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Chimney Rock - West Face
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L to R R to L Alpha
Ballet T 
Break Dancing T 
Damper T 
Dirty Dancing T 
Dyno in the Dark T 
Fear of Flying T 
Howard's Horror, Direct T 
Pinched Rib T 
West Face Overhang T 


YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 40'
Original:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: Tom Higgins and others, April 1967
Page Views: 2,965
Submitted By: C Miller on Jul 5, 2002

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (88)
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Jake on lead


The obvious wide crack left of Pinched Rib is a good exercise in fist jamming. Despite appearances it's better than it looks and the only thing lacking is length. Descend off to the climber's right, the same descent as for Pinched Rib.


Look for the obvious crack just left of Pinched Rib.


Pro to 3.5"

Photos of Damper Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Damper
Rock Climbing Photo: Ammon McNeely soloing "Damper". Photo by...
Ammon McNeely soloing "Damper". Photo by...
Rock Climbing Photo: Great quality wide crack but wish it were longer. ...
BETA PHOTO: Great quality wide crack but wish it were longer. ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Damper is a great climb and looks great by the lig...
Damper is a great climb and looks great by the lig...
Rock Climbing Photo: "Damper", back in the 1970s. Photo by Bl...
"Damper", back in the 1970s. Photo by Bl...
Rock Climbing Photo: Chimney Rock - West Face
BETA PHOTO: Chimney Rock - West Face
Rock Climbing Photo: "Damper". Photo by Locker.
"Damper". Photo by Locker.

Comments on Damper Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jan 13, 2014
By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
Jan 6, 2003
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

I would not have called this an Offwidth. I would have called it a fist crack. Rack up to a #4 camalot, but until the top (belay anchor) the biggest thing I used was 3.5". The belay anchor can be set with a small tricam (red, I think it was) + a #7 rock and a #4 camalot. The downclimb is a little scarey for some, so if you are with less advanced climbers, please consider letting your partners rap off of the anchor and then down-climb alone.

two stars. if you don't like sustained jamming, less, but if you do, it's quite fun.

Middle of the road 5.9, unless you have very small hands. Small female climbers who may have to stack hands or arm-bar.
By Josh Beck
Mar 26, 2003
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

In my opinion this is probably the best route on Chimney Rock and a mandatory lead for those working their way up the grades on cracks. I agree with Tony that (at least for Men w/ average sized hands) this is a fist crack in a flare more than an OW. Also agree that the downclimb is probably not best for people on their first weekend of climbing, though by the same token this is not a good climb necessarily for a first time climber :)
By Andy Laakmann
Site Landlord
From: Bend, OR
Apr 11, 2007
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Good burly fun! Nothing larger than a #4 needed, but #3.5 Camalots would fit best.

We had 50+ mph winds on the day we did it, and didn't feel like the sketchy downclimb in the breeze. Instead, we climbed up and over and dropped in to the top of the Flue - where there are rap anchors. 4th class the entire way. We had to navigate around some boulders, and through a squeeze gap, but it was fine.
By Adam Kimmerly
Apr 30, 2007
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Definitely a fist crack, even for my slightly smaller than average hands. Yes, there are wider sections where I placed pro (as to not block the better jams) but I don't remember a point on the route where I didn't have fist jams I could hang singly off of. 5.9 seems fair, as does 2 stars out of 5. Good, but too short to earn any more.
By JoshuaTreeRunner David
From: Los Angeles
Jan 27, 2008
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

This is one my favorite climbs at hidden valley campground. i like wide cracks. it was cupped hands for me and used a fist a few times. others have said they used fists for most of it. feet are tough as you enter the crack then it eases off. very enjoyable.

excellent overall! just wish it were longer.
By roman d
From: Pasadena, CA
Mar 17, 2010

Fun climb to do at the end of the day - felt pretty cruiser for 5.9 since I have big hands. bring a couple nuts to back up a comfy belay seat at the top, or a couple 2-3" pieces to use the crack at the top of Pinched Rib. Tricky walk-off
By The Gray Tradster
Apr 18, 2010

The first guide (Wolfe's) described Damper as F5 (5.4) " A jamcrack in a large dihedral near the south end of the west face provides a short beginner's route. First ascent: unknown."

It was one of my first leads at the Monument and proved to be quite exciting. One each 4", 3" and 2" bongs. Stiff old school boots do fit better than modern shoes though.
By Nathan Scherneck
From: Portland, OR
Nov 14, 2011
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

You can avoid the downclimb by heading over to the bolted rap anchor for The Flue.
By jake marlow
From: laramie
Jan 13, 2012

super nice fist crack. solid lead. the guidebook only gives it one star but I'm a sucker for a nice crack so I give it 2.5.
By Dom Horath
Oct 24, 2013

seemed pretty easy to, on the downclimb, do a little traverse to the tree instead of downclimbing the slab. i'm not sure what's considered the proper down climb but the tree to ramp felt pretty secure
By Brian Chastain
Dec 9, 2013

Fun climb. Good way to get warm. If you're 5' like my girlfriend, you'll call it OW. Otherwise it is a wide fist crack. I think I used three pieces...... 3.5", 4" and a 5". You could use 3" way back in there, but your second will have to make the stretch to get them.
By AstroDood
From: his mind
Jan 13, 2014

cam placements not necessary if soloing

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