Watch as Alex Honnold visits and free-solos big routes in The Needles of California in this 360-degree video.
The Needles are a series of granite spires that stand watch atop a narrow ridge that sits high over the Kern River in Sequoia National Forest. There’s perfect rock, amazing scenery, minimal crowds and lots of splitters.
The area was originally explored in the early 1970s by Fred Beckey and a handful of other Californian climbers.
Back then, young climbers Randy Leavitt and Tony Yaniro got wind of the area and in a matter of months some of the hardest and most beautiful lines in the Needles were established.
Climbs like Igor Unchained, Airy Interlude, Thin Ice, Spook Book, Don Juan, Atlantis and The Romantic Warrior characterize Needles climbing: long, steep, and sustained crack lines.