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Charlie Horse Needle
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Sims-Hesse-Hanning Route T 

Sims-Hesse-Hanning Route 

YDS: 5.11c French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 24 British: E4 6a

Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, Grade III
Consensus:  YDS: 5.11 French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E4 5c [details]
FA: Ron Olevsky and Joy Ungritch, May 2 1985 FFA: Ken Sims, Mark Hesse, and Maura Hanning-Sims, 1995.
Page Views: 1,758
Submitted By: Josh Ewing on Nov 13, 2006

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Sam on the super fun P2


(P1) scramble up on a ledge and climb a fist crack splitter (5.10) that is right next to a 6 friend corner. When possible, pull up into the wide chimney and do a few 5.7 moves to gain a hand crack on the left wall of the chimney. Belay here inside the chimney at a good stance on a wedged boulder.
(P2) climb the hand crack up the chimney wall and follow it out onto the face at a sloping ledge. Continue up the crack, now 1.5 friend sized for a few moves until it is possible to move back right into a squeeze chimney (#3 Big Bro would have been really nice). Climb the squeeze chimney (5.9) and do some awkward OW moves onto a ledge with a decent bolt, a drilled angle and a crappy star drive. Belay here.
(P3) Bust up the overhanging dihedral on stacks to gain thin hands in the vertical corner (5.11c). The crack pinches back down to stacks before going wide again for more OW to the top of the pillar past some loose rock at the very top. Belay at 2 drilled angles.
(P4) Pull one or two moves of loose 5.6 to the summit, then downclimb back to the belay (Old anchors on top are not trustworthy).
Descend via 3 single rope raps (with a 70 meter rope) or one single rap from the top and one double rope from the pitch 2 belay)


Hike up the wash mentioned in the area description for only 200 yards or so and cut up left to a small break in the cliff band (cairns). Do a 5.2 move or so and get up on the mesa top. Hike all the way around to the back of the tower formation, resisting the urge to gain elevation up toward the tower. Stay level all the way around the the back and go up a wash/gully on the far left side of the formation. Then, walk right along the cliff to the base of the climb.


(1) #1 Friend, (1) #1.5 Friend, tripples #1.75 Friend through #4 Friend [save at least (2) #1.75 Friend = green Camalot sized pieces for the crux] plus (1) # 4 Camalot (2) #4.5 Camalots, (1) # 5 Camalot or #6 Friend, and (1) #3 Big Bro.

Photos of Sims-Hesse-Hanning Route Slideshow Add Photo
Looking down from the Shangri La belay at Pitch 1
Looking down from the Shangri La belay at Pitch 1
The route as seen from the east. The Shangri-La be...
BETA PHOTO: The route as seen from the east. The Shangri-La be...
AT the top of the 3rd pitch, belaying the second o...
AT the top of the 3rd pitch, belaying the second o...
Sam just past the crux on pitch 3.
Sam just past the crux on pitch 3.
Sam on the second pitch of Charlie Horse Needle in...
Sam on the second pitch of Charlie Horse Needle in...
Summit view looking downstream following the Green...
Summit view looking downstream following the Green...

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By Stewart M. Green
Nov 16, 2006

This route is named the Sims-Hesse-Hanning Route. First ascent was by Ron Olevsky and Joy Ungritch (5.7 A2) on May 2, 1985. Ron named the spire after a horse he was riding on a reconnaisance mission reared and fell backwards, pinning his thigh to the ground and giving him a Charley Horse. First free ascent was by Ken Sims, Mark Hesse, and Maura Hanning-Sims in 1995. Ken also did a 5.12 finger crack variation on first pitch on the face right of the regular dihedral. The first belay is in a window, called the Shangri-La belay. The third pitch is the business--11c finger crack to 11b thin hands in an easier off-width. The last described pitch here is really just a 10-foot scramble onto the actual summit from a lower summit.
By Josh Ewing
From: Bluff, UT
Nov 18, 2006

Does anyone know if either of the two other towers in the formation has routes on them?
By theleroy
Jan 31, 2007

Can anyone tell me where I might be able to find more information besides in Desert Rock Rock climbs in NPS on the Witch - Midnight Rider 5.7 A3
Thanks I think it is near CHN
By Ben Kiessel
Mar 7, 2007

The witch is in stewart green's utah falcon guide. But it was free climbed and now is called Sims-Hesse-Hanning Route and goes free at 5.11+ R. Have fun!
By drewford
From: Wasatch Back, UT
May 14, 2008

Great route! Mellow approach, awesome climbing and position. Rack beta seemed a bit overkill, but YMMV. We did one 60m rappel from the top all the way to the ground with rope to spare. Three and half stars.
By Dana Prosser
From: Boulder
Apr 4, 2011

We brought the rack suggested in the write up, but felt like this was too much gear (and I am a whimp), Next time I would only bring one # 4.5 camalot, and bring only one or two #3 camalots. Also, you can bring only 2 # 4 friends if you use Big cam in R crack on P1
The descent is 2 raps from the top of P3 with a 70m rope (not 3).