1st Pitch- 25m- 5.9
Both pitches of Spooky offer fantastic and relaxed climbing
compared to the more sustained nature of most routes at the Needles. Thus Spooky makes for an ideal end of the day climb despite what its name might imply. It is often climbed as a continuation of the most classic moderate at the Needles, Thin Ice (5.10, 3 pitches). In other words you climb Thin Ice on the Sorcerer, rap down to the Sorcerer/Charlatan col, then climb the south face of the Charlaton to its top via Spooky.
You can climb Spooky in two pitches or one long pitch. The route breaks nicely into two short pitches. There really is nothing "spooky" about this route. It is real straight forward and one of the easier moderates at the Needles
. The first pitch is a beautiful hands corner that starts off with some easy run out slab to reach the bottom of the corner. At the top of the corner you reach a large ledge with a fixed station. From there, a short section of off-width
up another corner leads to juggy, stem climbing to the summit of Charlatan.
Either climb Thin Ice and rap down to the col or rap down to the col from the summit of Charlatan itself to start the route.
Route DescriptionSpooky, 175’+/-, 5.9
1st Pitch- 25m- 5.9/
From the col, climb up the unprotected slab on the southeast corner of the Charlatan to the base of a perfect hand-crack corner. Climb the relatively short corner to a large ledge with a fixed belay/rap station in its floor. This fixed station is in place so you can rap from the summit with a single rope to do the route. You can build a station in the base of the wide crack or combine the two pitches by long slinging any pro you place at the end of the hand crack/corner and at the beginning of the short off width crack/corner.
2nd Pitch- 30m- 5.9/
Climb the off-width to its top and make a fun stem traverse left
to access juggy (but good pro) features to the top of the Charlatan.
Walk off north or climb Lady of the Needles (5.7 short spire on the summit) and rap back down it. Follow the trail back to the col.
60m rope. Standard rack from C4 #.3 to #2 plus a C4 #4 for the off-width and a #5 if neither leader is proficient at wide crack climbing
; to protect from the off-the-deck wide climbing on lead. We placed no wires. Southeast facing, so mostly sunny all day in August.
Interesting option to camping at the end of the road (which is nice, but no internet or phone service). I have friends (professional saddle makers) who live in Ponderosa, the small hamlet just one mile south of the Needles turnoff. They are one of the few full time residents and would like to offer climbers three options for accommodations. Cabins, trailer and/or tent sites. They own a beautiful private piece of land bordering the National Forest. Can prob figure out a hike to the Needles from there, I have not taken the time to do that yet. Bathrooms, internet, showers, fire pits, great company, etc. They already operate as a BnB and VRBO but will take campers as well.
They own that entire meadow!