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Routes in Northwest Basin

A. Wexler's "Center Chimney" Grade Unknown T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
A. Wexler's "Right Hand Chimney Route" T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Wild, Wild Life T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
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Type: Trad, Alpine, 500 ft, 5 pitches, Grade III
FA: Peter Lataille, Dorcas Miller, Ben Townsend, Oct. 2007
Page Views: 275 total · 8/month
Shared By: Ben Townsend on Nov 27, 2015
Admins: Ladd, Jonathan Steitzer, Robert Hall

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Access Issue: Winter climbing/hiking/mountaneering requires a permit Details
Access Issue: Consult with Park Rangers on climbing policy in such out-of-the-way areas Details


Scramble as high as possible, around the left side of a lower cliff, to the base of a scruffy right-facing corner that leads up to a prominent right-leaning arch.

1. Up the right-facing corner to a stance below the arch. A bit loose, but not too bad. 5.7, 100'

2. Follow the arch right to an airy stance at the base of the big blank corner. Well protected. 5.8-5.9, 50'

3. The big blank right-facing corner leads up to a headwall; escape up left to a decent ledge. Adequate but tricky small gear. 5.10a, 80'

4. Follow an obvious offwidth straight up, then continue up very loose rock to a stance below the headwall. This pitch is very dangerous due to the rock quality. 5.9, 150'

5. A stair-stepped dike creates a chimney-corner system through the headwall to the top. Adequate (not great) gear. 5.6, 100'

To descend, head north along the rim to the second gully system, which is fairly wide and obvious at the top. Downclimb this, with a couple of rappels. (This gully is probably Wexler's "Center Chimney" route.)

This route has some really good climbing, but it's hard to recommend due to the very loose rock on the fourth pitch. Wexler's article in Appalachia has good photos of the wall.


The biggest cliff in the Northwest Basin has sometimes been referred to as "El Capitan" or "the Twins." It's on the east wall of the basin, facing southwest, about a mile north of Davis Pond. This route climbs a blank-looking corner, just right of center.


Full trad rack to 4-5", plus pins. Extra cord or webbing for rap anchors.


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