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Tighter Squeeze

5.9, Trad, 100 ft (30 m),  Avg: 2.8 from 4 votes
FA: Paul Mayrose, O'Conner,1963
Colorado > Estes Park Valley > Lumpy Ridge > Twin Owls
Access Issue: Season raptor closures Details


Tighter Squeeze is the striking chimney in a left-facing corner to the right of Twister and is clearly visible from the approach trail. Rated 5.7 in my old Kimball Lumpy guides, it felt like 5.9 to me following my partner Chuck Graves, except for the pain in my knees, which made it mid-10. Gear is surprisingly good for a chimney climb. This route should be on "The road to 'The road to the Crack of Fear'". See the comments under Twister for The road to the COF.

Approach: From the Crack of Fear area, scramble up and right along the base of the crag passing Twister until you get to the high point and a flat bench. The obvious chimney is Tighter Squeeze. The thin, horizontal crack running out left of the chimney with a couple of bolts and a pin is the 11d Last Dance, formerly known as the A2 East Wing. If you're near the East Ridge, walk left a short distance past a steep face to the bench and the start of the route.

The climb: hand jamming and chimneying lead to a ledge from which you can experience the massive bowels of this chimney. Above is a constriction. Chimney up inside to place a high big cam. We used the #6 Friend here. Drop back down and chimney sideways to the outside edge. Make a move up until you can stem out to some grooves with your back against the edge of the chimney. You can place another big cam here. Up and back into the chimney which is pretty tight "frogging" (as Chuck called it) with good gear in a thin crack. I learned here that jugs don't help much in tight chimneys since you can't lean back to use your feet. You have to ignore the jugs and keep your hands low to push up. At some point here I moved right and out of the chimney rather than persist in abusing myself. The final exciting moves swing around a chockstone to the top.

Getting down: You can continue to the top as for East Ridge, or you can scrample right and slightly up to good slings and rings at the top of the Turn, Turn, Turn chimney, just left of Rather Fight Than Switch. Since these slings are not permanent anchors, be prepared to go to the top or to rig your own anchor.


Single set small nuts to #3 Camalot. 2 big cams--we used a #6 Friend and a #4 Camalot.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Starting up Tighter Squeeze.
[Hide Photo] Starting up Tighter Squeeze.
Inside Tighter Squeeze.
[Hide Photo] Inside Tighter Squeeze.
Alan, the traveling dinosaur, enjoying the view from the belay ledge.
[Hide Photo] Alan, the traveling dinosaur, enjoying the view from the belay ledge.
A picture of the lovely beast!
[Hide Photo] A picture of the lovely beast!
Tighter Squeeze is the offwidth on the lower right side of Twin Owls.
[Hide Photo] Tighter Squeeze is the offwidth on the lower right side of Twin Owls.

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

Third rock from Sun
[Hide Comment] Gillett guidebook rating of 5.8- is spot on. You don't need any offwidth techniques in here, just ordinary face/chimney moves. Single rack to #3 Camalot + one #6 that I bumped once. A #5 might work as a replacement. Surprising amount of gear placement for a chimney, so no need to hesitate, just jump into it. Sep 9, 2018
Fort Collins, CO
[Hide Comment] Great squeeze chimney! If one moves to the outside to avoid running the rope behind the middle chockstone, then some offwidth technique is helpful (I got a couple great knee locks), otherwise it climbs mostly as a tight chimney. Also, I don't like bumping cams as I am a weanie, so I found two #6s helpful. Sep 2, 2019