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BETA PHOTO: The West Chimney climbs the obvious (right facing)...
As the title says, West Chimney. When you get to the tower, you can walk around the main formation and look for the easiest looking chimney, if your sense of direction isn't up to par.
The climb starts with an easy slab, up over a slightly tougher bulge, before you get to the crack below the chimney. (Approach the route and climb the bulge from the left.) Climb the crack, which takes good pro, and has the probable crux of the route, up to the chimney proper. You can get a last piece of gear in at the base of the chimney, but the chimney is basically unprotectable. However, it isn't really possible to fall out of the chimney and it is much, much easier than it may look to the beginning desert climber. Climb the fun, easy chimney to the top, there are slings on the north summit.
Descent: A one rope rappel is straightforward if you rappel directly west of the summit anchor, however, if your second does not reach the top and you are forced to rappel back into the chimney in order to retrieve gear, be very, very careful with the force you are putting on a sketchy looking cooler sized boulder on the top. Because of this, it is definitely not a good idea to top rope this tower from the rappel anchors. But you could easily set up an anchor at the actual top of the chimney itself.
I find it hilarious to see the crowds (literally) lining up in bunches at the base of Owl Rock only a few hundred yards away. This very well could be the easiest way to climb technical rock to the top of a tower on the Colorado Plateau. It is short, sweet, easy, and right next to the road.
A standard trad rack is overkill, but take one if you want the confidence.
Cyndie Bransford rapping off Bullwinkle.
Photo by ...
Alison showing flawless technique on Bullwinkle
BETA PHOTO: Brent setting up to belay on the West Chimney of B...
|By Anonymous Coward|
Oct 19, 2004
Did this route a couple years ago. Short, fun, with a sketchy rap anchor off a funky block-thingy. Bring beer and some webbing.
|By Scott Heisler|
From: SLC, Utah
Mar 24, 2007
Muddy pro'... Just bring a pink tri-cam or two, a #2 C4 and a sling for a horn. A rack will just get caught in the chimney. Thanks for the bolts, Sam!
From: Joshua Tree, California
Apr 25, 2007
The climbing is disappointing at best, but it IS a cool summit, with great views in a magical setting. It's a summit too, for the tower tickers. It's easy too, and we had fun. (which is what it's all about, right?) Did this with Cyndie Bransford in March of 1997.
|By Christian "crisco" Burrell|
From: PG, Utah
Feb 17, 2009
We thought this was pretty darn fun and one of the easiest towers in Moab. The top anchor was really good. But the belay position required us to climb between the belayer's legs. This obviously led to a great many jokes.
-Belay on the upper ledge.
-We used a sling through a hole just before the chimney.
-The chimney is MUCH easier than it looks. basic back on one side, feet on the other tech.
-We found a good spot near the top of the chimney (where it tightens up)and just before an awkward part, to place a purple C4.
|By Tristan Higbee|
Feb 17, 2009
One of the easiest towers around, but lots of fun. For pro I used two finger-sized cams (small blue and silver Camalots), a sling (girthed it around a hole), and two purple #4 Camalots (#5 if using C4s). Bomber bolts and chains on top.
From: Grand Junction, CO
Mar 11, 2009
I think the Desert Rock guide list this route as 5.7+ and I would agree. The short bit before the chimney would be hard for a 5.6 leader. That said it is one of the easiest towers in Moab. We used a #1 and #5 Camalot and slung a few boulders in the crack for pro. Great little summit.
|By Mike Chizhov|
Mar 13, 2011
Found it to be a bit of a messy climb. The chimney, while fairly easy, was pretty awkward considering there's not that much pro below you. Got up to the "three" bolt anchor and started belaying the second up. Halfway through his climb, I noticed the third, lowest bolt was two inches out of the rock. It seemed to be backed up by the bolt above it, so I pulled the bolt/sleeve as it was about to fall out and hit the second. Still two bolts up there, but one of the rap rings is now linked by the hanger of the bolt we pulled.
From: Boulder, CO
May 12, 2011
I found the bulge and the chimney to be fairly easy despite the lack of pro. The crack section, however, was very awkward and difficult for the grade.
|By Brian C.|
From: Loveland, CO
Sep 18, 2011
The crack into the chimney is harder than 5.6 and I agree with the Desert Rock's 5.7+ rating. That said, it is short and protects perfectly with a #5 C4. The #5 and a finger-sized cam (0.5 or 0.75) are the only gear you need. The rappel anchor is still two bolts and both are very loose and can almost be pulled out. We tightened one of them and now it feels secure but the other would not tighten.
|By Simon Thompson|
From: New Paltz, NY
Jan 12, 2012
I used a #3 and #4 Camalot for "acceptable" pro in a constriction right below where the chimneying starts. Fun climb with an easy approach and great summit.
|By DJ Reyes|
From: Northern Nevada
Nov 23, 2012
Climbed this route this morning and thought the route was harder than 5.6. The awkward move into the chimney section felt like 5.7+ to me, but then again I haven't climbed sandstone much lately. I would advise a large camalot say..... 4.5 or so to protect that move.
|By Mark P Thomas|
May 4, 2013
The crack seems surprisingly hard for 5.6, but if you have some wide technique and commit, you can really sink a leg in and sit on it while you work out the next move.
Current anchor conditions: 1 bolt is gone, the other has a shaft protruding from the rock and I could wiggle it. The third bolt still looks good.