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Bullwinkle Tower
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East Chimney T 
West Chimney T 
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West Chimney 

YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 60'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b [details]
FA: Holloway, Butterworth, 1992
Page Views: 4,801
Submitted By: John J. Glime on Oct 16, 2004

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (51)
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BETA PHOTO: The West Chimney climbs the obvious (right facing)...

Read about Anchor Replacement and Restrictions in Arches National Park MORE INFO >>>


As the title says, West Chimney. When you get to the tower, you can walk around the main formation and look for the easiest looking chimney, if your sense of direction isn't up to par.

The climb starts with an easy slab, up over a slightly tougher bulge, before you get to the crack below the chimney. (Approach the route and climb the bulge from the left.) Climb the crack, which takes good pro, and has the probable crux of the route, up to the chimney proper. You can get a last piece of gear in at the base of the chimney, but the chimney is basically unprotectable. However, it isn't really possible to fall out of the chimney and it is much, much easier than it may look to the beginning desert climber. Climb the fun, easy chimney to the top, there are slings on the north summit.

Descent: A one rope rappel is straightforward if you rappel directly west of the summit anchor, however, if your second does not reach the top and you are forced to rappel back into the chimney in order to retrieve gear, be very, very careful with the force you are putting on a sketchy looking cooler sized boulder on the top. Because of this, it is definitely not a good idea to top rope this tower from the rappel anchors. But you could easily set up an anchor at the actual top of the chimney itself.

I find it hilarious to see the crowds (literally) lining up in bunches at the base of Owl Rock only a few hundred yards away. This very well could be the easiest way to climb technical rock to the top of a tower on the Colorado Plateau. It is short, sweet, easy, and right next to the road.


A standard trad rack is overkill, but take one if you want the confidence.

Photos of West Chimney Slideshow Add Photo
Alison showing flawless technique on Bullwinkle
Alison showing flawless technique on Bullwinkle
Bullwinkle Tower
Bullwinkle Tower
Cyndie Bransford rapping off Bullwinkle. Photo by ...
Cyndie Bransford rapping off Bullwinkle. Photo by ...
Brent setting up to belay on the West Chimney of B...
BETA PHOTO: Brent setting up to belay on the West Chimney of B...
rapping Bullwinkle Tower
rapping Bullwinkle Tower

Comments on West Chimney Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jan 24, 2015
By Anonymous Coward
Oct 19, 2004

Did this route a couple years ago. Short, fun, with a sketchy rap anchor off a funky block-thingy. Bring beer and some webbing.
By Scott Heisler
From: SLC, Utah
Mar 24, 2007

Muddy pro'... Just bring a pink tri-cam or two, a #2 C4 and a sling for a horn. A rack will just get caught in the chimney. Thanks for the bolts, Sam!
By toddgordon
From: Joshua Tree, California
Apr 25, 2007

The climbing is disappointing at best, but it IS a cool summit, with great views in a magical setting. It's a summit too, for the tower tickers. It's easy too, and we had fun. (which is what it's all about, right?) Did this with Cyndie Bransford in March of 1997.
By Christian "crisco" Burrell
From: PG, Utah
Feb 17, 2009

We thought this was pretty darn fun and one of the easiest towers in Moab. The top anchor was really good. But the belay position required us to climb between the belayer's legs. This obviously led to a great many jokes.

-Belay on the upper ledge.
-We used a sling through a hole just before the chimney.
-The chimney is MUCH easier than it looks. basic back on one side, feet on the other tech.
-We found a good spot near the top of the chimney (where it tightens up)and just before an awkward part, to place a purple C4.
By Tristan Higbee
From: Cambodia
Feb 17, 2009

One of the easiest towers around, but lots of fun. For pro I used two finger-sized cams (small blue and silver Camalots), a sling (girthed it around a hole), and two purple #4 Camalots (#5 if using C4s). Bomber bolts and chains on top.
By Ryan-GJ
From: Grand Junction, CO
Mar 11, 2009

I think the Desert Rock guide list this route as 5.7+ and I would agree. The short bit before the chimney would be hard for a 5.6 leader. That said it is one of the easiest towers in Moab. We used a #1 and #5 Camalot and slung a few boulders in the crack for pro. Great little summit.
By Mike Chizhov
From: NY
Mar 13, 2011

Found it to be a bit of a messy climb. The chimney, while fairly easy, was pretty awkward considering there's not that much pro below you. Got up to the "three" bolt anchor and started belaying the second up. Halfway through his climb, I noticed the third, lowest bolt was two inches out of the rock. It seemed to be backed up by the bolt above it, so I pulled the bolt/sleeve as it was about to fall out and hit the second. Still two bolts up there, but one of the rap rings is now linked by the hanger of the bolt we pulled.
By Baumer
From: Boulder, CO
May 12, 2011

I found the bulge and the chimney to be fairly easy despite the lack of pro. The crack section, however, was very awkward and difficult for the grade.
By Brian C.
From: Longmont, CO
Sep 18, 2011

The crack into the chimney is harder than 5.6 and I agree with the Desert Rock's 5.7+ rating. That said, it is short and protects perfectly with a #5 C4. The #5 and a finger-sized cam (0.5 or 0.75) are the only gear you need. The rappel anchor is still two bolts and both are very loose and can almost be pulled out. We tightened one of them and now it feels secure but the other would not tighten.
By Simon Thompson
From: New Paltz, NY
Jan 12, 2012
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

I used a #3 and #4 Camalot for "acceptable" pro in a constriction right below where the chimneying starts. Fun climb with an easy approach and great summit.
By DJ Reyes
From: Northern Nevada
Nov 23, 2012

Climbed this route this morning and thought the route was harder than 5.6. The awkward move into the chimney section felt like 5.7+ to me, but then again I haven't climbed sandstone much lately. I would advise a large camalot say..... 4.5 or so to protect that move.
By Mark P Thomas
From: Oakland
May 4, 2013
rating: 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

The crack seems surprisingly hard for 5.6, but if you have some wide technique and commit, you can really sink a leg in and sit on it while you work out the next move.

Current anchor conditions: 1 bolt is gone, the other has a shaft protruding from the rock and I could wiggle it. The third bolt still looks good.
By JacobK
May 28, 2013

Fun climb was my first trad lead. The crack section has one akward move just before the chimney, not difficult just a little unnerving. Amazing how much more difficult things seem when leading.

Pefect tower for introducing a new climber. We took my friends girlfriend with us. Not sure if the mentioned boulder is still in place but the rope feed straught through with out putting pressure on any loose rock.

Anchor was in the same condition as mentioned above.
By James Hicks
From: Grand Junction, CO
Nov 26, 2013

The anchor may be getting worse. We climbed it a couple weeks ago. As mentioned before, the anchor is down to two bolts. One of the bolts is quite loose. I hand tightened it as best I could, but it won't be long before its gone. The other bolt seems tight for now. There was some cord tied around a solid boulder to back up the rap.
By Thom Crumrine
From: Moab, Utah
Jan 23, 2015
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Down to one bolt as an anchor on top and that one is super sketchy.
By Josh Cameron
From: Moab, Colorado
Jan 24, 2015
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

The chimney is fun but is over much too soon. Worth a tick if you're in the area and want to climb an easy tower chimney. However, don't think this route compares with Owl Rock. There is a reason that circumcised penis shaped rock gets all the climbers. Perhaps we could change the name of this route to something more inspiring like Vaginal Delight and then these two rocks would go together like a, well, er, you know ;)
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