|Cleopatra's Needle Area
This climb is very close to the road, and the route faces the road. The route follows an obvious crack system on the south edge. This spire is very elegant, beautiful , and stunning. The first pitch climbs lumpy and broken rock to a ledge. Pitch 2 goes up a small splitter crack. Don't know anything about pitch 3;...looks like a very short pitch to the summit.
This route is just off the highway on the east side of the road, about 6 miles North of Window Rock , Ariz. This is the road north out of Gallup. You cannot miss it.
Looks like you need some pins on this one. I've only done pitch one, but I'd take all sorts of stuff with me.
From: Joshua Tree, California
May 6, 2007
I have only done the first pitch of this climb. I would like to know more about the rest of this climb by anyone who has done the whole climb. The reason I only did one pitch is that my partner did not want to continue after pitch one. My partner was Mike Uintelle; one of my Navajo buddies who I played basketball with when I lived on the Res. Mike was a young bad-ass Navajo guy;...early 20's, lived his whole life on the res, and knew how to take care of himself. He was an awesome basketball player, and basketball is BIG on the res, so he was well respected for that; as well as him and his brother weren't afraid to "mix it up" if need be with anyone who wanted to mess with them. Mike had never climbed before, but once we had tried to go ice climbing together on an ice dribble up Buffalo Pass out of Lukachaukai;...but the bottom of the ice pillar fell off when we were climbing on it, so we couldn't climb that either. I led pitch one on a cold Jan. day in 1983;... snow on the ground and a big chill in the air. I fixed 2 ropes, rapped down, and got Mike on the jumars;....he made it to the top of pitch one, but found out he was VERY afraid of heights....I mean VERY.......(funny coming from a bad-ass boy who I thought was afraid of NOTHING).....I wasn't too bummed out, for it was freezing -ass cold, and the next section looked sort of tricky and scary. We had a great adventure together, and that is the most important part of climbing to me. I didn't mind doing an "illigal" climb on the Res with Mike;....and from what I understood, it was only illigal for NON-INDIANS to climb on the Res, BUT LEGAL for Navajos to climb on the Res.......(That didn't set right with me......if you know what I mean......). We had a couple of cars drive by and honk their horns at us, but other than that, the climb was uneventful and went un-noticed....other than a cow who also witnessed our attempt. I had no idea that the Bandito route we were on was only put up 4 months prior to our attempt.....fresh out of the oven. Anyone who has more info on this climb, I would really like to hear about this.
From: Joshua Tree, California
May 9, 2007
rickd;....facinating;.....you were determined with the various attempts;....I didn't know about another route on this formation;...backside would be cool;..the front side is right there for all the cars going by to see......sort of bizarre. Good one;....I bet that summit was cool;...they all are, aren't they. Thanks for sharing info;....I am very interested in climbs on the Res;.....awesome.....Even though I never reached the summit;..I probably will never go back;.....Oh well. And yeah;... these are JUST across the border into New Mex.....but still...Navajolands.... and the climbs are MOSTLY all in Arizona......(Some in Utah too....)....sneeky....
|By Stu Ritchie|
Dec 4, 2007
I climbed the Bandito route with Brad Bond around 1997. When Brad started off to jumar the second pitch, a large portion of the belay ledge collapsed out from under him. I found the A-1 crack on the prow, shown in the old Bjornstadt guide, to be slippery # 1 cams. Also of note, I recall encountering a brass figurine of a sitting dog next to the summit anchors. Funny what props are left out in the desert!