Type: Trad, Alpine, 900 ft, Grade II
FA: unknown
Page Views: 67 total · 6/month
Shared By: J Smith on Feb 7, 2018
Admins: Chris Owen, Lurker, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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Start a few feet left of the Great Chimney on a ledge 5ft off of the ground – nice belay alcove which gives protection for the belayer. P1: Trend up and left for approximately 100’ on low 5th class with the occasional 5.8 boulder move. Belay at the ledge of your choice. P2: Go up a flake, stand on it and hand traverse left into a chimney (fun!). Follow the loose 5.6 chimney until it ends and climb blocks and cracks to a ledge on which you can walk right until you are at the top of the great chimney.

Coil the rope and continue up a class 2 gully until you can work your way up and right on class 3 terrain until it cliffs out and you are on a blunt arete. You are now back on the Great Chimney route proper. Follow the arête as it steepens and near the top you will encounter short vertical walls that are low 5th class – we roped up and climbed 2 easy pitches to the summit ridge. The summit is a few hundred feet of boulder hopping away. Note: this is an adventure route, especially the first two pitches. There is solid rock to be found but the ledges are covered in debris and several large blocks move – make sure the belayer is in a protected position.


Approach: Follow the Franklin Pass trail to lower Franklin Lake (bear boxes, several campsites, can be crowded). Continue on as the trail climbs above the lake and leave the trail before it begins switchbacking up towards the pass. If not climbing the route in a day there is nice camping here with streams nearby. X-country towards upper Franklin Lake skirting the lake high on the eastern shore and aim for the huge cleft that is the Great Chimney on the north face of Florence Peak. Total approach from trailhead is 6.5 miles with 4000ft of gain.

Descent: Scramble on 2nd and 3rd class down the Northeast ridge generally staying south of the ridge proper until you hit sandy slopes and use trails that lead to Franklin Pass. Follow the trail back to Franklin Lakes and then Mineral King. Total descent from summit to trailhead is 8 miles.


Gear: we used a 60m rope and single set of cams to #3 camalot


J Smith
J Smith  
We tried to climb the 5.6 Great Chimney route listed in the Secor guide but everything was wet, the rock was rotten (I broke several holds) and nothing looked 5.6 anywhere inside the chimney. We instead opted to climb the wall just left of the chimney which had better rock but still loose. Many might rate this route a bomb – it is a long walk for only a few 5.8 moves and a few hundred feet of low 5th class all on loose rock with a large portion of the route being 2nd and 3rd class. I like off the beaten path adventures though and the line looks compelling from a distance so I give it 1 star. We found old rotten bail slings at various points of the first two pitches so we weren’t the first to explore. Climbed August 2016. Feb 7, 2018