Login with Facebook
The Needle

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Bustin' Move S 
Damage Done, The S,TR 
Descent Route T,TR 
Momentary Lapse of Ethics S,TR 
Needle TR wall aka Uphill Slab TR 
North Lieback T 
South Face T 
Suburban Hangover S 
Temple of the Dog S 
Mountain Project has launched a new site: Powder Project, and we're giving away loads of gear, including skis & Oakley goggles. Check it out!

The Needle  

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 40.357, -105.5167 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 4,160
Administrators: Ben Mottinger, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Nate Christiansen on Feb 5, 2003
You & This Area
Best routes for YOU in this area
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [0 people like this page.]
Trent Watkins TRs the Uphill Slab, the Needle.


The Thumb and Needle are 2 crags on the slopes of Prospect Mountain. The routes on The Needle vary from 5.0 to 5.13b. Some routes on the Needle have bolts and some have rings to rap off of. The Needle is short (2 pitches at the very most) but offers excellent exposure to the town of Estes Park.

The original description for The Thumb & The Needle was split for clarity.

Getting There 

The Thumb and the Needle lie on top of Prospect Mountain and the eaisest way to get there is to drive either from CO Highway 7, leaving town until you reach Peak View Drive (PVD). Take PVD until you see a gold sign on your right that says "Prospect Highlands". This is Curry. Take that sharp right turn. Continue up this short road that will eventually turn into gravel and park at the cropping just short of the gate. Please do not attempt to park in the way of the landowners. The trail starts just up the gully and goes for an enjoyable yet steep 5 minute approach. The first rock you will see is The Needle. Less than 100 yards further uphill is The Thumb. The Thimble is a sliver of rock lying just East of The Thumb.


To descend The Needle, you can rappel from the anchors on the sport climbs or there are two 2 bolt anchor with chains on the North face. If you are ambitious, you can descend no-hands, a la John Gill....


Per Nathan Welton:

A. South Face, 7, 1p, 110', gear.
B. Suburban Hangover, 10, 1p, 70', bolts.
C. Momentary Lapse of Ethics, 11, 1p, 40', bolts.
D. Temple of the Dog, 13, 1p, 50', bolts.
E. Damage Done, 11, 1p, 30', bolts.
F. North Lieback, 10, 1p, 70', gear.
G. Bustin' Move, 12-, 1p, 60', bolts.
H. Needle TR wall aka Uphill Slab, 7-11, 1p, TR.
I. Descent Route, 2 R, 1p, 70, gear.
J. West Face.

Climbing Season

Weather station 1.8 miles from here

9 Total Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',1],['2 Stars',5],['1 Star',3],['Bomb',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for The Needle:
Momentary Lapse of Ethics   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 40'   
Browse More Classics in The Needle

Featured Route For The Needle
Starting the climb getting ready to pull through s...

Momentary Lapse of Ethics 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c  CO : Estes Park Valley : ... : The Needle
This is another classic route on The Needle that can be lead or top roped. The TR is the same approach as all the top ropes (up the 5th class ramp). Rap off those anchors below Damage Done, throw it toward Lake Estes side. Again, rappelling to the next anchors can create rope drag when trying to pull it, so be carefull not to get stuck. The actual bottom part of the climb is seems like hard 10 moves. You pull over a bulge on some crimpy holds, the climb lets up for about 10 feet...[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

Photos of The Needle Slideshow Add Photo
Somewhere near the Descent route.
Somewhere near the Descent route.
Blake Collins rapping off the top of The Needle.
Blake Collins rapping off the top of The Needle.

Comments on The Needle Add Comment
Show which comments
By John Gill
Feb 18, 2003
Back in the 1950s and 1960s, these were pretty popular with locals. Rich Goldstone and I and friends made several FAs on the Needle. One was something we called Angel Overhang, to the left of the downclimb. Another was the no-hands FA of the Needle by Bob Williams and me. We did our balancing act up the downclimb face! I don't remember any bolts, but that was in an era where bolting from rappel was considered unethical.
By Brian Faulkner
From: Fort Collins
May 16, 2003
New bolts were just put up on top of the Needle around 5/15/03.
Beyond the Guidebook:
The Definitive Climbing Resource
Inspiration & Motivation
to Fuel Your Run
Next Generation Mountain
Bike Trail Maps
Backcountry, Sidecountry
and Secret Stashes
Better Data. Better Tools.
Better Hikes!