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BETA PHOTO: Route topo for "Poof" (4-5 pitches, 5.7+)
A great introduction to the Needles--the airiness, exposure, and runouts typical to the area at an accessible grade. Don't believe the guidebook--3 pitches will not get you to the top.
P1 (5.6): Climb multiple, broken cracks in a shallow, left-facing corner. Belay from a ledge with a fir tree. [Take a few minutes to TR "Frustration with the Redhead" (5.11) directly below the tree.]
P2 (5.7+): Follow a short crack and flakes past a single bolt which is 30 feet out. Continue climbing the moderate face with questionable gear behind loose flakes--spooky. You are likely to encounter an unprotected 5.7/5.8 mantle to gain the belay ledge. Belay from a 1-foot ledge below the start of an arching overhang.
P3 (5.7+): Climb cracks up and left beneath a sweeping, arch (the smaller and higher of two arches on the east face of the Magician). At the far left side, as the overhang diminishes, step boldly up and follow a face and crack to a belay in an alcove.
P4 (easy): Step right until reaching a short, hand-sized crack that leads to the top of the Magician.
P5 (5.8): Climb a short offwidth to reach the Lookout. The 5.8 offwidth protects with a single 4" piece. Alternately, rappel from slings around a constriction on the west face.
Descend from the Magician/Djin saddle to access the start of the route. Look for an obvious fir tree on a ledge approximately 100 feet up.
Standard Needles rack. Optional 4-inch piece for P5 offwidth.
BETA PHOTO: The worst of the runnouts is from a visible horizo...
Mark Collar on P3 of Poof 5.7+
By Kurt Burt
Jul 23, 2009
I think the R rating is unwarranted, same with the 5.7+, this was my first route in the Needles I am far from a strong climber. First pitch great gear 5.6 to the tree, second 5.7 don't go right off the belay just climb straight up above the tree (5.5) to the bolt then easy climbing left, some weird gear (I doubled up makes it bomber) make a couple 5.7 slab moves to a small ledge, third climb left (5.6) to one or two moves of 5.7 traverse back right then to the top. We didn't summit to the watch tower just walked off with some min. difficulty down climbing (no need to rap) fun intro we only had a few hours so it was way convenient.
By JJ Schlick
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Aug 1, 2010
A consistent route for the grade, and I think the R should stand. Good beta climbing straight up the face from the tree on the second pitch. Belay directly below the arch at the top of the second pitch with small/medium cams, and knobs for your feet (this is 10 feet above the 1' ledge. Exciting for the grade if you don't slab climb much...
By Keri B
Sep 23, 2014
2nd and 3rd pitches are definitely R. There are two options on the step-up on the 3rd pitch both the more obvious one with a big jug and a smaller undercling out left that can be protected with a purple C3 (and was more suitable for short people). Take the middle crack on the face above up to the alcove. Left crack is full of loose rocks and no gear and the horizontal crack peters out onto a slabby face.