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Coxcomb Peak
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Southwest Chimney T 

Southwest Chimney 

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

Type:  Trad, Alpine, 2 pitches, 80'
Original:  YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b [details]
FA: Henry Buchtel + 6 CMC climbers, 1929
Season: post-monsoon
Page Views: 1,845
Submitted By: Chris Wenker on Sep 8, 2011

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BETA PHOTO: Southwest Chimney, Coxcomb Peak, CO.


An ascent of Coxcomb from the south involves two separate technical sections plus some ridge-running. To start, find a deeply inset chimney system on the southwest face and start up a 12' cracked block that leads to a 4th class gully. This steepens to an ~80' section of 5.2 chimney. Emerge on the ridge and head east.

A prominent 30' notch is guarded by a 5.6 wide crack to downclimb. 4th class terrain past the notch leads to the summit. Some people rappel into the notch during the ascent and leave the rope to toprope the crack on their return.


Getting down: Many people reverse the route. Either lead the short 5.6 crack out of the notch if you pulled the rap line, or use the rappel rope to toprope out. Back at the 5.2 chimney, some slung blocks can be used to rap the upper part of the chimney (with one rope) to a point where downclimbing becomes straightforward. Alternately, the entire chimney can be downclimbed; Rosebrough notes that this chimney is actually easier to downclimb than to ascend, and, curiously, this is true.

Reportedly there is also a 2-rope rappel station off the north side of the summit. This station is used by parties who are planning to continue on to climb Redcliff to the north.


A light alpine rack, trending toward some bigger hand-sized stuff, could be useful. Take long poot slings and rings to upgrade the slung-boulder rap anchors if necessary.

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By Pete Krzanowsky
From: Evergreen, CO
May 28, 2012

We did the north side rap. From the summit, it's down some moderate 3rd-4th class terrain and down a gully to a large boulder. It seemed very solid. Two 60m ropes was more than enough to get to relatively solid ground, for the San Juans. The rope tosses are difficult as the rap is at a moderate angle to start and it's tough to get the rope far out over the edge to start.
By Steven Reneau
Jul 30, 2012

After the 4th class gully, there are a pair of chimneys. The broader left chimney is the standard route, where we found a stuck tri-cam last week. Rap anchors (slings around a boulder, with rap rings) are at the top of the right chimney; not visible on the way up, but easy enough to find on the way down.
By Stiles
From: the Mountains
Aug 17, 2016

The rappel boulder from the top of pitch two fell off. There is no established anchor to rappel from the top down the route. Rappel anchor for pitch one is far up and descender's right.

N Face rap is almost dead vertical and about 170 or 180'. Anchor was big slung boulder with an unweighted nut backup located about 10' below summit cairn.

Lots of webbing would be beneficial for supplementing/replacing tat. Loose! Hide 20' to the climber's right under rappel for partner.

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