OverviewLimestone Chimney is the easiest climb to the summit of Bette's Needles on Staender Ridge. It's a good beginner trad lead or a nice warm-up to get the day going; short and easy. Two pitches gets you to the top, the second one being very short. There are good bolted anchors in place. Great views of Smith from the top.
Getting ThereSee Radek's directions on the main page. Follow the lower trail across the bridge to the right after hiking down to Smith Rock. Follow the trail around the west side of the Crooked River and back then to the east to a junction in the trail where it forks. There is a sign that says the trail is not maintained from that point on. Take the left fork and before it goes right into a gully, head up and to the left to Staender Ridge and the line of rock towers.
Bette's Needles is the 5th rock formation from the bottom and has a very distinctive boot shape, high on the north side, low on the south. Hike up the east side of the tower to gain the north saddle. Snaking around to the east from the north point is a dark-colored ramp (center bottom of photo attached to route page). You can either start the climb from the base of the ramp on the north side or scramble up about 15 feet to the top of the ramp.
Route DescriptionPitch one goes up left from the top of the ramp to the left of a dark boulder. Climb the chimney on the north side of the tower to a ledge with anchors to the right of the chimney's exit (it is the higher flat ledge on the right side of the tower in the attached photo). 40 feet, gear to 1 inch.
Pitch 2 follows another obvious chimney starting slightly on the northwest side of the tower above the bolts and snakes its way to easy moves on the north side of the tower. 25 feet, gear to 1 inch. Rappel the route.