Keeler Needle Harding Route TR


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Trad climber
Topic Author's Original Post - Jun 22, 2007 - 06:24pm PT
I've enjoyed all the pics others have posted. Time for me to get my act together and post up as well.

The pics from this trip are grainy because we used a disposable, but I thought some would enjoy the subject matter: the Harding Route on Keeler Needle. This is a face I had wanted to climb since seeing it from 395 over 10 years ago. I never, ever, ever thought I'd be able to do it back then.

Well, sometime in 2005 we hiked in to climb it. We were psyched. A bit before sunrise we started the short trek to the base from Upper Boyscout.

Crumbly rock? That's what we expected, but not what we got. For the most part the rock was great! Not by the standards of the Incredible Hulk, but solid and fun rock nonetheless.

This is the first pic I have, pitch 3, the double cracks through the roof. Fun and good pro. The pitch before this one (P2) had probably the worst gear and rock on the route.

Pitch 4. An "offwidth" pitch. I had always been intimidated by Keeler, principally because of the OW. Well, turned out that the rock is so featured that the OW on this pitch doesn't feel at all like a Valley 5.10 OW; much easier. I seem to remember good medium size gear where you want it. There's a piece of gear at my waist in this shot, a great foothold and a handhold on the face. Anyway, I wouldn't not do the route because of the OW.

The Red Dihedral.

I think this is pitch 8, the one with three bolts in a row. Very fun, and a little technical flared wide part before the OW and bolts.

Higher up, not sure where.

Before the summit blocks there is a fun 5.11 finger crack that is not to be missed if you are into that kind of climbing.

The summit blocks.

The route took us 5 hours. We were shocked it had gone so quickly. We had been a little worried about potential T-storms and maybe that spurred us on. I hadn't climbed the E Face of Whitney so with the extra time we climbed that route on the way back to camp. Solid rock, fun climbing, the Sierras, great position: fun route!

Jun 22, 2007 - 06:31pm PT
kickassssss tr... Valley 5.8?

Trad climber
LA, Ca
Jun 22, 2007 - 06:34pm PT

Gunks 5.6...?

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 22, 2007 - 06:37pm PT
Actually pitch 8 is definitely 5.10. I had always been intimidated by Keeler because I knew how hard offwidth was for me in the Valley. And then I pictured 5.10 OW at 12,000 feet. But the OW on Keeler is short and not bad at all. I don't want to sandbag it though. Pitch 8 had my attention. But the gear was great.

Social climber
Jun 22, 2007 - 06:43pm PT
Thanks. Your pix made the route look really appealing!

Big Wall climber
Fresno, CA
Jun 22, 2007 - 06:47pm PT
NICE! Thanks for posting! I've been thinking about a route on Keeler for a while now too! It's great to see pics of it.

Sport climber
Buzzard Point, TN
Jun 22, 2007 - 07:00pm PT
Good stuff. The Needle(r) was my first alpine route...Mark Rogers whupped me good and bagged me into leading both of the 10 pitches, too (I think the second pitch is 10a/b)...I scraped a bunch of dirt out to "mine" the placements on the crux...this was like eons ago.

The rock looks worse than I remember, heh.

If anyone has 'Raja's' contact info, I'd be much obliged...


right here, right now
Jun 22, 2007 - 08:01pm PT
Nice clear blue skies, fresh air, high country granite & good jams.
Great stuff.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jun 22, 2007 - 08:43pm PT
great TR! thanks for the time to post
Jay Wood

Trad climber
Fairfax, CA
Jun 22, 2007 - 09:08pm PT
any asian chicks on the route?

Social climber
The West
Jun 22, 2007 - 09:22pm PT
great pictures! great route, but slippers? I wore 'burly' oversize mythos, wwhat do I know?

I thought that first .10 pitch was the crux, though not by much.

Jun 22, 2007 - 10:46pm PT
What a pile.

Why would anyone be dumb enough to go there?

I'm so glad I did ..........

Nice photos.

Trad climber
Boulder Colorado
Jun 22, 2007 - 10:55pm PT
Walt 3rd classed it

Trad climber
Woodside, CA
Jun 23, 2007 - 12:07am PT
Hey Jason,
Is that you, my friend!??? Hiding behind a buzz moniker!?? :)

Killer TR!

Trad climber
San Diego CA
Jun 23, 2007 - 01:12am PT
Thanks for the TR. Did it in '84 with Adrian Almodovar. I've got a pic showing me in EB's! Weren't Fires out by then? I was always behind the times.

I can remember Shipley pumping me for info a year or two later at the Yo. Deli, sucker went off and did it in a couple of hours.

I'm not intimidated by OW, but scanning 23 yr old slides...

Trad climber
Boulder Colorado
Jun 23, 2007 - 01:25am PT
post up BeeHay

Gym climber
Otto, NC
Jun 23, 2007 - 11:43am PT
Awesome! On the list for sure.

Maybe we can run training laps on the Road Warrior...who's in?

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Jun 23, 2007 - 12:01pm PT
Gotta love mountain TRs. With pics.

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 23, 2007 - 01:50pm PT
I'm psyched you guys are enjoying the pics.

Misha, yes it's me. We've got to get out for some more sierra adventures this year!

BeeHay, I was thinking about Shipley's proud ascent as I was climbing Keeler. Thanks for posting. I'm from San Diego originally. Gotta love Woodson.

Trad climber
Jun 25, 2007 - 11:38pm PT
Thanks for posting. I would love to do this route.
Messages 1 - 20 of total 35 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
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