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The initial slab / chimney
This unique route offers a chance to take non-climbers on an adventure. Most climbers would be comfortable soloing this but a belay is a good idea for newbies.
The crux is finding the correct entry into the dome. This route is immediately right of Abra / Knead Me, between the Rockfellow Dome and Chay Desa Tsay. It is NOT in the much bigger chimney next to End Pinnacle.
There are only two places where a rope need be used. The initial pitch is about 5.3 and follows a ramp / crack into an massive chimney leading into the bowels of the rock. At this point, the chimney becomes an amazing passageway - about 2' wide with a flat bottom and perfectly parallel sides reaching up for over 200'.
Eventually you reach a small chamber in the center of the rock. Stop and enjoy this unique spot! From the chamber, the crack no longer has a flat bottom. You need to chimney up about 10 - 15', then across 20 - 30', and then back down to get to then end of the climbing. There are bolts at either end of this part that would allow you to give beginners a safe belay.
The crack opens up and becomes more broken until you eventually exit the dome. From the south side of the crack you can walk around past End Pillar to the start or climb back through the rock.
You could solo this in about 30 leisurely minutes but bringing non-climbers through is a different story.
According to the rangers, even this route is closed during bird season. What a crock!
I didn't use any pro except the bolts in the chimney.
In the heart of Rockfellow Dome
Great photo by Aleix
Don't even consider doing this thing without this ...
Let the adventure begin.
starting the narrow section
this chockstone reminded us of the movie 127 Hours
just a little light
|Comments on Inner Passage
|By George Bell|
From: Boulder, CO
Feb 6, 2006
Recommended equipment: knee pads ...
We did this climb as an alternate way to get back to the base of Days of Future Passed after completing that route. I didn't feel a rope was needed, but unfortunately we were encumbered by all our gear. Still a really fun adventure, but next time I'd do it with just a pair of knee pads and climbing shoes.
This route would be harder in the opposite direction, I would think.
|By John Peterson|
Jan 21, 2008
Warning: this is not a route for the large of girth! Returning to this after 20 years, I no longer fit! I had to back out at the small chockstone.
On the other hand, I now know that you can downclimb out the north end unroped without much fuss - I don't think there's much difference in difficulty either direction.
Mar 18, 2008
Any topos available for this line?
|By Josh Janes|
Jan 9, 2010
This weekend my partner, Charles Vernon, absolutely hiked this route. Onsight, and skipping all the bolts nonetheless. Done this way we call the route "The Brazilian Passage." It was impressive and inspiring to watch!
Nice job Charles!
|By Joe Lee|
From: tucson, az
Jul 4, 2010
This thing is crazy. I recommend starting from the north side. My partner and I wore our hiking boots. Don your knee pads. And you are ready to go. Make sure to brush up on your squeeze chimney skills.
Oct 29, 2010
Does anyone have a topo of this route? That's funny if you've ever done it. Even using ropes is a bit funny because it's a traverse in a chimney and pro for the 2nd is as good as it is for the first....which is almost non-existent once you enter the slot.
Not trying to be critical, just letting people know that this is a solo with serious consequences if you blow it deep inside the bowels.
Bring your knee pads and be a 5.8 trad climber in my opinion.
From: Buckeye, AZ
Dec 3, 2010
"if you blow it deep inside the bowels"
Sorry I had to quote that.
|By Catherine Conner|
From: Phoenix, AZ
Nov 1, 2011
I have to say, after climbing DOFP, and then going back to packs this way... I would never bring a beginner through this... maybe I was just exhausted/didn't have knee pads/had a ton of trad gear/whatever excuse, but I thought it was hard... my opinion is that it is a 5.8 solo... and you need to be cool with that. I personally am not into soloing anything over 5.6. This is just my opinion. My climbing partner Mike K. did not think it was bad at all... so I mention this to show opinions can vary, and maybe what I experienced that day wasn't totally accurate with it's true difficulty. It is a neat looking passageway though, you will get some cool pics. It's highly unique and different. So I'm glad i did it for those reasons. It is true that roping up doesn't do that much for you (leading or following), but the little that it did do saved me at the end-I almost had a blow-out in the bowels ;-)!!
Oct 15, 2012
This climb will be UNenjoyable by anyone who;
-doesn't have climbing shoes, or at least good hiking or approach shoes
-doesn't have long sleeves and pants or knee pads on
-does't like small dark narrow spaces
-just watched 127 hrs
-is rotund in girth
[not being insensitive _ you will not fit _ it gets down to less than a foot in width]
If you took a non-climber through this, they might never talk to you again.
I feel that the rating might be accurate, but a little misleading.
ALSO very important :
Don't bring packs with you.
Oct 16, 2012
Just did this epic adventure...DO NOT bring non-climbers!
It is a must to have chimney techniques, also it is NOT two feet wide, more like less than a foot wide in most areas. DO NOT bring packs, be sure to wear long pants long sleeves and knee pads are not a bad idea as well. Sturdy hiking shoes, or approach shoes are a must. For those that call it a "hike" well you just mislead all those poor souls that expect a leisurely day, the day was an all out adventure worth every moment of blood and sweat but be sure to be prepared for what you are getting into. good luck and squeeze on!
|By Charles Vernon|
From: Florence, AZ
Oct 17, 2012
This "don't take a non-climber" stuff is a bit off base, in my opinion. I've known plenty of people who may never tie into a rope but would have no problem negotiating the Inner Passage. And as we all know there are plenty of climbers who will have nothing to do with chimneys or the "techniques" for climbing them.
[Edit] Did this again recently with relatively stiff-soled hiking shoes rather than climbing shoes and actually found it to be easier than with climbing shoes. However, I have large (size 12.5) feet.