MichaelJ and I climbed this as our last long route during our week in Yosemite. The approach was definitely burly, but the climbing was spectacular. We started hiking at around 7:30AM and roped up at 11:00AM. We finished the route by 4:30PM and were back to the car just after dark. I really enjoyed the climb...possibly my favorite so far in Yosemite. Although it's a big day, there is a ton of great climbing away from the crowds and the knife edge is really cool. I led pitch 1 of the spire and pitches 2,4,6 on the arete (we avoided pitch 1 by climbing the spire).
After getting rejected twice, Paul and I finally sent it on our third attempt circa 2000. A very stiff climb with an adventuresome descent. The approach is near-epic by Valley standards. On our first try (circa 1998) we ran out of time on the approach and bagged the Arrowhead Spire instead. On the spire I remember a physical chimney followed by an awesome 2nd pitch on knobs to a sweet tiny summit. The rappel off the spire was also pretty cool. Spire x2 10-17-09 with Cindy.