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As with its northerly neighbors, the Grenadiers, the Needles provide for some of the best backcountry mountaineering in the area. Huge potential exists on The Organ, Thompson Peak and others just to the south of the more popular and easier accessed Eolus, Sunlight, and Windom peaks. To the north of the peaks around Chicago Basin, lie the drainages of Ruby and Noname Creeks and these contain nice technical lines on peaks like Animas Mtn., The Index, Knife Point, Peak Ten, and of course Jagged. Though the Needles contain some very poor rock, there are those faces and spires which (for those who are in the know,) will yield some fantastic new routes.
My favorite approach is by getting off the train at Needleton and either taking Chicago Creek, Ruby Creek, or Noname Creek trails to within base camp distance of my objective.
11 Total Routes
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Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for The Needles:
Featured Route For The Needles
Standard Route, Sunlight Spire 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b CO : Alpine Rock : ... : Sunlight Spire
From the standard route on Sunlight Peak leave the trail at about 13,700' and head up a steep slope to the base of the summit block. This approach is 3rd class but rather loose and steep for about 300 feet.A short 5.7 pitch leads to the base of the overhanging crack. This crack is a perfect size for jamming but is rather sustained and made more difficult by the altitude. The start is made easier by a ramp you can work your feet along, but the ramp eventually is too far left. The crack remind...[more] Browse More Classics in CO
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