Not to Be Missed

So many climbs in the Needles merit this description. Here are two of them.

Looking up at the Cathedral Spires from the hairpin curves on the Needles Highway, one spire stands out. With its horns on top and sheer yellow sides,  Khayyam represents the Needles. It looks like a place for the bold and the elite only, but tucked away on the Northwest corner is a moderate gem: God’s Own Drunk.

The climb is two pitches, but the second is not of the same quality as the first, and is done infrequently.

It starts with a dicey bit up an arête. A key pink tricam placement makes this section much less dangerous.


The climb continues up a crack in the corner to a belay out of sight on the right at the second set of  ledges. The pitch is long; the rap takes two ropes.

Starting the business on Hang a Right

Spire Four is known for its easy classic route on the West face. The real prize is on the other side. Hang a Right on Fourth Ave. starts in a corner on the South side of the spire. “It’s all there,” Rich likes to say. True, but it’s all steep and reversing the moves, at some points, would be desperate. Both pitches have everything, from thin face climbing, to lie-backs, to off-width. At .10b (if you’ve done a lot of Needles climbing), it’s not to be missed. Five and six Camalots will be necessary for safe passage.

Second pitch

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