Needle Rock, 5.9

Page Type
Mountain/Rock
Location:
Idaho, United States, North America
Activities:
Toprope
Season:
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
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Needle Rock, 5.9
Created On: Jul 2, 2016
Last Edited On: Jul 2, 2016

Overview/Approach

 
Needle Rock
Dow at the top of the north face

"This skinny landmark is said to be dangerously perched and not recommended for climbing." As spelled out in the guide, Needle Rock is an exposed solo climb, but it is not dangerously perched in my opinion. It would take a lot more than a human to topple Needle Rock.

The view from the road out to Twin Sisters gives this formation its name. Your viewpoint is of its narrow end. In reality it is a huge chunk of granite perched high up on the ridge. The easiest route is also the most exposed, a 5.9 solo on the north face with the crux move off the deck with a void below. Two other fixed routes were developed at one time. One up the eastern arete where the hangers have been removed and one on the south face with a few ancient button heads still remaining. But by far the more secure ascent comes via jugs on the north face. The second move is a reach and the crux.

Park at Twin Sisters and head for Yellow Wall. Bypass Yellow Wall on the left and take the left gully (photo) up to the flat base on the north side of Needle Rock. There is a bit of scrambling up that gully. This is also one of the better cactus bloom areas in the whole region. Access issues as of 2016 will continue to plaque climbs in this area.

Route Description

 
Needle Rock
 
  • Needle Rock- 35’-5.9 solo/Hike around the left side of Yellow Wall. Then scramble up the left gully below Needle Rock. The 5.9 solo is the featured and exposed steep right side of the North Face. It is more gritty and exposed than I prefer to solo at that grade but after the first reachy move, it is more 5.8 than 5.9. Three hangerless skinny bent bolts are on the east arête and a couple of rusty button heads with thin rusty hangers are on the south face. The arête might be at the same grade, but I would never trust my footing on it solo. The south face is for masochists. None of the fixed gear could be depended on to arrest a fall. Dow