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Charlie Horse Needle
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Sims-Hesse-Hanning Route T 

Sims-Hesse-Hanning Route 

YDS: 5.11c French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 24 British: E4 6a

Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, Grade III
Consensus:  YDS: 5.11 French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E4 5c [details]
FA: Ron Olevsky and Joy Ungritch, May 2 1985 FFA: Ken Sims, Mark Hesse, and Maura Hanning-Sims, 1995.
Page Views: 1,941
Submitted By: Josh Ewing on Nov 13, 2006

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AT the top of the 3rd pitch, belaying the second o...

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(P1) scramble up on a ledge and climb a fist crack splitter (5.10) that is right next to a 6 friend corner. When possible, pull up into the wide chimney and do a few 5.7 moves to gain a hand crack on the left wall of the chimney. Belay here inside the chimney at a good stance on a wedged boulder.
(P2) climb the hand crack up the chimney wall and follow it out onto the face at a sloping ledge. Continue up the crack, now 1.5 friend sized for a few moves until it is possible to move back right into a squeeze chimney (#3 Big Bro would have been really nice). Climb the squeeze chimney (5.9) and do some awkward OW moves onto a ledge with a decent bolt, a drilled angle and a crappy star drive. Belay here.
(P3) Bust up the overhanging dihedral on stacks to gain thin hands in the vertical corner (5.11c). The crack pinches back down to stacks before going wide again for more OW to the top of the pillar past some loose rock at the very top. Belay at 2 drilled angles.
(P4) Pull one or two moves of loose 5.6 to the summit, then downclimb back to the belay (Old anchors on top are not trustworthy).
Descend via 3 single rope raps (with a 70 meter rope) or one single rap from the top and one double rope from the pitch 2 belay)


Hike up the wash mentioned in the area description for only 200 yards or so and cut up left to a small break in the cliff band (cairns). Do a 5.2 move or so and get up on the mesa top. Hike all the way around to the back of the tower formation, resisting the urge to gain elevation up toward the tower. Stay level all the way around the the back and go up a wash/gully on the far left side of the formation. Then, walk right along the cliff to the base of the climb.


(1) #1 Friend, (1) #1.5 Friend, tripples #1.75 Friend through #4 Friend [save at least (2) #1.75 Friend = green Camalot sized pieces for the crux] plus (1) # 4 Camalot (2) #4.5 Camalots, (1) # 5 Camalot or #6 Friend, and (1) #3 Big Bro.

Photos of Sims-Hesse-Hanning Route Slideshow Add Photo
Bomber anchor on very top(not the rap anchor)
Bomber anchor on very top(not the rap anchor)
The route as seen from the east. The Shangri-La be...
BETA PHOTO: The route as seen from the east. The Shangri-La be...
Fist crack, its way harder than hand crack
Fist crack, its way harder than hand crack
.12 finger crack variation to pitch 1
.12 finger crack variation to pitch 1
Sam on the second pitch of Charlie Horse Needle in...
Sam on the second pitch of Charlie Horse Needle in...
Summit view looking downstream following the Green...
Summit view looking downstream following the Green...
Looking down from the Shangri La belay at Pitch 1
Looking down from the Shangri La belay at Pitch 1
Steve enjoying finger crack before the squeeze on ...
Steve enjoying finger crack before the squeeze on ...
Sam just past the crux on pitch 3.
Sam just past the crux on pitch 3.
Steve pulling through the wide section into the fi...
Steve pulling through the wide section into the fi...
Sam on the super fun P2
Sam on the super fun P2
the really fun red camalot crack on pitch 3
the really fun red camalot crack on pitch 3

Comments on Sims-Hesse-Hanning Route Add Comment
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By Stewart M. Green
Nov 16, 2006

This route is named the Sims-Hesse-Hanning Route. First ascent was by Ron Olevsky and Joy Ungritch (5.7 A2) on May 2, 1985. Ron named the spire after a horse he was riding on a reconnaisance mission reared and fell backwards, pinning his thigh to the ground and giving him a Charley Horse. First free ascent was by Ken Sims, Mark Hesse, and Maura Hanning-Sims in 1995. Ken also did a 5.12 finger crack variation on first pitch on the face right of the regular dihedral. The first belay is in a window, called the Shangri-La belay. The third pitch is the business--11c finger crack to 11b thin hands in an easier off-width. The last described pitch here is really just a 10-foot scramble onto the actual summit from a lower summit.
By Josh Ewing
From: Bluff, UT
Nov 18, 2006

Does anyone know if either of the two other towers in the formation has routes on them?
By theleroy
Jan 31, 2007

Can anyone tell me where I might be able to find more information besides in Desert Rock Rock climbs in NPS on the Witch - Midnight Rider 5.7 A3
Thanks I think it is near CHN
By Ben Kiessel
Mar 7, 2007

The witch is in stewart green's utah falcon guide. But it was free climbed and now is called Sims-Hesse-Hanning Route and goes free at 5.11+ R. Have fun!
By drewford
From: Wasatch Back, UT
May 14, 2008

Great route! Mellow approach, awesome climbing and position. Rack beta seemed a bit overkill, but YMMV. We did one 60m rappel from the top all the way to the ground with rope to spare. Three and half stars.
By Dana Prosser
From: Boulder
Apr 4, 2011

We brought the rack suggested in the write up, but felt like this was too much gear (and I am a whimp), Next time I would only bring one # 4.5 camalot, and bring only one or two #3 camalots. Also, you can bring only 2 # 4 friends if you use Big cam in R crack on P1
The descent is 2 raps from the top of P3 with a 70m rope (not 3).
By Spencer Weiler
From: Salt Lake city
Mar 15, 2015

The only crappy thing about this climb is the name. Hyphenated people names do not make good climbing routes. My suggestion is Rhabdo(muscle destruction), but whatever.

Detailed pitch beta:
Pitch 1- physical splitter fists for 30 feet with a #6 camalot corner crack available for leg jams, then follow crack right as it narrows up a easy ramp into the chimney. Belay off #2 camalots at a comfy boulder stance(only one needed for next pitch) or very reasonable to link into the next pitch. A #5 cam doesn't fit well anywhere on this pitch.

Anti wide Variation : great 5.12 finger crack right of corner(mostly .5-.75 with occasional thin hand jam) skips the wideness and lands you in the chimney after a short face traverse

Pitch 2- steep sandy perfect hands leads to a short roof that can be pulled direct or avoided by mantling left on a sandy ledge. Thin hand crack flake narrows to fingers with good feet, then place high and stem right into the 15 feet of squeeze. Left side in is smart(face holds), then a .75 protects the exit onto belay ledge. Drilled angle and good bolt.

Anti wide variation: instead of traversing into the squeeze, continue up now .3 sized crack(ok feet) to a horizontal then traverse right back to the squeeze top, good smaller finger sized gear whole way. Prob merits easy 5.11 grade

Pitch 3- the business. 1 each .5 -.75 cam gets you through the crux acute awkward corner to a #4 cam placement, then thin hands through a roof. Dump all your red cams in the next beautiful thin hands section or use occasional yellow pod. Thins to a 5 foot section of .75 again before a great hand jam below the wide section. A .4 cam inside(awkward to place) or #5 cam(easy to place) protect either a lieback or usual OW chicken wing funk. A back/knee chimney with a hand crack(# 3 cam) in soft rock is the final obstacle where your first real rest of this long pitch is. Good ledge with 2 drilled angles for belay. This feels like a long and sustained pitch. Props if sent clean.

A scary couple moves off uber flakey choss rock gets you to the tippy top. Reverse the moves or jump the gap back to the lower ledge.
2 raps single 70m rope.

Gear summary: doubles .3-.5 camalot, triples .75-3 camalot, 1-2 #4 cams, single #5 nice for pitch 3 only. No nuts, no small gear, no extra big cams/bros.
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