This is by far the most popular route in the Fisher Towers, and a moderate classic. The route goes at 5.9 A0 if yarding on bolts, or can be free climbed at well protected 5.10.
P1. Climb easy 5.4 broken rock to a huge ledge. If you are free climbing the route, belay here to avoid rope drag. Climb a 4 bolt ladder to a big belay ledge at the base of a chimney. 5.10, 120 feet.
P2. Climb a really fun and well protected 5.8 mud chimney for about 90 feet to a belay on the right.
P3. Climb a short steep crack to a 3 bolt ladder. 5.7 A0 or 5.10, 40 feet.
P4. This is one of the coolest pitches in the desert. Walk 20 feet along the sidewalk(narrow extremely exposed ledge). Mantle awkwardly onto the diving board, and walk to the base of the corkscrew. Clip 4 bolts/drilled angles en route to the summit.
To descend, lower back to the diving board, and reverse the sidewalk.2 single rope raps lead to the top of pitch 1, and then make a double rope rap to the ground.
1 set of cams to 3 inches, 1 set of stoppers, first 5 tricams are nice, quickdraws. The first, third, and 4th pitches have old bolts and drilled angles.
Ancient Art'sStolen Chimney is not a sport climb and should not be attempted by any climber who is not very comfortable climbing 5.10.
There are places on each pitch where if you fall you will likely die. At the very least you will be badly hurt.
The replaced bolts are nothing more than than a modern version of what the original ascent party had. They can be manipulated by people or damaged by the elements in such a way that they are not safe.
For this reason any climber attempting this route, or any other non-sport climb for that matter, should assume that their most trusted piece of protection is their ability to NOT fall. Climbing is dangerous. Its even more dangerous in the Fisher Towers. Do not approach this route with a sense that it is easy.
Amazing route, justifiably popular. The only real loose rock is on the 5.easy start of the first pitch and at places in the chimney (which is amazing, best chimney I've done, and more like 5.7-). I am pretty sure the chimney is longer than 90 feet, and it is definitely a double-rope rap to the top of the first pitch. Make sure to squeeze through the hole under the chockstone at the end of the chimney, it will remind your partner of all the beer he drank the night before.
Great climb! One of the best. Be careful; last time I did this I cracked (loudly!) a rib while manouvering my fat carcass onto the diving board. Finished the route but could not climb again (or sneeze) for weeks. Descent tip: If you have two 60 meter ropes, you can rappel from the big ledge at the top of the chimney all the way to the ground, into an alcove left of the first pitch. This rappel is about 57-odd meters, so be careful!
The best method for getting onto the diving board on the last pitch is the "jump 'n' hump" method (self explanatory). As in similar exercises, finess not force will bring about the most pleasing results.
You can do this climb in 2 pitches if you use a 60 meter rope and scramble the ledgy initial section of P1. The first pitch would be a very long link-up of the chimney with both bolt ladders, however this does present a lot of rope drag if you're trying to free the second bolt ladder. After the ascent (the first time on it, we did the standard 5 pitches and 4 rappels), we were able to rap (2 60-M ropes) all the way from the "sidewalk" down to a stance left of the first pitch. From there it was an easy scramble back to the packs, making for a fast round-trip.
Yes, the rock is a bit crumbly, but the moves on every pitch were suprisingly, really fun and somewhat thought-provoking. I can't say that any of them really seemed to be 5.11, though, but erosion may have something to do with that.
Hope I didn't sound too cavalier in the last comment. Just to clarify, the stance where the rappel ends and the ensuing scramble are low-5th class-ish; if you felt comfortable scrambling the first 5.4 section, they shouldn't be a problem.
I would suggest to take a very light rack. The climbing is easy and the gear is only where you need it. Take a set of medium and large stoppers, and #1,#2,#3 cams. Maybe add a few hexes or tricams if you are timid. Take only 4 QDs and maybe 6 shoulder length runners. You can also just take runners and triple up 4 of them for the bolt ladders. Somewhat of a casual route with fun climbing. The crux sections are short and easy to pull through if need be. The drilled pins on the ladders are close together so a fall onto any of them should hold. The second bolt ladder has a newer second bolt which gives some confidence if you are trying to free it. Surely an unforgettable summit. Awesome.
Also- Does anyone know how long the summit block has been loose? I was noticing that if the block was pulled off could possibly cut the summit anchors. yikes be careful
When seconding the final pitch, be careful not to have the belay rope run directly to the summit anchors. During lowering, this puts considerable sideways force on the summit block. Perhaps it is solid but I had a frightening vision of the whole thing toppling. Clip the rope to the summit anchors to you when you head to the diving board, then clip it to the anchor near here so that the rope pulls straight down on the summit anchors (my recommendation anyway).
By Ben Mottinger Founding Father Sep 30, 2002 rating: 5.10b6a+19VII-E2 5b
3 stars for the position and craziness but 1 for rock quality.
I felt the first BL and last were similar in grade and easy to clip up.
For the first pitch, it is possible to move left of the popular line to reduce drag. If the leader moves left immediatly from the belay ledge (between a massive boulder and the rock - a bit of a squeez) to a second spacious ledge, the line is directly below the first bolt ladder. Just a thought. Also, after the diving board it is wise to clip the side-by-side pin and bolt with a generous sling to reduce rope drag and lessen the chance of pulling the hardware right out of the rock.
Great route! Seemed less grubby than my ascent 8 years ago, I think all the traffic is cleaning off the route.
I discovered you can avoid the diving board belly flop by climbing below it on the left. Perhaps, however, one should not avoid this classic thrutch move. The move off the diving board is the hardest on the final pitch, I think. It's a balancy stem and there are no positive downward hand holds.
We did both bolt ladders free and I agree, I don't think either of them are 5.11. I think they are both 10ish, with the second seeming a littler harder, although shorter. I'd recommend a screamer QD or two to ease the mind of falling on those bolts. Wow, scary image of Jimmy Dunn down free soloing the second ladder!
For good summit shots a wide angle lens is recommended, 28mm or even shorter (35mm equivalent).
I should mention that the diving board avoidance route is possibly more terrifying than the diving board belly flop. At least, there is no pro and potential for a monster swinging fall on lead if a foothold crumbles. However it is probably only 5.6. For the final pitch itself, the leader need only take a long sling or double (as mentioned above) plus a couple QD's and maybe one regular sling. Having no fear of heights also helps.
Super fun route and super busy. Be prepared for lots of other parties and don't be a jerk when sharing the route. On the last pitch, the 2nd bolt you clip (ignoring the old belay at the base of the diving board)looked pretty manky too me, but with the advise of the party before us, I backed it up a #3 camalot. It inspired a little more confidence. There are lots of drilled angles and bolts at the last belay. Be advised to position yourself carefully when belaying the leader on the last pitch on the off chance that they take a ride off the diving board.
Some Beta for Someone who has never climbed the route and is planning an ascent:
Very Sandy, Very Dirty = Serious*P1 Easy yet Sandy feet + R. If you are free climbing P2 5.10+ or 5.11- a belay can be set up 10 ft below the first bolt, 1"-2" Cams, Cordelette Handy.*P2 Stemming very well protected for free climbing, easy aiding.P3 I used a set of double cams, 3 hand size pieces, up to a 3.5" piece and did not sew it up, but hey Jimmy Dunn solos it so whatever you are comfortable with, I suggest 6-8 shoulder slings due to rope drag. I thought it felt like 5.8 range, typical desert funk. Descent Gear, dirty climbing.P4 - 3.5" or 3" piece getting to first bolt, first bolt old star bolt, 5.2 move to clip second bolt which is new. Felt like 5.10+ face climbing very well protected again easily aided. I left all my gear at the top of P3 except 3.5" piece, some long slings and 6-8 quicks (and camera of course!).P5 - Walk the plank, sling the Head (optional), clip the first bolt(drilled angle?) then do some 5.9 climbing to old bolt, probably would not hold a high impact fall, but simply protects you for an easy step across move, clip another drilled angle over the lip, mantel or high step over and climb a move or two to the slings, clip or thread the slings then head for the coolest/weirdest summit I have ever been on.
Slings wrapped around summit are two 1" pieces of webbing which seem old to me, and a piece of old 10MM rope. If you go up please bring another piece or two of webbing or rope, these should really be replaced, my partner cleaned the route then I lowered him off the slings and he could hear them creaking. There is alot of UV beating on those slings.
Looking under the summit plate is also an eye opener, there is a lot of air.
We did a short rap from the sidewalk belay to top of the chimney, then a 195ft rap to the base.
Be careful up there, It's an adventure climb that should not be missed!
Last time I did this route, we did it in two pitches. We soled up to the first bolt ladder and set up a belay there. Then we blasted all the way to the sidewalk. The first set of bolts is 5.9 and the second set is 5.10ish.
It's possible to rap with a single 60-meter rope. Rap from the big ledge about two thirds down the chimney to an anchor and from there rap to the ground, just barely.
Wicked crazy. Summit pitch looks supreme, although it is wiggy in the rain. We were being threatened by storm clouds all day, I thought I was home free when I started the last pitch, but NO, halfway across the walkway --RAIN--it sucked real bad. Take a REAL light rack on this climb, you only need to protect one pitch (100ft.), I used all active pro----don't even take stoppers, you won't need them. Also the end of the chimney pitch is so skinny you'll most likely get stuck if you fall, so you really don't need to protect it. Also, some guidebooks I read said there were 5 pitches. I THINK you could make it to the third set of anchors (on the walkway before the corckscrew)from the ground with good ropework. (a 60M MIGHT make it, but I don't wanna try w/o a 70m) Anyone done this from dirt to walkway?Anywho, wicked good climb, lots of fun, anyone would have fun on this!!!!!
Killer tower route in range for most competent trad leaders. Definitely think 5.11 is a bit over-the-top. Maybe hard 5.10, and only a couple of moves while freeing the bolt ladders. Someone commented on using a screamer or two if freeing the bolt ladders... no doubt that would have made it less sphincter constricting, they're pretty manky. Otherwise, not a bad day out even in hideous winds which drove sand into every crevice of my body.
Just climbed this last weekend. 1.5 hours from rope-up to coiling the rope after the rappel. There is no climbing harder than 5.9+ on this route and the bolt ladders are really not scary at all! The crux, for me was the first move up the spire after clipping the first piton. Why is there a belay at the base of the spire??
I'd say that the rating is very dependent on height, particularly the second bolt ladder. I found it easy (being tall) and my partner had a much harder time. The initial bolt ladder was similar in difficulty but both of us climbed it very differently.
We were a bit worried to hear that the first of the 3 bolts in the second ladder was an old one but it turns out you don't really make any hard moves before clipping the 2nd bolt (the new one).
The scary part is the final spire - I'd take both a #2 and #3 camalot - they both go about the same place but in this rock I'm of the "two nuts are better than one" theory.
All of the cruxes were very clean. A bit of mud in the chimney but not insecure at all.
[Hey - I can't seem to get the A0 to go away in the rating when I submit my rating! Call technical support!!! Oh - and tell your spell checker that camalot is a real word ...]
When lowering the second off of the top back to the sidewalk, have the second clip a draw to the rope (the belayers side of the rope) and back to their harness. The belayer can keep the rope tight until the second reaches the sidewalk. As the second begins to traverse back, the belayer feeds out slack allowing the second to walk across the sidewalk while hanging onto the belayer side of the rope, without being pulled but still being somewhat supported. If they are at all nervous about swinging, I found this to be the best method.
Next time I'm up there, I need to have more jump and less hump on that diving board move. :-) The route was fast and fantastic. I don't get why anyone would want to count the sidewalk as a pitch. It seems like belaying from the diving board would be awkward and slightly unnerving while the second comes up with feet flailing. Not to mention the photo ops wouldn't be as good.
Before I climbed the route, I actually had a dream that I broke Ancient Art. In my dream the last pitch was only about 10'. I wrapped my arms around it, crushed it and watched it fall to the floor below. I giggled a bit about that dream when I saw how solid that last pitch really was.
We did this route September 17-2007. Wild exposure on the last pitch. If you have a 70M rope, you can rap the route with that instead of taking 2-60M's. 1 set of cams, 1 set of nuts, and some trad draws is the rack we used. My more detailed trip report is here
By Aeon Aki Administrator Oct 14, 2007 rating: 5.106b20VII-E2 5b
Descent Beta: 2 60m ropes tied together will get you to the ground from the spacious ledge above the chimney.
I submitted a picture about a two years ago that shows how the do the rap with two 60m ropes. From the big ledge above the chimney at the top of Pitch 2 it is possible to rap with 2 ropes outside the chimney. However, it's important that you rap outside the chimney otherwise your ropes will get stuck. This brings you to the ground just left of the start. (SEE BETA PICTURE ABOVE)
Not sure this was really 5.10; ok maybe 5.10 minus. Felt worlds easier than the Easter Island bolt pitch (Bridger Jacks), which I consider real desert 5.10 face. The people I encountered on route did not even consider free climbing the bolt ladders, which is odd because the ladders are gym style bolt protected (maybe even tighter) and not hard. They are comprised of a really neat mix of cobbles and sandy little slopers and pockets. The technique was to reach up, brush, brush, brush with the fingers, then pull. By the time your second comes up, they will need to brush too. The summit is beyond words. A competent party with no crowd can summit in an hour. A competent party with 2 parties ahead can count on 6 hours and lots of trundled chimney matter to dodge.
By mtoensing From: Boulder May 16, 2009 rating: 5.10+6b+21VII+E3 5b
one 70 meter will get you to the ground
By Mike From: Phoenix Jul 9, 2009 rating: 5.10-6a18VI+E1 5a
Although most of this route is marginal at best, the last pitch makes up for it and then some. The next-to-last pitch is pretty decent also.
There is a pretty nasty death block at the top of the chimney pitch on the climbers left. It looks like a perfect flake to throw a runner over to protect the last move onto the belay ledge (I did it the first time). However, upon closer inspection you are able to wiggle the whole thing like a loose tooth. Be careful with it! If it goes, it will probably tumble down the chimney right onto the belay. I chalked a giant X on it. I am also going to add a pic of the block in the gallery with Brent happily yarding on it before we discovered it was loose.
after a storm last week, a large block that used to be part of pitch 3 fell over and is looming over the chimney. It was the block that formed a crack along the arete that you could plug a cam in. It is not the block that was mentioned in the previous post. It is about 2ft by 2ft by 8ft boulder. There is now a 20ft run-out from the belay ledge to the first bolt. You are looking at probably a factor 2 fall with your rope dragging over the ridge and the new chock-stone if you pull off any of the freshly exposed cutler. Half of the block is chocked between the arete and the boulder that was already chocked in the chimney. It looks fairly stuck there, but if it comes down there will be carnage in the chimney. A new bolt hopefully will end up lower on the arete and maybe that boulder could be secured somehow. The climb is still a mild fisher towers experience, though.
Yes and it is totally casual. The boulder should be respected, but will very unlikely depart from its position, and the addition of a new bolt would be ridiculous.
If you solo the first 5.6 scramble, you can get to the sidewalk in 1 pitch with a 70m rope. Nuts, many 24" slings, 8 draws, and a single set of cams from fingers to a #3 camalot is enough gear for anyone on this climb, even a total beginning leader. 1 70 meter rope gets you down, but one needs to use care to downclimb to the anchor at the top of the 1st bolt ladder about 10 feet- it is dirty, but not exposed nor difficult.
getting on to the diving board was the freakiest part for me
By Brian Scoggins From: Eugene, OR Aug 2, 2010 rating: 5.95c17VIHVS 5a PG13
If you're bringing two ropes, you should rappel outside of the chimney (basically straight down the exterior of the tower) rather than down the route. Otherwise, the process of pulling the ropes risks kicking a lot of crap down onto people below. Personally, I've always done the route as two parties of two, then just hung out on the belay ledge while the second party did their summit. Then the descent is pretty well idiot proof. Just one REALLY long rappel.
By NickP From: Golden, CO Aug 19, 2010 rating: 5.10-6a18VI+E1 5a
I found a camera at the base of the first pitch a couple weeks ago. PM if its yours.
On a different note, the climb is amazing. It's probably the best climb in the universe for the 5.10 sport leader who is getting into trad. Enjoy!
Yup, some douchebag has removed two of the bolts on this route. The second bolt on the first bolt ladder is gone, which means you must make mandatory 5.10 moves in order to advance. This bolt really should be replaced because of the danger of decking on the ledge if you fall. Also, the first bolt on the second bolt ladder is missing as well making for a slightly more run out third pitch.
@ Kevin: Don't assume that whoever removed the bolt did so out of spite. If those bolts were somehow faulty and you were the guy who haphazardly clipped in and took a leader fall then hit the deck you would be singing a different tune. Just because there used to be some fixed gear doesn't mean that it was bomber. That's the beauty of climbing trad, you get to place your own gear. If that's too hard for you then leave the leading to your partner.
I agree for the bolts to be replaced. 2nd pitch provides a fall onto a ledge that would be prettly likely if you slipped from the stemming moves.
2nd bolt ladder required quite a reach to get to and since you're either placing gear behind a flake or running it out from the belay, a bolt earlier in that section would definitely protect any 5.9ish leader the comfort in making the moves.
Just my 2 cents
Overall a decent 2nd pitch and a couple bolt ladders is more than worth it to stand on that summit, awesome!
By Ryan A. Ray From: Keller, TX Oct 23, 2010 rating: 5.106b20VII-E2 5b
No, im pretty sure that both of the bolts were intentionally removed. Both still had the collar and wedge still in the hole and they were tight. They were both indeed 5 piece rawls. If they had pulled then the colar and wedge would have been gone too. They had to be loosened in order to come out like that.
Fortunately, someone can easilly go back and should be able to place a new bolt back in the same hole. You might even be able to just place a new hanger and bolt stud back in using the same old wedge and collar(which is pretty new to begin with). There should be no need to redrill a new hole. Or you can take a new bolt and screw into the current wedge...tap it back in the hole, use some pliers to pull out the collar, then screw the bolt back in the wedge and pull the wedge out of the hole. Then just drill the hole a little deeper and use a new longer bolt. I would have done this when i was there this past week, but did not have my drill with me. Fortunately I personally did not feel that the bolts were necessary. I liked the way it forced you to free climb. Getting to the first bolt on the second bolt ladder is no harder than 5.5
On another note, did anyone notice that the large block on pitch 3 that you used to be there has fallen over and is now laying on the boulder between the large belay ledge. You used to step up on the boulder, then mantle up on top of the block in order to reach the fist bolt on that pitch. I wonder if that was knocked over intentionally, or by natural causes?
The bolts should not have been pulled. I led all of the pitches last fall and though I didn't pull or rest on any of them they did not take away from the climb and allowed several people I was climbing with to follow the route. If indeed they were pulled (and I don't doubt it since these particular bolts were bomber only a year ago) the person who pulled them should be banned from the awesomeness that is Utah desert climbing.
By Tommey-James From: Boulder,Colorado Oct 29, 2010 rating: 5.106b20VII-E2 5b
I did this route about 9 months ago and the bolts were well placed and necessary (for the most part). The 1st bolt on the upper bolted section is necessary to make the pitch safe, it is not un-do able now but it was much better protected. If I had to guess the guy who pulled the bolts is some self righteous cock who red-pointed his first 12- and thinks he is the shit.
What a shame. Josh Gross and I rebolted this with stainless steel ASCA stuff last year. It appears we will have to start using thread lock... all we did was replace the original stuff.
I met a guy years ago who was in to removing rebolted bolts... especially asca stuff. His first initial was C and he lived in Provo. I let him know how uncool I thought it was, but anyone that ignorant and that convinced his way is the right way is not gonna change. Its a shame. I'm not sure why the world has such ignorant and elitist people, but they seem fairly common in our sport.
By Ryan A. Ray From: Keller, TX Nov 1, 2010 rating: 5.106b20VII-E2 5b
My initial thoughts were that someone probably removed them in order to reduce traffic on the route. This route has become very popular and its not uncommon to wait a while for others to get out of the way. But thats a very lame reason for doing so, and I dont think its even very effective. It just makes the slower parties who were counting on pulling on those bolts take longer now. I dont understand why their are idiots in this world. We would be better off without them.
I went into to the local shops to ask about the missing bolts and was surpised that no one seemed to care and a few of them knew who did it.
By Aimee Rose From: Bend, or Nov 18, 2010 rating: 5.106b20VII-E2 5b R
I just did this route yesterday and indeed the second bolt on the first bolt ladder was missing. Fortunately, I read the comments before I headed out there and brought my stick clip. I was incredibly happy to have it. The climbing where the bolt is missing is not trivial and now it is quite dangerous because the route is rated 5.9 A0. If a 5.9 leader heads up there and attempts to free climb these moves, they will likely fall, hit the ledge and possibly break an ankle. Someone will eventually get hurt and if someone pulled that bolt intentionally they are truly a horrible person.
If someone local is able to replace the bolt, the sleeve is still there. I don't know much about bolt replacement, otherwise I would have done it yesterday.
The first bolt on the final bolt ladder is also missing, but this isn't as much of an issue. I was able to just clip the next bolt off a big foothold (with a Kong Frog quickdraw- gives an extra couple inches of reach) and I'm only 5 feet tall, so anyone taller than me should have no problem.
I hope the problem can be remedied before someone gets hurt and if you are going to do this route, consider bringing some kind of stick clip if you don't feel comfortable climbing run-out, potential fall onto ledge 5.11.
Thanks Sam for placing solid bolts on this route the first time and again this time. Maybe the key missing bolt should be replaced with a glue in, those are almost impossible to remove. Of course, this might start a precedent and that is a slippery slope.
Aimee - Nice socks! What the heck are you carrying on your back?
By Gaar From: Springdale / Zion UT / Moab Mar 16, 2011
Found one bolt missing on pitch 3. The first bolt. Makes the pitch scary unprotected until you can get the second bolt and a hard move to get to the second bolt for someone less than 6 feet tall. Outcome of a fall would be painful/bad...Definitely give this pitch an R+ rating without the bolt.
The sleeve is still there. If we brought a bolt, we would have fixed it. Hope someone local can help!
For pitch 3 you can place a #2 Camalot behind a detached flake halfway to the second (now first) bolt for psych pro :-) It's really not too bad getting up to the first remaining bolt (cl. 3). It looks far but from the last ledge you can barely clip it. It looks to me like the missing bolt was only reachable from the same ledge, so I don't really think the missing bolt adds any danger to the pitch.
Two interesting things to consider about the summit pitch:
1. The summit cap sounds pretty hollow. Don't pull on it too hard! 2. The final mantle at the last drilled piton has a nice crimp sidepull on a flake for your right hand. It flexes a lot as you climb up, so be delicate and try to stop pulling on the flake ASAP as you move up or you might find yourself airborne!
By Andrewprime1 From: Salt Lake City, UT Mar 15, 2012 rating: 5.106b20VII-E2 5b
Climbed this yesterday, great route! So psyched on the desert towers in Moab. The first bolt on pitch three is still gone, but frankly I didn't notice/care. I plugged a #2 behind the flake (gently) and kept climbing, really not scary at all. The scary part was probably the star drive bolt + piton on the corkscrew, and even that wasn't too bad...
By Alex Quitiquit From: Salt Lake City Mar 16, 2012 rating: 5.10-6a18VI+E1 5a
Stupid Fun. The last pitch makes the climb, but the chimney pitch is actually really fun if you're into that whole groveling thing. There isn't really a sketchy point on the climb, except the walk along the "breezeway" when the wind decides to magically show up. 1 bolt on 3rd pitch is still gone but the climbing is really mellow. Get it!
By Ryan Strong From: Golden, CO Mar 29, 2012 rating: 5.106b20VII-E2 5b
We were able to rap the sheer face straight to the ground with two 70M ropes. I am not sure if this is recommended due to the crumbliness of the face , but it was a good way to avoid jamming up other parties had we rapped the route.
Did this route a couple of days ago. As of now 4/13/12 the first bolt of P3 is still gone, but I placed a #2 camalot in the flake below and barely clipped the first bolt. I got down the climb with a single 70 meter rope just fine. A great climb!
GET A CLUE PEOPLE! Look at that flake. It is just balanced there barely glued on with mud! A cam behind it WILL fail in a fall! Worst case scenario is that several-hundred-pound flake will peel off and hurt or kill someone. Placing gear behind this flake is a false sense of psychological protection. I am not a particularly bold leader. If you can't make it to the first bolt then don't climb the route. It's that simple.
Thank you to all who helped in rescuing a fallen leader yesterday. Great inter-agency cooperation. Thanks to GCSAR, NPS Tech Rescue, Life Flight, Grand County EMS, and everyone else that chipped in. Hope our patient makes a full and speedy recovery.
Be careful up there! This is a desert tower after all.
Hey Jeremy OK, here is the history as I have it... its all in the beholder of course.
A few years ago Josh Gross and I went out there and redid much of the route with stainless rawls where there were banged in angles and star drives. Nothing added, just replaced. Since then one of those rawls, sorry Powers 5 pieces, looked as if it had unscrewed on its own (perhaps) and come out.... another, on pitch 3, looked to have been removed. Again, these were just replacements of what had been in there... nothing added. So, people talked worriedly about the bolts unscrewing and I hate the thought that this is happening, especially with the cost of the bolts. Then that big block that you used to get cams behind on the approach to the arete of pitch 3 collapsed. Then that girl tumbled a few weeks ago trying to get to the first bolt past said broken block.
So Larry Harpe and i went out and redid those bolts that Josh and I redid a few years ago plus put one in where the collapsed flake once was. We also redid the two angles on the last pitch. One of these gets pulled down and across in a fall and then straight up on when you lower off from the summit block... not a good place for an angle, especially since its generally everyones only piece of pro to get on the corkscrew. Anyway, we replaced the already replaced bolts with glue ins and the replaced two that protected the actual cork screw of the last pitch. We also added a bolt where the big flake used to be and where you have to crawl across the blocks to reach the arete.
And thats that. As most will point out, I am a steady supporter of the "Bolt it like the first Ascentionists did" approach to replacement. The added bolt in this case is because the placements the FA guys had are gone now.... the whole flake fell away. The only other option there is to place it in a flake roughly the size of a suitcase that is just a rock resting on some mud. This is the spot the girl fell.... I'm sure, considering the way the bolt ladders originally were, that the FA guys would have done this as well.
Have at it...
By Lspade From: Chaska, MN May 11, 2012 rating: 5.106b20VII-E2 5b
Good to hear they put in some new protection!!! I was part of the group with the fallen climber. Here is the story:
Me and three friends (I will refer to them as friend 1, 2, and 3) set off on April 23 to climb Stolen Chimney. Friend 1 and 2 were climbing together and Friend 1 was supposed to lead all of the pitches because friend 2 only sport leads. Me and friend 3 were climbing behind them with me leading all of the pitches. Friend 1 and 2 were both on the third belay ledge as I started leading up the dirty chimney of pitch two. When I was half way up the pitch I heard this really loud scream. All of the other partys on the ground went into emergency mode and I finished the pitch to find climber 2 laying on her back with a cracked helmet.
Climber 1 told me that he suggested to climber 2 that they should rap down since pitch 3 was so run out and exposed but climber 2 begged to lead it since there was no trad gear needed. She peeled off while trying to clip the bolt and pushed off backwards landing on the belay ledge. She was in too much pain for us to lower her to the ground so Search and Rescue was called. We told friend 3 to pull the rope and rap to the base. First EMT jugged up our fixed line, second EMT led up the route using my gear placements, first park rescue jugged up the fixed line, second park rescue jugged up the fixed line, third EMT jugged up the fixed line. That means there were 8 freaking people on the belay ledge! After five hours of crazyness a heli medic from Salt Lake City was lowered onto the belay ledge. He had no problem hanging under a flying helicopter but as soon as he was dropped off on the ledge he was terrified! We were all amused by that. He flew away with her in this netting thing and the rest of us rapped down. She had 4 broken ribs and a brain bleed but is expected to be out climbing hard soon!
Everyone agreed that she would likely not be here if she had not been wearing her helmet. Be careful guys and thank you again to all of the Rescue crew who helped save her life!
I feel compelled to say this: Ancient Art's Stolen Chimney is NOT a sport climb and should not be attempted by any climber who is not very comfortable climbing 5.10. There are places on each pitch where if you fall you will likely die. At the very least you will be badly hurt. The replaced bolts are nothing more than than a modern version of what the original ascent party had. They can be manipulated with by people, or damaged by the elements, in such a way that they are not safe. For this reason any climber attempting this route, or any other non-sport climb for that matter, should assume that their most trusted piece of protection is their ability to NOT fall. Climbing is dangerous. Its even more dangerous in the Fisher Towers. Do not approach this route with a sense that it is easy.
By slim Administrator May 12, 2012 rating: 5.10c6b20VIIE2 5b
i feel compelled to say 'ditto'. i've been somewhat horrified by some of the folks i have seen on this thing. i think one of the problems is that it has become a bit of a circus with guides and unprepared/incompetent clients, which has given it kind of an 'anybody can do it' sort of reputation. as sam has said, there are several places on this route where you absolutely don't want to fall.
Well said Larry. Besides the rescue, I've helped prevent several serious accidents by private parties while I was guiding clients. I haven't seen any issues with any professionaly guided parties.
Be careful out there everyone!
By slim Administrator May 14, 2012 rating: 5.10c6b20VIIE2 5b
you both make good points, and i definitely shouldn't point all or even most of the blame at guides. i apologize. my comment was based on climbing in the area several times when there were multiple groups on AA that had (or appeared to have) 1 guide and 2 -4 clients. one day in particular i counted 9(!) people at a single belay. and the people that i saw in the group were obvious beginners (ie needed very close instruction on all aspects of the climbing, including rapping, etc).
anyway, all that aside - thanks to the guides who helped the young lady with the rescue, and hopefully people will be careful up there.
Redpointed it the other week. The 5.10 technical faces took me a few moments to figure out the right sequences and pressure points. Also, it looks like there are a few retrobolted sections including the crux move getting onto the corkscrew making the climb feel much safer than last year.
4 stars, 3 of which are garnered by the summit. No need to aid the bolt ladders, the moves are all there and well protected. There is now another bolt where the female climber whipped and helicoptered , thus it is quite well protected now. If you hear a buzzing/crackling sound near the top bail immediately as you are about to get struck by lightning. I felt sparks arcing off of my shoulders and forearms. This thing is an antenna. Never saw any lightning, but it musta been close. Only very light sprinkles. Yes, this seems obvious to me now. I just didn't realize you would ever hear any noise before you exploded like a gnat in a bug light.
By Peter Blank From: Grand Junction, Colorado Oct 17, 2012
I found some gear at the base on the evening of Oct 14 or 15. Give me a call or email if you want it back. Also a note at trail head kiosk. Peter 970 596 9032
By Geir From: Tucson, AZ Oct 31, 2012 rating: 5.10c6b20VIIE2 5b
A classic route with a spectacular summit. One I will never forget!
I climbed this in late 2000 at age 62/63 (as a 2nd) and found to be a great climb if rather a different sort of rock for me. The next year I had a mild MI and a stent. My blocked artery no doubt affected my climbing at the time I am okay now with the stent, Meds, etc; and still climb at 75. The climb appeared to be 5.8, A0 for me. The exposure was great fun I sat on the top rather stand on it which did not occur to me then J. Dunn who I spoke to at the bottom watched me climb and said I was fine but forgot to take a photo as he said he would. No big deal the compliment was enough wish I could climb cottontail.
Climbed this past Saturday. All bolts are in good condtion.
In regards to the final pitch, I had been told it was not a good idea to top rope the section after the sidewalk and am not sure why this is. The majority of this section puts you directly under the anchor. The final move does require you to move around the side and feed some slack but would still be a relatively minor swing should a fall occur. A quick draw can be left on the bolt just below the anchor should there be a timid climber in the group that can be utilized to make this a relatively simple move. Regardless crossing the sidewalk is still the most dangerous part as a top rope doesn't really provide any more protection then leading it.
By Jordan Hirro From: Colorado Springs/Glenwood Spri Oct 2, 2013
Absolute must. In my opinion, the chimney and .10 face climbing really isn't the greatest...but the topout is undoubtedly the best around. I'll do the chimney over and over just for the topout. It's that good. Single rack from .4-2 or 3 with about 8 draws. We got lucky and were alone so we only brought 1 70 and did the whole thing in 1 pitch from the scramble. Then jut make 3 raps from the sidewalk and you're set to jet!
This thing is worth the crowds and mud, super unique experience. The free climbing through the first bolt ladder felt like 10+, using shallow pockets and pinching pebbles imbedded in the mud to move through a slight bulge. The 5.8 mud chimney was surprisingly fun by all accounts. We actually waited for over an hour at the top of this pitch for 3 base jumpers to finally leap from the sidewalk. It was cool to watch and we had planned on being stuck in lines, so no worries. Second bolt ladder felt easier, maybe 10-, kind of a one-move affair. The top pitch was probably one of the more memorable points in my life, just awesome exposure on all sides, and this awkward-looking mud turd looming in front of you. Don't think too hard about the diving board, just jump onto it like its a horse, and make a single 5.9 move to get onto the rest of the tower with a left hand pinch. From there around to the summit is pretty cruiser. Do a handstand!
By Floridaputz From: Oakland Park, Florida Mar 12, 2014
The Fisher Towers is an fantastic place. Well worth a visit on it's own. To go there and get to stand on top of Ancient Art is really cool. Yes, the towers are made of mud. It is a bit unnerving climbing on this type of rock. I used a point or two of aid.