Weaver's Needle and Superstition 5057 x2, AZ

Harlan W S + Tracy F
Dec 22-23, 2013

GPX file (use at you own risk!) is here.

Overview Map. Cyan denotes roads,
other colors are trails. F=Flatiron,
S=Superstition Highpoint,
W=Weaver's Needle.
The first day, I met CP and DB at the
Carney Springs Trailhead, bound for
the Superstition Mountain high point.
In 2008, I went to Flat Iron and the
nearby 5024' summit... then to the 5057'
high point via Hieroglyphic Canyon.
I like both routes to the 5057' peak.
Start out from Carney TH,
just before sunrise.  This route is
class 2, with lots of cairns and a use trail
the entire way.  In fact the main issue
is all the use trail branches; the trail to
5057' peak is a slightly less-worn
spur off the Superstition Ridgeline
The sun has just risen and is hitting the bluffs
1000' below the peak.
The area is full of spires in the volcanic rock.
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First view of Weaver's Needle to the E.
We were hitting ice at 3900', and decided
that the west side of Weaver's (which
was in shadow all day) might be slick!
The summit of the 5057' highpoint is
delightfully covered with
Stonehenge-esque spires.
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DB (in orange) for scale.
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Stevie Wonder?
Carl Santana?
View WNW to Flat Iron and 5024'
summit that I visited in 2008.
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CP took off over another peak, and down
Peralta Trail, so DB and I had a
liesurely stroll to the car.
Duck Dynasty.
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Next morn, we started for
Waever's Needle, using the Bluff
Springs Trail from the Peralta
Trailhead (TH) parking lot. It is
important to Leave Bluff Springs
Trail for the Terrapin Train, and then
leave the Terrapin for a faint
cairned use trail.
We hit the trail a bit after 6:03AM,
with a waning gibbous moon.
We got this view of the E side of Weaver's
in the morning sun, just as we dropped
over the last saddle.
We're at the base of the cliffs where
the class 4/ low 5 stretch starts. This
is the crux of the east-side climb; the
hard part is 30-50' vertical.  On the right
side of the gully is a frictional volcanic
breccia.  CP put in 3 cams on the way.
Tracy heads up. We had a 60m
dynamic single rope, but a 50m would
While CP set up a rap with the
dynamic rope, Tracy and I went ahead.
It's steep up to the notch, but it compares
with what we call class 3 / easy 4
in Red Rock. The is one tricky small
chockstone on the way, which might
be tough for people < 5'6".
Here I'm above the famous chockstone
in the notch (the west-side route is
behind me).  I'm standing at the top of a
10' wall that is steep class 3/4; it seems
pretty easy on the way up, but is rather
blind on the way down, so you might wish
to do a short rap or use a handline.
View S.  We just came over a stretch
on the SW side, which again seems
like near-vertical class 3 on the way
up (with big embayments for holds
in the volcanic rock), but seems a bit
creepier when you look down the same
On top!
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View ~N toward Brown's Peak (R
side of photo).
CP rushes off with our 60m static rope,
to look for the reputed rap station.
He finds it! It is an excellent, clean,
slightly over-hanging rap.  This rap
allows one to avoid down-climbing
that last exposed class 3/4
View ~S as CP raps off.
Tracy's pic of me rapping off. I use a
biner on my leg lop for extra friction,
hence the odd position of my R hand.
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Tracy at the bottom of the rap.
View E (and down!). Back at the notch,
CP sets up a rap quick as a flash.
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Back down to our dynamic rope
(previously set by CP), for the last rap.
A view W and up, again showing the
line for the crux.
By 10:30AM, the E side chute is
 in shadow.
Tracy saw a bouquet of mylar balloons
and made a detour to pick them up. He
kept asking people if it was their birthday.
Nefertiti looks in a mirror.
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At 12:40, Peralta TH is packed!