|Thunder Bay, Ontario
This route is a classic because of its location, size, and the incredible view on the route and especially from the “summit.” It is the best (and probably the only) “alpine” route in the province. The climbing is easy, but continuously interesting, with loads of protection.
Pitch 1: (20 metres, 5.5). Scramble up ledges from the mouth of the wide chimney onto and up a short wall. At the cedar tree, in a flake/crack system, set up a gear belay.
Pitch 2: (20 metres, 5.7) Layback the prominent flake (on the right, with an old large bong/piton) or climb the left flake with a harder mantle. Traverse left along a sloping ledge, and lead up the slabby finger crack. Step left on the face to a belay with three old bolts and pitons, in the corner on the left side of a vertical fist crack.
Pitch 3: (20 metres, 5.7) Follow the fist crack. It’s easy going, but if you want pro you’ll need to slam in a bong or throw in a big (4” or bigger) cam. Work out over the roof and up to a rough ledge with some loose large boulders. Set a belay at the wall.
Pitch 4: (30 metres, 5.6) Traverse left around the corner along a grassy edge, then move up (several options) on some hollow flakes to belay at the cedar tree.
Pitch 5: (40 metres, 5.0). Continue on the left face to the corner, or work up the right face. This looks like Fourth Class terrain, but it is extremely loose and sandy. Hip belay or belay off of the largest poplar tree. Enjoy the view!
Descent: Follow the trail north along the cliff face for 200+ metres down and (eventually) through the brush, until you meet a major trail, which then leads north and quickly meets the upper chimney. Don’t get climbers in trouble for causing erosion; do NOT use the Chimney Gully.
Start in the gully just below “Visitor Services.” The start up higher, through a piton and a bolt, is the route “Jody’s Butterfly.” The pitches as identified may be run together (1 & 2 or 2 & 3) although due to wandering nature of route, long pitches may develop serious problems with rope drag.
Some bolted belay stations.
BETA PHOTO: From 2nd Edition guidebook.
From: Duluth, MN
Jul 22, 2006
Excellent climb with good exposure and fair commitment. Definitely worth a trip if you are in the area. I second the urge not to use the Chimney Trail gully...it's loose and dangerous and could threaten access if people don't leave it alone!
Linking Obscured By Clouds (5.5) and skipping the first pitch seems like a good idea but isn't...the tree is hard to pass from below.