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Rock Climbing Photo: The bolt at the top of Cleopatra's Needle. Photo b...
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Aug 31, 2015
From: Winona
Jul 10, 2011
I cant believe that people trust their lives to this bolt. I'm guessing its 3/8 x 2".... we wish. I always down climb and if belaying from top, clove hitch the top of the tower.
By John W. Knoernschild
From: Wisconsin
Jul 11, 2011
Each time I've lowered off it, I'm scared for my life until I reach the ground. Why did I ever trust this. Down climbing sounds like a good plan.
By James M Schroeder
From: Sauk County, WI
Jan 23, 2012
Totally and completely bombproof. (sarcasm) Perhaps a covert Hilti mission is called for...
By Tradoholic
Jan 23, 2012
A simu-rap might work nicely here using the bolt as a rope guide. I.E. Have your second down climb on belay then lower yourself using them as a counter weight. String the rope through the bolt to ensure it doesn't slip off the sides. I haven't done this here but from what I recall it should work great.
By Doug Hemken
Jan 24, 2012
You don't trust Joe Stettner's anchor?
By Andy Hansen
From: Longmont, Colorado
Jan 28, 2012
A simul rap off the Needle is most certainly the way to go. You're not exactly "weighting" the bolt you are, just as Nick stated, using it as a guide. I'd say just leave the bolt.
By Patrick Brewer
Apr 18, 2012
You guys are crazy if you think that bolt is actually a Stettner original from the 60's. Although I don't like rapping off of one piece either it's not exactly a relic. You can even see the remnant of an older pin a few inches away from that bolt.

IMO Simul-rapping is way more sketchy. Bad advice, especially because someone will invariably read your suggestion, Google simul-rapping, and promptly kill themselves.
By Patrick Brewer
Apr 18, 2012
And if you are so sketched out by rapping on it, why would you anchor yourself to it for belaying and climbing?
By Paul Campbell
From: Waukesha, WI
Apr 18, 2012
An old pin is not evidence that the bolt has been replaced. Cleo's needle was climbed decades before the 60's.
By Doug Hemken
Apr 19, 2012
If you doubt the origins of that bolt, contact the CMC.
By Tradoholic
Apr 19, 2012
Patrick, people use it to belay from because they have to and simu-rapping isn't dangerous especially if you use the bolt as a guide, I have done it off many towers to get down when bolts don't exist.
By Patrick Brewer
Apr 20, 2012
I know an old pin doesn't mean the current one has been replaced, but that hardware is in way too good of shape to have been there for 48 years. I've seen 10 year old bolts in way worse shape.

And STANDARD rappelling is dangerous and contributes to many injuries and fatalities every year. How is an advanced rappelling technique not dangerous? If that's the way you want to descend that's fine. Just don't recommend it as THE way to do it, and don't declare it to be not-dangerous, especially when amateurs are looking for advice.
By Tradoholic
Apr 20, 2012
Different metals in different locations deteriate at different rates.

ALL climbing is dangerous and exposing noobs to all options is the best policy. With the situation on top of this needle the simu-rap as I described is safest, especially if you dont trust the bolt. It's the responsibility of all climbers to know descent options and how to execute them. Simu-rapping is no more dangerous then a regular rap and in alot of cases is probably safer. Care to bitch some more?
By Patrick Brewer
Apr 20, 2012
Most rappelling accidents occur because 1)people don't know what they're doing, or 2)because people make simple mistakes. In general simu-rapping, is a more complex rappel, with more factors in play. That opens the door for both accident factor #1 and #2, more than on a standard rappel.

Given the non-redundancy of this system it MIGHT be the best option for descent on this route, provided you know how to do it. But in general simu-rapping does have a higher potential for error.
By Doug Hemken
Apr 20, 2012
Do we really need a pissing match and lectures about the best way to rappel off Cleo's?

Climbing is dangerous, you shouldn't recommend it to anyone and you shouldn't give advice to anyone and you really shouldn't even think climbing thoughts that's a sin too.
By Patrick Brewer
Apr 20, 2012
Doug that's a brilliant idea! Let's settle this via pissing match! I propose that all sides agree on a date and meet at the top of Cleo's. Each man will have a bucket placed at the bottom...

...fullest bucket is declared the safety authority.

This match will be a free-solo event as to be unbiased to any sides' rope use preferences.
By Isaac Therneau
From: Rochester, MN
Apr 29, 2012
Speaking from the experience of arresting the fall of a "noob" due to a catastrophic rapping mistake, I would never, ever, have someone new to climbing try rapping. The bolt is old, but anywhere you go there is an aspect of trusting old manky bolts with your life.
By Zachary Zanzinger
Mar 29, 2013
So I plan to climb cleo's needle as my first trad lead in a few weeks. I'm super sketched out by this bolt though. I'd rather not downclimb or simul-rap. How angry would the DL community be if I left a camo sling around the top block to back up the rap? I was thinking I'd run a piece of 7mm cord through a piece of vinyl tubing, and spray paint that tubing to mimic DL purple quartzite... Any thoughts?
By Chris treggE
From: Madison, WI
Mar 29, 2013
To be honest I was a little weirded out rapping off a single bolt too.

If you leave webbing, someone else will clean it up. No big deal.
By James M Schroeder
From: Sauk County, WI
May 11, 2013

With all due respect I'd pick a different line for your first trad lead. And inevitably someone will bitch about the sling, but Eggert is right, just leave it if you want.

By pdk
From: Janesville, WI
Feb 21, 2015
I would suggest not drilling into a crack...............
By powhound84
From: New Lenox, IL
Aug 31, 2015
It amazes me that nobody has put a second bolt up there.
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The bolt at the top of Cleopatra's Needle. Photo by Matt:

Submitted By: Matt the Other on Jul 10, 2011
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