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YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a

Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, 500', Grade II
Original:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: Fred Beckey, David Black, Steve Eddy, 10/74
Page Views: 7,954
Submitted By: Scotty Nelson on Jul 24, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (46)
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Climbers on Innersanctum.


Pitch 1: either climb directly up the crack, or start to the right. Up the crack then surmount a small roof and through a tricky face crux (bolt). Belay in a groove (200 feet).

Pitch 2: Up the groove then move left past a roof and belay on a ledge (150 feet?)

Pitch 3: short pitch up and off.


Starts just right of Spook Book.


Standard rack to #3 camalot is sufficient.

Photos of Innersanctum Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Joel K.  leading the first pitch of Innersanctum (...
Joel K. leading the first pitch of Innersanctum (...

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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Aug 30, 2017
By alextuttle
Jul 16, 2007

I climbed this route over the weekend and didn't see any bolt protecting the tricky face crux. Did I miss something? A bolt would have been nice, cause it was a bit scary without it. Otherwise, nice route but not of the quality of Igor Unchained.
By Murf
Jul 16, 2007

The bolt ( if still there ), is under the roof on pitch 1, not above.
By 1Eric Rhicard
Jul 18, 2007

Did this route in June. The bolt is below the roof and doesn't protect the harder moves. Small nuts can be found above. If you move left above the roof it is easier than going right. This route is worth doing and was a good warm up.
By Fat Dad
From: Los Angeles, CA
Aug 24, 2009

We climbed it by going up and right above the roof, which feels pretty committing. Your gear are some thin wires in a left leaning crack and, even with a sling on them, climbing up and right just feels like it's going to pull them out. It's pretty solid 5.9+ face though. Like most things, not too bad once you actually commit to it.
By Will S
From: Joshua Tree
Jul 14, 2010
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a PG13

Less than obvious routefinding at the crux regardless whether you go right or left. I stood on a stance above the roof and went up and down, left and right a few times before committing. It's not just a left/right decision, it's also a "do I want my hands or my feet on this rail/feature". Feels a little spicy with slopey/smeary moves above small wires. P2 is a supercool feature and the gem of the route. And yeah, bolt is still there...but not really needed IMO, I clipped it but ended up backing it up maybe 2ft above...rusty 1/4" with a Leeper IIRC.
By Adam Kimmerly
Aug 30, 2010

The bolt looks pretty bad (I didn't even bother clipping it) though I don't think it should be replaced. You can get a solid mid-sized nut just above it.

I placed a couple of nuts above the roof in the crack, slung them long, and stepped out right to work my way up, which didn't seem all that difficult. 15 or 20' above the nuts, I slung a big black knob which added at least a little mental pro.

The rest of the route is casual and no harder than 5.7 or 5.8.
By Kristian Solem
From: Monrovia, CA
May 23, 2011

The bolt was placed by Herb Laeger in 1976. His personal diaries list the FA of Inner Sanctum ("Named after an old television horror serial") as Herb Laeger, Mike Jaffe, Eve Uiga 12 July 1976. They graded it 5.8 at the time. On this ascent the first belay was at the bolt with some gear too.

Becky et al may have climbed it earlier but the bolt and route name came from the 76 ascent. It is also possible, even likely that Becky's group climbed a different line altogether. Many of the early Needles climbs were not well documented, and many of the obvious cracks were aided previously to their FA's as free routes but no one really kept careful track of it all.
By Ryan Williams
From: London (sort of)
Sep 23, 2011
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

The bolt is still there, but I can't imagine it would hold a fall. There's good gear right there anyways. My partner went left above the roof because she "read it was easier." She was looking at a fairly large pendulum fall, one that could be avoided by taking the more direct (and more obvious IMHO) line straight up. You have to do 9+ (10-?) moves either way, and the gear in the roof is pretty bomber.

We did this in two LONG pitches w/a 70m. Not recommended really, as I had to escape to the tree on the right at the top to belay for lack of more rope and gear. I guess I could have stopped anywhere, but the tree looked closer that it actually was.

Anyways, cool route, but not as good as the other routes we did.
By Steve Eddy
Jul 11, 2012

On the first ascent, there were no bolts placed. At that time there were no friends, and we simply used chocks.

Steve Eddy
By Steve Eddy
Jul 11, 2012

I don't know who Kris Solem is, but he doesn't know what he is talking about. The 1974 assent was free and clean. We called it Inner Sanctum. I remember years later Fred contacted me. He said someone else was trying to get credit for it. Fred is that way. I wrote up what happened during the approach, ascent and descent and sent it to him with a photocopy of the route from a couple of guides. One, SoCal Select by Vogel has the route, as does Hardin's guide.

Steve Eddy
By Kristian Solem
From: Monrovia, CA
Dec 31, 2012

Thanks for the correction Steve, and the email. My comment was based on what I thought was 100% reliable info. Laeger placed the bolt - they belayed there - and I think he believed the route was unclimbed at that time.
By Cat.
May 26, 2015
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a PG13

This is a fun route, but the thin face moves above the roof were fairly heady. The roof protects well (bolt completely unnecessary), but it's after that it gets harder and isn't super well-protected. The pro was sparse and not great (I got a small nut in the crack above roof, then moved right and up and slung a "knob" that wasn't much of a knob). I doubt this section is any harder than 5.9+/10-, but I was surprised by how committing those moves felt on a 5.9 climb (I also thought P1 of this climb was harder & much scarier than Airy Interlude, which somehow earns 10b on MP). The second pitch was a really fun romp. I guess we're assuming that anyone climbing at the Needles is cool with committing moves, but be aware that those face moves are a bit spicy.
By Herb Laeger
Jun 17, 2016

Thinking back on the route, I don't remember a bolt, but then again it was along time ago. For certain we did not drill a bolt.
By Conor Clarke
Aug 30, 2017

I thought this thing was considerably harder and scarier than Airy Interlude, and could be a disaster for a 5.9 leader. I know that everything at the Needles is supposed to be a sandbag, but this still felt like a sandbag among the sandbags . . .

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