Apparently I'm not the only one to be lessed than jazzed by the current Chimney Rock climbs. The south side of the rock has a scratchy, crumbly looking chimney that has been climbed off and on for a long time. We went up to give it a look this Fall and ended up scouting the boulders instead. Still, it is a spectacular crag and the view from the top is probably magnificent.
From a couple of miles north of Ridgway, take CR 10, The Owl Creek Pass Road, to the east. After 15.8 miles you reach the pass and continue for an additional 0.3 miles to the West Fork Road. Turn right into the West Fork drainage and continue for 1.6 miles to a broad meadow. Chimney Rock looms over the road and the trailhead is easy to spot on the right a little further up the road.
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 scram...[more]Browse More Classics in CO
The summit view is incredible. You can see all the way out to the Henry Mountains in Utah. While most of the Cimarron rock is the perfect medium for gear-ripping 20 foot groundfalls, the standard SW chimney route of Chimney Rock is a great 5.8 adventure. Bring a #4 Camalot. Enjoy!
The 1.6 miles is to the Court House Peak trailhead. Wrong trail. You want to park about a half mile before that, there is a 4 wheeler track that takes you way up into the basin. At the first 20 foot cliff band on the approach, go right around it then back left, we went behind a big boulder to get up the next and last cliff band. On the climb, your 6 biggest cams will protect the whole route. With a single 60m rope, you can rappel from the summit; 2 raps to the top of the second pitch, then 2 more down the route.
Re:Chimney ROCK. At least that's its official name, not Chimney Peak. Why does this bother me? :)
While it may not be worth too much BS&T, Chimney Peak is arguably the appropriate name. Ormes, in his Guide to Colorado Mountains, has referred to it as Chimney Peak since the first printing in 1952. So, it is not just a local moniker. Ormes notes that Chimney Peak distinguishes it from the numerous other Chimney Rocks in Colorado, including those in the San Juans. Ormes has been something of a Bible, at least for myself, when it comes to Colorado mountains, although some of his trail descriptions are now dated, including that for Chimney Rock. So, I have tended to side with his nomenclature. However, the Trails Illustrated map uses Chimney Rock as do some of the USGS maps.