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Cleopatra's Needle Area
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Venus Needle, West Face T 

Venus Needle, West Face 

YDS: 5.10 French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b A3

Type:  Trad, Aid, 3 pitches, 275', Grade II
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10 French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b A3 [details]
FA: Layton Kor and Frank A. Magary, Nov. 7, 1962
Page Views: 1,306
Submitted By: toddgordon on May 5, 2007

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Todd Gordon racking up. Photo: Todd Gordon collect...

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Pitch one; 5.9 and 5.10 chimney and crack climbing, ending with a squeeze chimney to a ledge. There is a rest on the left , just before the crux section. Pitch two; 5.9 chimney to 5.10 hands ,some aid, and 4 bolts for protection too along the way to another ledge. A short manky looking bolt ladder to the summit.


East of the small town of Sawmill, which is North of Fort Defiance and Gallup, New Mexico. Eric's Desert Rock has a detailed description of how to get to these spires.


Standard desert rack. Maybe some pins...(sorry, I can't remember....)

Photos of Venus Needle, West Face Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Venus Needle.  Photo: Todd Gordon
Venus Needle. Photo: Todd Gordon
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 2.
Pitch 2.
Rock Climbing Photo: Venus Needle,  Sawmill, New Mexico.   Photo;  Todd...
Venus Needle, Sawmill, New Mexico. Photo; Todd...
Rock Climbing Photo: A nice approach to this one.
A nice approach to this one.
Rock Climbing Photo: Venus Needle sunset.
Venus Needle sunset.
Rock Climbing Photo: Some vintage hardware on Venus.
Some vintage hardware on Venus.

Comments on Venus Needle, West Face Add Comment
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By toddgordon
From: Joshua Tree, California
May 5, 2007

I was on this spire with Doug Smith in March of 1984. We rated it 5.10, A1. We did the climb on a very cold and windy day. This is the climb that Chuck Pratt, in his View of Dead Horse Point story, says that while his partner was climbing the chimney section of this route (maybe it was T M Herbert?), that he could hear his ribs cracking as he ascended the chimney......I don't remember much of this climb, but I do remember that at one of the belays, Layton Kor scratched his initials into the rock!...politically incorrect now-a-days, but probably a cool thing to do back in the 1960s. Layton Kor RULES! We, unfortunately, did NOT summit, but did make it very close to the of pitch 2, and it looked like just a short bolt ladder to the top. We were running out of time, we were freezing, and we were afraid of the bad bolts and we also heard there was no anchor on top;.....that was enough for us....This spire is really beautiful, and you can drive very close to the spire. Too bad this climb is illegal to do; maybe someday it will be legal to climb. I climbed it illegally, while I was living and working for the Department of the Interior on the Navajo Indian Reservation.
By Stu Ritchie
From: Denver
Nov 7, 2009

I climbed this spire with Brad Bond in the mid 90's. I found the final bolt ladder to be very hairy, requiring about 15 feet of very loose free climbing at it's end to reach the true summit. If I am not mistaken, we had to downclimb to the last bolt and down-aid to the notch to get off, as there was no summit anchor.

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