AKA "Welcome to the Needles."
Yet another beautiful, perfect route -- I think it's the Witch's analog to the Don Juan Wall: shorter, and perhaps easier, but more heart-pounding and intense. The crux pitch is one of the most exceptional corners I've ever climbed -- super technical, sustained, devious, and full of committing moves above fiddly gear.
P1: Begin at a small left-facing left-leaning loose-ish flake system. Place some uninspiring gear (I believe there's a shitty pin as well), then perform some committing moves up and right onto the face. A few desperate moves to a thank-God clip. A fall before this bolt would be at best violent and at worst catastrophic. Wander right, then back left and up to a second bolt (crux, 5.11a, er, 5.10a). Continue up to a crack and belay at a stance.
P2: Enter the long left-facing corner system. Climb this system at desperate, difficult 5.11, er, 5.10. Belay at another obvious stance.
P3: Climb a short 5.8 pitch up an overhanging flake system. Do NOT link this into the next pitch (when things look really hard, stop).
P4: Climb the increasingly hard 5.10 dihedral. RPs and TCUs galore. A combination of jamming, palm smearing, and arete pinching will get you through the sustained 5.11+, er, 5.10+ crux. It is possible to run this pitch all the way to the top, or you can step right and belay for a short 5.8 summit pitch.
Descend north - see the Witch description for more info.
Double cams from TCUs through #1 Camalot. A single #2 Camalot. Wires & RPs. Quickdraws (no slings needed).
|By Crack Addict|
From: San Diego, CA
Jun 22, 2006
Pitches 2 and 3 can be linked together with a 60m rope. Have your head on straight for this one and bring plenty of wires and RPs.
|By david goldstein|
Jun 25, 2006
This climb struck me as fairly graded although getting to the bolt on P1 was harrowing. The book proper reminded me a lot of Devils Tower.
|By 1Eric Rhicard|
Jul 18, 2007
A great route with a very committing move to the bolt on the first pitch. The second bolt was added by another party. The new bolt protects a tricky move to the right. You are also a long way out and will probably get banged up if you blow the last moves getting to the first belay ledge. This was for our party the spook part of the book. It would be really exciting if 10+ was your limit.
|By Rob Dillon|
Aug 14, 2007
10+ on A3 gear should keep your attention where it belongs. This was pretty close to my limit at the time and it sure had mine. Don't skimp on the brass.
|By Kris Solem|
From: Monrovia, CA
May 23, 2011
Hi Eric - FYI Bob Kamp's contemporaneous notes from the FA have him placing the first bolt and Herb Laeger the second. On the first day,7-9-78, they ran out of time and traversed to Inner Sanctum to escape from about P3. Came back 7-15-78 and did the whole line.
From: Mojave, CA
Sep 9, 2013
rating: 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ E3 5b R
P1 - The move to the first bolt is only ~5.9. It is mentally challenging, but not hard. The 5.10a section is after clipping the first bolt. Bolts are modern.
P2 - The definitive crux. Bring RP's or expect to run it out. Recommend linking Pitches 2 & 3.
We brought doubles to #2 Camalot with triples in the finger sizes, offset alloy and brass nuts, regular set of nuts.
This route lives up to its classic status. It is very safe (with the right gear), other than the move to the first bolt on P1. Get on it!