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Gray Needle HELP!

Colorado 13er questions, conditions, and other info should be posted here. Also includes topics related to 13ers.com. 13er Trip Reports
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Re: Gray Needle HELP!

Postby BillMiddlebrook » Sun Jan 24, 2010 3:53 pm

Kiefer wrote:Bill,
I've been eyeing a trip later this summer to tag Gray and No Name, Knife Point, another jaunt up Jagged and possibly Vallecito.
You should come! Fun for the whole family! :D
The usual suspects.

Sounds like fun!
I have plans to climb in that area in early/mid July, so maybe we can we can hook up OR I could get there twice.
"There's no recess and no rules in the school of life" - D. Mustaine

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Re: Gray Needle HELP!

Postby John Prater » Mon Jan 25, 2010 12:35 am

I'm a bit confused by Dave Landers' and Tom Pierce's accounts from Rosebrough. I think my edition of Rosebrough ("Copyright 1986, 1988") is the same as Tom's. Page 150 has the description for "Peak 13,620, "Noname Needle"" as described by Tom. Dave, it sounds like your 1986 edition is different, calling this Gray Needle. Is that correct? Did Rosebrough change it for the 1988 printing?

The 1954 AAJ with the Gray Needle mention is here. Unfortunately, not much info:

...there are still numerous unclimbed pinnacles offering challenge to the rock climber. One of these, Gray Needle, at the west end of Jagged Mountain, was first climbed by a party from the outing. Expansion bolts were used on one 30-foot stretch of the climb.


"The San Juan Mountaineers' Climber's Guide to Southwestern Colorado" (Lavender/Long/Griffiths, 1933) lists Grey Needle (with that spelling) with an elevation of 13700:

Grey Needle is a beautiful, steep-sided aiguille on the west arete of Jagged Mountain. Its very roughness will probably be the key to the problem of its climb for, if its sides were polished, ordinary climbing technique would be of little avail.


Then there are the various editions of Ormes. I don't find any useful information in the Sixth Edition (1970). The Seventh Edition (1979) has a topo with the name Gray Needle and the elevation 13430 printed just below the name. The Ninth Edition (1992) defers to Rosebrough:

Bob Rosebrough says Gray Needle (13,430') is best approached from the north. Noname Needle (13,620'), just east of Gray, goes from the saddle between them and Peak Ten, and has a 5.6 pitch.


So, I think we're currently left with Gray Needle at 13430 and Noname Needle at 13620. However, I'm guessing the San Juan Mountaineers were referring to the 13620 point as Grey Needle.

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Re: Gray Needle HELP!

Postby TomPierce » Mon Jan 25, 2010 8:48 am

Hey John, nice to hear from you. I say we resolve the whole thing by going out there and climbing both then seeing which ones correspond to the printed descriptions. Road trip!
-Tom
PS: Nice work on Capitol. I was going to go that weekend but was out of town. And BTW, I put your winter photos of Longs' NW Couloir to good use a few weeks ago. Thanks again.

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Re: Gray Needle HELP!

Postby DaveLanders » Mon Jan 25, 2010 5:59 pm

John Prater wrote:I'm a bit confused by Dave Landers' and Tom Pierce's accounts from Rosebrough. I think my edition of Rosebrough ("Copyright 1986, 1988") is the same as Tom's. Page 150 has the description for "Peak 13,620, "Noname Needle"" as described by Tom. Dave, it sounds like your 1986 edition is different, calling this Gray Needle. Is that correct? Did Rosebrough change it for the 1988 printing?


Hi John. Yes, my 1986 edition has a description for Gray Needle on page 150. But, it was apparently derived from someone
who climbed Noname Needle instead. The 1999 edition keeps a similar description, but changed the name of the climb
to Noname Needle. I didn't realize that Rosebrough had made any changes for printings between 1986 and 1999.
(The 1986 edition was published by Cordillera Press (actually Walt Borneman's company), and the 1999 edition was published
by Falcon.)

I agree with Tom's analysis that 2 different climbs are being described. Climbers in 1953 wouldn't have needed to use
expansion bolts to get up 30' of 5.5 or 5.6.

John Prater wrote:"The San Juan Mountaineers' Climber's Guide to Southwestern Colorado" (Lavender/Long/Griffiths, 1933) lists Grey Needle (with that spelling) with an elevation of 13700:
...
So, I think we're currently left with Gray Needle at 13430 and Noname Needle at 13620. However, I'm guessing the San Juan Mountaineers were referring to the 13620 point as Grey Needle.


This wouldn't be the first time that the USGS messed up one of the San Jan Mountaineers names. (Wolcott for instance)

By the way, there is also a spectacular pinnacle on the ridge EAST of Jagged. Sorry I don't have a picture, but maybe someone
else does.

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Re: Gray Needle HELP!

Postby Dancesatmoonrise » Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:08 pm

BillMiddlebrook wrote:I'm hoping someone out there can help here...

Image




Bill,

From what we've been able to tell, the USGS map is accurate in this case. Gray Needle is indeed the farthest west high point on that ridge. The more easterly point notated above is Noname Needle, which we climbed last Tuesday. It's about 5.8, a 100 foot pitch, followed by a fourth class scramble to the summit. It has two summits; the true summit is the northerly of the two. As you know, little is known about Gray Needle. We answered some questions last week, but mysteries remain. However, we are now quite certain of at least the location of the objective. We were able to get to within a rope-length of the summit. It's not clear whether it's ever had a FFA. Apparently the FA party ultilized a bolt ladder (direct aid) for a 30-foot section on the summit block. We did see some weaknesses for a free ascent, and may be going back in next month for further exploration and a possible summit attempt.

TR here:
http://14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=12717&cpgm=tripmain&ski=Include

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Re: Gray Needle HELP!

Postby globreal » Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:04 pm

Hope this will help those looking to climb Noname Needle or Gray Needle. This is a picture taken from Peak 10 (looking north). Jagged Peak would be out of frame to your right.
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Re: Gray Needle HELP!

Postby Dancesatmoonrise » Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:16 am

Thanks, Britt. This lends an interesting perspective. You've captured the "window" in the gully between Noname Needle and the needle just left of it. Noname is the needle furthest right in the photo. Gray Needle would be all the way far left (west.)



Here's an interesting, closer up photo of Gray Needle's southern flank. Beautiful, clean rock.

Image

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Re: Gray Needle HELP!

Postby BillMiddlebrook » Tue Aug 28, 2012 7:55 am

Nice. This is great confirmation on the previous discussion.

Britt, would you be willing to label and add that photo to the 13ers.com "Noname Needle" (Jagged Group) page? I think it would be very helpful.

And, Jim, thanks for the info and great trip report! Oh, and Gray Needle doesn't have a peak-page photo on 13ers.com. :wink:
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