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Cat's Meow T 
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International Chimney 

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

   
Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, 250'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.7+ French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b [details]
FA: Hans Wehrli, Bill Briggs, Joan Griffin
Page Views: 3,617
Submitted By: Peter Gram on Jul 2, 2002

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (21)
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Keen Butterworth on the 2nd pitch of International...

Description 

International Chimeny is a classic route that shouldn't be missed. Start on the west side of Spire Three. Pitch 1 climbs up an easy chimney (class 4, easy class 5) between Obelisk and Spire Three. Continue this until at the base of the International Chimney. Pitch 2 climbs the obvious line. This isn't a chimney per se, in fact, no chimney moves are encountered. It is more of a detached flake from the main massive. Climb the large crystals to a belay at the top of the flake. From here, I believe that the original route must traverse further right, but most people go straight up the insipient crack/groove to the summit. This pitch is probably 5.8 and deserves an s (serious) because of the lack of pro and a nasty possible fall into the chimney. Climb with care to the easy, slabby finish.

Descend by doing a two-rope rappel to the ground.

Protection 

Bring a standard rack. The first two pitches have good protection. The 3rd pitch is very thin for gear. Aliens might be useful?


Photos of International Chimney Slideshow Add Photo
The view off internationals rappel <br />last climber pull joining knots down to  <br />prevent a hang up when pulling ropes.  <br />best route ever
BETA PHOTO: The view off internationals rappel
last climber pu...
Spire Three viewed from Spire Two
BETA PHOTO: Spire Three viewed from Spire Two
From the summit you'll be looking down on the helicopters as they fly by :)
From the summit you'll be looking down on the heli...
Alison Larsen styles the short squeeze at the start of the 5.6 second pitch.
Alison Larsen styles the short squeeze at the star...
Tyson Arp heading up the first pitch of International Chimney.
Tyson Arp heading up the first pitch of Internatio...
Jay making the move from the left trending notch into the large right-tending flake that comprises most of the 1st pitch.  It's long, but a 60m rope can get you from the ground to the ledge with bolted rap anchor where the second short pitch starts.  Don't know why this climb would be 3 pitches.  June 08.
Jay making the move from the left trending notch i...
Brenda emerges from the squeeze chimney of pitch 2.  Now it's just a short hike to the summit.
Brenda emerges from the squeeze chimney of pitch 2...
Brenda nears the belay anchors at the top of pitch 1
Brenda nears the belay anchors at the top of pitch...
Double Rope rap from the corridor.
Double Rope rap from the corridor.
Brenda starts down the long 170' rappel on Spire 3.
Brenda starts down the long 170' rappel on Spire 3...

Comments on International Chimney Add Comment
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By Eric Almquist
Jan 31, 2003

I agree that the top is 5.8 not 5.6. With double ropes, some protection can be set up across the "chimney" from the incipient groove that leads to the top. This protection is better than nothing, as it will prevent a horrible slide down the chimney.It's a great climb, and a fabulous view on a clear day.
By Tyson S Arp
Apr 11, 2007
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

When I climbed this route, I did the traditional 5.6 second pitch that starts from the southern end of the corridor. Though it looks unlikely, it is possible to get in some small gear and then throw yourself into the squeeze chimney. Ten to fifteen feet of grunting later and you'll find and easy scramble to the summit. I got a good chuckle when reading the new Extreme Angles guidebook to the Needles because they rate that move into the squeeze chimney 5.9! Though the leap was a bit freaky and committing, I didn't think it was anywhere near that hard.

Visit my website for more on this climb.
By Brent Larsen
From: Spearfish, SD
Jul 10, 2012
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R

Got a chance to climb this with Peter Lev, which is like getting chance to visit the moon with Neal Armstrong as your guide. Awesome route! I took the last pitch that starts just a few feet from the rap chains on the first pitch. The secret gear is a number 4 Black Diamond stopper in a very small, not-so-obvious crack on the face before you start the committing moves on the last pitch. You can even place this piece of pro before you start climbing. Get up onto the face about seven feet up and toss a number four black diamond cam deep in the crack and you are home free to hand jam your way up one of the most unique crack systems I have ever encountered. This entire climb is completely enjoyable even if it is a tad bit scary.
By Kirtis
From: Rapid City, SD
Sep 22, 2013

Don't be afraid of the final pitch even with its R rating its really not that scary. The R part is probably 5.7 for about 10 feet then you can plug in a number 3. Once you plug in your good gear you face the crux, a really really tight squeeze for 3 feet. the rest of the route has good gear and no real run-outs.