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Chips Off the Ol' Block 

YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a

Type:  Trad, 6 pitches, 600'
Original:  YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a [details]
FA: Tai Devore, Jeremy Freeman, Greg Smith, Adam Winters - March 2009
New Route: Yes
Season: Spring/Summer/Fall
Page Views: 4,768
Submitted By: AWinters on Mar 27, 2009

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (24)
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Tai Devore FA-ing pitch one. The top of pitch thr...


'Chips' ascends a huge right-facing corner on the 'Scheelite Wall' in the first 3 pitches, then continues up obvious crack systems thru ledges and varied entertaining terrain. Most of the climbing is 5.6/7ish, with one sequence of 5.10a, which could most likely be bypassed by a couple wider cracks and/or some face climbing if need-be.

Pitches 1 - 3: Climb a wide, flaring crack/groove in the large corner (mostly 5.6/7) to a tricky bulge and a short squeeze section just before reaching the top of the pillar on a nice ledge (5.9). Bolt anchors.

Pitch 4: Climb straight up, left of the tree thru the crack systems on the slab to a short hand-crack after a bush, then up the short slab to the bolt anchor on a ledge (5.7).

Pitch 5: Scramble/walk up and right to the base of the next headwall. Climb the short hand crack to the crescent finger crack just right of the offwidth up to the ledge (crux-5.10a).

Pitch 6: Scramble down and left to the base of the obvious large crack system with a short gang plank at the base. Climb up, over or between large hollow flakes and straight up the crack/groove to the chimney with a bolt. Squeeze your way up and thru as the angle eases back. Find a crack on the left wall that leads up and out to a large ledge (5.8+). Build an anchor somewhere to the left or scramble over to the right side of the large crack to the rappel anchor next to the right-hand slab.

Descent: Rappel the route


The obvious right-facing corner system towards the left side of the 'Scheelite Wall'.


Gear to 3", bigger stuff available but not necessary
Bolt anchors/mussy hooks
60m rope

Photos of Chips Off the Ol' Block Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: motoring past the P5 crux move
motoring past the P5 crux move
Rock Climbing Photo: My good friend Keith stealing the lead on pitch No...
My good friend Keith stealing the lead on pitch No...
Rock Climbing Photo: Found this guy hidden in the shade at the start of...
Found this guy hidden in the shade at the start of...
Rock Climbing Photo: Placing the final pro on the crux pitch.
Placing the final pro on the crux pitch.
Rock Climbing Photo: Following P5
Following P5
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking up at the P5 crux
Looking up at the P5 crux
Rock Climbing Photo: An awkward section near the top of P3
An awkward section near the top of P3
Rock Climbing Photo: Following P3
Following P3
Rock Climbing Photo: Seen from the mouth of the canyon
BETA PHOTO: Seen from the mouth of the canyon
Rock Climbing Photo: 'Chips off the Ol' Block' topo
BETA PHOTO: 'Chips off the Ol' Block' topo
Rock Climbing Photo: Tai Devore FA-ing crux pitch 5, belayed by Jeremy ...
Tai Devore FA-ing crux pitch 5, belayed by Jeremy ...

Comments on Chips Off the Ol' Block Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Mar 29, 2015
By AWinters
From: NH
Mar 28, 2009

Named for the 4-foot block that unexpectedly dislodged, tipped over and dropped onto Greg's leg while cleaning pitch two on a fixed line, severing the rope 10 feet below him. Mr. Smith brushed it off and quickly got back to work. There were four of us on the route when it went down, luckily Greg was the last one up!
By Bruce Willey
From: Bishop, CA
May 27, 2009

Nice work guys on a great route. You can rap with one 60m from P-5 to base with ease (especially now since the rope snagger on P-2 is gone thanks to Tai). Always glad to hear Greg is still with us.
By Victor Lawson
From: Bishop, CA
Jun 27, 2009

Good route, actually a lot better than I expected! An obviously tremendous effort ws required to clean all the dirt and choss off of this thing but what Tai and crew left for us eastsiders when finished was nothing short of kick ass! Thanks!
By Denis O'Connor
Oct 14, 2009

We climbed this on 9/27/09 on Tai's recommendation after meeting him at Wilson's. Very fun. Thanks to Tai and the other FA-ers for putting it up.
By Kodye
From: South Lake Tahoe, CA
Aug 19, 2010

I would link pitches 1 and 2, also probably 3 and 4 just to make it a bit quicker. It's a good route all in all. It's a nice multi-pitch moderate for the area. Pretty straight foreword route finding. You can definitely rap with a 60m rope. There is a rap station in between the 5th and 6th pitch that gives the option for a 5.12 TR which makes it possible for 60m rope to rappel the whole way.
By Tavis Ricksecker
Jan 29, 2012

Is it true the last pitch changed since the FA? I heard the flake used to go higher up on the wall. It looked kind of dicey getting to the first gear when I was there (May 2010)
By Weston L
From: Summerlin, NV
Jun 9, 2012
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a


What a great climb. Wandered up here and was handsomely rewarded. Didn't check the MP info section otherwise would have done the sixth pitch (only had one rope), but the first five pitches did NOT disappoint. Gear to 4" and you need nothing bigger than that. This climb is simply awesome, and Tai et al did one hell of a job cleaning the route.

This route is incredibly varied but of the highest quality. We also managed to wander off route a bit (went right instead of up on P4). This takes you up a cool LB corner and on to some slabby face, I'd rate it about 5.6R or so. Definitely a no fall zone on the slab, but very fun. Beware death blocks on the ledge above, you come up 20' to the climbers right of the P4 anchor. A fun variation if you have done the route before, although admittedly the standard way of doing things looks like much more fun.

Stop reading this and go climb this route. Seriously.
By old5ten
From: Berkeley + Sunny Slopes, CA
Sep 5, 2012
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13

this route really seems like a labor of love, from the nice approach trail, to the well bolted belays/rap stations, to the climbing itself (varied and fun, be comfortable with wide stuff). all of these things take foresight, planning, and a whole lot of elbow grease. it is very much appreciated and in a 5 star system i would rate the climbing as 4/5. thanks!

i climbed blackwater and bob-bob-a-ramp (left finish) a couple of days earlier and found the cruxes of both to be more difficult than the thin part of chips off the ol' block. thus i'd rate that part 5.9 instead of 10a (or 10b). there are good feet to get to a nice rail.

much of this route reminded me of bruce bindner, pretty sure he would have loved it (and climbed both fat variations on p5 8^). maybe it can be the aka 'brutus of wyde memorial route'...

By 213blc
Oct 8, 2012
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

Stellar line and very enjoyable, varied climbing with great rock quality and cool pitches. Certainly a modern moderate classic of the area!
By Josh Cameron
From: California in my Mind
Apr 9, 2013
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a PG13

The wind was whipping when we were there; thought I was going to get blown off pitch 4! Did the first five pitches with one rope and I feel its a good climb but not as good as I was expecting, mainly because of the first 3 pitches, which seemed to alternate between fun corner and uninspiring flared gully. On a five star system I'd give the route 3 stars: 2 stars for the first 3 pitches and 4 stars for pitches 4 and 5. Overall, not what I'd call a great climb, but it is worth doing.

Also, I'd probably say pitch 4 feels PG-13; it wasn't runout but far enough between pieces that I wouldn't want to fall in that classic Sierra climbing way. The climb is a good opportunity to gain some elevation. If I did it again, I'd bring doubles from finger size to #1 C4's and 1 #2 and 1 #3 C4.

Wonder what that offwidth on p5 climbs like; it looked brutal!
By Tom Thomas
From: Pittsburgh
Sep 25, 2014

We climbed this route on 9-8-14 after stopping in Wilson's and talking with Tai.. This is a great line and should not be missed if you are in the area.. This route has a little of everything meaning " all types of climbing from slab to chimney".. Tai and company have done a great job cleaning this route and setting anchors. 'Thank you" for the recommendation. We had a great time. Keep the good work up.
By Bathsnake
Oct 6, 2014

Climbed this route on a very warm October afternoon and had a blast. The right-facing corner means you are in the shade for the first 3 pitches which is great on hot days. Pitches 1&2 and 3&4 link naturally if you're so inclined. I saw no snake at the start of pitch 5, although I heard a rumor that he lives in the offwidth and is training for Steck Salathe. Credit must be given for a clear trail to the start for hosers like me who don't know the area well. Thanks for setting a great route, Tai!
By Morgan Nutting
From: Bishop, CA
Mar 29, 2015
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

Climbed this today, every pitch had at least 1 fun move. Excellent work with the approach trail, cleaning this route must have taken a lot of work too.

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