Romantic Warrior, The Needles

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Romantic Warrior, The Needles

Post by skykilo »

After Atlantis, we were primed for Romantic Warrior. But we botched the approach on our first attempt. The crazy gully between the Witch and the Warlock requires a double rope rappel, which I learned while peeking at the ends of my rope hanging above a ledge.

We decided to scout an alternate approach and ogled spectacular views of The Needles.
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Warlock Needle: the 5.8 traverse/sixth pitch of Romantic Warrior is visible on the left side and it looks a bit like a smiley face.
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The road to the campground is in rough shape. One guy flew his airplane from Sonoma County then rented this fly whip in Kernville. They sustained critical damage to part of the exhaust support but managed to drive it onto a big rock in lieu of a jack stand then they used sport tape to fix it. Hopefully it worked?
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On our second attempt the approach went smoothly. Here is a view full of anxious excitement. It's easy to identify the Living Corner, the 10d pitch, the first 12a pitch and the 12a traverse.
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Ross leads the first pitch. It's a greasy 5.10a with questionable protection at the start. I found it weird enough to consider it a legitimate 5.9+ pitch.
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The Living Corner, 60 m of the most amazing 5.7 where you can pick your style: crack, face or corner? It's all good! This photo has been modified to reflect my feelings about the pitch.
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Ross leads the first more difficult pitch: strenuous, steep, superb with stances between moves.
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I follow.
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Ross with some fancy corner moves following the first 12a pitch.
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It ends with a freaky mantle. This is the only move I blatantly aided on my leads. Next time I will give it a real heave.
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What feet? Ross leads the traverse.
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Following the traverse: too much trouble to stop and rack those cams on the harness.
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The 5.8 traverse was also interesting.
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Ross follows.
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Ross leads the singular Book of Deception.
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This is probably the most restful stance on the pitch.
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The last of the harder pitches packed plenty of punch
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Headed for summit number two....
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Summit number three: YEAH BOYEE!
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I did not know about all that! That's way more brassies and TCUs of the 0-00-000 variety than I've ever placed on a route.

I'm glad we could have another big adventure six(?) years later, Ross. What's next!?


Re: Romantic Warrior, The Needles

Post by ryanl »

Amazing climbs you two. You sort of down played it, maybe because Ross gave the details, but the way you guys stuck with it after your botched approach is classic. You guys are my heros.


Re: Romantic Warrior, The Needles

Post by casruff »

Pretty amazing you guys. What a spectacular looking place. Your pics make it look like you nearly had the whole area to yourselves.

from on the beach

Re: Romantic Warrior, The Needles

Post by teleross »

We nearly did. There's hardly anyone ever up there.
The first day there were I think only four other people in the Needles. That seems to be about the max that I've seen climbing there at any one time. The day we did Romantic Warrior, there was only one other party climbing, and they were over on the Sorcerer, which felt like a long, long ways away from where we were.


Re: Romantic Warrior, The Needles

Post by PeteH »

Yos next?

imminent whippage

Re: Romantic Warrior, The Needles

Post by E_$ »

yup it's been said, stellar pics and amazing-looking climbing. has long been high on my list of desinations, gotta make it happen soon before i get old. when are the best months, Ross?

from on the beach

Re: Romantic Warrior, The Needles

Post by teleross »

summer is best for the needles. you should definitely check out the climbing's absolutely stunning!

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