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Routes in The Needle

Bustin' Move S 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Damage Done, The S,TR 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Descent Route T,TR 5.2 3 8 II 8 D 2c R
Momentary Lapse of Ethics S,TR 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Needle TR wall aka Uphill Slab TR 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c
North Lieback T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a PG13
South Face T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Suburban Hangover S 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Temple of the Dog S 5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c
Elevation: 8,425 ft
GPS: 40.357, -105.517 Google Map · Climbing Map
Page Views: 5,063 total, 28/month
Shared By: Nate Christiansen on Feb 5, 2003
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac


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 original description for The Thumb & The Needle was split for clarity.

Getting There

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:

A. South Face, 7, 1p, 110', gear.
B. Suburban Hangover, 10, 1p, 70', bolts.
C. Momentary Lapse of Ethics, 11, 1p, 40', bolts.
D. Temple of the Dog, 13, 1p, 50', bolts.
E. Damage Done, 11, 1p, 30', bolts.
F. North Lieback, 10, 1p, 70', gear.
G. Bustin' Move, 12-, 1p, 60', bolts.
H. Needle TR wall aka Uphill Slab, 7-11, 1p, TR.
I. Descent Route, 2 R, 1p, 70, gear.
J. West Face.

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Brian Faulkner
Fort Collins
Brian Faulkner   Fort Collins
New bolts were just put up on top of the Needle around 5/15/03. May 16, 2003
Back in the 1950s and 1960s, these were pretty popular with locals. Rich Goldstone and I and friends made several FAs on the Needle. One was something we called Angel Overhang, to the left of the downclimb. Another was the no-hands FA of the Needle by Bob Williams and me. We did our balancing act up the downclimb face! I don't remember any bolts, but that was in an era where bolting from rappel was considered unethical. Feb 18, 2003

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