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Spire Four
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Sprire Four 

YDS: 5.4 French: 4a Ewbanks: 12 UIAA: IV ZA: 10 British: VD 3c

   
Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 210'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.4 French: 4a Ewbanks: 12 UIAA: IV ZA: 10 British: VD 3c [details]
FA: Herb & Jan Conn 1948
Page Views: 6,926
Submitted By: Angela Arp on Sep 11, 2001

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Looking up through the worm hole. It's a tight sq...

Description 

Your first decision is HOW to get to the climb! Start off by going down the Cathedral Spires trail . . . (Option #1 The short way) go past the climbers spur till you are directly North of Spire 4. Approach the 3/4 gully from the N side of the spires by bushwacking up the hill. Climb 4th class wall to the 3/4 saddle. (Option #2 Fraggle Rock way) take the climbers spur (south of the spires)to the 3/4 gully, head up thru Fraggle Rock making some simple class 5 moves every now and again (check out the quartz waterfall) till you get to the 3/4 saddle.The first pitch goes up the chimney to the East. At the top of the chimney there is another 'choose your own adventure'. 5.4 Traverses to the left and up a nice featured face (watch out for the dinner plate - waiting for someone to rip it off!) to the belay ledge.5.0 is the WORM HOLE - keep going up the chimney under the chock stones and thru the worm hole up to the belay ledge. I had to take everything off my harnass to fit! Pitch #2 - scramble up and to the left, then around to the right into the 2nd crack. This crack is easy and goes up a fun little roof. At the top of this rock, you have to jump across to the summit of Sprire Four - the best view in the hills if you ask me.


Protection 

Standard Trad rack = nothing larger than a #3 cam necessary, aliens come in handy and don't ever leave the ground w/o your nutsGood anchors / rappel chains at both belays.



Photos of Sprire Four Slideshow Add Photo
Erin coming out of worm hole.
Erin coming out of worm hole.
Angela climbing the crack on pitch two.
Angela climbing the crack on pitch two.
Climbing the chimney for the first pitch of Spire 4.  The worm hole is at the top where the chockstone caps off the chimney.
Climbing the chimney for the first pitch of Spire ...
Matt Misfeldt cruising up crystals on the second pitch.
Matt Misfeldt cruising up crystals on the second p...
Aaron nearing the summit of Spire Four.
Aaron nearing the summit of Spire Four.
I placed a directional that i left un-clipped until Gabe got to the "fall across", once he cleaned all the gear I clipped him in. This part and the worm hole makes this route a very memorable climb, not to mention the views
I placed a directional that i left un-clipped unti...
Here's a picture of the infamous "step-across."  This is my first time up Spire 4; on lead, no less.  I'm a tall, spindly freak, so I could spend all day between the two summits, but short people usually have to think for a few moments before their "leap of faith."  This picture is a change from the traditional "butt shot," since this is actually a "crotch shot."  :-)
Here's a picture of the infamous "step-across." T...
A tight squeeze!
A tight squeeze!
Angela finishing pitch one by squeezing through the wormhole.
Angela finishing pitch one by squeezing through th...
The last pitch...
The last pitch...
Matt Misfeldt "falling" across the gap to the summit of Spire Four.
Matt Misfeldt "falling" across the gap to the summ...
Summit.
Summit.
The Wormhold atop of Pitch 1.
The Wormhold atop of Pitch 1.
George Hurley and friends, coming off South Tower at the wormhole, August 2008.
George Hurley and friends, coming off South Tower ...
Looking down Pitch 1.
Looking down Pitch 1.
celebrating ascending spire 4
celebrating ascending spire 4
Looking up Pitch 2 from the belay atop Pitch  <br />1. The rope show the general path you should  <br />follow.
Looking up Pitch 2 from the belay atop Pitch
1. T...
Aaron just might be the biggest person to have been able to get through the wormhole.  Barely.
Aaron just might be the biggest person to have bee...
Comments on Sprire Four Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Sep 22, 2012
By Bob Archbold
Aug 15, 2002

In 32 years of climbing in the Needles I have never heard of Fraggle Rock getting into the 3.4 gully. I believe they may be a little confused for you do go by Thunder Rock, Freak's Fright, Aku Aku and Teeter Totter Rock. Must be some else's pet name for something.

The worm hole can appear small. But I was with a climber that weighed 22o pounds and he went through one year in October. He did have to undress a bit to get through, actually he undressed alot. He had to take his jacket and sweater off, all the gear he was carrying and suck his chest in, but he did make it through the Worm Hole.

The key to getting through the worm hole is to get both arms through it first at the same time, the slither the rest of the body through. It's a classic move for Spire Four.

I would also recommend that if someone is taking beginners or early level climbers to the summit of Spire Four to before you do the step across place a long runner. Go to the top of the false summit and sling a horn and extend it with a long runner, then do the step across. This will give the new climbers a direction that is in line with their ascent.

But if you don't like the look of the worm hole the left face is fun.

By Angela Arp
From: Omaha Ne
Aug 19, 2002
rating: 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c

Sorry for the confusion Bob. Fraggle Rock was a Muppet show by Jim Henson on cable back in the early 80's. Since you have been climbing longer than I have been alive, you were probably climbing while I was watching Fraggle Rock. I am jealous - climbing would have been better - anyway . . . My friends and I called gully 3/4 Fraggle Rock, because it is so beautifully green and surreal that we kept expecting wild red-haired Muppet to jump out from behind a rock and start singing some crazy song.

Regarding the 'Worm Hole': I did get thru it, but not without some work, and I am nowhere near 220! There is a secret to it, and once you figure it out it is a breeze. (After I figured it all out, I felt stupid for taking everything off my harness and panicking-more than just a little).

I just wanted to leave some excitement and wonder to the route and not give it all away.

& the step across from the false summit to the true summit is truly invigorating!!!!

By Anonymous Coward
Apr 19, 2004

Does it require two 60 meters to rap off new anchors? And I heard there were 3 pitches? Another guy told me the old rap anchors might have been top of pitch two?

By Peter Gram
Administrator
From: New York, NY
Apr 19, 2004

You can rap off Spire 4 with just one 60m rope. One rap from the summit gets you back to the anchor by the wormhole. A second rap gets you back to the base of the chimney. Then walk back over to the 4th/easy 5th class first pitch and there is a rap off of slings in the gully.

By Paul Huebner
From: Portage, WI
Jul 13, 2004

Angela, I'd like to know your secret. I just did the route and got stuck in the "wormhole" for about 1/2 hour (very scary experience) until I was finally able to take my rain-jacket, water bottle, and pro off of my harness one biner at a time with one free hand , and then also my harness. I weigh 180 and when I emerged my pants were damn near down to my knees. Next time, I'll do the alternative 5.4 face to the first bolt station or take everything off before entering the dreaded hole. Great route though and of course the best summit in the Spires.

By Anonymous Coward
Aug 30, 2004

I spent about 25 minutes trying to pull myself through that damn wormhole. Didn't work. I took off everything except my harness. I ended up downclimbing and cleaning my pro from the chimney and traversing onto the 5.4 face in a quite nerve-racking experience. A very fun climb. If anyone finds a #4 Metolius 4CU out there (I think I might have misplaced it somewhere) please take good care of it.

By Angela Arp
From: Omaha Ne
Oct 19, 2004
rating: 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c

Paul . . Sorry for the late reply

  • *don't read any further if you don't want to know my secret to the WORM HOLE.**

you can't push straight up, you need to angle your body away from rock wall on the climbers right. When I get to the top, I turned my body 45 degrees to the climbers left(after I thought I had my hips stuck - and I am close to your size & it is all hips!), then leaned forward and sorta "beach whaled" it up and out. . .

By wayniak
Jul 24, 2005
rating: 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c

Fun, easy, climb with good pro and a great summit. The face appears MUCH easier than the squirming through the wormhole. We found the register empty and missing the end cap when visiting late on 07/17.

By Tyson S Arp
Apr 11, 2007

A big Thank You to whomever replaced the old button heads on the rappel route! It was a nice improvement to a popular route.

I've got plenty of Spire Four photos and stories at my website!

By Chris treggE
Administrator
From: Madison, WI
Jun 28, 2011

Probably not news to many, but you can do a single rap off the east side to the 4/5 gulley with 2 60M ropes. This is the other side from where this route starts.

By Wilson On The Drums
From: Woodbury, MN
Sep 22, 2012
rating: 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c

From the 3/4 gully keep going up and up. Don't get suckered in to a chimney with a chockstone like I did. you'll k ow when you get there 'cause theres nowhere else to go. the start of the climb/chimney looks like giant steps/ledges. also the worm hole was not nearly as complicated as some of these comments make it out to be. put your arms through first, squirm a little, and push yourself up. maybe took me a minute...