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The Needle

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Bustin' Move S 
Damage Done, The S,TR 
Descent Route T,TR 
Momentary Lapse of Ethics S,TR 
Needle TR wall aka Uphill Slab TR 
North Lieback T 
South Face T 
Suburban Hangover S 
Temple of the Dog S 

The Needle Rock Climbing 

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Location: 40.357, -105.5167 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 4,961
Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Nate Christiansen on Feb 5, 2003
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
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Somewhere near the Descent route.


The Thumb and Needle are 2 crags on the slopes of Prospect Mountain. The routes on The Needle vary from 5.0 to 5.13b. Some routes on the Needle have bolts and some have rings to rap off of. The Needle is short (2 pitches at the very most) but offers excellent exposure to the town of Estes Park.

The original description for The Thumb & The Needle was split for clarity.

Getting There 

The Thumb and the Needle lie on top of Prospect Mountain and the eaisest way to get there is to drive either from CO Highway 7, leaving town until you reach Peak View Drive (PVD). Take PVD until you see a gold sign on your right that says "Prospect Highlands". This is Curry. Take that sharp right turn. Continue up this short road that will eventually turn into gravel and park at the cropping just short of the gate. Please do not attempt to park in the way of the landowners. The trail starts just up the gully and goes for an enjoyable yet steep 5 minute approach. The first rock you will see is The Needle. Less than 100 yards further uphill is The Thumb. The Thimble is a sliver of rock lying just East of The Thumb.


To descend The Needle, you can rappel from the anchors on the sport climbs or there are two 2 bolt anchor with chains on the North face. If you are ambitious, you can descend no-hands, a la John Gill....


Per Nathan Welton:

A. South Face, 7, 1p, 110', gear.
B. Suburban Hangover, 10, 1p, 70', bolts.
C. Momentary Lapse of Ethics, 11, 1p, 40', bolts.
D. Temple of the Dog, 13, 1p, 50', bolts.
E. Damage Done, 11, 1p, 30', bolts.
F. North Lieback, 10, 1p, 70', gear.
G. Bustin' Move, 12-, 1p, 60', bolts.
H. Needle TR wall aka Uphill Slab, 7-11, 1p, TR.
I. Descent Route, 2 R, 1p, 70, gear.
J. West Face.

Climbing Season

For the Prospect Mountain area.

Weather station 1.8 miles from here

9 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',1],['2 Stars',5],['1 Star',3],['Bomb',0]

Featured Route For The Needle
Rock Climbing Photo: Perhaps this is a shot of the TR wall aka Uphill S...

Needle TR wall aka Uphill Slab 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c  Colorado : Estes Park Valley : ... : The Needle
This is the slab to the right of the overhung sport routes on the Needle. Many variations can be made from this wall, and that makes it a great place for some beginners. There are possibly 5.7-5.11 variations. To set up the top rope, the ramp on the right side is an easy 5.0 scramble to the summit....[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

Photos of The Needle Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Blake Collins rapping off the top of The Needle.
Blake Collins rapping off the top of The Needle.
Rock Climbing Photo: Trent Watkins TRs the Uphill Slab, the Needle.
Trent Watkins TRs the Uphill Slab, the Needle.

Comments on The Needle Add Comment
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By John Gill
Feb 18, 2003
Back in the 1950s and 1960s, these were pretty popular with locals. Rich Goldstone and I and friends made several FAs on the Needle. One was something we called Angel Overhang, to the left of the downclimb. Another was the no-hands FA of the Needle by Bob Williams and me. We did our balancing act up the downclimb face! I don't remember any bolts, but that was in an era where bolting from rappel was considered unethical.
By Brian Faulkner
From: Fort Collins
May 16, 2003
New bolts were just put up on top of the Needle around 5/15/03.

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