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Honeycomb Chimney 

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

Type:  Trad, 8 pitches, 800', Grade III
Original:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: FRA Jim Trogdon, John Campbell, Larry DeAngelo
Page Views: 4,225
Submitted By: Larry DeAngelo on Jan 1, 2005

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BETA PHOTO: Birthday Party and Honeycomb Chimney on the left s...

RAIN AND WET ROCK The sandstone in Red Rocks is fragile and is very easily damaged when it is wet. MORE INFO >>>


This surprisingly good route goes up the left edge of the Community Pillar. The left margin of this prominent central feature on the north face of Magic Mountain is a dark chimney halfway up. This is the Honeycomb Chimney and is the main landmark of this route. Start at the far left side of the broad base of the buttress.

Pitch 1: A short pitch leads through some fragile rock and a chimney to a good belay ledge beneath a dark offwidth crack.

Pitch 2: Start up the wide crack, but exit right onto easy face climbing up solid varnished potholes. Move back to the crack and pull over a small bulge (5.7) to an easy chimney. (If you don't have a 60-meter rope, you should probably belay at the bulge.)

Pitch 3: Class 3 climbing leads up the broken gully to the base of a huge dark chimney.

Pitch 4: High quality climbing on the varnished honeycomb takes you to the top of the chimney. (5.7)

Pich 5: Climb up and slightly left to the constricted slot above you. A bit of fiddling with large cams in pockets gives some amount of protection for the squeeze moves (5.8) through the slot. Continue up and left on easy rock, belaying just above a small tunnel.

Pitch 6: Class 4 scrambling leads left and a little down for about 100 feet across a broken ledge system.

Pitch 7: Climb the spectacular corner (5.9) to a large ledge.

At this point you can descend by walking right (west) and joining the standard Community Pillar descent where it rappels from the pine tree. Alternatively, you can climb another pitch:

Pitch 8: Scramble up for 50 feet (class 3) over loose rock to the base of a small but clean corner. Go straight up the crack (5.7) and through the chimney in the giant split boulder to a belay on the summit ridge.

The descent from here does not involve any rappels, but it is not trivial (and probably not recommended in the darkness). Turn left (east), and work along the right (southern) side of the ridge, following a path of least resistance through the rocks and brush. Work your way up until almost at the true summit of Magic Mountain (a summit cairn is visible), then descend to the south. Hug the cliff face on your left until you finally emerge at the small saddle where the normal descent from Olive Oil starts. Follow the Olive Oil descent down the gully to the east until reaching the trail.


Standard rack up to 4.5 Camalot

Photos of Honeycomb Chimney Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: The 4th pitch of Honeycomb Chimney
The 4th pitch of Honeycomb Chimney
Rock Climbing Photo: p7
Rock Climbing Photo: p4, the honeycomb chimney pitch
p4, the honeycomb chimney pitch
Rock Climbing Photo: Ivy in the flared chimney part of p7
Ivy in the flared chimney part of p7
Rock Climbing Photo: Honeycomb Chimney, pitch 7
Honeycomb Chimney, pitch 7
Rock Climbing Photo: Brass Wall & vicinity from the route
Brass Wall & vicinity from the route
Rock Climbing Photo: the Olive Oil saddle (if you're using the walk-off...
BETA PHOTO: the Olive Oil saddle (if you're using the walk-off...
Rock Climbing Photo: P7 is super friendly at the grade with ample featu...
P7 is super friendly at the grade with ample featu...
Rock Climbing Photo: The strange geometry of the crux flare.
The strange geometry of the crux flare.
Rock Climbing Photo: This summit is the top of the route.  In the backg...
This summit is the top of the route. In the backg...
Rock Climbing Photo: Face climbing up to the squeeze chimney (pitch 5).
Face climbing up to the squeeze chimney (pitch 5).
Rock Climbing Photo: About to enter "the business" on the cru...
About to enter "the business" on the cru...
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking down pitch 4.
Looking down pitch 4.
Rock Climbing Photo: Leading the first pitch.
Leading the first pitch.
Rock Climbing Photo: The first pitch.  The route follows the obvious cr...
BETA PHOTO: The first pitch. The route follows the obvious cr...
Rock Climbing Photo: more p7
more p7
Rock Climbing Photo: Approach: Hike up the canyon past the route.  Head...
BETA PHOTO: Approach: Hike up the canyon past the route. Head...
Rock Climbing Photo: the death block traverse from the top out
the death block traverse from the top out
Rock Climbing Photo: Just below the squeeze chimney on Pitch 5 of the H...
Just below the squeeze chimney on Pitch 5 of the H...
Rock Climbing Photo: OW goodness on P7
OW goodness on P7
Rock Climbing Photo: Mescalito from the route
Mescalito from the route
Rock Climbing Photo: P1
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking up the clean corner on pitch 7 of Honeycom...
Looking up the clean corner on pitch 7 of Honeycom...

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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated May 23, 2016
By john campbell
Sep 6, 2005

This is a fine route. Pitch 7 is a classic corner, (which kicked my butt). Aside from some loose stuff at the begining of the first pitch this route features good quality rock throughout. The descent is a little rough. Don't wear shorts and short sleeves unless you enjoy getting scraped up. This route was in the shade all day. Thanks for taking me along Larry.
By super dave
From: las vegas, nv
Sep 15, 2005

pitch 4 and 7 make this climb!pitch 7 is solid 5.9 corner crack climbing, this pitch stand alone is an area classic.
By George Bell
From: Boulder, CO
May 1, 2007

This climb has some great pitches, but also some rather uninteresting and even unpleasant ones.
Approach: we started at the base of Community Pillar, and endured a short ugly thrash to the route. Not clear if this is the easiest way to go. It didn't appear traveled.

P1: Fragile, soft rock. Pro early, pro often.
P2: Good hueco climbing, this pitch is easy except for the "bulge".
P3: Uninteresting pitch, but at least no bushes to crawl through. 100' long.
P4: Fantastic and unusual pitch. I slung two 1000 lb boulders rather than fiddle pro into all the huecos as in the photo.
P5: Here we climbed straight up the huecos, then traversed up and left on huecos to the squeeze. The squeeze doesn't last long, but is a pain with a pack.
P6: This was by far the worst pitch of the route. I'm not sure we went the best way, but there was much thrashing through evil vegetation and rope drag. To make matters worse, there is not much for an anchor at the base of the crux pitch, aside from inch diameter scrub trees, and one flarey crack where I (eventually) found a bomber #3 Camalot placement.
P7: "the business" is about 40' long. This section is considerably harder and more sustained than any other pitch on the route. The beginning of the crux is an intimidating flared chimney which requires some creative moves to climb. There are some features on the right wall that could also be climbed but (apparently) without pro. Above the flare the pitch becomes a beautiful corner for stemming and jamming. Huge amounts of loose rock at the top of this pitch.
P8: At the start there is a strange crack that seems harder than 5.7, but eventually I found a way to get up it at the grade (large cam useful at the start). Then nice cracks continue. At the end of the pitch I found a nifty passage under a chockstone which resulted in heinous rope drag. Above here you find yourself on a small summit, and downclimbing the other side is a bit tricky (we downclimbed roped up, for another short pitch).

Descent: From the saddle it seems you could also go west to Crabby Appleton area, but once you see the nice trail down the other side, I guess why bother?

Pro: We had a #5 Camalot but never needed it. I would suggest taking doubles in Camalots from #1-#3 and one #4 Camalot (plus lots of smaller stuff, of course). For the crux pitch you need a #2 and/or #3 Camalot in the belay, and the leader will need to place a #4, #3 and #2 (in that order), and then smaller cams. Camalots work well in the huecos as you can place them passively.
By John Wilder
From: Las Vegas, NV
May 14, 2007

Just climbed the last two pitches (we joined up with this from Birthday Party). Dont be afraid of the last corner- a little creativity and patience makes this corner more like 5.8- but the classic nature of it remains undiminished- its probably one of the best varnished corners in Red Rock.....

We used our #5 camalot twice on the last three pitches- once just before the 5.8 squeeze and again for the anchor at the base of the crux pitch. Also, I'd advise not belaying the 6th pitch (the traverse)- better to just coil and 4th class it.
By John Hegyes
From: Las Vegas, NV
Jun 7, 2007

Great climb, nice work guys. Nothing to complain about, the pitches just flew by. Descent presented no problems, not sure why other people said it was such an ordeal - par for Red Rock. We took the walk-off to the east; I'm glad we did the last pitch - it was a lot of fun and led to a cool summit.
By Andrew Carson
From: Wilson, WY
May 3, 2009
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

The finish via the 5.9 corner is sort of contrived, as it really doesn't have anything to do with the route up the chimney. But what the hey, other than the brush fight to get to it, it adds some good climbing. If I were to do it again I think I'd finish straight up one of the many possibilities above the squeeze.
By Cunning Linguist
Jul 6, 2009

The obvious has been alluded to but perhaps I can get it out bluntly:
this route features two good pitches, the rest is either unmemorable or unconsolidated rockslide scrambling. The first pitch is garbage rock, and you'll see bail slings at the first ledge left by those that thought better. A crunchy but not too bad pitch leads to the first scrambling pitch. "I thought we were supposed to be rock climbing up here!" was the comment from my partner. Lots of opportunity to knock loose stuff off on your partner-be aware. The honeycomb pitch was very nice and my "choss-chasing retards" speech gave mi amigo a break-temporarily. The next pitch is contrived-looking at the squeeze, my partner (wearing a pack) moved right six feet and climbed easily protected 5.6 face past the squeeze section to the ledge. This pitch is maybe 30 feet long-we took the rope off and walked/trundled our way to the base of the 5.9 pitch. Spectacular, doubtful, but this pitch had a lot of nice stemming and face moves, interspersed with solid pro and the occasional lock. Beware the slick left wall and the neverending pile of choss/sand at the lip. Sweep before you mantel. We skipped the summit pitch in the interest of getting home to see 4th of July fireworks. It was fairly straighforward getting down to the Magic Triangle rappels, we did three raps to the ground and some scrambling. You end up at Small Purchase when you pull the ropes at the final rap.

There is about 50/50 climbing to scrambling on this route. That may be a consideration for out of towners looking to climb a continuous route on good rock, but from a mountaineering perspective it wasn't too bad. This route was nowhere near as cool in the summer as I'd been led to expect. Bring lots of water for hot weather and wear a helmet.
By Tom Fralich
From: Fort Collins, CO
Apr 26, 2011
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

I thought this was an excellent route! True, it has a bit of scrambling, but the Honeycomb pitch, the 5.9 crux, and the 5.8 squeeze were all stellar. Pretty fast approach and a nice descent that takes you over the summit of Magic Mountain and into the Olive Oil gully with no rappels. Definitely worth doing and no crowds.
By Craig Martin
From: Park City
May 6, 2011
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

We had fun on this route. Nothing awesome but several fun pitches on good rock make it worthwhile. We descended the Magic Triangle rappel route after not finding the Chocolate Flakes anchor mentioned in the guide book. I was not aware you could descend as for Olive Oil but that could be a very nice way to go.
By Steve123
May 4, 2015

Approach: The start of the route is above a hundred-foot headwall of white rock that is not shown very well in the Handren guide photo. Below this headwall, a gully runs down to a low red wall just above the main wash.
To get to the start of the route, go up the canyon, past the low red wall, then head up the hill to climbers right of the gully.
(Hike up the canyon until you have passed the route before you head up the hill)
This will take you the base of the main cliff to the right of the white headwall, near the start of Community Pillar and Cartwright Corner. Turn left and follow the trail up the ramp behind/above the white headwall to the clearing at the base of the route.

The third class scramble (pitch 3) has some unstable rock. My partner fell there when a hold broke off.

The 5.8 squeeze (pitch 5) protects with a #4 Camalot in a pocket just before the crux. The squeeze move is harder if you are wearing a climbing pack.

The fourth class traverse (pitch 6) was quite a bit easier than the third class scramble (pitch 3). Keep going around, down, across, then back up to reach the base of the 5.9 crack. There are other impressive-looking cracks visible from the traverse. You want the one at the end. I recall walking easily past some brush, but no thrashing.

Descent: If descending after the "Spectacular Crack" (pitch 7) The Handren guide says to walk right and join the standard Community Pillar Descent where it rappels from the pine tree. This understates the difficulty. While the tree is close and visible, finding a safe way down to it took the better part of an hour. There is some downclimbing, a tunnel, and a tight squeeze. (The tunnel and squeeze could be avoided with more serious downclimbing.) There is also a decoy tunnel and squeeze that takes you to about the middle of the tree, with no way down to its base.

From the tree (a tall straight pine) a short single rope rappel leads to the brushy ledge.
A double-70-meter-rope rappel from slings around a block on the back of the brushy ledge leads to rappel bolts on the Chocolate Flakes rappel line.
A second double rope rappel leads to another set of bolts,
then one final double rope rappel leads to the ground.
A trail from here leads down to the main wash in Pine Creek Canyon.
By Justin Streit
Mar 7, 2016
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Though there is some uninteresting climbing/scrambling and the rock on the first pitch is less than awesome, this climb is definitely worth doing. As mentioned before the 7th pitch is EXCELLENT! Here are my notes from the route.

P1: Rock is fragile, but the pro is there. Just take your time and don't pull too hard. Placed a few medium to large cams. Belay at the obvious ledge.

P2: Long off-width crack. Could definitely use both your 4 and 5 cam here. Otherwise the climbing isn't that hard and there are long stretches of easy terrain to run it out.

P3: Easy scramble up and right to the obvious honeycomb chimney. No thrashing necessary.

P4: Honeycomb awesomeness. Amazing hand holds and a nice crack on the left side up high. This pitch is money.

P5: The squeeze. Overhyped, but still fun. As Killer mentioned, the squeeze is a bit contrived as there are face holds if you can reach them. Also the #4 (older generation) in a pocket at the crux squeeze is perfect. Also placed the 5 in a lower pocket. Can belay from the top of the squeeze and 4th class it up the rest.

P6: Keep scrambling up until you can take an obvious ledge out left. Follow this around to an awesome canyon and you should easily see the flared crack once you turn the corner. Again no thrashing required.

P7: The awesome flared corner is a CLASSIC crack. Felt easier than say Black Track or other Red Rocks 5.9 pitches. This is truly a great pitch.

Descent: Not sure why some people had such a hard time, but from the top of P7 simply work climber's right past the first pine tree to where you can see another pine tree down and left as you hike west. Tat and rap rings allow for a rappel down the scree slope to a ledge where you can easily reach the next large pine tree with more tat. Another quick rappel puts you at the top of the chocolate flakes amphitheater. The top anchor is some cord slung around a boulder that is hidden under a large shrub. The chocolate flakes area can't be missed in good light, so just poke around and the rap station will show itself. Three double rope raps get you to the ground.
By Jessica T
From: seattle, wa
Apr 1, 2016
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

If you go to the summit (8 pitches), hike west and downish in a corkscrew around path of least resistance to find a single bolt rap to the standard rap line. No need for a #5 and 1 #4 is good enough. Classic alpine adventure.
By fossana
From: leeds, ut
May 23, 2016

If you top out there's a bit of sketchiness to get down to the Olive Oil descent walk-off, including a death block traverse and a 5.6-7 short downclimb to a step across. Overall the route was quite good.

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