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Chimney Rock
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South Chimney T 

South Chimney 

YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b R

Type:  Trad, Alpine, 4 pitches, Grade III
Consensus:  YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b [details]
FA: Melvin Griffiths, Robert Ormes, 1934
Season: Summer and Fall
Page Views: 1,332
Submitted By: S.Mckinna on Apr 27, 2012

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (4)
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Summit shot, I'm stoked. John photo.


Chimney Rock is eye catching to anyone, especially a climber. I have a feeling this gets attempted way more than it gets done though. The approach is as tough as the climbing. Climb up fun and sometimes unprotectable cobble for 3 pitches. Then do an optional 4th pitch traverses to the summit, it's nice to have protection for a step across a chasm.

When heading to the start of the route, head toward the small summit on the ridge south of the peak, walk up steep unpleasantness. 5th class scrambling is unavoidable as you get closer to the top of the ridge. This isn't protectable and is kind of sketchy. Once on the ridge, traverse to the start of the chimney.

Pitch one climbs up a huge chockstone that has a belay on top.

Pitch 2 was the most sustained and had a bolt and cracks for a belay. I wish I did this next step: unrope and scramble up the chimney to where the rock steepens again.

Pitch 3 is a rope stretcher still but shouldn't be a problem from the new belay spot.

The fourth pitch was short and just helped a step/jump but probably isn't needed, unless you're me.

We did 3 double rope raps down the route. Then rappel from a tree to get down the 5th class lower on the approach.

Enjoy the adventure and be careful! Keep in mind that your belayer isn't going to enjoy rockfall.


Light amount of stoppers and cams up to 4, lots of runners, 2 60m ropes. I would bring a lot of webbing for rap anchors and also some new rings, I noticed that old rap stations had been hit by lightning melting the rings.

Photos of South Chimney Slideshow Add Photo
On the approach. Make note of the ridge to the lef...
On the approach. Make note of the ridge to the lef...
John on the pitch 3 start, if you don't move your ...
John on the pitch 3 start, if you don't move your ...
Above some 5th class sketch.  John photo.
Above some 5th class sketch. John photo.

Comments on South Chimney Add Comment
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By Matthias Holladay
From: Durango, Colorado
Apr 28, 2012

What a fun adventure with nice photographs showing how we have our own little Meteora or Riglos here in the SW part of the state. With obviously embedded stones in the conglomerate, it reminds me of upper Lime Creek's cirque where bolted face climbs would also be welcomed . . . .
By George Bell
From: Boulder, CO
Aug 17, 2012

I've always wanted to do this route. During the FA in 1934, the second went on the wrong side of the chockstone, a "curious booboo"! The two climbers didn't realize the problem until they were both past the chockstone, when they noticed the rope going down from both climbers. They had to either untie and pull the rope up, or downclimb and redo the pitch. Apparently they chose the second option [Feb. 1935 T&T].
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