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Needles Closure: Stairs To Be Dismantled

Original Post
Dave Daly · · Kernville, CA · Joined Mar 2007 · Points: 2,057

Par Deux.....

https://www.turnto23.com/news/local-news/needles-rock-formation-temporarily-closes-for-repair-work?fbclid=IwAR2PeM_RbbHYR45MaEw3BGybcaoonykCuV0UUQHVVUl-4zTO6VGOIwUe_bU

Kristian Solem · · Monrovia, CA · Joined Apr 2004 · Points: 390

 So far as I can tell there's been no advanced notice or any outreach to the climbing community about this so people could plan accordingly. A lot of climbers, including foreigners, are going to get screwed over by this. 

Greg Barnes · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 1,829

Kris, do you know if the two rap stations that I placed in 2003 are still there, or did they get wiped out by falling debris? They're on the west side starting on a shelf maybe 15-20' below the old tower, I placed them in 2003 at the request of the SSCA (they were hand drilled...forgot the power drill in the car)!

Two raps with a 60, both 90' (second is less if you swing uphill).

Lou Cerutti · · Carlsbad, California · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 209
Greg Barnes wrote: Kris, do you know if the two rap stations that I placed in 2003 are still there, or did they get wiped out by falling debris? They're on the west side starting on a shelf maybe 15-20' below the old tower, I placed them in 2003 at the request of the SSCA (they were hand drilled...forgot the power drill in the car)!

Two raps with a 60, both 90' (second is less if you swing uphill).

Seems a little off topic?

Dave Daly · · Kernville, CA · Joined Mar 2007 · Points: 2,057

That's ok Greg.....I got you covered. Yes, they are still there. We did Strange Brew last year and the rap stations into the gully, by the stairs are bomber.

Joe Crawford · · June Lake, California · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 50
Lou Cerutti wrote:

Seems a little off topic?

Nope. The stairs get used as a descent, Greg is talking about the alternate descent that will likely become the standard descent if/when the stairs are removed.

Greg Barnes · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 1,829

Thought that only the Magician would be closed, figured someone would miss the closure (or poach it), so that rap would be a good way to avoid any stairway work...but you're right, it is pretty irrelevant if the entire upper Needles is closed!

Greg Barnes · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 1,829

Hopefully it'll just be a 3rd/4th class descent where the stairway is now!

Lou Cerutti · · Carlsbad, California · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 209
Joe Crawford wrote:

Nope. The stairs get used as a descent, Greg is talking about the alternate descent that will likely become the standard descent if/when the stairs are removed.

Gotcha. Thanks for not being an asshole!

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

Bummer.  I missed the lookout after it burned down and will miss the stairs too.  Even just hitting those was a fun adventure with the kids.  

CTB · · Cave Creek, AZ · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 240

Maybe it has been discussed in other threads but I am still confused why they would not rebuild the lookout. Is it antiquated now that google knows all?  Im just curious why its not needed anymore.

Audren Tawaji · · San Francisco, CA · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 0

Does this mean all of the formations listed under “The Needles” subheading are closed indefinitely?

Juan Vargas · · Bakersfield, CA · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 838
Audren Tawaji wrote: Does this mean all of the formations listed under “The Needles” subheading are closed indefinitely?

That would be unlikely. That being said, has anybody been up there recently? Is the Needles access road open? I’m curious since i am planning to head up there this weekend and closing the road would probably be the easiest way to enforce this type of closure. Not looking to break any rules of course.

I guess one could always head to Vodoo if temps aren’t too hot. The article in the link posted above is so vague that i don’t know what to make of it. Any help is appreciated.
Kevin Kent · · Flagstaff, AZ · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 1,100

Just spoke to someone at the Western Divide Ranger District for the Sequoia National Forest and they said the road is closed through the end of the week and "should" be back open on Saturday.

edit: here's the closure order, confirms the closure is through august 23. All of the road in, the trail, and all the climbing including access from below (ie voodoo dome) is closed for the week.
 https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd653952.pdf

Dave Daly · · Kernville, CA · Joined Mar 2007 · Points: 2,057

Juan -

I got the same confirmation a few days ago but wanted to wait for the official word before posting. Yep, that approach up to Voodoo right now would be a warm one. Although you could pull off an early start. Nonetheless. Voodoo is southwest facing.    

Audren Tawaji · · San Francisco, CA · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 0

Thanks for checking. Happy climbing! 

Juan Vargas · · Bakersfield, CA · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 838

Thanks for the info guys!

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

So is the deed done?

Sam Cieply · · Venice, CA · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 30

Stairs are still there, but the gate people hopped over is now gone.

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

So all that work and they just took down the gate?  One guy and some hand tools could’ve done that.  Glad the stairs remain (for now) though. 

Dave Daly · · Kernville, CA · Joined Mar 2007 · Points: 2,057

My guess is that they'll return to disassemble from the top down. Perhaps its more involved that originally thought, especially with all that rusted angle iron. It may require bringing in heavy equipment using a skycrane (ie acetylene torches and cylinders etc). Just a guess. 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Southern California
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