Words cannot describe how amazing this route is.
P1: Take the same right-facing corner start as Thin Ice/Ice Pirates. Move the belay to the far left end of the ledge formed by the top of the flake. 5.9+
P2: The next two pitches follow the immaculate left-facing corner system. Climb a long finger crack with stemming and progressively harder moves. Belay at bolts. 5.11.
P3: Continue up the corner system. Again, 5.11.
P4: Climb up a lower angle face and corner with tricky gear, step left and belay on the face below the huge roof. 5.10.
P5: Undercling out the roof to the right, pull the roof, change corners, and continue to the summit. This is very physical and strenuous, but awesome. 5.11. It is also possible to escape left, but probably not as classic.
It's hard to say where the crux is. Physically, and according to the rating, the last pitch gets it, but we felt the technical cruxes were on P2 and P3. This route is rated easier than Atlantis, but the Atlantis crux is short and powerful. This climb is continuous and sustained and felt much harder.
Descend to the north; see the description for the Sorcerer for more details.
I can't believe I'm saying it, but a climb like this puts routes like Wunsch's Dihedral and The Naked Edge to shame.
Double set of cams from micro to 0.5 Camalot. A single 0.75 and #1 Camalot. Wires, larger RPs. Lots of quickdraws and a couple double-length slings.
|By david goldstein|
Jun 25, 2006
The second pitch is sensational and extremely well protected. There are two options for pitch three: continuing straight up the corner, potentially baffling 10+, or stepping left into another corner/crack system at 5.11; I did only the former so can't recommend between them.
I thought the quality of the climbing deteriorated in the upper pitches. In other words, I did not feel DJ put The Naked Edge to shame.
|By Scotty Nelson|
Jul 24, 2006
I've only done the first 2 pitches of Don Juan, but they gassed me more than Atlantis.
|By manuel rangel|
From: Tempe, Arizona
Feb 27, 2007
I thought the last pitch was the crux. I was tired, and I had the rope get stuck when turning the roof in the crack. Had to downclimb and put a nut in to keep it from happening again.
From: Joshua Tree, California
May 15, 2007
This is my favorite climb in the Needles. It is absolutely *****.
Jul 2, 2009
I thought the 3rd pitch corner was the one with the trickiest gear. I did what I thought was the crux with a 00 alien just below my feet. After that, I luckily found two fixed stoppers just above me. Protecting the fourth pitch and the climbing itself was very enjoyable after that.
Thanks for the note Manuel, I placed a piece at the lip of the roof on the last pitch and it prevented the rope to get stuck.
|By Scott Bennett|
Jul 9, 2009
Great route, the second pitch is probably the hardest, most sustained lead, and we thought the last pitch had the hardest single move.
We tried the 11c variation on the third pitch, the climbing was worthwhile but it felt pretty contrived. It also would be pretty runout if it weren't for the fixed heads. I would recommend the normal 10d 3rd pitch.
|By Kris Solem|
From: Monrovia, CA
Jul 27, 2009
On 7-25-09 I replaced the belay anchors at the top of P3 and P4. Original 1/4"x1" bolts were cleanly removed and replaced with 1/2" 5 piece powers anchors and Fixe ring hangers. Special thanks to ASCA for the gear.
The old anchor atop P4 had two 1/4" bolts about 5 feet apart backed up to an old thin pin in a flake about 5 feet above. I replaced the right hand bolt by redrilling the same hole, added a second anchor the proper distance to it's left, and left the remaining antiques in place for "atmosphere."
The anchors on P1 and 2 are not original. Each has one 3/8 buttonhead and one 5 piece type bolt also 3/8", equipped with rings.
|By J. Albers|
Dec 18, 2009
Thanks for the time and effort Kris.
Sep 12, 2011
Beautiful route. Beautiful place. I was just reliving this climb and thought I would offer this video up as a reminder of how good the whipper is at the crux. I am sure there are many of us who have taken it.
|By Dr. Crankenstein|
From: San Diego, Ca
May 24, 2012
Awesome video! Pretty much the same thing that happened to my onsight attempt. At least the bird that lives in that hand jam was nice enough to stay out of your way.
|By Mr. Stevens|
From: Boulder, CO
Jun 29, 2013
The third pitch was one of the best leads I've ever done. Amazing granite trickery. The 4th pitch has great gear, p.3 is definitely thin.
|By Dustin Stephens|
Jul 8, 2013
rating: 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ E3 5c
fantastic route. pitches 3 and 4 (10+) link easily. beware the inevitable rope-in-the-crack hassle on the final 11a pitch, consider using nuts to keep it out of the 2 obvious constrictions
From: Mojave, CA
Sep 9, 2013
rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- E3 5c
It was nice to have triples in finger size cams, although not totally necessary. Whereas Atlantis is bouldery and commiting, this route is sustained 5.10+ and keeps you engaged the whole way. There's only 15 feet of 5.11 climbing on the route.