25-Nov-94 (San Diego Chapter)
By: Dennis Richards, Eric Beck
Seven San Diego Chapter climbers met at the Peralta Canyon campground on Thursday night, the 24th, having carpooled over in three vehicles. Friday morning was an early start and after breakfast and a gear check, we were hiking by 6:40 A.M. to the Needle's western side. Topping out at Fremont Saddle by 7:50 A.M., we were "0ohing and ahhing" our objective some 1 1/2 miles to the northwest. From the saddle, Weaver's Needle is viewed end on and the southern summit blended so well into it's northern neighbor that we didn't realize we were, in fact, looking at the high point.
By 9:15 A.M., having scrambled up to the base of the "V" notch over 3rd class friction rock, we were ready to climb the 150 foot first pitch. This pitch is about Class 5.1 for the first two thirds and about Class 5.4 for the remainder. The huge chockstone at the top is passed on the right side (another route starts in a crack about half-way and passes the chockstone on the left. This is Class 5.8 or so.). One can also crawl under the chockstone into the notch. No "style points" are awarded for climbers using this tunnel route.
I led this first pitch, tying off to two steel rods embedded into the rock wall. I also placed a #1 and a #2 Camalot for additional protection. Eric followed, towing two additional ropes. While Eric belayed the others, I took one rope and set up a belay on the second pitch. By noon we were all on the summit enjoying the views and unusually warm weather. We rappelled off of the summit and again into the "V" notch where we encountered two other climbers, one of whom was belaying up two others. We were delayed 11/4 hours because they had only two harnesses and one rope between them. A third party reached the "V" notch as we were starting to rappel and their leader was kind enough to let us descend before he belayed up his partner. By 4:40 P.M. we were back on the trail for camp, arriving there about 6:30 P.M.
This was our Chapter's second Restricted outing and my first as leader. My special thanks to Eric for his assistance. Thanks also to Lori Lando for assisting with the belays and Rob Langsdorf for leading the 3rd Class to the summit while Eric and I were collecting the ropes. Other participants were Carol Synder, Mark Bender and Beth Sangree.
On Saturday the 26th, we climbed Superstition Mtn. via route "A" and were joined by DPS member John Strauch who was in the area visiting family. I found John Annerino's Sierra Club book Adventuring in Arizona a great source of information concerning the western approach and climb of Weaver's Needle.
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