Mountain Project Logo

Routes in Cleopatra's Needle

Cleo's Needle South-Central Dihedral T 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
Cleo's Needle Southwest Dihedral T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Cleos Needle-Southwest Rib T,TR 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
East Comfort Route T 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
Northwest Side T,TR 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
Southeast Arete T 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c PG13
Type: Trad, 60 ft
FA: ??
Page Views: 2,575 total, 22/month
Shared By: John W. Knoernschild on Jul 16, 2008
Admins: Burt Lindquist, Doug Hemken, James Schroeder, Chris treggE

You & This Route

30 Opinions

Your To-Do List:

Add To-Do

Your Star Rating:

     Clear Rating

Your Difficulty Rating:

-none- Change

Your Ticks:

Add New Tick


Start in the Dihedral on the Southwest side of the needle. It is the left most crack on that side. Continue up through overhang. Make an awkward move or 2 and continue up to the small ledge at the base of the summit block. Move around to the left (west) and continue up on easy holds. There is no pro for the last 15 ft here. Move up and clip the big ring on top. Don't forget to stand up and enjoy the view.


On the southwest side of the needle. Start in the left most crack in the dihedral.


Small cams, small wires, small to medium tricams
Zach Parsons
Tacoma, WA
  5.6 PG13
Zach Parsons   Tacoma, WA
  5.6 PG13
Topping this one out is a little spicy! Easy climbing, but nothing for pro in the last 10-15 feet. Oct 20, 2014
Doug Hemken
Madison, WI
Doug Hemken   Madison, WI  
The ring bolt was placed in the 1960s by one of those Stettner boys ... ask around the CMC about it! At that point, they had already been climbing there for a few decades.

The Wisconsin State Historical Society has a photo of someone on top of the Needle from the 1910s by H.H. Bennett Aug 10, 2013
Cals Chers
Albuquerque, NM
Cals Chers   Albuquerque, NM
Last weekend (03 August 2013) we had eight (8) people on the needle. It's not going anywhere anytime soon. The ring's a bit scarier (especially when it rotates), but I guess you could sling the thing if you're really concerned. Aug 10, 2013
Paul Campbell
Waukesha, WI
Paul Campbell   Waukesha, WI
Oh... its original! Apr 7, 2012
I finally got on the Needle yesterday via a few different routes. The view was excellent and I even spotted a peregrine falcon. My brother said he could feel the wobble but I disappointingly did not.

That pin and ring are definitely not the original one. (I'm sure the '64 is a tribute to the first pin placed.) Does anyone know when the newer pin and ring were placed though, or by whom? Since it is the only piece between you and the deck, it'd be nice to know about it's origin. Apr 6, 2012
Mr. Mix
Sauk City, WI
Mr. Mix   Sauk City, WI
Dam, Melissa and I were up on top of this yesterday and she tells me she can feel the whole thing shift in the wind. I tell her to stop being a baby, it is all in her head. I don't think it's important to mention to her I was wrong. However, that little bolt in the rap ring from the sixties is a bit unnerving. Great climb though. Mar 18, 2012
kalamazoo, mi
jay.kalamazoo   kalamazoo, mi
i got the top and the my second was coming up. the tower starts to wiggle....i think...i'll jump into those trees if this thing falls...that will help break my fall. And then i realize....i'm anchored into the top of the needle...and if it goes, i'm going with it.

much like the gendarme at seneca, climbing this thing is a must and a exercise in faith. Oct 19, 2009
Burt Lindquist
Madison, WI
Burt Lindquist   Madison, WI  
Do you know that once way back in time Cleo's Needle fell down. The Army Corps of Engineers erected a big crane and hoisted it back up onto it's resting place and as well placed the large iron spike that keeps it all level..... Whoops....... the 1st of April was yesterday........ Apr 2, 2009
John W. Knoernschild
John W. Knoernschild   Wisconsin
It's more like the last 10ft or so that is wobbly. But I dont think it's going anywhere either. Just unnerving to feel it move when your hooked up to it. Apr 2, 2009
James Schroeder
Sauk County, WI
James Schroeder   Sauk County, WI  
It's unnerving, but I don't think it's going anywhere... Nov 25, 2008
Jay Knower
Campton, NH
Jay Knower   Campton, NH  
Yeah. Nick's right. It's unnerving but I never got the feeling like it would fall off. Nov 25, 2008
Just the last block I believe. Nov 24, 2008
Jay Knower
Campton, NH
Jay Knower   Campton, NH  

It's been rocking for eons (or since the late 70's--same thing). The single bolt used for rapping off the top should be more of a concern.

Seriously, though, the route is worth doing. It's a classic DL experience. Nov 21, 2008
So is this needle even safe to climb?? I don't want the thing coming down when Im on there?

Do a lot of people still climb it? Nov 21, 2008
Kris Gorny    
And one day it's gonna go 'boom'... Jul 23, 2008
It's been rocking since at least the late seventies Jul 18, 2008
John W. Knoernschild
John W. Knoernschild   Wisconsin
Jay, I think both have been that way for years. LOL!

I wish I had a camera so Paul could see the look on his face. Sheer terror. Then visions of the hole block falling and taking us with it! Jul 17, 2008
Well, I'm not quite sure what a "safety meeting" is, but I can say that damn block has been freaking people out for some time now, and the club
I'm referring to is the club of being freaked out. Climb on!
I don't think Mr. Sanders trolls this site but if he's out there, but Ben I wish I had a photo of the look on your face when we were up there and he discovered the whole damn thing was moving!

P.S. I've just been informed what a "safety meeting" is. Thank you to Vince for enlightening me :) And, yes it's been that way for years. Jul 17, 2008
Jay Knower
Campton, NH
Jay Knower   Campton, NH  
What's been that way for years? Safety meetings? Jul 16, 2008
LOL! Been that way for years! Welcome to the club. Jul 16, 2008
John W. Knoernschild
John W. Knoernschild   Wisconsin
When me and my partner Paul reached the summit, we had a safety meeting. With each cough you could feel the block wobble. We freaked out a bit at first and then just starting geeking out, which didn't help with the wobble either. After a few minutes of laughter and enjoying the view, we rapped down. Jul 16, 2008