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Rockfellow Dome
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Abracadaver T 
Good Zzzzzs T 
Inner Passage T 
Jabberwocky T,S 
Knead Me 
Labyrinth, The T 
Lumpy Unmentionables T 
Sensory Desuetude T 
Sound of One Hand Thrashing T 
Unknown S 
Unknown (NE Face) T 
Unknown (S Face) T,S 
Unsorted Routes:

Inner Passage 

YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b

Type:  Trad, 500'
Original:  YDS: 5.3 French: 3+ Ewbanks: 10 UIAA: III ZA: 9 British: VD 3a [details]
FA: Dave Baker, Mike McEwan
Season: Year round
Page Views: 18,574
Submitted By: John Peterson on Feb 3, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (47)
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Great photo by Aleix

Closed from March 1 to June 30 MORE INFO >>>


This unique route offers a chance to take non-climbers on an adventure. Most climbers would be comfortable soloing this but a belay is a good idea for newbies.

The crux is finding the correct entry into the dome. This route is immediately right of Abra / Knead Me, between the Rockfellow Dome and Chay Desa Tsay. It is NOT in the much bigger chimney next to End Pinnacle.

There are only two places where a rope need be used. The initial pitch is about 5.3 and follows a ramp / crack into an massive chimney leading into the bowels of the rock. At this point, the chimney becomes an amazing passageway - about 2' wide with a flat bottom and perfectly parallel sides reaching up for over 200'.

Eventually you reach a small chamber in the center of the rock. Stop and enjoy this unique spot! From the chamber, the crack no longer has a flat bottom. You need to chimney up about 10 - 15', then across 20 - 30', and then back down to get to then end of the climbing. There are bolts at either end of this part that would allow you to give beginners a safe belay.

The crack opens up and becomes more broken until you eventually exit the dome. From the south side of the crack you can walk around past End Pillar to the start or climb back through the rock.

You could solo this in about 30 leisurely minutes but bringing non-climbers through is a different story.

According to the rangers, even this route is closed during bird season. What a crock!


I didn't use any pro except the bolts in the chimney.

Photos of Inner Passage Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: RankDawg of the HWDAMF in the wonderful colors
RankDawg of the HWDAMF in the wonderful colors
Rock Climbing Photo: A classic scene in the inner passage, just after t...
A classic scene in the inner passage, just after t...
Rock Climbing Photo: just a little light
just a little light
Rock Climbing Photo: The initial slab / chimney
The initial slab / chimney
Rock Climbing Photo: starting the narrow section
starting the narrow section
Rock Climbing Photo: In the heart of Rockfellow Dome
In the heart of Rockfellow Dome
Rock Climbing Photo: Deep in the crack
Deep in the crack
Rock Climbing Photo: this chockstone reminded us of the movie 127 Hours
this chockstone reminded us of the movie 127 Hours

Comments on Inner Passage Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Dec 12, 2016
By George Bell
From: Boulder, CO
Feb 6, 2006

Recommended equipment: knee pads ...

We did this climb as an alternate way to get back to the base of Days of Future Passed after completing that route. I didn't feel a rope was needed, but unfortunately we were encumbered by all our gear. Still a really fun adventure, but next time I'd do it with just a pair of knee pads and climbing shoes.

This route would be harder in the opposite direction, I would think.
By John Peterson
Jan 21, 2008

Warning: this is not a route for the large of girth! Returning to this after 20 years, I no longer fit! I had to back out at the small chockstone.

On the other hand, I now know that you can downclimb out the north end unroped without much fuss - I don't think there's much difference in difficulty either direction.
By metrozen
Mar 18, 2008

Any topos available for this line?
By Josh Janes
General Admin
Jan 9, 2010

This weekend my partner, Charles Vernon, absolutely hiked this route. Onsight, and skipping all the bolts nonetheless. Done this way we call the route "The Brazilian Passage." It was impressive and inspiring to watch!

Nice job Charles!
By adrian korosec
From: tucson,az
Oct 29, 2010

Does anyone have a topo of this route? That's funny if you've ever done it. Even using ropes is a bit funny because it's a traverse in a chimney and pro for the 2nd is as good as it is for the first....which is almost non-existent once you enter the slot.

Not trying to be critical, just letting people know that this is a solo with serious consequences if you blow it deep inside the bowels.

Bring your knee pads and be a 5.8 trad climber in my opinion.
By DKheat
From: Atlanta, GA
Dec 3, 2010

"if you blow it deep inside the bowels"

Sorry I had to quote that.
By Catherine Conner
From: Phoenix, AZ
Nov 1, 2011

I have to say, after climbing DOFP, and then going back to packs this way... I would never bring a beginner through this... maybe I was just exhausted/didn't have knee pads/had a ton of trad gear/whatever excuse, but I thought it was hard... my opinion is that it is a 5.8 solo... and you need to be cool with that. I personally am not into soloing anything over 5.6. This is just my opinion. My climbing partner Mike K. did not think it was bad at all... so I mention this to show opinions can vary, and maybe what I experienced that day wasn't totally accurate with it's true difficulty. It is a neat looking passageway though, you will get some cool pics. It's highly unique and different. So I'm glad i did it for those reasons. It is true that roping up doesn't do that much for you (leading or following), but the little that it did do saved me at the end-I almost had a blow-out in the bowels ;-)!!
By KayTeaEm
Oct 15, 2012

This climb will be UNenjoyable by anyone who;
-doesn't have climbing shoes, or at least good hiking or approach shoes
-doesn't have long sleeves and pants or knee pads on
-does't like small dark narrow spaces
-just watched 127 hrs
-is rotund in girth
[not being insensitive _ you will not fit _ it gets down to less than a foot in width]

If you took a non-climber through this, they might never talk to you again.
I feel that the rating might be accurate, but a little misleading.

ALSO very important :
Don't bring packs with you.
By ScottieG
Oct 16, 2012

Just did this epic adventure...DO NOT bring non-climbers!
It is a must to have chimney techniques, also it is NOT two feet wide, more like less than a foot wide in most areas. DO NOT bring packs, be sure to wear long pants long sleeves and knee pads are not a bad idea as well. Sturdy hiking shoes, or approach shoes are a must. For those that call it a "hike" well you just mislead all those poor souls that expect a leisurely day, the day was an all out adventure worth every moment of blood and sweat but be sure to be prepared for what you are getting into. good luck and squeeze on!
By Charles Vernon
From: Tucson, AZ
Oct 17, 2012

This "don't take a non-climber" stuff is a bit off base, in my opinion. I've known plenty of people who may never tie into a rope but would have no problem negotiating the Inner Passage. And as we all know there are plenty of climbers who will have nothing to do with chimneys or the "techniques" for climbing them.

[Edit] Did this again recently with relatively stiff-soled hiking shoes rather than climbing shoes and actually found it to be easier than with climbing shoes. However, I have large (size 12.5) feet.
By Lee H
From: Albuqueruqe,NM
Feb 4, 2014

Climbed this in late December. Led the first 5.3 pitch with a rope (essentially just free-solo, so my follower didn't have to free-solo it). Dragging the rope plus having misc. things on my harness made some of the chimneying more difficult than it should have been. Tried using the rope to protect the follower in the final Chimney where the bolts are supposed to be, and only found one bolt (I might just not have been in the right spot for the others). The one bolt I did find was near the exit, and if I recall correctly, the sleeve was sticking out a good 1 to 1.5 inches out of the wall. Once exiting the route, the downclimb looks pretty difficult, but we went out right and it's much easier than it looks. Overall, it was fun enough that I want to go out again and try it without carrying all of the gear.
By TLob
Feb 28, 2014

Definitely wear approach shoes vs climbing shoes. Very interesting "climb" with a very adventurous feel. Great squeeze chimney practice! We didn't like the look of the walk off so we went back through to the beginning-actually felt easier going that way. All in all a fun little jaunt.
By brian benedon
Nov 14, 2014

The bolts in the middle of the route do not look trust worthy. They might only be used to shuttle a non climber across, or maybe un stick someone that has slid down and become stuck.
We chose climbing shoes for the first section.
Rock Climbing Photo: 5.3 free solo
5.3 free solo
By Jon Ruland
From: Tucson, AZ
Feb 23, 2015
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b PG13

pretty baller, though definitely not recommended for non-climbers or non-cavers. also, knee pads are recommended unless you want bloody knees (i didn't bring them and guess what happened to me).

some people have mentioned that it gets down to less than a foot wide but this is only true at the very bottom; the higher you go the wider it gets, but also more dangerous of course.

finally, it's hard for me to even call this a climbing route. "adventure" seems like a much more appropriate word. roping up for this thing just seems like madness.
By Casey Engstrom
From: Randolph, NH
Dec 24, 2015

I'd like to add to the voices saying don't bring a rope. If you are not comfortable free soloing a 5.easy chimney, don't do it. I had fun improvising knee pads by taping my wool socks over my knees under my pants!
By mikehilbert
From: Tucson, AZ
Apr 18, 2016

The beginning of this route is found on the NORTH end of the Rockfellow formation.
By David Bruneau
From: St. John
Dec 12, 2016

Calling this a "solo" is a little misleading. Nothing felt exposed or dangerous, you'd just wedge in the chimneys if you slipped. Definitely go all the way through the dome, finding our way out was cruxy!

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