Avg: 2.9 from 32 votes
|Type:||Trad, 10 pitches|
|FA:||Carlos & Leversee - 1976|
|Page Views:||12,094 total · 84/month|
|Shared By:||Josh Janes on Jun 18, 2006|
|Admins:||Matthew Fienup, Muscrat, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes|
DescriptionMagic Dragon is supposedly the longest climb in the Needles at 10-12 pitches and very enjoyable.
From the approach trail into the Needles, split off to the right at the saddle before ascending up to the foot of the lookout tower stairs. Follow a decent trail down and generally south and east. It's worthwhile to stay on the trail which is marked by little faded red bows tied in various trees and bushes. Eventually you will reach the sheer west face of the Magician (which, incidentally, has a few short, nice-looking crack climbs). Continue to descend until it is possible to traverse all the way around to the southern foot of the formation. Pick your line at this point: The climb generally follows the ridge for several pitches until a key (fairly obvious) point where the right side cliffs out and you can cross over to slabs on the left side. This is a little past halfway. The first of these upper slabs is the crux - a wandering, mostly unprotected journey up 5.8+ rock, 20-40 feet left of a long, left-facing corner system (which, if you don't want to run it out, can be climbed at 5.10 with gear). Continue up slabs to a headwall below the lookout tower. This can be surmounted on the left (west) via a number of weaknesses. Follow the ridge to the tower, hop the handrail, take in the view, and descend the steps.
A few notes:
- I didn't lead this climb or break it into pitches, so my description is pretty vague, but the route is fairly easy to follow and I suspect a standard rack would be just fine.
- Several of the pitches, especially the upper slabs, had bolted belays (generally old bolts at stances) that you can use as landmarks.
- Remember not to approach the lookout tower before 9 AM or after 6 PM as the resident values her privacy!!!
- I can't say I recommend this climb as a secure free solo.