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Boyer's Chute was named after Del Boyer who was the first to free solo the route.
The feature Boyer’s Chute Route follows starts as a prominent right-facing corner, becomes a distinct chute for most of the way (even turns into a chimney) then opens up again into a right-facing corner.
Pitch 1: Start about 30 feet to the right of the corner on a more featured part of the sloping terrain. The climbing is easy (5.2), but many climbers may want to rope up to avoid exposed slab moves .
Continue into the chute proper and up it. This is generally best done unroped. Easy, even walkable, terrain is interrupted by harder but short steps. Low height above ground and the closed, chimney-like confines of the chute make climbing feel fairly secure. The stretch of more consistent scrambling is also only 4th class if that. The chute will fork eventually the right fork looking far more inviting as the left one is topped by a large chock stone about 20 feet up. The route goes left!
Pitch 2: There are two options: (1) scramble past the chock stone on the right without protection (5.3, but exposed and with a somewhat crumbly feel to the large-enough and otherwise solid holds near the top) or (2) climb on the left and protect in a crack (about 5.6 and more vertical). Above the chock another stretch of scrambling follows until a 20-foot chimney is reached.
Pitch 3: Climb the chimney facing right. Exit is to the left into broken rocks. The second block from the bottom is loose. Belay from two new bolts. This pitch is the crux of the route and may feel harder than the 5.4 rating.
Pitch 4: Start all the way left, deep in the corner. Move right on nearly vertical but well featured rock. Continue in a meandering fashion up an undulating, featured terrain within 30 to 50 feet of the corner for a long pitch. This pitch is often done unroped by experienced climbers and low 5th with good route finding.
Pitch 5: Continue up the now much broken band of rock to the right of the corner. There is an exposed move toward the top as you move toward the right edge going from one ledge to the next. Climb up through a break in a small headwall and scramble left over piled boulders to reach an easy ridge which takes you to the summit. If you rope up for this pitch, you may belay from the area of the boulders. (Low 5th or high 4th).
You can rap down the route. With a single rope and without down-climbing, this can be over 10 rappels. The rap stations are set up and are generally in a decent condition. For a faster way down, with two ropes, go south from the summit following cairns to a ramp. Scramble down it to a bolt+piton rap station. Second rap from a nice ledge will take you to the saddle between North and Middle Rabbit Ears. Watch for loose rocks. To get back to the bottom of the route, go down the gully and turn right well below the rock (near the bottom of the cliff the brush is fierce). Even better, leave the packs at the bottom of the main Rabbit Ears Canyon to start with and just go down the gully.
Use the Topp Hut access and go up Rabbit Ears Canyon. Turn left after the most prominent, and last, of the small peaks in the bottom of the canyon and following the stream bed up to the west face of North Rabbit Ear.
Minimal rack will be sufficient. I go with one green Camelot (works both left of the chock and on top of the chimney), a set o tricams, and a few nuts. A more conservative leader may take few more cams.
BETA PHOTO: Start of the route. Photo Ryan J. Conklin.
BETA PHOTO: Looking up Boyer's Chute to the big chock stone (b...
My father at the first "5th" class portion of clim...
BETA PHOTO: North Rabbit Ear at sunrise on the approach hike. ...
BETA PHOTO: This shot shows the entrance to Boyer's Chute (the...
BETA PHOTO: A little higher now, you can finally see the chute...
Our party of 7 split up here as Aaron and Zack hea...
BETA PHOTO: Looking down from the top of the first chock-stone...
BETA PHOTO: Looking up from the top of the first chock-stone. ...
BETA PHOTO: Looking out of the chute from just below the chimn...
BETA PHOTO: Looking directly up at the chimney pitch, and the ...
BETA PHOTO: We opted to rappel down the South Face Direct rout...
BETA PHOTO: Aaron replacing webbing at the first rap anchor on...
The view of Rabbit Ears Massif from the first rap ...
"It's a bird...it's a plane...!" I have no idea w...
Myself heading down the second (double rope) rappe...
BETA PHOTO: Rap anchors for second rappel off NRE via South Fa...
BETA PHOTO: Looking up at our rappel route (South Face Direct)...
BETA PHOTO: This is a funky perspective (stitched photos), but...
BETA PHOTO: If you do not see this on your way to Boyer's Chut...
BETA PHOTO: Much of the approach in through this rocky dry riv...
BETA PHOTO: This was where we first roped up. As you can see,...
|Comments on Boyer's Chute
|By Aaron Hobson|
From: Las Cruces, NM
Nov 24, 2009
I enjoyed this route immensely. The narrow confines made it feel like ascending up a canyon, and then you pop out on top of a small summit, superb.
Many rappel stations are found along the route at various locations. Above the crux 5.4 chimney is a two-bolt rappel in bad shape. Both bolts are old 1/4", and one of them is broken off. Fortunately a boulder just above them can be slung for that rappel. The lower 5th class crux (described as the third pitch above) is not well protected on the right, but climbs at an easier grade, probably 5.3. The left side of the chock can be climbed via a crack at around 5.8, and is well protected.
I can see why this route used (and maybe still is?) to be so popular, it certainly is an excellent way to summit this gorgeous peak. I replaced he summit register with a new note-pad and have taken the existing one down for transcribing and archiving. I plan to return a copy of the transcribed register to the summit so that parties can read the history. If anyone has ideas about where to archive the register I would love to hear them. It appears that the original register was archived by the "Southwest Mountaineers". I wonder if anyone from this group is around and knows about this archive.
|By Robert Cort|
Jul 24, 2010
Ditto Aaron's comment, this is an enjoyable route! Some comments about the route: 1) as previously stated, climbing on the right around the first chock-stone is much easier than the left, if possible, I suggest skipping the rope at this point and climbing the right side. 2) after the chimney pitch, you might want to keep the rope on for another 40 feet or so, while the climbing is easy, a fall might drop you right back down the chimney. 3) there is one final headwall above the chimney which we roped up for, in hindsight, it was only one move that required protection, and it would have been faster to solo it.
Aaron replaced the bolts above the chimney (two new shiny 3/8"), but we rapped the south face direct route (only two rappels then a relatively straightforward gully descent). I believe this is a more expedient descent route.
|By Robert Cort|
Jul 24, 2010
Note, photos I submitted of our descent are more representative of the South Face Direct route. Maybe they should be moved once a route description for South Face Direct is posted, but they do offer an alternative descent for Boyer's Chute.
|By Karl Kiser|
Sep 18, 2010
There is another route on the left side of Boyer's Chute called the Chute Route. It is a relatively steep route, about 5.7, and follows a natural weakness. If I remember correctly, it is three pitches to the top of the route. There was a rap route down the route in the old days (remember double ropes).
|By Nick Dolecek|
From: Denver, Colorado
Jan 10, 2011
This route is located on the west face of the formation. As one passes the Citadel and continues up the Rabbit Ears drainage you will see a major gash/chimney in the west face. This chimney splits after a few hundred feet. The route follows the left hand chimney through the chockstones and then the final few pitches of meandering climbing.
Soloed this route today, a very fun scramble with a few harder sections. The crux pitch is 35 feet long, and is the longest portion of hard climbing, so only bringing 70 feet of rope may save you some weight and lots of time.
|By Ian Harris|
From: Las Cruces NM
Apr 6, 2013
Crux sections could be considered 5.6. I wouldn't free solo the chimney but that's just me. We used the South Face rappel route and I think it was better than rappelling the whole route, but we also left our packs at the base of the route and getting over there was a pretty serious bushwack.
|By Marta Reece|
From: Las Cruces, NM
Nov 24, 2013
I found a "variation" listed in the NMSU-archived documents of the Southwest Mountaineers. It's classified as "5.8 and aid," with first ascent by Pete Rogowski, Paul Wohlt, and Tom McCalla, and a note that it should really be considered a separate route.
"Instead of entering Boyer's Chute at the bottom, walk further north around a big blade of rock and climb a very vertical chimney full of loose flakes and blocks. Surprise Buttress forms the left side of this chimney. You exit into Boyer's Chute a few hundred feet up it."