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Routes in Chip Tower

Stuffing Nuts 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a C2 R
Type: Aid, 300 ft, 4 pitches, Grade III
FA: Jeff Widen
Page Views: 1,741 total, 11/month
Shared By: Andrew Gram on Aug 24, 2004
Admins: slim, Andrew Gram, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq

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RAIN, WET ROCK and RAPTOR CLOSURES: The sandstone around Moab is fragile and is very easily damaged when it is wet. Also please ask and be aware of Raptor Closures in areas such as CAT WALL and RESERVOIR WALL in Indian Creek Details

Description

Start from the side of the tower furthest from the Shafer Trail. You are aiming for a gorgeous splitter in Wingate about 60' up, and a rap sling is obvious on a ledge.

P1: Free climb up a weird Cutler band with tricky gear, and then up a Wingate dihedral. 50', 5.8

P2: Aid cracks right of the belay, and move left into a chimney system. The beginning is a bit rotten so test carefully. The traverse is not obvious - I went as high as possible before the crack thinned down too much for clean gear and then traversed left on exciting small gear and tension. It may be easier to traverse lower. 120', C2

P3: Climb up a great chimney with good hand-sized cracks in the back. 50', 5.8

P4: Climb a block to a drilled angle, yard on it, and then do some frightening free climbing to a horizontal that accepts small and medium cams. Another few free moves gets you to two bolts. At this point, we were shut down without a cheater stick. A knifeblade scar is obvious as the next placement, and there is a small rounded edge that may be hookable if you are better than I am. A 10' cheater stick would get you to the next bolt, and from there it looked easy to the top.

This is a superb clean aid route, and it will probably go free to someone(the second pitch looks like mostly 5.11 hands and fingers with a harder spooky traverse up high, and the last pitch looks like 5.11+/5.12 arete climbing protected mostly by bolts). The rock quality is mostly excellent Wingate and the chossy sections are short. Bring a helmet anyway because of loose rock on ledges and in the back of the chimney.

Protection

Stoppers, 3 sets of TCUs(offset aliens are really helpful), 3 sets of friends to 4", many extra pieces in the 2 and 2.5 friend range. Lowe Balls are not mandatory, but are nice. Hooks might be useful.

To do this thing hammerless, a cheater stick is mandatory. You might be able to squeak by with some very sketchy hooks moves or hard free climbing on the last pitch, but we were shut down.
George Perkins
The Dungeon, NM
George Perkins   The Dungeon, NM
Here's what Josh S. and I experienced on Chip Tower last week, climbing the route in "mostly free climbing mode" with no aid gear. (Mostly similar to that described in Mike A's trip report from 11 years ago, linked above.)
  • Pitch 1: A little chossy, but what did you expect?
  • Pitch 2: Splitter 5.11 (or C1) mostly hands and thin hands up to the roof (great climbing but still needs to clean up). When the crack thins, do 2 short tension traverse moves left off small nuts/TCUs (C2) to gain the chimney. This pitch links nicely into the (P3) chimney (which felt hard for its 5.8 rating) which offers a nicer belay at the shoulder at a bolted anchor compared to that which you'd build in the chimney.
  • Summit block pitch: From the shoulder, a 5.10+ move off the belay with a drilled pin for pro (or to aid this move). Then 5.9 R climbing up to the next gear in horizontal crack (med. cams). Then A0 up 3 bolts (the last one may have been a rivet with a removable hanger) of bolt ladder, stand on the last one, and get psyched for obligatory 5.10+ face/arete climbing for 15' from the rivet to the summit. (I didn't see how one would aid this last bit, even with a stick, but I'm no aid master. Hooks might work? I didn't notice anything missing, but possibly there used to be a star-drive bolt above where the rivet is now?- mentioned in Mike A's link).
  • Rap the route: 1 single-rope rap back to the shoulder; 1 double rope rap to the ground.
Dec 31, 2016
Andrew Gram
Salt Lake City, UT
 
Andrew Gram   Salt Lake City, UT  
 
If I remember right, south facing on pitches 1-3 and then the summit pitch faces west. Nov 12, 2013
Stevie Nacho   Utah
What direction does this route face? Nov 12, 2013
MikeSLC  
No hammer, stick, or rivet required. A little bit of free climbing just below the summit. Nov 11, 2013
Mike Anderson
Colorado Springs, CO
Mike Anderson   Colorado Springs, CO
I posted a report of a clean ascent here a couple years back:

utahclimbers.com/phpBB2/vie… Nov 10, 2006
Andrew Gram
Salt Lake City, UT
 
Andrew Gram   Salt Lake City, UT  
 
I heard that the blank spot we ran into has sprouted a rivet. No idea if it is true or not, so a cheater stick is probably still smart. Feb 8, 2006
Andrew Gram
Salt Lake City, UT
 
Andrew Gram   Salt Lake City, UT  
 
I would love to hear about any other hammerless ascents, and especially if they went without a cheater stick. We were shut down by one move 15' below the summit and didn't have a cheater stick. It was a bummer to bail that close to the top. Sep 28, 2004