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Weavers Needle
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West Chimney T 

West Chimney 

YDS: 5.0 French: 2- Ewbanks: 4 UIAA: I ZA: 6 British: MM 1c

   
Type:  Trad, 4 pitches, Grade III
Consensus:  YDS: 5.0 French: 2- Ewbanks: 4 UIAA: I ZA: 6 British: MM 1c [details]
FA: 
Season: NOT summer
Page Views: 1,886
Submitted By: Mark E Dixon on May 7, 2012

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (12)
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Looking back at weavers in the fading sunlight on ...

PLACING BOLTS IS ILLEGAL IN THE SUPERSTITION WILDERNESS! MORE INFO >>>

Description 

Weaver's Needle is a striking summit but don't expect superb climbing. Nevertheless, well worth the effort. The peak has a lower south summit and the true north summit. This route approaches the col between them from the west. An alternative from the east is said to be easier but has a longer approach. A description of the east side approach can be found on Christopher Brennen's site dankat.com/swhikes.weaver.htm
The west side approach begins at the Peralta trailhead. Hike over Fremont Saddle, then another 1.75 miles till below the peak. Total of 4 miles of hiking. You next to take one of the cairned trails across the wash and find the cairned trail up the hillside headed towards the gully between the summits. A rocky ridge drops down from the south summit and is bounded on the left (looking uphill) by a steep ravine. The trail you want goes up the open hillside to the left (again, looking uphill) of the ravine. It is worth finding the trail to reduce erosion and to have a generally easier time o the approach.
Follow the trail and do a little scrambling in the gully until you reach an obvious place to rope up, just below a pipe sticking out of the wall.
The first pitch ends at a ledge on the left wall, about 100 feet up.
The second pitch climbs the steepening gully and exits onto the col by going UNDER the chockstones at the top (easiest), or by bypassing the chockstones on the left or right at a slightly higher standard.
The third pitch is very short, a class 4 wall on the north side of the notch.
After the third pitch scramble up along an obvious trail until just below the summit.
Pitch 4 heads left then up a 'juggy crack' to a horn which can be used as an anchor.
Scramble the short distance to the summit and enjoy the view!
To descend, scramble back to bolt anchors near the top of the 4th pitch (to the left looking downhill.) This rappel puts you back on the third class trail which you should follow to the top of the 3rd pitch. Downclimb or rappel this short pitch, then look for bolt anchors atop the large chockstone in the notch.
A double rope rappel will get you back to the bottom of pitch 1.
I believe you could use one of the pipes as an intermediate anchor if you only had a single 60 meter rope, but judge for yourself.

We used route descriptions from "Rock Climbing Arizona" by Stewart Green, and a write-up on the website hikearizona.com by "Fritzski". Many thanks to both.

Protection 

A set of stoppers and a couple of small cams. Some longer slings are useful.


Photos of West Chimney Slideshow Add Photo
Weaver's Needle from Fremont Saddle (if you've been here, you have taken this pic)
Weaver's Needle from Fremont Saddle (if you've bee...
Elevation Change Trail 235 to 234 and summit. 102 back to parking lot.
BETA PHOTO: Elevation Change Trail 235 to 234 and summit. 102 ...
Weaver's Needle from the west. The route goes up to the notch between the summits, then follows the ridge leading up and left. It isn't as steep as it looks!
Weaver's Needle from the west. The route goes up t...
looking down pitch 1
looking down pitch 1

Comments on West Chimney Add Comment
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By Karl K
From: Phoenix, AZ
Feb 6, 2011

Stars are for the summit & the view. Not the climb (which by itself is far from noteworthy)
By Taylor Morgan
From: Draper, UT
Mar 9, 2011

"Climbed" this route last week. Beautiful scenery and location. Started from Peralta Trailhead at 7:30 AM. Reached Fremont Saddle (using Peralta Trail) within two hours, then had to route-find/bushwack to the southest corner of Weavers Needle to reach the chute.

Reached the base of the chute at noon and the summit within an hour. We were back to the base around 2 PM, and back at the car at 4:30 PM, using the Bluff Springs Trail on the trip out (much longer than returning via the Peralta Trail).

Unless you're ok with 95% hiking/scrambling and only 5% actual climbing, choose another objective. The climbing is very limited and unspectacular, but being on the Needle is an adventure in its own right.

If you're comfortable leading at 5.6 or above, I advise soloing it. A rope is only needed for rapping the descent, and it's certainly not worth bringing any pro aside from a minimal desert rap rack (slings, rap rings, and a couple nuts).
By Sagar Gondalia
From: Golden
Jun 27, 2011

Made a run at it on June 25th, in 109 degree weather. Party of 3, 15 liters of water packed in. Our water went much faster than we thought, and we made the decision to back off about halfway up the approach from the trailhead to the base. Camped out on Fremont Saddle for the night, and arrived back at the car early next morning with a meager 100ml left amongst us. Highly highly recommend NOT trying to climb this in the heat.
By r.f
From: colorado springs
Jul 13, 2012

Great fun for a day or as a mellow overnight. Did this in the spring of 09' and camped on the summit. Brought a cooler and a grill! Fantastic views. Taylor is spot on. The rope is only needed for the descent. A perfect day for new "climbers". The first "pitch" had a fixed piece, an old pipe as of 09' which was sufficent pro if roped. Other than that its a cruise. Be sure to keep an eye out for the climbers trail to your right after comming down from the saddle. Missing it will add some time and bushwacking. If you miss it just head for the obvious weakness in the needle and you'll find the start on a nice ledge in the shade!
By Larry S
Dec 3, 2012

Took my wife up this, the class 4 bits on the way up are not for a beginner, she did them like a champ. I say this because, given the 5.0 rating of this climb, you might be inclined to take a beginner up this.

We left the car a little late at 8:35, roped up at 11:15, got the summit by 1:45, back at the base by 3:30, and back to the car in darkness at 6.

We roped up at an obvious spot 60' below the pipe. The first pipe has a decent bolt. We belayed here and I ran up to and under the chockstone. The second pipe belay we skipped, it has a bolt which was missing the hanger. From that anchor to the chockstone was the most difficult part of the climbing.

Belayed in the cave under the chockstone cause rope drag was significant. Did a short pitch from here up about 12 feet, then unroped and did some class 3 / 4 with a few class 5 moves mixed in up to the final headwall. This final bit I thought was the best protected part of the whole climb, in contrast to what the book said.

Views from the top were great, there is a good campsite and a summit log there.

Coming down, the first rap anchor was good, we did a sling-retrieval rappel off a horn on some of the 5th class parts we solo'd up on the hike to the 4th pitch, then rapped on fresh looking slings down 15 feet into the notch. Bolts at the notch were good enough, one spun, the other was nowhere near flat to the rock, but they were solid enough. My 70m rope from here just barely reached the second pipe/bolt anchor - 2' to spare. Rappelled off a biner left on the bolt, backed up by sketchily positioning the rope around the pipe.

The downscramble from there could be a bit of a challenge, especially if you're not comfortable with the solo aspect of it (beginners)

If you don't want to solo it like everyone above says, i recommend some cams to 2", a set of nuts. Small pink/red tricams were usefull in some otherwise unprotectable spots.
By Erik Hanschen
Jan 26, 2014

Did this a few weeks ago- super fun!

I found our times were much different than others (YMMV):
9 am: Left trailhead
11 am: At base of West Chimney
12 pm: Summit
3:30 pm: Trailhead

That being said, we solo'd the route which makes the climbing much faster. We were both 5.8-9 trad, 5.10-11 sport climbers so soloing was fine, downclimbed pitches 3 and 4 with no problem, then rappelled from the bomber 2 bolt anchor to the base of the climb (~57 meters).

Though we were soloing, I did look for a placements, and didn't see very many for your "average" 5.6 leader without tricams in my opinion. I suspect the "average" 5.6 leader would get pretty freaked on this route (long run outs, tricky pro) which may explain the plethora of bail anchors along pitches 1 & 2. I cut 4-5 rappel anchors from various chockstones, constrictions, and small bushes (seriously?) on my way down.

It would be really fun to leave harnesses & 2 ropes at the top of pitch 2, solo & downclimb the summit, and rappel from there. It's a full length rap to the base, clean rope pull.
By Trevor Bowman
From: Sheridan, WY
Mar 2, 2014

Fun adventure hike/scramble. We soloed it and rapped off the gully pitches--1 70m rope rappel (35m) deposited us right at the pipe marking the start of the technical climbing from the anchors atop the chockstones. I'm sure plenty of folks downclimb the gully, which would be reasonable but tedious.