Needle and Spoon, Pywiack Dome 5.10a R-
Tuolumne Meadows, California USA
Avg time to climb route: 2-3 hours
Approach time: 5 minutes
Descent time: 15 minutes
Number of pitches: 4
Height of route: 400'
OverviewFA: Dennis Oakeshott, Bruce Morris, Peter Mayfield, 1975.
Needle & Spoon is a beautiful slab route on glacially polished golden granite. While rated only a step harder, Needle & Spoon is far more sustained than the Dike Route, especially on the second pitch (first slab pitch). The bolting is much tighter than the Dike Route, and was considered to be a “sport” route for the era. Not by any means a sport route by today’s standards, multiple long falls have been taken on the first pitch, at least one of which resulted in a YOSAR call-out because the leader wasn’t wearing a helmet and sustained a bloody head injury and concussion (http://www.friendsofyosar.org/rescues/2001/8-12-01_Pywiack.html).
The first pitch is up a slab with an intermittent thin crack, and a few pieces of pro are nice unless soloing 5.6 is fine with you. The second pitch (first slab pitch) is a very sustained slab with polish and shallow dishes. There’s a bulge near the start of the pitch that is easiest to pass far to the right, where there is an old bolt. If you clip the bolt, be prepared for rope drag higher on the pitch - it’s good to use at least a shoulder-length sling. The third pitch has a short crux that is well protected, and it is much less sustained than the previous pitch. High on the pitch there are a couple of long runouts on easy terrain, but compared to lower on the route, they will seem casual.
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