Type: Trad, 175 ft, 2 pitches
FA: Smith & Laeger - August, 1976
Page Views: 14,211 total · 90/month
Shared By: Josh Janes on Jun 18, 2006
Admins: Matthew Fienup, Muscrat, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

You & This Route

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Spooky is Marge's cat. It is also a great "end-of-the day climb" - especially after rapping off of the Sorcerer as it begins from the Sorcerer/Charlatan notch.

P1: Climb up a fairly easy slab/face on the SW corner of the Charlatan to an obvious ledge below a right-facing corner with an offwidth in the back. Belay here, or, if you runner your gear well, continue on.

P2: Ascend the OW (crux), and then continue more easily up the face and ribs of rock above. Belay at bolts on the summit.


Light rack. One or two large pieces for the OW.


Matthew Fienup
Ventura, CA
Matthew Fienup   Ventura, CA  
The first pitch that I remember is a sustained 5.8+ lieback/dihedral--and the best climbing on the route. Jul 23, 2006
Matthew Fienup
Ventura, CA
Matthew Fienup   Ventura, CA  
For those uninitiated to the Needles, a great way to ease into the intense exposure of the area is to top-rope Spooky from the bolted anchor near the top of the formation. See the summit shot above for the approximate location. This requires a 60 meter rope.

Rappelling in from the top is also an expedient way to access the start. Jul 23, 2006
Jordan Ramey
Calgary, Alberta
Jordan Ramey   Calgary, Alberta
Oakland CA
caughtinside   Oakland CA
You can do the whole climb in one pitch.

It was fun, but seems a bit overrated? A climbing mag write up? There are numerous better routes at the Needles. This is a fun one to top out after doing something on the Sorcerer. Aug 21, 2008

i feel kind of dirty only giving this route 3 stars. it would be 5 stars out of 4 at pretty much any crag on the planet, but unfortunately this poor route is surrounded by some of the best cracks your hands will ever caress.

a 4 camalot is pretty sufficient for the OW, although bigger cams could easily be used as well. the top is really, really fun. Jul 12, 2011
Colonel Mustard
Sacramento, CA
Colonel Mustard   Sacramento, CA
A #5 C4 will make you feel warm and cozy at the OW crux. I used this with a #4 and felt great and you can too. Very fun climbing. Jul 21, 2012
Flagstaff, AZ
Wylie   Flagstaff, AZ
One of the best 5.9's I've done! You get a little of everything on it. Oct 8, 2012
Very good route, with great variety... I'd have enjoyed it even more if I had brought doubles in red and green camalots for the thin hands first pitch! Though labeled as "easier", I found the face climbing just above the offwidth to be the psychological crux - airy, balancy, thought-provoking.

You can rap to the base of the route from the Charlatan summit with two single-rope raps (60m rope)... a good bolt anchor is found at the base of the offwidth. Jul 8, 2014
Max Tepfer
Bend, OR
Max Tepfer   Bend, OR
#3 and #4 C4s easily protect the OW with some bumping. The climbing above is some of the most fun you'll have anywhere. Sadly, you have to climb the OW to get there... Sep 26, 2014
joe Hopfield
joe Hopfield  
The class-5 scrambling approach can be avoided by scrambling to top of charlatan from north, then rapping twice w 60m (chains to chains) to start in notch, or even top-rope (it's a vertical enough line).
We found it harder than Igor Unchained. Jul 15, 2015
Evan Riley
San Francisco, CA
Evan Riley   San Francisco, CA
Brilliant climbing. It links with a 70m. 2x #3s will see you through the OW no problemo, just bury them deep and extend. 1x #3 will do it if you bump it. Sep 8, 2015
Riverside, CA
nathanael   Riverside, CA
Slim's comment is spot on. Great climb surrounded by climbs that are somehow even better. We made the OW work with a #3 and a #2 but it was a bit strenuous to place them. Jun 5, 2016
Harumpfster Boondoggle
Between yesterday and today.
Harumpfster Boondoggle   Between yesterday and today.
This route would be the greatest crack climb in Josh. In The Needles, its decent... Jan 14, 2019