|Type:||Trad, Aid, 3 pitches, 275', Grade III|
|Original:||YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a A3 [details]|
|FA:||Mark Powell, Jerry Gallwas, Don Wilson,|
|Submitted By:||toddgordon Gordon on May 5, 2007|
|Closed. MORE INFO >>>|
|Comments on Cleopatra's Needle, East Face||Add Comment|
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By toddgordon Gordon
From: Joshua Tree, California
May 5, 2007
|This climb is most outrageous and outstanding. It is a remarkable formation, and I doubt that on the whole planet earth there is another such spire. I climbed this spire with Brian Povolny in Nov. of 1982; we were both residents of the Reservation at the time. The last pitch is probably only 6-10 feet thick through the spire, but because it is sort of a wide fin, is has SOME structural integrity. Someday this formation will melt away, and that will be that. It is elegant and beautiful to look at, and the climbing is exciting and fun enough. The route climbs natural lines on good enough rock (It IS sandstone.) I did this climb back in Nov. of 1982, with Brian Povolny. We drove right to the base, racked up on the bumper of the truck, and went about our business. We saw no locals or others that day of our ascent. The ascent went without any problems. My heart skipped a beat when at the top, grabbing a wad of slings, one of the anchor pins (or bolts...can't remember which) pulled out;..that was sort of scary. Sitting on the top, straddling the summit fin, is a trip, and only then do you really realize just what you are on top of.....you really have no idea just how skinny and thin the whole thing is until you reach the top. As you near the top, you can start to see through the crack to the other side, and feel the wind blow through the whole formation, so you kind of have a hint as to the thinness of the spire as you get close to the summit. Cleopatra's Needle is fantastic. Bill Forrest and Kris Walker did a route on the West Face (5.10 A3) in 1971. The area around the spire is sort of half forest and half cattle country;...it's not in the stark barren desert area like Monument Valley. The town of Sawmill nearby ain't called Sawmill for nothing...there are pine trees all about, and it's rather cold here in the winter months.|
By Steve "Crusher" Bartlett
Apr 2, 2014
Also goes in two pitches, via the central crack (line of the original ascent). 1: 5.choss and some easy aid to the big ledge. 2: 5.9 move to smaller ledge, clean aid (maybe C2) to top. Mostly 1/2" to 1" parallel crack with larger pods from old piton ascents. Bring LOTS of wires, larger sizes, ~BD 6-12, and selection of cams (2 each up to ~3", few extra around Yellow/Red Alien size). No hammer needed (though we used one to help clean a few of the wires that seemed to seat themselves real tight). Outrageous quality, both the tower itself and that amazing second pitch.
Anyone interested in climbing this should be experienced, competent and self-reliant both on the ground and up on the rock (this is a remote area with NO rescue facilities, limited services, some loose/soft rock) and should contact the local climbers of the Dine Climbers Coalition, who graciously showed us around, arranged agreement with the grazing-rights holders, made our stay on the rez a fun and inspiring experience.
You can contact (Quentin told me it was OK to put his email here) Quentin Tutt:
Or send me a message via mountain project for more details.
Lastly, to the party from Colorado (one male, other a "tall" female) who recently climbed this and left lawn-lights on the summit: this was not appreciated by the local residents nor the local climbers. Access here is opening up just a bit, but the future is uncertain; a serious accident or thoughtless behavior might close it right down again. Please, this is one place to climb with respect for the rock and the locals, keep a low profile, and to follow Leave-no-trace ethics.