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Frances' Secret Handshake 

YDS: 5.11c French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 24 British: E4 6a

Type:  Sport, 2 pitches, 165'
Original:  YDS: 5.11c French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 24 British: E4 6a [details]
FA: Kirk Miller, Tyson Ferryman, Jake Burgart
New Route: Yes
Page Views: 1,947
Submitted By: Kirk Miller on Jun 16, 2016

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The FA send. Photo by Luke Winkelbauer. Courtesy ...

Falcon Closures MORE INFO >>>


This route is dedicated to Frances Hornbrook Staunton, whose generous contribution led to the creation of Staunton State Park.

The climb gets morning sun and afternoon shade.

Onsighting this route will test your 5.11 skill set for sure. Climbing the first pitch, you encounter very steep rock with tricky roof, thin face, and delicate slab cruxes. This can be a very demanding climb. With a little luck, you might even discover the secret handshake.

If you're gunning for the summit or want to complete the second pitch, move the belay right to set up. The second pitch pulls a bouldery move right off a ledge with a huge perched block at your back. To prevent both ledge fall injury and the distinct possibility of falling onto the block, this pitch was closely bolted.

The rap anchors are right of the finish and conveniently accessed from the last protection bolt.

Huge props to Tyson for re-discovering Chimney Rock. Thanks for bringing me to this amazing spire! Thanks also to Troy Tadlock for help with summit bolts and rap anchors. Bolting these routes is a ton of work, and it's great to have help!


It is located roughly in the center of the steep, Northeast face, left of the Chimney Route. A control bolt on the slab at the base marks the start.


First pitch: 19 bolts, 35 meters.

Second pitch: 7 bolts, 15 meters.

Strategic use of a few alpine draws on the first pitch helps reduce rope drag.
A 70 meter rope allows for lowering from the first pitch or rapping from the top with two raps (it's probably a good idea to knot the ends...).

Photos of Frances' Secret Handshake Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Photo by Tyson Ferryman.
BETA PHOTO: Photo by Tyson Ferryman.

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By Tyson Ferryman
From: Bailey, CO
Jun 17, 2016
rating: 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a

Sorry for the long winded, non-beta relevant comment, but I am proud to have been a part of the development of this rig!
Kudos to Capt. Kirk! Not just for the work of drilling, but the hiking in and out with a ton of gear, finding willing partners when I was out of town, and mentoring less experienced climbers/developers, like myself. Also, for working diligently with the staff and volunteers at Staunton to facilitate and insure climbing access.

A special thanks to Frances Staunton from me as well for her vision of making these magical lands available for ALL to enjoy and to T.H.; grill master extraordinaire, and all-around awesome friend, without him, none of this would have ever happened.
By Jcburgart
Jul 6, 2016
rating: 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a

Crimpers, slopers, jugs, edges, pinches, power, balance, route-reading...this route has it all!

A must do classic!
By Mark Rolofson
Aug 10, 2017
rating: 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a

The first pitch is definitely a mega pitch. Lots of interesting climbing with a weird, sloping shelf crux low on the route & a wild, deceptive vertical face crux up higher. Much better than it appears from the ground. Perfectly bolted. Nice job, Kirk.

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