Needlepoint Corner

The rock in the bottom of this picture is not part of Needlepoint Corner, but Class 3 and 4 climbing up it will get you into the corner, which is in shadow here.

The corner itself is Needlepoint Corner, a 5.3 route. A system of cracks just left of it makes the classic 5.9 Dr. Needlepoint route. The wall left of that route is the 5.12+ Siegfried Line route, and the arete making the edge of the formation (not visible here) is the 5.11+ Blitzkrieg route. Just around the edge of the arete is 5.7 Maginot Line, a system of flakes and a corner. Maginot Line marks the downstream end of the named Dr. Needlepoint routes. A scramble for a 15-20 yards downstream (very difficult or impossible to do in when water levels are not very low) gets you to the Degree 101 crag.

The 5.0 Needlepoint Descent route, often described as exposed and dangerous even though it's really not that bad, goes along the right side of the pointed promontory at the top of the picture. It starts behind, above, and left of that promontory, and the hardest move is the one at the very top. Below the promontory, the route splits so one can access either Needlepoint Corner and the climbs there or the climbs upstream of the corner.

When river levels are not very low, Needlepoint Descent is the only feasible way to get to the base of the Dr. Needlepoint crag without rappelling down.

Great Falls, VA-- September 2007


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