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North Chimney "Practice" Route?


Original Post
Eliot Augusto · · Boulder, CO · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 60

I have a friend that wants to do the Casual Route. My only hiccup is their mental fortitude during the solo up the North Chimney, since they've never solo'd. I am not particularly keen on doing the Chasm View Raps, unless it is likely that the Chimney would be empty on a Wednesday. I don't feel like raining rock onto climbers. On that same thread, I don't want to rope up for that reason.

Is anyone aware of some 5.5 and below solo's a few hundred feet long that would be a good test?

Jeffrey Constine · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined May 2009 · Points: 482

rap north face, new rap anchors courtesy of Sam Lightner Jr

Justin Skaare · · CO · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 101

You could just rope up and climb the crack of delight.

Xam · · Boulder, Co · Joined Dec 2011 · Points: 71
Jeffrey Constine wrote: rap north face, new rap anchors courtesy of Sam Lightner Jr

I'm intrigued...which question does this answer?

Stephen Felker · · Boulder, CO · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 485

Test solo?  Just rap in via Chasm View.  Or rope up and climb North Chimney in the middle of the night.

Charles Vernon · · Tucson, AZ · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 2,604
Jeffrey Constine wrote: rap north face, new rap anchors courtesy of Sam Lightner Jr

Someone get me a Lebowski clip....

Greg D · · Here · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 867

IMO, your partner should have at least a handful of solos under his/her belt before soloing the North Chimney.  It may not be the best place to test the waters.  Some people solo most of the chimney and rope near the end because you may encounter a few exposed 5.7 moves.  Start with Second Flat Iron.  Then, maybe the bomb or recon in eldo, Then, the First Flat Iron.  Some 5.6 on this one.  But, North Chimney can be wet, loose rock, etc.  So you many want to practice one or two grades harder before heading up North Chimney.

Eliot Augusto · · Boulder, CO · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 60
Charles Vernon wrote:

Someone get me a Lebowski clip....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yGVY-xVaSQ


Replies:

So I had thought about that crack of delight. Roping up at 3am or so. It looks like it is a fairly straight shot up the route. Is it easy to get lost on that particular route?

It seems like the target time for NC is about 4-5 AM. Would it be totally uncool to rap in around 3 from Chasm View?

Greg, those are some good suggestions. Also, I don't know why but I hate soloing the first. I feel fine most other places including RMNP. Maybe it is the consequences, eg - bouncing, that frighten me the most. I'd rather pretend to be Alex Honnold in Eldo than doing the first :/
Charles Vernon · · Tucson, AZ · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 2,604

Perfect, thank you. 

Jfriday1 · · Conifer, CO · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 40

You can also just simo the north chimney the whole way up too.  Avoid fri-sun there and you will be more likely to enjoy the climb better and more safe as well.

Tim Stich · · Colorado Springs, Colorado · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 1,476

Just rap Chasm View. It's quite nice, actually.

Dougald MacDonald · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2002 · Points: 750

There's no reason to solo the entire North Chimney. It's very reasonable to simul-climb the whole thing, with at least two intermediate pieces between climbers. Or, solo up to the steep section at the top of the chimney and belay the last 30 or 40 feet, which is not only much harder than anything else on this approach but also a little loose.

See: http://publications.americanalpineclub.org/articles/13201213013/Fall-on-Rock-Falling-Rock

Also, I can't say with certainty, but I don't think a rock knocked off during the Chasm View raps is likely to hit anyone. Those raps are WAY to the right of the North Chimney and the popular climbs on the Diamond. Of course, one still wants to take great care.

Em Cos · · Boulder, CO · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 5

My partner and I rapped in from chasm view without knocking anything down, and it didn't require more than the usual care and attention to do so. I've only been up there once so it could've been partly unusually good conditions, but I kinda doubt it because frequent reports of worse-than-usual rock fall in the north chimney that season were part of why we opted for the chasm view raps.

I can't therefore speak to what soloing the north chimney is like or what other front range climbs might help prepare you for it - but if I may throw in my 2 cents... free soloing even very easy climbs is still a high consequence endeavor, and should probably be undertaken by a climber who is intrinsically motivated to do so for their own reasons, not because a partner adds it to their training plan. The fact that your partner has never soloed before might be an indicator that it isn't something they're interested in, and I would caution you against pushing them toward it. 

Philip Magistro · · Estes Park, CO · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 0

The Diamond is an amazing place, but not worth pushing your partner into something he/she is uncomfortable with.  You can rope up in the NC without causing rockfall so long as you are careful about placing pro not only as fall protection but also to directionalize the rope away from loose areas.

I second your concerns about Chasm View....rockfall affecting your party or equipment, or parties below on the approach to NC or on the left side of Chasm View.  Simul or pitch out the Chim,  be careful about loose rock and gracious about being passed by faster parties, and enjoy your outing!

Philip Magistro · · Estes Park, CO · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 0
Dougald MacDonald wrote:Also, I can't say with certainty, but I don't think a rock knocked off during the Chasm View raps is likely to hit anyone. Those raps are WAY to the right of the North Chimney and the popular climbs on the Diamond. Of course, one still wants to take great care.

I have a friend who took a rock to the face while pulling ropes down Chasm View.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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