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The Three Penguins
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Right Chimney 

YDS: 5.10+ French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 20 British: E3 5b

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 150'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10+ French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 20 British: E3 5b [details]
FA: Michael Kennedy & Molly Higgins - 1976
Page Views: 6,947
Submitted By: Josh Janes on Apr 19, 2003

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Hallie doing some mad arm-barring up Right Chimney...

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


This route is pretty darn good, especially if you like off-widths.

Approach up talus and across a ledge system from the right of the formation. Head around the base to the left - this is the first crack system in a dihedral you come to. The first pitch of the route basically starts at fingers and works its way to fists - the crux being getting over the obvious bulge. Belay at fixed anchors 2/3 the way up the tower. The last third of the tower is a delightful struggle up a flaring off-width - the definite crux of the route. "Chimney" is a misnomer for this thing, the only thing I could squeeze in there were chicken wings and knees.

Two ropes gets you completely off the route, but it looked feasible to do it in two, single rope rappels.


One each 0.5 to #4 Camalots. Maybe a few extra hand-size pieces. No stoppers.

Photos of Right Chimney Slideshow Add Photo
Dave Holliday pounding out the final moves to the ...
Dave Holliday pounding out the final moves to the ...
Route Overlay Right Chimney Three Penguins
BETA PHOTO: Route Overlay Right Chimney Three Penguins
Jon Tashkin following the first pitch.  He's just ...
Jon Tashkin following the first pitch. He's just ...
Allen Ottman's opinion of the 2nd pitch with 1 #4 ...
Allen Ottman's opinion of the 2nd pitch with 1 #4 ...
Right Chimney
Right Chimney
the approach
BETA PHOTO: the approach
Jon Tashkin's butt squirming into the offwidth.  M...
Jon Tashkin's butt squirming into the offwidth. M...
Fredrich (?), completing the final moves.
Fredrich (?), completing the final moves.
The three birds;  kind of hard to tell from this a...
The three birds; kind of hard to tell from this a...
Summit - on a cold day in November. I'm wearing tw...
Summit - on a cold day in November. I'm wearing tw...
Fredrich (?), a random guy we met from France, thr...
Fredrich (?), a random guy we met from France, thr...
Right Chimney
Right Chimney
Fredrich (?), continuing... Come on!
Fredrich (?), continuing... Come on!
Right Chimney (5.10+)
Right Chimney (5.10+)

Comments on Right Chimney Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Feb 19, 2014
By George Bell
From: Boulder, CO
May 8, 2003

I agree, Josh, the handcrack bulge low down is hard 5.10, but the OW is definitely the crux, Might it be useful to carry a #5 Camalot for this section? Thankfully, the OW is short, but that is no help when you are at the bottom of it. This is the best route I've done at Arches (out of about 6!).
By Josh Janes
May 8, 2003

On the topo the first pitch was given 10c and the second 10a, seems like they should be reversed...
By George Bell
From: Boulder, CO
Apr 20, 2004

I dunno, for me a 10a OW is harder than a 10c hand crack!
By Andy Laakmann
Site Landlord
From: Bend, OR
Feb 1, 2006

First pitch is awesome. Size goes BD#0.75 Camalots all the way to BD#4 Camalots... with the business being slightly kicked-back hands to wide hands. Felt like 9+/10- compared to Indian Creek grades.

Second pitch. Ug. I recommend 2x#4.5 Camalots for the aid climbing personally....

The anchors are on the middle bird... and there is a very spicy move to gain the top... remember, it ain't over until it is over.

Great weekend climb as it doesn't get much traffic. In the sun until noon. Two single raps work fine.
Sep 2, 2006

you can rappel from the summit anchors with one 70m rope. rapping from the summit keeps the rope out of the many deep (and possibly rope jamming) rope grooves near the top.
By James Beissel
From: Boulder, CO
Nov 6, 2006

No need for #5 Camalot, it is too big. Two 4.5 Camalots (ie purple #5 C4) would be ideal.

Hand-hand stacks on the second pitch and too narrow to get a knee in - one of the harder offwidth techniques to master.

The "VERY spicy" move to the top is only moderatly spicey IMHO. Don't let the above comment scare you off. There is a horizontal crack between the chimney and the anchors that you can stuff full of cams. I got in a #3, #3.5, and a #1 camalot and then equalized them. Beyond that it is only a move or two and then you can reach the anchors.

This is an awesome route - go do it!
By Sam Lightner, Jr.
From: Lander, WY
Oct 10, 2007

The Arches Task Force and the ASCA have now replaced the anchor on top with chain and two half inch bolts. The route can be rapped, I think, with a 70 meter rope... A single sixty puts you about 10 feet off the ledge.
By M.Morley
From: Sacramento, CA
Oct 10, 2007

Thanks, Sam. The anchor that was up there before was a mess!
By chrisp
Mar 10, 2008

the top pitch needs a old number 4 cam and a new #5 cam. a hand sized cam or two down low were nice right off the belay. I just bumped the 5 came up a bit to get me through. save a #1 camelot for the top out- that was a wee bit sandy and scary.
By John Wilder
From: Las Vegas, NV
Apr 19, 2008
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

pretty good route, i'd call both pitches 5.10- that offwidth felt pretty tough....props to Michael who sent it with a single #4 C4! yowsers!
By Michael Ybarra
From: on the road
Apr 30, 2008

Another way to fire the exit moves on P2 is to pinch the rope groves below the chains.
By UncleBen
From: The Briar Patch
Oct 19, 2008
rating: 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b

From this redneck's perspective, George Bell's comment above is oh so right...

Regarding the gear....
Once you are in #5 territory, you can't fall out...or at least me and my 145 lb. arse couldn't...

Nevertheless, I'd have placed another #4 and two #5s and maybe a #6 and not been at all upset about any of it.
By tooTALLtim
From: Boulder, CO
Apr 13, 2009

Maybe an old #5 is too big, but I fit two new #5's in the second pitch.

Oh, and the powdered rock at the base of the climb feels fantastic on bare feet.
By J. Thompson
From: denver, co
Apr 26, 2009
rating: 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

I found both pitchs to be 5.10a....and quite good!

By slim
Oct 25, 2011
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

really fun route with good rock. the comments above are pretty accurate. both pitches seemed pretty comparable in difficulty. first pitch is really fun fingers/thin hands to big hands through a bulge, then low angled fists to the anchor.

second pitch looks kind of intimidating. it is a bit steep and the feet look sandy, but didn't seem too slippery. the OW section is pretty easy and you can push a pair of 4.5 camalot/5 friend/new #5 camalot sized pieces very easily. most of the time i couldn't get my knee in. at 2 locations i barely could, and got my knee stuck as hell. i mean REALLY stuck. kind of scary stuck. the second time was at the top and my knee was literally bonelocked into place. i was above gear with both arms chickenwinging in front of me, trying to pull my knee out.

when you get up to the top out section, there is kind of a WTF moment, but luckily there are features in just the right places so that it works out OK.

2 single rope raps with the 70 got us down. rack was a double set from .5 camalot to old 4.5 camalot, which was more than enough.
By Zeb Rafaker
From: Moab
Apr 27, 2012

The old #4 and new #5 were the perfect combo to finish the offwidth. Top out wasn't scary at all with a #3.5 and #1. The 70m rope reached with a little to spare.
By Spencer Weiler
From: Salt Lake city
Nov 19, 2012

Fun route. Enjoyed having 3 #3 camalots on pitch 1, and don't leave the ground without a #5 camalot or you will regret it for pitch 2. The spicy move onto the summit isn't bad at all, just grab the chains and pull yourself up! The tower is short, so 1 70m rope will get you down in one rap.
By Mark P Thomas
From: Oakland
Nov 22, 2012
rating: 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

I led the P2 OW. Crux of it was extracting my leg as my calf kept getting stuck. Second pitch is much sandier than the first, so I think a lot of people rappel after only doing P1 :-)
By Hockman
Feb 19, 2014


So I've found after doing this climb a few times it's quite nice to double rope rap (70's) straight down to the road from the summit. 2 60's might work as well? Can somebody let me know.

It's nice to skip the down hike by adding the extra rap.

Also, 1 70m rope gets you from the summit back down to the ledge easily, as stated.
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