Ascent of Needle Point on 2009-08-28

Climber: Michael Wanberg

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Friday, August 28, 2009
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Needle Point
    Elevation:9018 ft / 2748 m

Ascent Trip Report

Backpacked Main Eagle Creek trail from Boulder Park to Eagle Lake. Overnight at Eagle Lake. Achieved a sub-summit next day via scramble from Eagle Lake, then bouldered / free-soloed on and around the broken knife ridge from the N/NE. This route is NOT RECOMMENDED in bad weather or for anyone without confidence bouldering on (very) exposed rock faces. There is at least one route on the east side of that ridge with decently sized holds, although there are quite a few routes that should only be attempted with rock-climbing gear. Be prepared to spend some time finding a good route across this ridge.
It appears there is a class 2(?) approach from the west that may be significantly easier, but extremely out of the way from Eagle Lake.

Update 06/14/13: After climbing at Horsethief Butte (WA), I've revised the rating on my route from "4+" to the low fifth class and listed it as a "rock climb" to correspond with similar easier routes at Horsethief. It's somewhere in 5.1 to 5.4 territory. It could definitely be argued (and I might) that this should be considered class 4, but given the almost certain death of anyone who fell along my route (either upon impact or shortly thereafter), I think it's wise to upgrade it so that nobody tries to duplicate it without proper precaution. Looking back on the ascent now, I really should have been roped and with a partner. If I attempted it by the same route again it would be done that way.

There is class 3 from the lake, class 4 to gain the ridgeline as it moves toward the summit, and then traversing class 5 through the crux for perhaps a few hundred feet.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4227 ft / 1287 m
    Total Elevation Loss:4227 ft / 1287 m
    Round-Trip Distance:20 mi / 32.2 km
    Grade/Class:Class 5.2
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Open Country, Stream Ford, Scramble, Exposed Scramble, Rock Climb
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles, Tent Camp
    Nights Spent:2 nights away from roads
    Weather:Hot, Windy, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:4127 ft / 1257 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 4027 ft / 1227 m; Extra: 100 ft / 30m
    Loss on way in:100 ft / 30 m
    Distance:9 mi / 14.5 km
    Route:Main Eagle, N/NE ridge
    Start Trailhead:Boulder Park  4991 ft / 1521 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:4127 ft / 1257 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 4027 ft / 1227 m; Extra: 100 ft / 30m
    Gain on way out:100 ft / 30 m
    Distance:11 mi / 17.7 km
    Route:Ridge from N/NE
    End Trailhead:Boulder Park  4991 ft / 1521 m

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