left to an (added) anchor or 45' right to (another added) anchor. If they whine, chop all 3 and see who likes finishing up the original chimney...

So I'm interested in what you think about those folks:

1) unhappy people, any excuse to rant, they take it?

2) alpha climber leading group who is pissed for whatever reason, then the rest emmulate in herd mentality?

3) something changes, they "own" the area, they are pissed?

4) people independently thinking that the route is too close, and they also complain about half of the other routes at the Spires when they're there (if they climb harder routes at all?)

And I have to make a comment - why is it that city climbers are so pissed off when they go out on a weekend? Aren't they supposed to be relaxing and having fun?

In my experience, lines at routes are a prime reason climbers get pissed off. And so a new easy route, reducing those lines, causes ranting?

People are weird.

Social climber
Oakland, CA
May 16, 2006 - 12:27pm
Well, for what it's worth, I was there on Sunday and led this route. Personally, I thought it was fun. I should point out that bolts don't bother me, and I wasn't looking to see if other pro was available.

That said, there were at least 8 people at the base (never seen such a crowd at the spires!) who didn't like the route. I thought it was half because it is a bit of a squeeze, and half because of the tight bolts/supplemental pro opportunities.

I haven't done slowdancer, so I don't know how close that one is on the right, but Over Easy is very close, you may even share knobs at some spots. I saw a leader late in the day move right off Over Easy to the Hooray! anchor.

So, no condemnation from me, but I can tell you I was in the minority there that day. As in, I was the only one who didn't seem to care. Based on the crowbar talk I heard, I wouldn't bother to upgrade those 1/4 inchers...
Greg Barnes

May 15, 2006 - 11:14pm
So - "overt advertising" a new route is bad - but if I didn't post up then you'd be saying "some punk put up this route and didn't have the guts to admit it!" So your view is that with the modern climbing forums online that tons of people watch, you think that new climbs at popular areas should be "kept quiet" or concealed? I don't see your logic.

Overt advertising would be starting threads on the main forum or something like that, not adding it to the route database or route beta page.

And I beg to differ - "too close"? Slowdancer is nowhere near it. And let's see - you clip the bolt on Over Easy, pull the roof, and go straight up to a knob wrap, then left at 5.7 or straight up/right at 5.7/8. And the bolt at that level on Hooray Hooray! is about 10-12' right, too far to get to unless you want to force a weird traverse with harder climbing and big rope drag. Shall I list many hard routes that are closer together - just within 200yds of there?

So - what again, precisely, is your problem with the route?

Trad climber
SF (via NH & CO)
May 15, 2006 - 10:44pm
"So predictable - blatant retrobolting on hard routes - you hear nothing. Adding top anchors to classic routes - you hear nothing. Local guy in the "in-crowd" does something questionable - you hear nothing."

Listen harder.

There might be a relationship between the overt advertising of your 'new' route(s) and the criticism heard.

With all due respect, Greg, it's a fine route, but simply too close to those already established. Heck, I've been up there in the heat, staring into the sun, and I'm pretty darn sure have climbed on those same wee knobs you so deride. And I assure you that the gear I found is truck.

Step yourself into the way-back machine, maybe twenty-five years, no problem, new route. But today, nu-uh.
Greg Barnes

May 15, 2006 - 02:03pm
I was wondering how long it would take some wanker to start whining. No knob tie-off by first bolt; possible one (suspect knob) 4' higher (after hard moves). Green alien? Right. If you think any cam will hold in that shallow flared thing, you're way out of it - not even good enough for aid. 5' away from neighbors? Try again, nothing close enough for anyone to get to from the neighboring climbs.

So predictable - blatant retrobolting on hard routes - you hear nothing. Adding top anchors to classic routes - you hear nothing. Local guy in the "in-crowd" does something questionable - you hear nothing.

New route that's easy and fun - whine, whine, whine.

Trad climber
SF (via NH & CO)
May 15, 2006 - 02:15am
"Hooray, Hooray!" Really. That wasn't quite the phrase used today up at the Spires to describe this Ssqueeze job. Plan and simple, this "route" is within ~5 feet of two well-established routes.


At first bolt, there's a reasonable knob to tie off.
At second bolt, there's a bomber green alien placement within 8 inches.
At third bolt... run it out, c'mon. Oh, and did I mention all the knobs to tie off?

Please, Greg. Please. It's all getting too easy to predict.

Instead of updating the hardware, please bring your JB-weld and patch kit, and pop this festering boil.
Greg Barnes

May 12, 2006 - 01:18am
There's now a fun new route to the right of Over Easy and left of Slowdancer:

Hooray Hooray! 5.8 Pro thin to 2.5", 3 bolts, slings for knobs.

Start on Hard Up (the 5.9 right start to Over Easy), but go right onto the face about 15-20' up. Climb straight up the face past 3 bolts, horizontal cracks, and knob tie-offs to a thin flake and a 2-bolt anchor under the middle of the roof.

FA 5.8.06 Greg Barnes, rope solo, hand drilled. Note: all the bolts except the first pro bolt are 1/4", but they are all long and have good hangers, and I'll upgrade them sometime soon.
Phantom Spires, Middle Spire - Over Easy 5.7 - Lake Tahoe, California, USA. Click to Enlarge
Over Easy is Route C
Photo: Chris McNamara
*What is "Route Beta"?
It's climber slang for information or tips on a route as in, "what's the beta on that route?" As a service to fellow climbers we ask SuperTopo guidebook users to post tips and updates to this website if they have relevant information to share after a climb.