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Routes in The Magician

Boulder under the house TR 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Frustration with the Redhead T,TR 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c X
Magic Dragon T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R
Poof T 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R
Under the house TR 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
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Type: Trad, 4 pitches
FA: H. & E. Laeger
Page Views: 2,892 total, 21/month
Shared By: Matthew Fienup on Jul 25, 2006
Admins: Matthew Fienup, Muscrat, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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A great introduction to the Needles--the airiness, exposure, and runouts typical to the area at an accessible grade. Don't believe the guidebook--3 pitches will not get you to the top.

P1 (5.6): Climb multiple, broken cracks in a shallow, left-facing corner. Belay from a ledge with a fir tree. [Take a few minutes to TR "Frustration with the Redhead" (5.11) directly below the tree.]

P2 (5.7+): Follow a short crack and flakes past a single bolt which is 30 feet out. Continue climbing the moderate face with questionable gear behind loose flakes--spooky. You are likely to encounter an unprotected 5.7/5.8 mantle to gain the belay ledge. Belay from a 1-foot ledge below the start of an arching overhang.

P3 (5.7+): Climb cracks up and left beneath a sweeping, arch (the smaller and higher of two arches on the east face of the Magician). At the far left side, as the overhang diminishes, step boldly up and follow a face and crack to a belay in an alcove.

P4 (easy): Step right until reaching a short, hand-sized crack that leads to the top of the Magician.

P5 (5.8): Climb a short offwidth to reach the Lookout. The 5.8 offwidth protects with a single 4" piece. Alternately, rappel from slings around a constriction on the west face.


Descend from the Magician/Djin saddle to access the start of the route. Look for an obvious fir tree on a ledge approximately 100 feet up.


Standard Needles rack. Optional 4-inch piece for P5 offwidth.


The Fir tree 100 ft up and the belay for pitch 1 is dead. Still pretty solid off the base of the tree, but made me want to build an anchor on cams instead. Also finding the second pitch was tricky, as it looks like going right from the tree is the best way but then got off route and had to down climb. Wish the new book had better info on it. May 29, 2017
Didn't love this one. It gets points for nice position and for going to the top of a major formation, but loses stars for loose rock. Pitch 2 is particularly unnerving. I found uncertain routefinding leading to a runout crux with gear well below me, plugged into suspect rock. And then a key crimp crumbled off into my hand. Yikes. The runout on pitch 3 is longer (and your last piece is again behind a wobbly panel) but the rock is solid and the climbing more secure. 5.7 for the 5.10 leader for sure.

Also, someone tied a red cord so tightly around the tree at the top of P1 (to what purpose I have no idea) that the tree's bark was abraded and sap was coming out. I cut it off, along with a bunch of other tat. There were also some newish looking slings tucked into a hole, not attached to anything. Mysteries abound... Oct 17, 2016
Allison Boyle
  5.7+ R
Allison Boyle  
  5.7+ R

First, I borrowed the photo above, for beta description. I added in the blue line. This climbed really well and had a bunch of fun moves on it, however, we don't usually seek out rated R climbs and this definitely had potential for bad falls if you messed up.

pitch 1) straight forward, easily protected to the tree belay.
pitch 2) about a 30 ft. slabby runout to the first bolt, but it's all positive. After the bolt, the climbing remains positive until the last few crux moves, but not that bad.
pitch 3) We went out left to another crack before heading up the face (See blue line in picture). Pitch 3 felt run out and had sketchy placements almost the entire pitch. Not to mention the bold move over the lip (although fun, and interesting boulder move) was not protected well and could be dangerous. We belayed at the horizontal crack right above the slab portion past the lip.
pitch 4) nice vertical crack up to the top

We didn't do the offwidth pitch. When looking at the Tower you can find the rapel sling/ring to the left side of the tower, lower, down on the slab. We were able to do 1 rapel with a 70m rope. Jun 29, 2015
Keri B  
2nd and 3rd pitches are definitely R. There are two options on the step-up on the 3rd pitch both the more obvious one with a big jug and a smaller undercling out left that can be protected with a purple C3 (and was more suitable for short people). Take the middle crack on the face above up to the alcove. Left crack is full of loose rocks and no gear and the horizontal crack peters out onto a slabby face. Sep 23, 2014
JJ Schlick
Flagstaff, AZ
JJ Schlick   Flagstaff, AZ  
A consistent route for the grade, and I think the R should stand. Good beta climbing straight up the face from the tree on the second pitch. Belay directly below the arch at the top of the second pitch with small/medium cams, and knobs for your feet (this is 10 feet above the 1' ledge. Exciting for the grade if you don't slab climb much... Aug 1, 2010
I think the R rating is unwarranted, same with the 5.7+, this was my first route in the Needles I am far from a strong climber. First pitch great gear 5.6 to the tree, second 5.7 don't go right off the belay just climb straight up above the tree (5.5) to the bolt then easy climbing left, some weird gear (I doubled up makes it bomber) make a couple 5.7 slab moves to a small ledge, third climb left (5.6) to one or two moves of 5.7 traverse back right then to the top. We didn't summit to the watch tower just walked off with some min. difficulty down climbing (no need to rap) fun intro we only had a few hours so it was way convenient. Jul 23, 2009