Amazing route. Great diversity of climbing. Must do but you should be pretty solid at the 5.8 grade in lieback/finger corner systems.
My first trip to the needles was in the spring of 1983. The road was closed so we hiked in with big packs and camped out in the formations. I fell in love with the place on the spot and have been back more times than I can recall, most recently last fall with Barbara Taylor - we did Inner Sanctum, a very enjoyable route on the Witch. Other personal favs are Ice Pirates, Atlantis, and Ankles Away...
So I went back this year and did the damn thing! Yay! It was great. I did take a fall at the same place I had trouble last time, but I got back on flapper and all and finished. It felt fabulous. Hope it still counts if I took a fall. It wasn't a very big one and I had to climb the rest of the way with my fingers sticking together with dried blood. Ewww!!. The Needles is an incredible place. Can't wait to go back! The hike kicks my butt, especially on the way out.
Couldn't pull off Igor Unchained but since it was within my first few months of starting to climb I guess it's not too humiliating. Did hike up to the top of the other side so I guess I summited. First time in my life I've been scared of heights. Amazing place. Next year I'll climb it and resign the log.
White Punks was classic, but Igor was the better climb.
I climbed this excellent route with long time climbing partner Kenn Kenega. The first pitch was long, we had to simul-climb to get to the first belay with a 50 m rope. The second pitch was awesome a true classic. The last pitch was good,better climbing than the first pitch. Yahoo! finally got the summit of the Witch.
Reached summit of The Witch Needle by way of fantastic route. Most awesome view awaits at the top after good hand jams up this beautiful granite! Thanks for the unforgetable experience Kris!
My wife and I started at the trailhead around 1:30 pm and I reached the lookout around 2:30 ish. My wife was too scared to climb the staircase to get the spectacular view I had.
I did this 5 pitch climb with Pat Brennen. Good rock, good route, but it doesnt have the wild summit like the other Needles do. This place is so awesome I don't know why I dont climb here more often.
I climbed this great route with Bob Cable. We did the route in 7 pitches of mostly easy climbing, what a great summit. We approached this climb from the lower road, its a hard hump up.
I climbed this good route with Kenn Kenega.
Miguel Carmona and I climbed this route in August of 1991. I remember Miguel leading and drilling the first, 10+ pitch, which from the ground looked really hard. The climbing on this is fairly sustained for the first 4 pitches, then eases up for the next 4 or 5. Quality route.
Miguel Carmona and I finished this route in October 1988 after we worked on it for three weekends. We placed 10 bolts on 7 pitches, the most we have ever drilled, anywhere. This turned out to be sustained and quality route.
Miguel Carmona and I climbed this new route on our first visit to Hermit Spire in 1987. The route starts at the lowest point of the spire, about 50 feet left of Herb Laeger's 1983 "A pitch and nine takes time"and follows the right facing crack system all the way to the top of the spire. Miguel and I returned for 19 more trips over the next two years, and put up some 15 new routes on the Hermit. The formation is still seldom visited, but we think it's a great alternative for those seeking solitude and Needles like climbing experience.
For more info, see Greg Vernon's 1992 "NEEDLES" Guide Book pages 24 to 47.
The 3 of us reached the trailhead about 1:00pm. It was a slightly overcast day with the temp abouyt 41 degrees F. We started up the trail which was covered with 4-6 inches of snow. Going up the trail was realitvely easy even with the burden of snow. The 2 hikers with me were novices and I actually had to push them along verbally a few times. They were glad when the reached the summit though because they view is priceless. At the summit be prepared for some wind.