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Weaver's Needle Summit
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mini location map2016-12-26
10 by photographer avatarjuliachaos
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Weaver's Needle SummitPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hike & Climb avatar Dec 26 2016
juliachaos
Hike & Climb8.10 Miles 3,414 AEG
Hike & Climb8.10 Miles
3,414 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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clairebear
I've wanted to do the Needle for a while, and things just sort of ended up coming together. Claire was able to join in as well, and really helped out since she's done it before!

We got going early-ish but not too early... basically figuring that we are all pretty solid hikers and climbers, so it shouldn't take that long. Hahaha. We hiked on out and followed a friend's advice to not turn off the main trail to the Needle until you were pretty much dead center of it, or slightly past. We skipped turning at the first set of cairns, which I believe is where some people end up getting into a bushwhacky mess among the shorter hoodoos there. We checked out the second set (pictured in the photoset), but decided to keep going farther on the main trail just to be sure. Walked another half mile and never saw more cairns, so went back to the second set and crossed the creek.

The "trail" up is fairly well-marked. Cairns in various places just showing you the easiest way up. End goal is the gully between the two loaves of the Needle. We worked our ways up.. it took a while (I think some of us were still full of holiday treats), but then got up to the scrambly sections. This might technically be where the "first pitch" is, but really it was never truly obvious where any of the pitches were until you're in the section below the chockstone. It was pretty darn wet in the gully, and the rock was very slick. Will was more confident, so he belayed us up the worst section above the slung tree, then we set up for a roped pitch. Will went up first, placed some gear (couple of small to medium cams) and set up a belay on the chock, after doing the 5.2 section on the right side over the chock. It's good to note that for belay purposes, it's best to go left or right of the chock and not under it, to avoid stressing out the rope with an unnecessary 90-degree angle. He belayed Claire up on a bight, and then I simul-TR'ed at the end of the rope. None of us fell or weighted the rope at any point, but I was glad to be tied in. Probably should have had helmets on too. Twice when I weighted a foothold, it blew right off the wall and crashed down into the gully.

Once on top of the chock, we turned the rope into a backpack and climbed up the 3rd-4th class sections until we finally got to the top. The exposure was something else, so I didn't look down. The climbing was nice and easy, and usually pretty straightforward. And now everything was in the sun, so it was dry. :)

At the top, we signed the log and took some pictures, then set up a rappel on the huge obvious chains at the edge of the cliff. Rapped down a short way to the lower section, then downclimbed everything down to the chock. It sounds like there used to be more rap bolts somewhere along this route, but we never saw any. Rapped off the chock and then again off the slung tree since it was wet and slick down the final portion. Followed the cairns back to the trail and hit Peralta before dusk. Quickly hiked back to the saddle and had a saddle beer just after darkness fell. On our trek back down the final portion of trail, we talked to two guys who were on their way up and looking for the Cave Trail. We lent them advice to leave it for the daylight, especially since it was their first time. They continued up to the saddle. Not sure if they followed the advice, so hopefully everything turned out well for them.

Getting back to the car is usually a joyous occasion at the end of a long day... well, when a tire goes flat it can get exhausting. Fought with various troubles for an hour and a half (not gonna get into details... it was not good), then eventually got out of there on a donut. So, cheers to a long day of awesome adventuring, and still getting to sleep in your own bed at a reasonable enough hour! :y:
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juliachaos'
160 Photosets

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