The Thumb and Needle are 2 crags on the slopes of Prospect Mountain. The routes on The Needle vary from 5.0 to 5.13b. Some routes on the Needle have bolts and some have rings to rap off of. The Needle is short (2 pitches at the very most) but offers excellent exposure to the town of Estes Park.
The Thumb and the Needle lie on top of Prospect Mountain and the eaisest way to get there is to drive either from CO Highway 7, leaving town until you reach Peak View Drive (PVD). Take PVD until you see a gold sign on your right that says "Prospect Highlands". This is Curry. Take that sharp right turn. Continue up this short road that will eventually turn into gravel and park at the cropping just short of the gate. Please do not attempt to park in the way of the landowners. The trail starts just up the gully and goes for an enjoyable yet steep 5 minute approach. The first rock you will see is The Needle. Less than 100 yards further uphill is The Thumb. The Thimble is a sliver of rock lying just East of The Thumb.
To descend The Needle, you can rappel from the anchors on the sport climbs or there are two 2 bolt anchor with chains on the North face. If you are ambitious, you can descend no-hands, a la John Gill....
Per Nathan Welton:
9 Total Routes
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Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for The Needle:
North Lieback 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ E1 5a PG13 Trad, 1 pitch, 70'
Momentary Lapse of Ethics 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ E3 5c Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 40'
The Damage Done 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- E3 5c Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 30'
Bustin' Move 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ E5 6a Sport, 1 pitch, 60'
Featured Route For The Needle
Momentary Lapse of Ethics 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ E3 5c CO : Estes Park Valley : ... : The Needle
This is another classic route on The Needle that can be lead or top roped. The TR is the same approach as all the top ropes (up the 5th class ramp). Rap off those anchors below Damage Done, throw it toward Lake Estes side. Again, rappelling to the next anchors can create rope drag when trying to pull it, so be carefull not to get stuck. The actual bottom part of the climb is seems like hard 10 moves. You pull over a bulge on some crimpy holds, the climb lets up for about 10 feet...[more] Browse More Classics in CO
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