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Routes in The Witch

Airy Interlude T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Ankles Away T 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a PG13
Brute Force T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Entity, The T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b R
Gorilla Warfare T 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
Green Tide T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c R
Igor Unchained T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Innersanctum T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Nautilus, The T 5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b R
Pegleg T 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a PG13
Phosphorescent Flow T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a R
Pit & The Pendulum, The T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Pizzazz T 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a PG13
Pulp Friction T 5.12+ 7c 28 IX 27 E6 6b R
Shazam T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Spook Book T 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b R
Terrorvision T 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c PG13
Wicked West of the Witch T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b R
Witch Doctor T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Type: Trad, 230 ft, 2 pitches
FA: Tony Yaniro, Brett Maurer, Toivo Kodas (1982)
Page Views: 6,968 total, 55/month
Shared By: Alex Shainman on Aug 13, 2007
Admins: Matthew Fienup, Muscrat, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

You & This Route

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Do it one 70M! pitch for the best continuity and full value! IMO, the best 5.11 pitch at the Needles!

P1: 10d. Palming, stemming and laying it back is the business at the start of Pegleg/Ankles Away (50'). Its a little grainy and hard to pro but you have to do it.

P2: Awesome tips and finger crack action on a steep and bullet-proof slab! The pro is good when you get it in which adds to the difficulties. Trust your smears and go for it! Re-join Pegleg at its top (easy) corner and jam a fun crack to an easy corner and to the chain/common-rap anchor.


Left end of the Witch. Chimney up the loose groove at the start of Airy Interlude or (better) find the easiest line of weakness up the rock band halfway down the descent gully.


2-3 sets of #4-7 BD Stoppers, one set med/large offset brass nuts, #00-2 TCU's, (2x) Red Alien Size, Red and Gold Camalot. Bring more nuts and small TCU's if you do it in one long 70M pitch.


Photo and catalogue that doug rouse is referring to... Sep 23, 2016
I've followed this twice clean over the years...definitely every bit of 5.11c following! Super technical, as is the's gotta feel like hard 5.11+ on the lead. A goal of mine to lead btw...but approaching 60 I better get on that!

Brilliant pitch for ten for me after 36 years or so of avid climbing! Dec 7, 2015
Kristian Solem
Monrovia, CA
  5.11d PG13
Kristian Solem   Monrovia, CA
  5.11d PG13
I don't see this climb - which I have done several times - as crossing the line into 5.12. That said it's about as hard as that kind of 5.11 can get.

It's just me, but I can't see the advantage of doing it in one long pitch. You have less freedom to move well with all that rope, the belay ledge is as good as they get, and you can't swing leads with your partner.

All in it's a Needles classic, and a bit unique for the area.

The biggest piece you need is a 1 inch cam. A few smaller TCU's are useful but mostly tiny to medium stoppers are the deal. The placements (assuming you get them right) are so good that IMO you only need a few draws for the second pitch, just take a bunch of free 'biners. YMMV.

Also,for the first pitch double ropes are nice, as you can place gear on either side of the parallel cracks without long runners. Anyone know if the fixed crackenup is still there at the start? Jul 23, 2014
doug rouse
Denver, CO.
doug rouse   Denver, CO.
I can remember seeing a photo of Taras Skibicky in a Chouinard catalogue climbing this when I was a kid. I then met him at Morrison some afternoona year or so later, and was able to boulder with him. I credit that photo of this line for providing inspiration to a 14-year kid in Denver! All he had to say about it was " Yeah, it was pretty hard!" Jun 5, 2014
Scott Bennett
  5.11+ PG13
Scott Bennett  
  5.11+ PG13
Stellar pitch, full on trad! Both my partner and I though it was harder than Pegleg, which is given 11d and might be a touch soft. So I think at least 11+ for Ankles, and my guidebook said 12b, which didn't feel that far off. Maybe I just suck at slabs, though.

My ideal rack would be 3x Purple C3 (black alien or grey TCU), then doubles up to purple camalot, single green and red camalot, plus a healthy set of RPs, brassies, etc. Offsets (Aliens and HBs) are also useful.

-Scott Jul 9, 2009