Type: Trad, 4 pitches, Grade III
FA: unknown
Page Views: 7,921 total · 98/month
Shared By: Mark E Dixon on May 7, 2012 with updates from Anna Brown
Admins: Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick, Greg Opland

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Access Issue: PLACING BOLTS IS ILLEGAL IN THE SUPERSTITION WILDERNESS! Details

Description

Weaver's Needle is a striking summit but don't expect superb climbing. Nevertheless, well worth the effort. The peak has a lower south summit and the true north summit. This route approaches the col between them from the west. An alternative from the east is said to be easier but has a longer approach.

The west side approach begins at the Peralta trailhead. Hike over Fremont Saddle, then another 1.75 miles till below the peak. Total of 4 miles of hiking. You next to take one of the cairned trails across the wash and find the cairned trail up the hillside headed towards the gully between the summits. A rocky ridge drops down from the south summit and is bounded on the left (looking uphill) by a steep ravine. The trail you want goes up the open hillside to the left (again, looking uphill) of the ravine. It is worth finding the trail to reduce erosion and to have a generally easier time to the approach.

Follow the trail and do a little scrambling in the gully until you reach an obvious place to rope up, just below a pipe sticking out of the wall.

The first pitch ends at a ledge on the left wall, about 100 feet up.

The second pitch climbs the steepening gully and exits onto the col by going UNDER the chockstones at the top (easiest), or by bypassing the chockstones on the left or right at a slightly higher standard.

The third pitch is very short, a class 4 wall on the north side of the notch.

After the third pitch scramble up along an obvious trail until just below the summit.

Pitch 4 heads left then up a 'juggy crack' to a horn which can be used as an anchor.

Scramble the short distance to the summit and enjoy the view!

To descend, scramble back to bolt anchors near the top of the 4th pitch (to the left looking downhill.) This rappel puts you back on the third class trail which you should follow to the top of the 3rd pitch. Downclimb or rappel this short pitch, then look for bolt anchors atop the large chockstone in the notch.

A double rope rappel will get you back to the bottom of pitch 1.

I believe you could use one of the pipes as an intermediate anchor if you only had a single 60 meter rope, but judge for yourself.

We used route descriptions from "Rock Climbing Arizona" by Stewart Green, and a write-up on the website hikearizona.com by "Fritzski". Many thanks to both.

Protection

A set of stoppers and a couple of small cams. Some longer slings are useful.
Karl K
Phoenix, AZ
  5.3
Karl K   Phoenix, AZ
  5.3
Stars are for the summit & the view. Not the climb (which by itself is far from noteworthy) Feb 6, 2011
Taylor Morgan
Draper, UT
Taylor Morgan   Draper, UT
"Climbed" this route last week. Beautiful scenery and location. Started from Peralta Trailhead at 7:30 AM. Reached Fremont Saddle (using Peralta Trail) within two hours, then had to route-find/bushwack to the southest corner of Weavers Needle to reach the chute.

Reached the base of the chute at noon and the summit within an hour. We were back to the base around 2 PM, and back at the car at 4:30 PM, using the Bluff Springs Trail on the trip out (much longer than returning via the Peralta Trail).

Unless you're ok with 95% hiking/scrambling and only 5% actual climbing, choose another objective. The climbing is very limited and unspectacular, but being on the Needle is an adventure in its own right.

If you're comfortable leading at 5.6 or above, I advise soloing it. A rope is only needed for rapping the descent, and it's certainly not worth bringing any pro aside from a minimal desert rap rack (slings, rap rings, and a couple nuts). Mar 9, 2011
Sagar Gondalia   Golden
Made a run at it on June 25th, in 109 degree weather. Party of 3, 15 liters of water packed in. Our water went much faster than we thought, and we made the decision to back off about halfway up the approach from the trailhead to the base. Camped out on Fremont Saddle for the night, and arrived back at the car early next morning with a meager 100ml left amongst us. Highly highly recommend NOT trying to climb this in the heat. Jun 27, 2011
r.f
colorado springs
r.f   colorado springs
Great fun for a day or as a mellow overnight. Did this in the spring of 09' and camped on the summit. Brought a cooler and a grill! Fantastic views. Taylor is spot on. The rope is only needed for the descent. A perfect day for new "climbers". The first "pitch" had a fixed piece, an old pipe as of 09' which was sufficent pro if roped. Other than that its a cruise. Be sure to keep an eye out for the climbers trail to your right after comming down from the saddle. Missing it will add some time and bushwacking. If you miss it just head for the obvious weakness in the needle and you'll find the start on a nice ledge in the shade! Jul 13, 2012
Larry S
Easton, PA
Larry S   Easton, PA
Took my wife up this, the class 4 bits on the way up are not for a beginner, she did them like a champ. I say this because, given the 5.0 rating of this climb, you might be inclined to take a beginner up this.

We left the car a little late at 8:35, roped up at 11:15, got the summit by 1:45, back at the base by 3:30, and back to the car in darkness at 6.

We roped up at an obvious spot 60' below the pipe. The first pipe has a decent bolt. We belayed here and I ran up to and under the chockstone. The second pipe belay we skipped, it has a bolt which was missing the hanger. From that anchor to the chockstone was the most difficult part of the climbing.

Belayed in the cave under the chockstone cause rope drag was significant. Did a short pitch from here up about 12 feet, then unroped and did some class 3 / 4 with a few class 5 moves mixed in up to the final headwall. This final bit I thought was the best protected part of the whole climb, in contrast to what the book said.

Views from the top were great, there is a good campsite and a summit log there.

Coming down, the first rap anchor was good, we did a sling-retrieval rappel off a horn on some of the 5th class parts we solo'd up on the hike to the 4th pitch, then rapped on fresh looking slings down 15 feet into the notch. Bolts at the notch were good enough, one spun, the other was nowhere near flat to the rock, but they were solid enough. My 70m rope from here just barely reached the second pipe/bolt anchor - 2' to spare. Rappelled off a biner left on the bolt, backed up by sketchily positioning the rope around the pipe.

The downscramble from there could be a bit of a challenge, especially if you're not comfortable with the solo aspect of it (beginners)

If you don't want to solo it like everyone above says, i recommend some cams to 2", a set of nuts. Small pink/red tricams were usefull in some otherwise unprotectable spots. Dec 3, 2012
Did this a few weeks ago- super fun!

I found our times were much different than others (YMMV):
9 am: Left trailhead
11 am: At base of West Chimney
12 pm: Summit
3:30 pm: Trailhead

That being said, we solo'd the route which makes the climbing much faster. We were both 5.8-9 trad, 5.10-11 sport climbers so soloing was fine, downclimbed pitches 3 and 4 with no problem, then rappelled from the bomber 2 bolt anchor to the base of the climb (~57 meters).

Though we were soloing, I did look for a placements, and didn't see very many for your "average" 5.6 leader without tricams in my opinion. I suspect the "average" 5.6 leader would get pretty freaked on this route (long run outs, tricky pro) which may explain the plethora of bail anchors along pitches 1 & 2. I cut 4-5 rappel anchors from various chockstones, constrictions, and small bushes (seriously?) on my way down.

It would be really fun to leave harnesses & 2 ropes at the top of pitch 2, solo & downclimb the summit, and rappel from there. It's a full length rap to the base, clean rope pull. Jan 26, 2014
Trevor Bowman
Flagstaff, AZ
Trevor Bowman   Flagstaff, AZ
Fun adventure hike/scramble. We soloed it and rapped off the gully pitches--1 70m rope rappel (35m) deposited us right at the pipe marking the start of the technical climbing from the anchors atop the chockstones. I'm sure plenty of folks downclimb the gully, which would be reasonable but tedious. Mar 2, 2014
Matthew DeTemple  
  5.6
Went up with my 16 yr old and 13 yr old. There are lots of places to place cams on the way up. Started the hike at 9am and we lost time on the climb from the trail up to the base. Roped up my 13 yr old for everything but the last climb to the summit. Did not get back to the Peralta trailhead until dark at 615 pm. Used 1 60 m rope and had to use an intermediate sling that was present on rappel. Jan 4, 2015
Q B
Estes Park
Q B   Estes Park
I'd say 5.7, albeit very short lived. It is a bit vertical RIGHT before the chockstone, and the rock can be slippery and loose.
Super fun adventure though and sweet summit!
Solo-ed starting at 11am on 3/5/15 Car-to-Car in 2:50.
1:25 to summit.
10 minutes of handstands, snacks, and fly swatting.
1:15 back. CTC:2:50

Got a little thirsty.... Mar 11, 2015
Super fun AZ adventure. Soloed it on Thanksgiving 2017. Agreed, a handful of 5.6 moves. I took a 70m and singles rack just to be safe. I placed no gear going up, and came down in 3 very straightforward rappels (two bolts from top to p3 trail, 2 bolts on chockstone, 1 (lower) pipe). Larry S is right, 70m just barely gets you to the pipe from the 2 bolt chockstone.

I futzed around and took drone footage, but car to car was 7hrs 15 minutes. I thought the weather would be casual, but it was HOT even on Nov 23rd. Full sun hike in.

With a 40lb pack, 90 degree weather, and moving relatively quickly, 3 Liters of water ran out just past the Fremont saddle on the way down.

Approach: Straightforward until you have to leave the trail and head up towards the Needle. I took the first set of cairns I saw, and looking back, I'd wait til I was a little farther north. You'll see a bunch of tall rocks east of you, blocking you from the Needle - clear them until you're about 30 feet up from the wash, then look for cairns dropping you down, through the wash and up the north side of all the tall rocks. [coming down in the dark was a bit of a bushwack]

just under 9 miles round trip hike.

link to 1 way hike in:
my.viewranger.com/track/det… Nov 24, 2017
Brian Clay
Phoenix, AZ
 
Brian Clay   Phoenix, AZ
 
A few words of caution... even though this is 5.0 the transition into the cave can be a little intense with a backpack full of gear. Second, lots of loose rock so bring a helmet. Lastly, your friends might think this is a fun on to try at night... they’re WRONG. We bushwhacked our way to the submit because the split is near impossible to find in the dark. Then hit some brutal winds, tight pinches, and lots of sweat up through the second pitch. After that, you’re pretty good, but you’re still gonna pucker at a few parts in the dark. Those drop offs are way more intimidating in the dark.
We stayed in the Cs overnight, and rap’d down at sunrise. A once in a lifetime experience as I would NEVER do it again in the dark but would definitely do it again. Jan 23, 2018
dirtyjesus  
 
Cool route. As everyone has been saying the climbing isn't that great but it's a fun adventure if only to get on top of something cool.

I feel as though the rating is a bit sandbagged, though I'm pretty sure I went off route. Heading to the left side of the chimney on pitch 2, I followed a pretty chossy series of formations into an off-width crack that provided no solid protection for about 30-40 feet before traversing back right over to the rappel anchors. In my opinion it, felt more like a 5.5 or 5.6... though maybe because it was my first climb in several months and the rock was crumbling away. My partner had a rough time following me with the backpack on this variation (which in all regards was not enjoyable at all).

Pitch 4 was full of features and pretty easy. If you want to rap down pitch 3 there is a tree with some slings and a rap ring halfway between pitches 3 and 4.

Watch out for tarantulas, we almost stepped on two of them. Oct 16, 2018
Gregory Cooper
Phoenix Arizona
Gregory Cooper   Phoenix Arizona
What an amazing experience! The views from on top were absolutely beautiful. I'd highly recommend this climb if only for that reason. Only disappointing part was all the light pollution from Phoenix.

Hit the trailhead @1300 and arrived on top @1730, but we also took our time to watch the sunset. Camped on top for the night! Packed up and started heading back down @1000 next morning and reached the parking area @1300.


The hike was pretty straight forward. You gain elevation up to the saddle. Then, loose elevation until you cross the wash. then, obviously gain some more to the base of the climb. Look for a couple of small campsites on your right just off the trail as you continue hiking down the saddle. The climbers trail will be shortly after this and it was fairly obvious to find. Just follow the cairns, there seems to be too many making it a little harder to follow the proper trail. However coming back down we had no issues.

I'm not sure why this is considered 4 pitches. It was more of 1 pitch of probably 5.6 and some very easy high class scrambling in some sections for the rest of the route. I ended up bringing too much gear. In fact just about everything I brought was pointless. I brought a set of nuts and small cams up to .5, 5 alpine draws, and some extra slings. The rock quality was pretty shitty and I wouldn't trust any gear in the rock anyway.

The climb it self was easy enough that I just ended up soloing it and just tagged my rope behind me so I could belay my second who wasn't as comfortable soloing. Tagging the line also meant I didn't have to put it in my pack which helped keep me better balanced. Next time I'm just bringing my alpine harness and rapp gear. Could have saved a few pounds. If you have a pair of approach shoes, that should be all you need for both the hike and climb.

I brought 4 liters of water with me, which ended up being perfect. I probably could have saved a little more weight again by leaving two liters at the base of the climb. We didn't bring anything to cook or make hot drinks. Just the standard bars, cheese, crackers, and chocolate.

On top there are two places right next to each other for camping. You can fit a small backpacking tent in them if you chose to bring one. There does appear to be another small solo bivy area on the north side, but it's not large enough for a tent

We were lucky enough to run into another young couple on top. They had brought a set of 70m half ropes and so the 4 of us rapped off those. it reached all the way to the bottom of the first pitch with a few feet to spare. So that could be an an option to split weight. Honestly, you could probably just bring 1 70m half rope to save more weight. Though it might cost you a little more in time with the extra rapps. It also would probably do to belay a second up too if you were a strong leader who could solo it. Just a small note on rapps. If you end up having a heavy pack like I did due to not needing my 70m, and having climbing gear in the pack too, hang your bag under you so you aren't off balance rapping. 6 days ago