Scott wrote me early in the week, and invited me to go up to Needle Peak with him. Josh had told me that the area was good a few years ago, and that I should check it out. I wanted to, but it just hadn't happened. Ashley agreed to watch the girls all day so I could scout the area properly. Things worked out, and the day finally came. Two and a half hours of driving. The rocks came into view, and they just kept looking better as we got closer. I was struck by the strange shapes of the boulders and towers.
The next thing that caught my attention was the rock's texture. Scott says the rock is granite or gneiss, and it looks just like it, but it feels like textured quartzite and in places reminds me of Ibex, Utah. The rock is solid, featured like Hueco, and has great friction.
The area rises out of the vast flat valley between the Snowy Mountains and the Sierra Madres. The views are indescribable.
Many of the following photos were taken by Scott.
Warming up on the "Prairie Shrine" boulder.
Here is Scott doing an unknown problem on the "Prairie Shrine" boulder. It felt about V6 and has features that remind us of Hueco Tanks.
Same problem, different view.
We hiked up a gully, passing about 4 great looking boulders on the way, and got to a meadow on top of the formation. South of two large towers is one of the best boulder problems I've ever seen. It's about 20 feet tall, up a perfectly featured bulging face, and is appropriately named "The Gift." Davin Bagdonas, the main developer at Needle Peak, found and established this perfect line. With beta from Scott, I climbed the problem while two bald eagles circled overhead.
From there we went to Heart Strings, also reminiscent of Hueco.
We kept climbing and exploring into the evening. It was a Happy Halloween weekend.
The day stands out in what has already been a really good season. Thanks Scott.