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Routes in Cleopatra's Needle Area

Angel Wing T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b A3
Angel Wing- Oreo Girls T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b C2 X
Cleopatra's Needle, East Face T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a C2
Navajo Needle West Face T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a C2
Venus Needle, East Face T 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a A1-2 PG13
Venus Needle, West Face T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b A3
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Type: Trad, Aid, 275 ft, 3 pitches, Grade II
FA: Layton Kor and Frank A. Magary, Nov. 7, 1962
Page Views: 1,800 total · 13/month
Shared By: toddgordon Gordon on May 5, 2007
Admins: Greg Opland, Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick

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Access Issue: Closed. Details

Description

Pitch one; 5.9 and 5.10 chimney and crack climbing, ending with a squeeze chimney to a ledge. There is a rest on the left , just before the crux section. Pitch two; 5.9 chimney to 5.10 hands ,some aid, and 4 bolts for protection too along the way to another ledge. A short manky looking bolt ladder to the summit.

Location

East of the small town of Sawmill, which is North of Fort Defiance and Gallup, New Mexico. Eric's Desert Rock has a detailed description of how to get to these spires.

Protection

Standard desert rack. Maybe some pins...(sorry, I can't remember....)

Photos

toddgordon Gordon
Joshua Tree, California
toddgordon Gordon   Joshua Tree, California
I was on this spire with Doug Smith in March of 1984. We rated it 5.10, A1. We did the climb on a very cold and windy day. This is the climb that Chuck Pratt, in his View of Dead Horse Point story, says that while his partner was climbing the chimney section of this route (maybe it was T M Herbert?), that he could hear his ribs cracking as he ascended the chimney......I don't remember much of this climb, but I do remember that at one of the belays, Layton Kor scratched his initials into the rock!...politically incorrect now-a-days, but probably a cool thing to do back in the 1960s. Layton Kor RULES! We, unfortunately, did NOT summit, but did make it very close to the summit....top of pitch 2, and it looked like just a short bolt ladder to the top. We were running out of time, we were freezing, and we were afraid of the bad bolts and we also heard there was no anchor on top;.....that was enough for us....This spire is really beautiful, and you can drive very close to the spire. Too bad this climb is illegal to do; maybe someday it will be legal to climb. I climbed it illegally, while I was living and working for the Department of the Interior on the Navajo Indian Reservation. May 5, 2007
Stu Ritchie
Denver
Stu Ritchie   Denver
I climbed this spire with Brad Bond in the mid 90's. I found the final bolt ladder to be very hairy, requiring about 15 feet of very loose free climbing at it's end to reach the true summit. If I am not mistaken, we had to downclimb to the last bolt and down-aid to the notch to get off, as there was no summit anchor. Nov 7, 2009
David Crockett
Chattanooga, TN
David Crockett   Chattanooga, TN
First pitch requires many #3s and #4s. May 12, 2016
Jason Haas
5.10d C1
Jason Haas  
5.10d C1
The following is from our ascent in 2011. Ignore for maximum adventure:

P1: 5.10b Jam the obvious hands-to-offwidth double crack in the center of the west face. Belay at a bolted anchor in a small alcove. Rack to #6, (2) 0.75, (3) #1-#4, (2-3) #5 Camalots (100ā€™)
P2: 5.10d OR C1/2 Wiggle up an offwidth/chimney to a hanging left-facing corner. The crack goes free at 5.10d to the hanging belay (skip), but it is also possible to clean aid this section on cams. Reach the old hanging belay and then continue aiding past it through a short but soft section to gain the shoulder and a bolted anchor. Rack (2) to #1, (3) #2-#4, (1) #5-#6 Camalots (105ā€™)
P3: C1 A scary three-bolt ladder leads to the top. 3 bolts (25ā€™)
Descent: The summit usually does not have an anchor, requiring you to back-aid the last pitch. We wrapped the summit with about 40-50ft of webbing and wrapped off that, though Iā€™m not sure which option is better actually due to the soft nature of the rock on the summit. If rappelling off the true summit, only rap 25ft to the shoulder, then do a single-rope rappel to the anchor above the first pitch, followed by one more single-rope rap to the ground. Dec 16, 2017
-mn
-mn  
Tried to remove a fixed line on this the other day but the bottom half was wrapped around the tower and hopelessly stuck. Not sure of the story behind this but one of the local residents was glad I was trying to take it down. Really sucked having to batt it out of the way for most of the second pitch. Likely it wasn't anchored to the ground and the wind picked it up. Apr 26, 2018

More About Venus Needle, West Face

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