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Needles


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Cara Dee · · Colorado · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 30

Greetings -

Starting to plan a first trip to the Needles. Looking to go for a three day weekend - ideally in late June or early July. Is the road snow free yet? Will it be too hot in July? When is the *best* time to go?

Thank you,

Cara 

Guy Keesee · · Moorpark, CA · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 311

Cara.... have fun.

Scroll down the So Cal deal, you can find what you’re looking for tel numbers info etc.

Get the GB or you will be lost.

www.kdanielspublishing.com 

Fat Dad · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 60

Definitely get the guidebook. You can get in more or less anytime after Memorial Day, which is usually the latest they open the gate. I’ve climbed south facing routes in the middle of summer and not been too hot. If you’re climbing in the shade, even in the middle of July, you still might want a jacket. Have fun. It’s an amazing and intimidating place.

M Bageant · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 50

Road was impassible may 4 weekend. Looked like it would be ready by early June though.

Jeff Luton · · Yosumite · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 5

Climbed on Dome Rock yesterday, just adjacent to he needles. Weather was so rad. Wasn’t much snow up there at all. I’d say go for it

beantown · · Big Bear City, CA · Joined Nov 2014 · Points: 30

I was hoping to go this weekend and Just spoke with the ranger today 21S05 is still closed.  He said crews may be going to start working on it this weekend and Maybee it will be open in 2 weeks.

everbrad · · Orange County · Joined Sep 2011 · Points: 0

Any updates on the whether or not the road is open and if open the condition?

Matt N · · Santa Barbara, CA · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 354

Road not open yet

Alex Grishaver · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2018 · Points: 0

FYI - as of today (6/10/19), 21S05 is still closed but 22S82 (Lloyd Meadows Rd, which you take to get to close to Voodoo Dome) is open. You can camp anywhere North of Lower Peppermint campground; just avoid areas with lots of pine needles (evidence of bark beetles).

Guy Keesee · · Moorpark, CA · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 311

With the first real “Heat wave” .... occurring now the offending snow will be history soon!
With something like 200% snow pack, and lots of unmelted snow still at 6-7 thousand feet we will be treated to a huge runoff. I was up in Domelands last weekend- water everywhere, every little creek was flowing. So the place will “self open very soon”

But a Question for Alex... why not camp close to pine needles? The great bivi spots where Needle Rock Creek crosses 22S82 are-and have always been- nice soft pine needle beds. So I don’t understand your warning. Something changed?

Climb on

Fat Dad · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 60

It's been a crazy year.  They got snow in Camp Nelson (a couple of thousand feet lower down the road than the Needles) on Memorial Day weekend.  Normally it's starting to feel pretty warm by then.  

I think the warning about the pine needles is that the tree is dead or dying so branches may be falling off next.  PG & E cut down just about every pine tree in town since pretty much all of them died from the drought and bark beetles.  The pines seemed to be hardest hit.  

Zoe Klein · · Bend · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 0
Guy Keesee wrote:
But a Question for Alex... why not camp close to pine needles? The great bivi spots where Needle Rock Creek crosses 22S82 are-and have always been- nice soft pine needle beds. So I don’t understand your warning. Something changed?


I think they mean that it’s dangerous to camp underneath dead trees! They fall over and can cause some serious damage. Be sure to chose a tent spot that avoids falling tree trajectories !
jt newgard · · San Diego, CA · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 195

Hey guys

Not to hijack the thread, but would the Tree Route be a good time for someone totally new to trad? I mean, is it low angle enough you could sort of slab climb through the cracks here and there? OR do you have to jam?

Just got the guidebook ... can't wait to get down there !!!

Paul Webber · · Three Rivers, CA · Joined Nov 2017 · Points: 126

Tree route is very low angle, and you can sew it up aside from the last pitch. Good route to get started on crack. 

Fat Dad · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 60

The Tree Route is a terrific route.  As Paul suggests, however, the last pitch is runout but easy low angle stuff after the first 20 ft. or so (one bolt).  I think you can get a gold C4 (if I remember correctly) higher up when you step over a little roof, but that's about it from what I can remember.   Bring at least a couple green C4s for the second pitch.  The crack is consistently that size for about half the pitch, and one piece of that size is handy for the belay.  Features here and there but that pitch will be easier if you can jam.  

jt newgard · · San Diego, CA · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 195

Cool, thank you both. Will have a partner doing their first multi-pitch, so just wanted to suss it out a little more than usual. Low angle crack sounds like a good intro. to jamming!

Jeff Luton · · Yosumite · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 5
jt newgard wrote: Cool, thank you both. Will have a partner doing their first multi-pitch, so just wanted to suss it out a little more than usual. Low angle crack sounds like a good intro. to jamming!

Jeff, you’ll only need a smaller piece I think .3 to protect the little traverse, then 2 .5’s, 2 .75’s for the second pitch. Just keep bumping

jt newgard · · San Diego, CA · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 195

Thanks Jeff! Good thing I can bump with the best of 'em .... the ol toprope-lead .... haha.

Give me a heads up if you're ever down Woodson way!

everbrad · · Orange County · Joined Sep 2011 · Points: 0

Any word on the main road gate "self opening" with all of this warm weather?

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Southern California
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