|Type:||Trad, 3 pitches|
|Consensus:||YDS: 5.4 French: 4a Ewbanks: 12 UIAA: IV ZA: 10 British: VD 3c [details]|
|Submitted By:||Josh Janes on Aug 27, 2001|
|Comments on Southwest Chimney||Add Comment|
|Show which comments —
By Mike Sofranko
Aug 30, 2001
I think this is a very enjoyable way to ascend the Third, and I've done it several times. You have solitude, interesting climbing, and amazing scenery. It's a really cool and improbable natural passage up a big piece of rock.
Also, since climbing up is usually easier than climbing down, it makes sense to scope this route out on the way up first. I think both the bottom and top of the chimney are two cruxy sections that possibly won't be entirely obvious if doing this route for the first time as a downclimb.
By George Bell
From: Boulder, CO
Nov 5, 2001
This route is not obvious and I agree with Mike that it is best to have climbed up it before going down. However, if you are confident scrambling down easy 5th class rock and have a good eye for keeping yourself out of trouble, you will be able to find your way down this route, even if you've not done it before.
After passing through the arch mentioned in the description, look for an eye bolt. I would call it more of a tunnel than arch, it is a tunnel under an enormous boulder. You can rappel from the eye bolt diagonally down to the "very large pine tree" in the above description. The section is slabby and smooth, and a fall would be bad. Near the start (top) it is similar in difficulty to the East Face (Standard) route.
The area around the (second) eye bolt above the SW chimney is trickier than this description indicates. Although you can climb right down into the top of the SW chimney, it is easier and less exposed to climb EAST down a slab, and then cut back west when you are below the level of the top of the chimney. A third alternative is to rappel, one 60m rope just makes it to the base.
When the regular rappel route is crowded, this makes for an alternate rappel route. Note that you must either do the first rap on the normal descent route, or else downclimb the final pitch of the East Face (Standard) route and then climb west through the above mentioned alcove. If you do the first (standard) rappel, you will still end up doing three rappels, with a bit of scrambling between each of them. With a 60m rope, the last rap ends right at the base of the route (which is not flat, so be careful you don't go off the end of the rope!). When the standard rap route is really chocked up, you can pass people this way. Since you have to coil the rope after each rappel, as well as scramble up to get to the trail down, it is definitely a bit slower than the standard rappel route.
This is actually a fun (up) route in itself. The chimney is very clean rock and filled with excellent jugs.
By Rodger Raubach
May 23, 2013
rating: 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
|BITD when I was young and stupid, we used to downclimb this unroped all the time. I wouldn't really recommend this for a n00b, since a fall would probably be pretty messy...if not fatal.|