This is the crowning jewel of sport climbs at the Needles. In an area that is known for its soaring corner systems and beautiful trad climbs, in many ways, this is a counterpoint: A soaring, flawless arete, protected by a handful of draws...
But this is no Boulder Canyon sport route -- expect to earn the clips. High on the route there is a 20' run to a bolt, followed immediatly by a 25' run to the next one! Serious air is possible on this route, which is supposedly Yaniro's "favorite" climb.
Although it is technically two pitches, and there is a sit-down rest on the flake that marks the end of the first pitch, the way to do it, of course, is in one. The rope line is perfectly straight, but that won't change how heavy the rope feels when perched tenuously to the upper reaches of the arete in a lieback, feet smeared, poised to make a desperate clip.
It's a serious sandbag to call this 11+, or even 12a for that matter. It is 12a in the Needles' sense of 12a. Few moves on its 150' are easier than 5.11. The physical crux is in the first pitch: relentless thin crimps up slightly overhanging golden-brown granite. The upper arete is home to several technical and mental cruxes. Every inch of the entire climb offers awesome, cerebral movement.
Scramble up under the base of Thin Ice, etc, then to the top of the Fire Wall and down to a chockstone belay stance.
15 draws and a long sling (for the anchor at the top of P1). Skip the old, stray bolt immediately before this anchor and climb up and left instead. One 60m rope requires rapping from the top, then once again to the ground. Thankfully, the bolt immediately prior to the long run out is beefy ASCA equipment. Stick clip the first bolt or at least have your belayer anchored in if you're going for it.
|By Matthew Fienup|
From: Ventura, CA
Apr 2, 2009
FA: Yaniro, Maurer, Leavitt
|By Scott Bennett|
Jun 10, 2009
rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ E5 6a
Mega-Rowdy, a must do! The first bit is the technical crux with hard pulling on good face holds, but the second half is what makes the route a classic. The angle eases back, the holds dissapear, and the bolts space out. Just commit to the arete, trust the friction, and send! or do what I did, sketch out near the top, and barn-door off for a 30+ footer... Either way it's a blast!
|By Chris Hirsch|
From: Rapid City, SD
Nov 26, 2012
This is the best and most memorable pitch (linked 1 & 2) that I've ever done!! Was this done ground-up?
|By Josh Higgins|
Mar 25, 2013
I gave this thing a ride in 2009, and managed to onsight it in one amazing pitch. I figured either I'd get it and it would be awesome, or I'd fail and go for a hell of a ride and it would be awesome. Win-Win! Scirocco is a reference to a wind near the Mediterranean as far as I can tell, and the route lives up to its name. I finally had to get a super early start to get on it due to the huge winds that can build throughout the day in that notch. I warmed up on Trade Winds, and immediately got on Scirocco. Awesomely, the wind blasted through while I was in the middle of the crux lieback off the arete above a bolt. I just had to hang on and be glad the wind was blowing the right direction for me to stay on and fight the pump. What an amazing line! I didn't think the runout at the top was hard physically, but it still takes some thought and effort.
|By Craig Smith|
Sep 30, 2013
Did it in '86. The top arete is very memorable especially when the 'breeze' is blowing hard and trying to spin you off the arete!