Type: Trad, 400 ft, 3 pitches
FA: Smith, H and E Laeger 8/1977
Page Views: 1,047 total · 9/month
Shared By: Murf on Aug 5, 2009
Admins: Matthew Fienup, Muscrat, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

You & This Route

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When you've done the moderate standards on The Witch ( Igor Unchained, Innersanctum, and Airy Interlude ) and you're looking for the perfect way to start a summer day (read: way too hot in the sun), an adventuresome three pitch route awaits you. Silver Threads lies just lower than the bottom edge of The Witch (Pit and the Pendulum/Witch Doctor). Start around 100m down from the lower West face at a corner system with a large boulder resting against the face just left (an obvious clearing).

Pitch 1 climbs the low angle corner and crosses to the boulder. Sling it with a double shoulder sling (for the psych of it) and look up. Another corner is between 10-15 meters up and slightly left and it has your next piece. The climbing is somewhere between 5.4-5.6 and you can't fall, so sack up and do it. The corner on up is a little dirty, but you're an adventure climber and you eat this grit for breakfast. A bit of wide with grain and you've reached the 5.10- corner. There's some green in it, probably like Igor before the masses smacked Mother Nature down. Nevertheless, the stems and locks make this a fun section. I'd belay below the roof no matter what the Internet/Guidebook indicates, because you're here to have fun, not stretch every pitch with the 70m noose you've been luggin' around.

Pitch 2 is a layback through the roof and then pulls down on thin, seemingly fragile flakes. Pumpy at the start and sublime to continue, with flakes so thin yet so fun. At the apex of the next roof shove that big piece in you've been saving and move directly left to the 3 bolt belay. Sneer at the guy bailing on Phosphorescent Flow as you make the move 'cause you know you're off the beaten path and his sports bra wearing girlfriend really wants to meet you.

Pitch 3 moves directly left to the thin, right facing flakes. Then it's up and improbably right through the shallow roof (ignore the fact that while your partner is just going to crank confidently through the wafer thin roof features, you need to exhale and think fluffy thoughts). From there is a romp where you can layback, jam, and haul your way to the top on ever larger flakes.

Descend The Black Rabbit, via a rap station around 25m to the climber's left.


Full rack (including a middle school # 4 Camalot), finger sizes helpful, and small pieces (blue alien, 00 Camalots) are nice for the 3rd pitch.


Probably doesn't get the traffic it deserves. An overlooked Needles classic. Aug 9, 2009
D. Evans
Tustin, California
D. Evans   Tustin, California
Margy says, "Sorry Murf, she really wants to meet Andy!!!" Nov 12, 2009
Josh Janes    
I found the route description above so colorful that my eyes glazed over and I couldn't make heads or tails of it. I also found the comments about the vegetation on this route to be a bit exaggerated. No offense guys, it's not you - it's me.

Richard Shore's photo shows the start quite well: The climber is on an unprotected but clean and positive face. He will very shortly step left into the ";overgrown"; corner where excellent gear can immediately be had. Yes there is shrubbery, but there are also great finger locks and gear throughout. I thought this pitch was excellent!

As suggested we set up a hanging belay just below the spot where the corner starts overhanging to the right. However, next time I would continue on and stretch the rope out to the bolted belay that marks the end of the described ";second pitch";, thus doing the climb in two pitches.

Big cams are optional. I recommend a single run to #2 Camalot and triples in the finger sizes. My partner and I felt this route to be about 10b in terms of difficulty, but managing a few of the situations (some mandatory run outs and a couple spots where the flakes are so hollow that placing gear and falling would be unwise) demands a confident attitude and light touch. Jun 13, 2016
Josh Janes    
Richard, why did you delete your comment? Now my comment makes me sound like I'm talking to myself. I particularly enjoyed the confession that you're not an adventure climber and that your nut tool was inadequate, not to mention the classic tidbit about returning with "leather gloves and a trowel"!

PS: If that yellow Metolius FCU was your bail piece, let me know - I have it and would gladly send it your way. Jun 17, 2016
New anchor bolts on Silver Threads as of 6-20-2017. Pulled the bent 1/4″ button heads, reused the holes and installed 3/8″ 2″3/4 wedge bolts. Jun 21, 2017