damn that's big
Then you stand underneath it, a monolith of granite towering into the sky
maybe we should just go and have a nice day on Pygmy Ridge!
|Looking up the 260m line of The Needle (E1 5b) on Shelterstone Crag from its base|
with Caelen on the 1st pitch.
The Needle winds an intricate line up lower slabs and through overlaps to the steepening headwall culminating with the fine finale of the famous 'Needle Crack'. After a 2 hour walk in from the ski centre car park Caelen started up the first damp 4b pitch, still streaked with water even though there had been good weather in the past week. After that was the 2nd pitch, a long, intricate and serious 5b pitch up blind cracks finishing with a burly pull through a big overlap.
This is where the crag rears up and the slabs are left behind. Caelen led another damp 4b pitch which landed us below the crux pitch. It climbs a steep crack for 10m until the way is barred by an overhang, a teetering traverse is then made across to where some bent pegs can be clipped and then a strenuous pull through the steep bulging wall is made. Another 4b pitch by Caelen then saw us below 'the crack for thin fingers' which is well protected but a serious struggle! One more thuggy 4b pitch placed us on an exposed ledge below 'The Needle Crack'.
|Looking down 'The Needle Crack' with all the air below Caelen's feet|
|The second the last pitch of The Needle (E1 5b)|
|'Threading The Needle' on the last pitch|
|The magnificent Shelterstone Crag and Loch Arn'.The Needle climbs up the prow.|
The best big mountain route I've done so far.