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Routes in The Witch

Airy Interlude T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Ankles Away T 5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII 25 E4 6a PG13
Brute Force T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Entity, The T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b R
Gorilla Warfare T 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
Green Tide T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c R
Igor Unchained T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Innersanctum T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Nautilus, The T 5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b R
Pegleg T 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a PG13
Phosphorescent Flow T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a R
Pit & The Pendulum, The T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Pizzazz T 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a PG13
Pulp Friction T 5.12+ 7c 28 IX 27 E6 6b R
Shazam T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Spook Book T 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b R
Terrorvision T 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c PG13
Wicked West of the Witch T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b R
Witch Doctor T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
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Elevation: 7,594 ft
GPS: 36.107, -118.48 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 60,200 total · 401/month
Shared By: Josh Janes on Jun 18, 2006 with updates from nathanael
Admins: Matthew Fienup, Muscrat, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes
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Description

The Witch is the major formation just past the Sorcerer. The amphitheater formed by these two rocks holds the highest concentration of Needles' classics. Most climbs are on the west face -- this can be approached by a small access point near the top of the formation.

Descent involves a single rope rap from anchors to the north and a bit of easy downclimbing. The downclimbing can be avoided via a second rap from some slings under a boulder.

Getting There

Hike the trail past the Sorcerer. Decend through a notch to the South very near the West face of the Witch.

19 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at The Witch

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 62
Innersanctum
Trad 3 pitches
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
 306
Igor Unchained
Trad 3 pitches
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 243
Airy Interlude
Trad 3 pitches
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a R
 10
Phosphorescent Flow
Trad
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 17
Witch Doctor
Trad 4 pitches
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a PG13
 6
Pizzazz
Trad
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
 12
The Pit & The Pendulum
Trad 4 pitches
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b R
 41
Spook Book
Trad 4 pitches
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
 19
Gorilla Warfare
Trad
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b R
 9
The Entity
Trad 4 pitches
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c R
 4
Green Tide
Trad
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c PG13
 3
Terrorvision
Trad
5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII 25 E4 6a PG13
 29
Ankles Away
Trad 2 pitches
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a PG13
 11
Pegleg
Trad
5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b R
 3
The Nautilus
Trad 4 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Innersanctum
 62
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad 3 pitches
Igor Unchained
 306
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Trad 3 pitches
Airy Interlude
 243
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad 3 pitches
Phosphorescent Flow
 10
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a R Trad
Witch Doctor
 17
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad 4 pitches
Pizzazz
 6
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a PG13 Trad
The Pit & The Pendulum
 12
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad 4 pitches
Spook Book
 41
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b R Trad 4 pitches
Gorilla Warfare
 19
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b Trad
The Entity
 9
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b R Trad 4 pitches
Green Tide
 4
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c R Trad
Terrorvision
 3
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c PG13 Trad
Ankles Away
 29
5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII 25 E4 6a PG13 Trad 2 pitches
Pegleg
 11
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a PG13 Trad
The Nautilus
 3
5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b R Trad 4 pitches
More Classic Climbs in The Witch »

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J F M A M J J A S O N D
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Matthew Fienup
Ventura, CA
Matthew Fienup   Ventura, CA  
Here is a printable topo of the Witch West Face routes from Alexander Cooper & Clint Cummins' Needles Mini Guide Jul 5, 2009
skinny legs and all
Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania
skinny legs and all   Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania
On October 7, 2007, Michael Reardon made the world's most difficult onsight free solo first ascent by climbing a line on The Witch. With no roped pre-inspection, he climbed an 800 foot line that he named Shikata Ga Nai (Japanese for "there is no other way"). The climb consisted of 120 feet of 5.10 to a seven move V6 on a bald arete, followed by 100 feet of perfect 5.10. Then 30 feet of 5.11+ pure arete laybacking to opposition moves. The first 300 feet of the climb are on a sharp arete and had never been set foot on by a climber. The next 500 feet are 5.11a and was likely climbed before. There were no bolts or anchors on the first 300 feet, and from the magazine article in Climbing, perhaps none on the final 500 feet. There was also no opportunities for natural protection.

Even considering that Reardon had free soloed 1,000 routes in Joshua Tree up to 5.13a in a 30 day period, along with onsight soloing Romantic Warrior (5.12b) at the Needles, this climb is pure insanity. On virgin terrain, with no knowledge of how difficult the moves may be or how solid the holds are, I consider this ascent to be one of the most impressive of all time. Photographer Mike Niles shot Reardon climbing the upper part of the arete on a later date and confirmed Reardon's feat. Feb 1, 2014
runout  
The free solo may have had happened but the date has got to be off; Michael Reardon died on July 13, 2007. May 27, 2014

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