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Buffon's Needle Problem 

YDS: 5.10 French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b

Type:  Trad, 7 pitches, 1000', Grade III
Original:  YDS: 5.10 French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b [details]
FA: an ascent, Jan 2015, DCuster & SRuff
New Route: Yes
Page Views: 225
Submitted By: dave custer on Jan 16, 2015

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BETA PHOTO: More detail of the business pitches of Buffon's Ne...

RAIN AND WET ROCK The sandstone in Red Rocks is fragile and is very easily damaged when it is wet. MORE INFO >>>


The problem is geometric; its solution requires many techniques. Three amazing pitches grace this outing. Sew it up…

P1 the approach pitch. Step up and spiral right around the front of the buttress to gain a crack system in black rock on the right side of the buttress. Continue to the top of the buttress. Rope drag in the flakes may dictate an intermediate belay. If an oak leaf needle problem is preferred, this pitch can be shortened by thrashing up the gulley of choice. ~50 meters, perhaps 5.7.

P2 Up the corner/crack to the first trash compactor roof/chock-stone. Pass this on the left. Belay in the rubble pile above the chock-stone. The rope is sure to jam in cams placed in the roof; if you can keep the cams clear of the rope, the rope will jam in the roof crack itself. ~30 meters, 5.10ish, #4 camalot useful getting past the roof.

P3 Up the corner/crack to the second trash compactor roof/chock-stone. Pass this on the left. Near the top of the chock-stone, place gear and step left past the narrow band of black rock. What the heck are those rappel bolts for? If you belay at these bolts, consider the consequences of a leader fall in the cruxy moves off the belay. Move left of the bolts and up the tricky face and changing corners to a final trash compactor roof/chock-stone. Nuts and the thinnest cams are useful; this section protects better than it looks. Pass the chock-stone on the left to a good belay stance. 5.10ish, ~30 meters

P4 Up the tight, gently overhanging tight-hands crack/corner into the eye of the needle. Dimensional trickery permits needle threading. A short pitch, ~20 meters; the belay at the start of this pitch takes the same gear as the tight hand crack, so extra gear in the black metolius #5 (black) to yellow camalot may be in order. Once the needle is threaded, it is possible to escape due right for ~60 meters of 3rd class crossing Myster Z, then 20 meters 3rd class up and right to a down-climb into a gully—more oak trees and down-climbing. Or.

P5-7 Once the needle is threaded, continue up the wide crack/corner (wider than #4 camalot) which narrows, ramps left, and steps right into another crack/corner system. Near the top of this 2nd crack/corner system, step left into the left facing crack corner system that will become the final pitches of Rose Hips. About three 60 meter pitches will gain 3rd & 4th class slabs. Perhaps 5.7 in a spot or two, but mostly 5.4ish.

Descend by scrambling toward the Brownstone Wall and hiking the trail down Juniper Canyon.


Find the point where a nondescript pink/white/black blob of a buttress descends to the creek bed at the mouth of Juniper Canyon—just left of a monstrous roof. This point is perhaps 30 meters from where the trail enters the creek bed. Rope up up and left of the true toe of the buttress.


“Standard rack" to #4 camalot. Consider some micro cams (metolius 00 and 0 can be placed). Add extra hand/thin hand cams for belay at the top of P3 if desired. Don’t forget nuts. There is a bolted rap station to oak leaves in the middle of pitch 3.

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Rock Climbing Photo: Overview of Buffon's Needle Problem
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