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Cleopatra's Needle
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L to R R to L Alpha
Cleo's Needle South-Central Dihedral T 
Cleo's Needle Southwest Dihedral T 
Cleos Needle-Southwest Rib T,TR 
East Comfort Route T 
Northwest Side T,TR 
Southeast Arete T 

Cleo's Needle Southwest Dihedral 

YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 60'
Original:  YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b [details]
FA: ??
Season: All
Page Views: 2,529
Submitted By: John W. Knoernschild on Jul 16, 2008

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (29)
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BETA PHOTO: Ring on top of the needle as of Nov 13, 2016. Stil...


Start in the Dihedral on the Southwest side of the needle. It is the left most crack on that side. Continue up through overhang. Make an awkward move or 2 and continue up to the small ledge at the base of the summit block. Move around to the left (west) and continue up on easy holds. There is no pro for the last 15 ft here. Move up and clip the big ring on top. Don't forget to stand up and enjoy the view.


On the southwest side of the needle. Start in the left most crack in the dihedral.


Small cams, small wires, small to medium tricams

Photos of Cleo's Needle Southwest Dihedral Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: On Lead
On Lead
Rock Climbing Photo: Southwest Dihedral
Southwest Dihedral
Rock Climbing Photo: Doug leading Cleopatra's Needle via her underbelly...
Doug leading Cleopatra's Needle via her underbelly...
Rock Climbing Photo: This has gotta be the best way to the top.  You st...
This has gotta be the best way to the top. You st...

Comments on Cleo's Needle Southwest Dihedral Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Oct 20, 2014
By John W. Knoernschild
From: Wisconsin
Jul 16, 2008

When me and my partner Paul reached the summit, we had a safety meeting. With each cough you could feel the block wobble. We freaked out a bit at first and then just starting geeking out, which didn't help with the wobble either. After a few minutes of laughter and enjoying the view, we rapped down.
By Tradiban
Jul 16, 2008

LOL! Been that way for years! Welcome to the club.
By Jay Knower
From: Campton, NH
Jul 16, 2008

What's been that way for years? Safety meetings?
By Tradiban
Jul 17, 2008

Well, I'm not quite sure what a "safety meeting" is, but I can say that damn block has been freaking people out for some time now, and the club
I'm referring to is the club of being freaked out. Climb on!
I don't think Mr. Sanders trolls this site but if he's out there, but Ben I wish I had a photo of the look on your face when we were up there and he discovered the whole damn thing was moving!

P.S. I've just been informed what a "safety meeting" is. Thank you to Vince for enlightening me :) And, yes it's been that way for years.
By John W. Knoernschild
From: Wisconsin
Jul 17, 2008

Jay, I think both have been that way for years. LOL!

I wish I had a camera so Paul could see the look on his face. Sheer terror. Then visions of the hole block falling and taking us with it!
By Tom Hanson
Jul 18, 2008

It's been rocking since at least the late seventies
By Kris Gorny
Jul 23, 2008

And one day it's gonna go 'boom'...
By Andrew Krosbakken
Nov 21, 2008

So is this needle even safe to climb?? I don't want the thing coming down when Im on there?

Do a lot of people still climb it?
By Jay Knower
From: Campton, NH
Nov 21, 2008


It's been rocking for eons (or since the late 70's--same thing). The single bolt used for rapping off the top should be more of a concern.

Seriously, though, the route is worth doing. It's a classic DL experience.
By Tradiban
Nov 24, 2008

Just the last block I believe.
By Jay Knower
From: Campton, NH
Nov 25, 2008

Yeah. Nick's right. It's unnerving but I never got the feeling like it would fall off.
By James Schroeder
From: Sauk County, WI
Nov 25, 2008

It's unnerving, but I don't think it's going anywhere...
By John W. Knoernschild
From: Wisconsin
Apr 2, 2009

It's more like the last 10ft or so that is wobbly. But I dont think it's going anywhere either. Just unnerving to feel it move when your hooked up to it.
By Burt Lindquist
From: Madison, WI
Apr 2, 2009

Do you know that once way back in time Cleo's Needle fell down. The Army Corps of Engineers erected a big crane and hoisted it back up onto it's resting place and as well placed the large iron spike that keeps it all level..... Whoops....... the 1st of April was yesterday........
By jay.kalamazoo
From: kalamazoo, mi
Oct 19, 2009

i got the top and the my second was coming up. the tower starts to wiggle....i think...i'll jump into those trees if this thing falls...that will help break my fall. And then i realize....i'm anchored into the top of the needle...and if it goes, i'm going with it.

much like the gendarme at seneca, climbing this thing is a must and a exercise in faith.
By Mr. Mix
From: Sauk City, WI
Mar 18, 2012

Dam, Melissa and I were up on top of this yesterday and she tells me she can feel the whole thing shift in the wind. I tell her to stop being a baby, it is all in her head. I don't think it's important to mention to her I was wrong. However, that little bolt in the rap ring from the sixties is a bit unnerving. Great climb though.
By Patrick Brewer
Apr 6, 2012

I finally got on the Needle yesterday via a few different routes. The view was excellent and I even spotted a peregrine falcon. My brother said he could feel the wobble but I disappointingly did not.

That pin and ring are definitely not the original one. (I'm sure the '64 is a tribute to the first pin placed.) Does anyone know when the newer pin and ring were placed though, or by whom? Since it is the only piece between you and the deck, it'd be nice to know about it's origin.
By Paul Campbell
From: Waukesha, WI
Apr 7, 2012
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

Oh... its original!
By Cals Chers
From: Albuquerque, NM
Aug 10, 2013

Last weekend (03 August 2013) we had eight (8) people on the needle. It's not going anywhere anytime soon. The ring's a bit scarier (especially when it rotates), but I guess you could sling the thing if you're really concerned.
By Doug Hemken
From: Madison, WI
Aug 10, 2013

The ring bolt was placed in the 1960s by one of those Stettner boys ... ask around the CMC about it! At that point, they had already been climbing there for a few decades.

The Wisconsin State Historical Society has a photo of someone on top of the Needle from the 1910s by H.H. Bennett
By Zach Parsons
From: Tacoma, WA
Oct 20, 2014
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b PG13

Topping this one out is a little spicy! Easy climbing, but nothing for pro in the last 10-15 feet.

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