AAC Publications - http://publications.americanalpineclub.org

North America, United States, California, Sierra Nevada, The Needles, Warlock Needle, Romantic Warrior

The Needles, Warlock Needle, Romantic Warrior. In October John Peca and I spent three days on this magnificent seven-pitch route. The route is located on Warlock’s steep west face, on the southernmost of the three massive summit towers. A scramble to a small ledge leads to steep aid cracks (A2, all clean except for one hand-placed piton that we fixed). Higher, free climbing up jamcracks and face climbing (F7) end at a hanging belay 160 feet up. Then a fantastic lead (F7) up a long, colorful corner continues to a sloping belay ledge. The third lead is a long aid pitch up a steep crack. Work up and right, then left and up, to a hanging belay on bolts (A2, all clean). A spectacular and difficult aid pitch (A4) follows a thin diagonal face crack up and right from the belay. Two bolts and easier aid climbing lead to Excess Reality Ledge—a small stance. A few moves up a right-facing corner and a mantle lead to a huge sloping area and a traverse right (F6) to a fixed piton. At this point, lower down about 30 feet to a short arch and friction right, then up, to a fingertip crack (F8) that leads to the base of the enormous summit dihedral—the Book of Deception. A long aid pitch (A2) follows this book to a ledge for belay. The summit pitch is short. A few moves of aid and face-climbing lead to Warlock’s south summit. NCCS IV-V, F8, A4.

Edwin C. Joe, unaffiliated