Lower Gypsy-East Chimney
5.8+ C1 R
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|Type: ||Trad, Aid, 2 pitches, 180 feet, Grade II|
|Consensus: ||5.8+ C1 [details]|
|FA: ||Luke Laeser and Jon Butler, Fall 1993|
|Submitted By: ||Paul S on Feb 15, 2011|
The route starts in between middle and lower Gypsy Towers on the east side.
P1: Climb the cupped hands/fist crack in the dihedral. This quickly leads to a squeeze then to some giant chockstones that seem like they are just waiting for you to give them a nudge so they can come crashing down. Luckily it's possible to chimney/stem past the scariest one. Tunnel through to the left of the biggest boulder/chockstone and set a belay at the saddle.
P2: Supposedly this pitch is only 5.5, which makes me feel pretty bad, because I was challenged and terrified on the opening moves! Start by making a very committing move from the saddle to establish yourself on the tower. There is absolutely no gear for the crux move of the pitch. If you blow it...ouch, you'll most likely have some hospital bills to pay. Once you've made the most committing moves, it's easy ground to a bolt to some more run out climbing to a ledge. At the ledge, there is an optional belay off of two hangerless bolts (that, of course, are nice and loose), better to keep going. Aid off the bolts and hand place 4 baby angles in the drilled holes to a ledge with bolted anchors.
P2.5: I was rope solo on this and didn't have to worry about rope drag, but it might be a problem if you continue to the top without stopping at the anchor atop of the aid section. Either way, the last bit requires about 30' of free climbing up a crack that disappointingly doesn't go all the way to the top, luckily the climbing isn't too difficult to the top.
One double rope rap will get you down.
These towers are a pain to get to. They are a cluster of 3 and half towers located in-between Ute and Red Canyon. By far the easiest approach is just drive through the neighborhood directly below them, get as close as possible and hike straight up drainages to them. But this approach requires crossing private property and there are several "No Monument Access" signs on the roads there. Another option is to head up to Red Canyon (which also requires crossing private property unless you start in a drainage from S. Camp Road, i.e. very far away) and then head up the bench and contour west to the towers. The third option with no access issues is to go to the Liberty Cap trailhead, follow that up to the bench, and head on over to the towers. This way is very long! Best to seek permission to cross private property.
Several wide hands/fist-sized cams, a #4 Bigbro was nice to have for the squeeze, mainly because it's in good rock and will be the only reliable pro you'll get for stemming around the first big chockstone, 4 baby angles, a rivet hanger, and some finger sized cams. 2 60m ropes.