Type: Sport, 40 ft
FA: Alan Watts, February 1983
Page Views: 33,250 total · 210/month
Shared By: jonah on Jan 24, 2006
Admins: Nate Ball, Micah Klesick

You & This Route

87 Opinions

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You can't miss this arete, just left of Darkness At Noon and Heinous Cling. One of the most fun and photogenic routes at Smith (and maybe the whole U.S.). Four bolts lead up the arete, with funky pinching, scumming, crimping and pocket pulling to get through the technical crux between the second and third bolts. The redpoint crux is the sports action throw over the roof at the top, though.


Bolts with anchors at the top.
Peter Franzen
Phoenix, AZ
Peter Franzen   Phoenix, AZ  
I've fallen off of this route more times than I'd care to admit. I've pulled through the lower crux plenty of times, only to fall off of the dyno over the lip. It's a classic though! One of these days I'll get around to sending it... Jan 24, 2006
Aron Quiter
Oakland, CA
Aron Quiter   Oakland, CA  
When I was there, there were fixed draws on the route, and only after going up 15 feet to the first draw did I realize just how BAD the draws were. You may want to bring your own, as I'm not sure how many MORE big falls the bolt in the crux can withstand. Above the first crux pulling into the dyno move is a long ways above the bolt protecting the move.

I've pulled through the first crux, and then wanked above it. Then I've cheated through the crux and nailed the dyno, but I just can't seem to link them. ARRRGGGHHH!!! Maybe next time.... Jul 19, 2006
Ryan Palo
Bend, oregon
Ryan Palo   Bend, oregon
Rumor has it that the key dishes on the right face are drilled. I'm trying to find out if this is true. Oct 30, 2006
I haven't been on the route in a couple decades, but nothing was drilled on the first ascent (except the bolt holes). I doubt if anyone came back and modified anything later, so chalk this one up as a baseless rumor. The one finger pocket on the right wall just below the roof wasn't discovered until a few years after the first ascent. Maybe that's where the rumor got started. Feb 2, 2009
Ryan Palo
Bend, oregon
Ryan Palo   Bend, oregon
Alan, I am honored that you responded to my post. Thank you for clearing that up. Mar 3, 2009
Cool video May 25, 2009
skinny legs and all
Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania
skinny legs and all   Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania
The first one day ascent of Chain Reaction was by Geoff Weigand. This sort of distinction was important in the 1990's. Mar 22, 2013
Flagstaff, AZ
DesertRat   Flagstaff, AZ
Great video featuring a few of the above commenters. Chain Reaction is featured toward the end.
watch.opb.org/video/2365124… Dec 5, 2013
Josh Lowy
Sacramento, CA
Josh Lowy   Sacramento, CA
Possibly my favorite route at Smith. Short and quick but super fun movement under an awesome feature!! Plus it is on the Clif Bar...
I thought the match after the full extension move was the crux. You can make the move to the lip feel easier by standing up more. The final dyno after the lip is the final link to the send, not too bad on its own but you just have to hold it together! Jul 28, 2017