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By Chris Wenker
From: Santa Fe
Aug 17, 2010
From the platform just below the summit block, Mike Hill's guidebook recommends rapping down into the saddle to the east. That looks like it would be a simple single ~75 foot drop, followed by some 3rd/4th class downclimbing. However, the current rap station (a big slung block with rings and biners) is pretty far back from the east edge of the platform, so if you do drop down the east side, drag might make it very problematic to pull the rope once you are down (or not, try it and report back).
However, from the platform, the rap station is presently set up to drop down the north face. This involves two airy, ~95-foot raps (tie end knots!). The intermediate rap station is another slung block perched precariously on a small ledge (the block is a little smaller than I'd like to see, though, kinda spooky). It's also a pretty awkward and crowded stance, and don't lose control of the ends of your rope.
You could also theoretically just do one rap down the north face from the platform, and stop on the sloping ledges above the intermediate rap anchor. You could then downclimb these 5.3 ledges down to the east saddle.
By Bill Lawry
From: New Mexico
Aug 17, 2010
It's been a few years, but I agree ... that rap is not so trivial.
We first rapped down to the east onto the saddle where I thought we'd hike the rest of the way down. But from there, my sister talked me into continuing the rap off north side of the saddle. May have had to work a little at first to avoid a pendulum. I do recall knotting the ends of the rope and there being a modest short scramble at the end (10 feet). We did it in one rap with a 60 meter rope. Chris, we were new leaders back then so chime in if this strikes you as unwise.
Good to know its a little spooky going directly north.
From: Rio Rancho, NM
Aug 31, 2010
The rap station at the platform was upgraded by myself between the 16th-21st of July. The original station was set even further back and used that manky old bolt and the big block. It was a pita to rap the north side and east side using that station, mega rope drag. I extended the rap station to where it is now and provided the ovals that are up there. I've done the north rappel several times. You shouldn't have any problems with rope drag. The intermediate rap station is adequate though I've been meaning to upgrade the skinny cord with either webbing or a nice fat 9mm cord. I'll get around to it before the winter. All in all the rappel isn't as bad as it once was.
Returning Anchor Biner off of the NW face of The Chimney. Chimney Canyon, Sandias.