Keeler Needle Harding Route TR

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Messages 1 - 36 of total 36 in this topic
climbingbuzz

Trad climber
SF, CA
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!
atchafalaya

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

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

Gunks 5.6...?
climbingbuzz

Trad climber
SF, CA
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.
davidji

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

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.
426

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...

Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Jun 22, 2007 - 08:01pm PT
Alright!
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
Mike.

climber
Jun 22, 2007 - 09:05pm PT
Thanks for the inspiring pix and write-up...looks like it was really cruiser for you guys. Really makes me wanna get out there.
Jay Wood

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

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.
WBraun

climber
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.
Raydog

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

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

Killer TR!
Misha
BeeHay

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...
Raydog

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

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?
Chiloe

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

Trad climber
SF, CA
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.
Zander

Trad climber
Berkeley
Jun 25, 2007 - 11:38pm PT
Thanks for posting. I would love to do this route.
Zander
PMS

climber
Woodland Park, CO
Jun 26, 2007 - 09:57am PT

Colorado 5.12?
TwistedCrank

climber
a luxury Malibu rehabilitation treatment facility
Jun 26, 2007 - 12:10pm PT
Black Canyon Grade II?
L

climber
A Light Glider on a Rising Thermal
Jun 26, 2007 - 12:11pm PT
Whaddya mean "grainy"???? Those photos were awesome!

I've climbed the Mountaineers Route on Whitney two and a half times, and every time I get a good look at Keeler, I think "No way in hell...but dang--I sure wish I could!!!" Your great TR makes me think that maybe it's possible now.

Thanks for posting it.
Batrock

Trad climber
Burbank
Jun 26, 2007 - 12:21pm PT
I have done the East Face and East Buttress several times. On one trip up the East Buttress i looked over to see someone free soloing Keeler. At first I thought he was roped and kept waiting for him to stop and set up a belay, but he just kept climbing. Turns out it was Croft. He ran past us on the trail while we hiked out. He probably did Keeler and the East Face maybe more that day. Impressive. Your TR has inspired me to get off my but and get up there and do the Harding route. Thanks.
handsome B

Gym climber
SL,UT
Jun 26, 2007 - 12:27pm PT
wow, looks big and fun, thanks for the TR!
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, Ca.
Jun 26, 2007 - 12:32pm PT
Awesome. The pics didn't come out too bad. Captured everything pretty well. Good job!
snakefoot

climber
cali
Jun 26, 2007 - 12:33pm PT
one of the sierras finest, nice
clustiere

Trad climber
Durango, CO
Sep 3, 2007 - 03:01am PT
Sweet going next weekend
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Sep 3, 2007 - 12:27pm PT
Nice TR of a classic backcountry line. I can't locate the cover shot from Ascent 72....Anyone?
dee ee

Mountain climber
citizen of planet Earth
Sep 4, 2007 - 05:13pm PT
Classic, it brings back memories! I don't remember any loose rock, a tiny bit grainy on that 2nd pitch.
steelmnkey

climber
Vision man...ya gotta have vision...
Sep 4, 2007 - 07:48pm PT
Ascent 1972 - Harding on the first winter ascent of the Keeler Needle

Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Sep 4, 2007 - 09:18pm PT
Thanks for that classic shot of Tim Auger, now the Banff Warden. I have never seen anybody else's version of that one, either. Superb!
clustiere

Trad climber
Durango, CO
Sep 11, 2007 - 06:35pm PT
just did this route last weekend and I found that the rock was pretty good.
bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Sep 11, 2007 - 06:45pm PT
worth noting that the ascent cover shot was/is a galen rowell pic.
kevsteele

climber
Santa Barbara, CA
Sep 11, 2007 - 08:01pm PT
I love that area, before we did the whole Crimson Wall we linked over to the Harding Route, nice and wide :-) Following year our route went straight up the headwall.

None of the guidebooks on the sierras have the Crimson Wall route correct! I need to update the topo with an overlay on Keeler so they get it right in future editions, meanwhile the original is posted here in the back vaults of obscurities on ST:

Crimson Wall

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