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Chapel Pond and Chapel Pond Canyon
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Chouinard's Gully  
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Geek, The 
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Haggis and Cold Toast 
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Positive Reinforcement 
Post Purchase Dissonance T,TR 
Power Play 
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Rule of the Bone 
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Whales in the Jungle T 
White Line Fever 
Youthful Indescretions T 

Chouinard's Gully  


Type:  Ice, 2 pitches, 300', Grade II
Original: WI3 [details]
FA: Yvon Chouinard
Page Views: 9,666
Submitted By: J. Albers on Jan 5, 2010

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BETA PHOTO: Starting pitch 1.


Climb the obvious flow for 2-3 pitches depending on belay strategy. There are numerous fixed tree anchor stations on the left side of the route and it may be wise to use them because they keep you out of the way of falling ice. Unless there are other parties (which is often the case), doing it in 2 pitches works well.

While it is not uncommon to have many parties on this route at one time, be prudent and careful because the gully tends to funnel falling ice directly onto the route below.

Descent (two options): (1) Walk off across a ledge system through the forest to the climbers left; (2) rappel the route using the fixed tree anchor stations on the left side of the route (however, be aware that rappelling this route when there are other parties present may create problems)


Park at the Chapel Pond parking area and spy the obvious fat gully directly across from the parking area. Hike across the lake (making sure it is thoroughly frozen) and make your way to the base of the climb.


Usually takes as big a screw as you want to place. Ice or tree anchors.

Photos of Chouinard's Gully Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Paul Corridon leading the final pitch of Chouinard...
Paul Corridon leading the final pitch of Chouinard...
Rock Climbing Photo: Arriving at the belay atop pitch 2. Directional sc...
BETA PHOTO: Arriving at the belay atop pitch 2. Directional sc...
Rock Climbing Photo: Chouinard's Gully, early season.
Chouinard's Gully, early season.
Rock Climbing Photo: Early season conditions on Chouinard's Gully.
Early season conditions on Chouinard's Gully.
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 1 of Chouinard's was very wet. (Jan, 28 2012...
BETA PHOTO: Pitch 1 of Chouinard's was very wet. (Jan, 28 2012...
Rock Climbing Photo: D. Albers climbs the upper pitch of Chouinard's Gu...
D. Albers climbs the upper pitch of Chouinard's Gu...
Rock Climbing Photo: Chouinard's Gully seeing from the far side of Chap...
BETA PHOTO: Chouinard's Gully seeing from the far side of Chap...

Comments on Chouinard's Gully Add Comment
Show which comments
By Chris Duca
From: Havertown, PA
Feb 2, 2011
rating: WI2+

A single 70m rope will get you to the base of the climb in three rappels.
By brian ivins
May 4, 2011

Chouinard's is 300' not 400'.
By Ross Purnell
From: Palmyra
Dec 11, 2013

Please don't rap the route. This is a classic, busy route. No one wants people dropping bombs from above. There is a very easy walk-off to the left that brings you down near the base of Crystal Ice Tower.
By J. Albers
From: Colorado
Jan 27, 2014


In general I agree with your sentiment, which is why in my description of the two descent options I stated that folks should use good judgement when deciding whether to rappel or walk off. That said, when I did the route, we were the only ones on the route going either up or down. Given that it is entirely obvious whether there are parties below you (or if there will be in the near future...i.e. folks crossing the lake), then if nobody is around it is just fine to rap the route. In short, good judgement is a better option than strict rules on what is okay or not.

By TheIceManCometh
From: Albany, NY
Mar 2, 2014

Depending where your belayer stands on the first pitch, it's easiest to reach the belay at the top of the first pitch using a 70 meter rope. That 70 meter rope will get you to the lower of two belay stations on the left. From that lower set of anchors the next pitch is about 50 meters. Having twin 70s will also let you reach the bottom for your 2nd rap (assuming you don't walk off).

We walked off the top (to the climber's left) but the tramped down path ended in a full rappel (using double 60 meter ropes). I think we went down too soon and should have kept angling to the climbers left.

Note, there's a sketchy part just into the start of the walk off. You have to cross a steep gully (which had some hard ice in the middle and a couple large boulders with verglas). A slip while crossing the gully will send you quite a ways down. You might want a rope while crossing (depending on the skill of those in your party).

BTW, it is mostly WI2 with a short section of WI3 one third up the first pitch. In mid to late season, it's like a ladder with tons of ice tool holes to place your pick into (and stair like steps for foot holds). Lots of hands free rests for placing screws. Might be a good first lead except that both pitches are on the longer side. Looks like there's a WI3/WI4 variation for the 2nd pitch -- exit to the climber's right up the headwall instead of following the gully which angles left.