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The Magician

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Boulder under the house TR 
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Magic Dragon T 
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Under the house TR 
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The Magician Rock Climbing 

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Administrators: Matthew Fienup, Muscrat, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Josh Janes on Jun 18, 2006


63° | 38°

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The Magician Needle (from atop Charlatan)


The Magician is the first and largest formation on the ridge. On it's top is the historic Forest Service fire lookout tower which is still in use today. A system of rickety stairs ascends the west face of the formation to access the tower. On Sundays, Marge, and her black cat Spooky, the usual occupants of the tower during the summer months, will often bake cookies for climbers willing to pay her a visit.

It is home to the longest climb in the Needles, Magic Dragon, which checks in at about 12 pitches and 5.8. This climb, and a few variations, begins at the southern foot of the formation and follows the ridge all the way up to the North, finishing at the lookout tower.

A few shorter, interesting crack climbs ascend the lower west face.

There are also several, not often traveled, slab climbs (and other climbs which link discontinuous features) on the upper east face.

Descent is either back down the route you came up, or by hopping the guardrail of the tower and heading down the stairs. Remember to respect Marge's privacy by not visiting the tower before 9
AM or after 6 PM. If you finish your route after these hours, one can skip the final pitchs that breach the small headwall on top of which sits the tower by skirting around on a large ledge to the northwest. A rap station exists at the far northern end of the ledge, just below the tower itself.

Getting There 

Approach routes on the west face and the long ones that begin at the foot of the formation by heading down a trail that branches right (south) just beyond the low point before ascending up to the foot of the stairs. Follow faded red bows that are tied to the foliage (it's worth it to keep your eyes peeled for these.

Routes on the east face can be approached by heading around the north end of the Magician (as per the standard approach) and then dropping down to the south.

Climbing Season

For the The Needles area.

Weather station 10.8 miles from here

5 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',1],['2 Stars',2],['1 Star',2],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in The Magician

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for The Magician:
Poof   5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R     Trad, 4 pitches   
Magic Dragon   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R     Trad, 10 pitches   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in The Magician

Featured Route For The Magician
Rock Climbing Photo: Matt Grieger takes in the view from 11 pitches off...

Magic Dragon 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c California : Southern Sierra : ... : The Magician
Magic Dragon is supposedly the longest climb in the Needles at 10-12 pitches and very enjoyable. From the approach trail into the Needles, split off to the right at the saddle before ascending up to the foot of the lookout tower stairs. Follow a decent trail down and generally south and east. It's worthwhile to stay on the trail which is marked by little faded red bows tied in various trees and bushes. Eventually you will reach the sheer west face of the Magician (which, incidentally, has a ...[more]   Browse More Classics in California

Comments on The Magician Add Comment
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By Matthew Fienup
From: Ventura, CA
Aug 7, 2006
The single best descent information for the Magician can be found at ASCA

Also, here is a printable topo of the Magician rappel descent, from Alexander Cooper & Clint Cummins' Needles Mini Guide
By Matthew Fienup
From: Ventura, CA
Sep 8, 2015
UPDATE: Following the destruction of the fire lookout, it is now possible to walk down the stairs any time of day, 7 days a week.

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