The First Ascent of the Needle's Eye


Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Messages 241 - 252 of total 252 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Aug 20, 2011 - 06:13pm PT
Touch them all...Bumps, that is
Kris Gorny

Trad climber
Rochester, MN
Sep 15, 2011 - 09:23am PT
As of August '11 there are NO bolts on Superpin. Zip. Henry Barber had them all chopped. Check out updated route description and related posts on Mountain Project
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Sep 15, 2011 - 03:36pm PT
Henry don't need no stinkin' bolts!
Patrick Oliver

Boulder climber
Fruita, Colorado
Sep 15, 2011 - 05:40pm PT
Yes I saw the other thread. IF any of this is true, and
Henry did recently chop a bolt, well, I would tend to respect
the judgment of someone of his ability. I know Henry, have
climbed with him many times, and he was one of climbing's
true genius free climbers. I think he would see an added bolt,
on a climb as significant as Super Pin, as a desecration,
while I understand others would see it as a way to make a
climb accessible that would not be otherwise. I understand
both views but support the view of the master, who adheres
to the high principle that we should not bring a climb down
to our level but rather raise ourselves to the level of the
climb. I've done several routes without a bolt to which
climbers later added a bolt (Athlete's Feat, for example,
and Super Slab, in Eldorado). I got tired of arguing the point,
as they would replace their precious bolt if I chopped it,
and only the rock lost. Super Slab, for example, a recent
question was whether or not to change the location of the bolt,
move it up higher to a more strategic place, and make the climb
easier and safer. I voted no, in part because the bolt was
an added one anyway. It shouldn't have been there in the first
place. I did the climb several times with no need of it, then
suddenly everyone needs that bolt... whatever. I'm retired, so
I really have no voice anymore, but our history is worth preserving.
Pete Cleveland did something very special on Superpin, something
more important than whether or not future climbers feel
safe on that route... Best to leave some climbs alone, perhaps?

Sep 26, 2011 - 02:43am PT
@rgold: I have sent you a message.
Did you receive it?
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jan 2, 2012 - 09:35am PT
Shameless nostalgia bump...

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 2, 2012 - 09:57am PT
Nice to see this account popping up again after five years, thanks to Steve. It now has an awkward dual existence here and as a TR at I don't know if there is any way to consolidate the two files...

Happy New Year to all!

Flank of the Bighorns
Jun 9, 2013 - 12:14am PT

Trad climber
Chamonix, France
Jun 9, 2013 - 03:33am PT
I went to the Needles in 1978, inspired by a cover of Mountain magazine. We had no guidebook - just some suggestions from Bob Kamps and the Mountain shot (I'm sure Steve will have a scan of it somewhere).

Credit: jaaan

I don't remember anything about the Needle's Eye. I suspect that I never got any higher than where I am in the photo, though could be wrong...? I think maybe I just wanted the photo. I just assumed the route went where the Mountain shot had it. I never suspected that it should be on the outside of the eye. Is there a route where I am? If so where does it exit? How hard is it?

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 9, 2013 - 11:32am PT
We heard stories that Kor had chimneyed up to the top of the eye and then aided out from there. I think Pat Ament told me that Kor had no memory of doing this, however. In any case, the route, or something close to it, has been freed at 5.9+ (old-school grade warning). Apparently, there is no protection after the top of the eye, and there has been an eighty-foot fall as a consequence. I don't know who did it, nor did Piana when he put it in his guidebook.
Patrick Oliver

Boulder climber
Fruita, Colorado
Jun 9, 2013 - 03:29pm PT
I remember in... about 1970... leading up that Needle's Eye
in the rainy evening, and I knew nothing of the route or which
way to go, only that some route had been done. I climbed to the
very top of the eye, as I recall, leaned out behind me and
made a wildly exposed move onto the south face. I was scared
and had no protection. I thought I must have been on the wrong
route, or else it simply was too unprotected for me. I have a
memory, though, of seeing some kind of horizontal indentation up
to my right that looked as though a piton or two might be driven.
But I carefully reversed the moves and downclimbed that chimney....
Layton certainly never shared with me anything about an attempt
on the Needle's Eye, though I do seem to recall he did some
climbing in the Needles. Not much. I don't think it really suited
Patrick Oliver

Boulder climber
Fruita, Colorado
Jun 9, 2013 - 03:36pm PT
I always wanted to go back but for some reason never did....
Messages 241 - 252 of total 252 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Our Guidebooks
Check 'em out!
SuperTopo Guidebooks

Try a free sample topo!

SuperTopo on the Web

Review Categories
Recent Route Beta
Recent Gear Reviews