Type: Trad, 400 ft, 3 pitches
FA: Mike Jaffe, Herb Laeger (July 1978)
Page Views: 1,147 total · 10/month
Shared By: Murf on Sep 21, 2009
Admins: Matthew Fienup, Muscrat, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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You've had a great time at the Needles, and climbed all the classic moderates. Its your last day and you're looking for something fun to ease your aching boots into before you head for the highway...or more likely, the queue for Airy and Igor is 10 deep and you want to get on something before nightfall. Shazam looks like that classic Needles corner climbing capped with a large roof with wild exposure, or a cave finish to scuff up those pristine Carhartts you wore.

Full disclosure: Shazam is not that route.

Pitch 1: Starts in a left facing corner down and right of Igor Unchained. You have to navigate between the initial corner and a subcorner a bit to the right. The gear is tricky, the rock grainy, and the experience suboptimal. Belay right on a wide ledge that may have some rap slings. An alternate start is a larger left facing corner starting lower down the slope.

Pitch 2: From the belay continue up the corner to a wide ledge. The rock improves somewhat, but the pitch feels awkward at times and the gear continues to take a bit of fiddling. The climbing feels harder than it should to someone who thought about getting on Spook Book, and it leaves a bitter taste in your mouth.

Pitch 3: Climb up to the large roof, deciding early if you're going to attempt the airy roof to the right, or the "Spelunker's Variation" to the left. While it looks like you can work your way back to the right after climbing into the alcove, the rock is lichenous and the traverse unlikely. If you continue too far to the left, you will default to physical offwidth. Either way, this is the "money pitch" such as it is.

If you find yourself deserving a small bit of punishment and decided to go caving, a few pointers: not recommended for those with jacket size above a 42 regular, leave the shoes and helmet for your partner, and as always enjoy.


A full Needles rack, with the understanding that this route doesn't take nuts quite as well as many of the other routes. A big piece or two would be helpful as well.


Neo K
Los Angeles, CA
Neo K   Los Angeles, CA
I was surprised to see that no pics were posted for this awesome route so I've shared some of mine. This route was my very first trad lead route so, it's pretty special route to me. Yes, it's not the most clean route (moss, loose rocks, dirt in some cracks) but that did not bother me leading the route. It's starts easy but gets harder.
P1: Pro is bit tricky and loose rocks here and there. Easy 5.6 tho.

P2 (5.9): It gets bit more technical and fun. I remember doing some stemming moves. Pros are there just need to look inside of main crack - there are multiple smaller cracks inside of the main crack. It hailed on us in early September - bring jackets. We waited out here at P2 as there was a small roof to protect us from getting wet.

P3 (5.9+): The money pitch (more exposed) - getting out of the belay station was bit technical but holds are there. I did not know that you can go left to avoid the roof. We went for the roof. Right before the roof (small slabby section) I took a whipper as the rock was wet from the hail (mother nature decided to add alpine aspect to my first trad lead - good times). Small ledge to sit comfortably and rest right before the full overhang roof. Full 400ft exposure but, nice crimps are there if you look for them.

I would give overall 5.9 as well but would be okay with 5.9+ if you are going for the overhang roof. Sep 17, 2018