3 pitch 5.6 starting in a hideous looking chimney. The first pitch is awkward, hard to protect, and unpleasant. The rest of the route is quite good, with some nice hands and fingers and an interesting step across to start the second pitch. The Vedauwoo guidebook highly recommends it, probably as a sandbag.
The difficulties of this climb caused my friends and I to develop a new rating system. We call it 'FMA' for any climb that feels at least two grades harder than the book indicates. After three or four people of our group had backed off the 'unpleasant' first pitch, I managed it but was desperate the whole time screeming out at one point "F__cking 5.6 My Ass!!" Maybe I'm just bad at awkward offwidth unprotected chimnies.
I climbed the recommended right chimney, and also felt it was harder than 5.6, but still felt it was enjoyable, no matter the grade. Protection is an issue. Once I could place my #4 I walked it with me for a bodylength before tackling the exit moves. I also understand the left chimney is easier and more protectable. The route deserves more than one star in my book.
The photo in the Heel and Toe book has a mistake. Stinkzig is the left of the two offwidths. The right hand one is HandJacker (7+) and is much nicer than Stinkzig. See the HandJacker route description on this site. My comments above refer to Stinkzig.
We got duped by the incorrect picture in the book also, so we climbed Handjacker as the first pitch. After rapping off and looking at the book again, we discovered our error, so climbed the first pitch of Stinkzig and crawled around the shelf to the right and downclimbed the chimney to the right of the rap anchors. I would say that Handjacker is definitely harder than the first pitch of Stinkzig. I was able to protect that first pitch with a couple of TCU's stuck in cracks on the left side of the chimney. In Vedauwoo offwidth & chimneys, we think that the ratings are a bit stiff.
BTW, this is mis-classified as a sport route. There are no bolts within 50 yards of this route! You need a standard rack (up to #3 Camalot, no real big stuff needed) if you protect the lower pitch using the finger cracks on the left side of the chimney.
I would give this more stars than Handjacker. You have to do chimney, hand crack, fist crack, all on the same climb.
By Andrew Gram Administrator From: Salt Lake City, UT Aug 5, 2002
I didn't do a great job on this description - sorry. It definitely isn't a sport route.
I will defend the 1 star rating. I really thought the first pitch was the worst of the many pitches I've done at Vedauwoo, the others were short, and I also really didn't like the guano infested belay.
Ted's Trot is also on the Nautilus and has similar but far superior climbing. It is definitely a much better route thank Stinkzig, but can't merit three stars when compared to Edwards Crack, Climb and Punishment, and other great climbs here.
Also, it appears from the route description that the submitter did the offwidth to the right of the chimney, Handjacker, as the first pitch, as many people have done due to the error on the photo in "Heel & Toe". The chimney is a little bit of a struggle, but not too bad. It is directly below the left-facing dihedral that starts the second pitch. There are finger cracks on the left inside the chimney that can be used for pro. You won't need much since the first pitch is so short.
GREAT! Fun Offwidth, but much harder than a non-offwidth 7 if your not and experienced offwidth climber - Intimidating
By Darin Lang Jun 16, 2003 rating: 5.75a15V+13MVS 4b
Much better to link the first two pitches - that way whoever leads the chimney (one move that is awkward and harder than 5.6 on lead due to one's desire to place protection), gets the short handcrack payoff.
1.75 stars. There are so many good routes at Vedauwoo, though.
It is easy to keep the grade at 5.6 as a follower, or if you don't mind running it out past the crux. 5.7 for the awkward squeeze to get some gear, and then move to regain the outside of the crack/chimney.
I've done this route a couple of times and would go with a 5.7- rating. The first pitch, being awkward to shove yourself in the chimney, can easily be done by frictioning up the outside. This will definitely limit gear and it'd be runout, but the angle is very positive and it'll feel much easier then "cold fingers" on fall wall. This is an exciting route that deserves two stars.
On the first pitch, I got decent pro in; but the main issue was getting my head through the upper part of the chimney. I could squeeze my head through going up, but couldn't get it back down without major coaxing. I thought for sure that if I fell in the middle of the move I would break my neck. Needless to say, I bagged it. I guess some heads are bigger than others!
By Matt Richardson Administrator From: Longmont, CO Jun 29, 2006 rating: 5.75a15V+13MVS 4b
I did this with my wife last year. Thinking I needed larger gear, I left the nuts and small cams at the base. Big mistake. There is a nice smaller crack that runs through the back of the squeeze chimney that takes good gear. The crux of the route is definitely on the first pitch where you make an awkward move out of and then back into the chimney where the crack bluges inward. We did the whole route in two pitches, linking the second pitch with the third. It's easily done if you don't mind a little rope drag.
By Sam Benedict From: Denver, CO Aug 9, 2006 rating: 5.64c14V12S 4b
This is kind of an awful pitch but sort of amusing for that reason. [It was a] little insecure at times. I remember a committing transition to the “handcrack”. I accidentally attained a full-body jam (got stuck) where the chimney narrows. It would have been an awesome rest had I been able to breathe. Then, the parabolic slab is always fun.
In my opinion, this is a classic moderate Vedauwoo adventure climb. I first attempted this as a rope solo in December and turned back at the squeeze chimney, cold and demoralized. The squeeze chimney is tricky but can be reasonably climbed at least 3 different ways with minimal thrutching. It is probalby harder than 5.6. A #4 Camalot can be placed way back in the chimney before bypassing the tight squeeze, making the chimney reasonably well protected. The upper "pitches" are fun. This climb can easily be done as one pitch, especially if you scramble to the base of the squeeze before belaying.
Brian, glad to see I'm not the only one that doesn't despise this climb! My wife and I have climbed this route multiple times and always had fun doing it--although I see she only gave it one star! Since then she has actually led the climb and I think she's a bit more fond of it now. And, Theo, I have to agree--one of the reasons I like this route is because of the variety it offers. We've got some photos and a brief story at our website TeamArp.com. Check out this page and also this one.
I agree with Shanna. The chimney is much easier if you go right side in, get in deep to place some good pro and make 1 or 2 moves to get over the really tight spot. These are the only 5.7 moves on the climb. The rest is absolutely 5.6 or easier.
I concur with John Keller's commentary at the top of this thread...the first pitch is remarkably awkward even by Vedauwoo standards. I got to the crux, hung for a while, and then bailed, thinking that I was supposed to go up through the chimney. The chimney can be climbed only by 2-dimensional humans.
It's worth venturing into the chimney to place a 0.5 Cam or green Alien in the crack; this will give some protection to the crux move, which is done outside the chimney with wierd stems and crimpers. After all this effort, one is rewarded with an unpleasant squeeze/thrash to the base of the handcrack, which looks much more enjoyable. By most non-Voo standards the crux would go at 5.8. I rate it 5.FU
If you know how to chimney (getting in the chimney, and climbing out around the constriction) this is a really fun 5.7. Call it 5.6 if you'd like. The first pitch is super well protected even if you don't bring any big gear, thanks to the finger crack in the chimney. The second pitch is mellow hand and fist jamming. There is no third pitch unless you are climbing with a thirty meter rope.
Surprised to see that this route gets so few stars and negative comments. Maybe that's just blue-collar Vedauwoo work effort skewing the feedback. I thought it was a lot of fun. My GF lead from the handcrack to the top in one pitch, crushed it, and had a blast. Worthwhile route.
Walk off north looking for two bolts. Single 60 rap back to the ground just North of where you started.