This is a solid and interesting route. You can approach by coming up from the Royal Arch Trail (fastest), or down from the base of the standard raps (if climbing an east face route first). In the first case, the chimney is right after the "crux slab" on the approach gully that begins just west of the W.C. Fields Pinnacle. In the second case, this is the first significant chimney right (south of) the SW Chimney.
The bottom of this chimney is a steep right facing corner. Climb this corner, or climb another crack 20' right of this (easier), and then traverse back left above an overhang. Soon you will reach a nasty looking 12" slot. This turns out to be easy due to an abundance of face jugs and a nice ramp for the feet. When you get a chance, move left into the bottom of the upper chimney. The floor of this chimney is flat and there is a piton here for an anchor. This belay is only about 80' off the ground.
Continue up the chimney, which looks hard as it narrows to 7". A nice ramp appears for the feet, though, and you can sling a chockstone for the crux moves (getting above this 7" constriction). There is an old ring piton on the south wall at the crux, but it appeared so lousy I didn't even clip it. Head on up to a notch, then north out on the east face. Clip an old bolt, then wander up and right on the east face to a summit (the "Inner Wedge"). From the 80' belay in the chimney, this entire section can be done as one pitch with with a 60m rope (or you can go all the way from the ground to the notch, and split it up this way).
Just north, the next notch is the top of the SW Chimney. Downclimb or continue to the top via that route.
Standard rack to 3.5"
|By Chris Zeller|
From: Boulder, CO
Aug 23, 2005
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
I climbed the South Chimney on 8-23-05. It was very enjoyable and clean. Note: as the route name indicates this is a chimney route so its an entirely different sort of climbing than the 5.5 face climbs. In other words--be comfortable climbing chimneys and you'll do just fine. The climbing is very clean and it forms a perfect chimney. I don't particularly like chimneys and even I was getting the hang of it by the end of the climb.
P1. lie back and chimney up the dihedrial on the left. It looks tough but it goes much easier this way. Climb up to the large ledge with a pin. This is the best belay although its only 1/2 a rope length up. P2. Climb the clean chimney. There are lots of face holds by the constriction noted above to make it easier. Its difficult to protect the chimney (as usual).
From the top of the SW chimney, 2 60 m ropes will deposit you on the ground if you don't like downclimbing 5.4 unprotected. There is a large block/chockstone that makes a horn you can sling for the rappell.