Chimney Rock – Free Friends (II 5.10c)

Zach and I headed up to Idaho’s Chimney Rock for a day of climbing on July 6th, 2021. Neither of us had climbed Chimney Rock in a few years and I was really looking forward to getting back up there – it’s a magical place! We found the route to be high quality and stout for the grade. Every pitch is full-on! This route lives up to it’s lofty reputation – go check it out. There’s not much to tell, so I’ll let the photos do the talking.

On the approach, looking up at Chimney’s incredible East Face. This is the biggest, steepest face on the mountain.
Zach leading pitch 1.
Following pitch two, the crux of the route. Photo: Zach Turner
Zach heading up the final pitch. This is about as legit as 5.8 gets, including a very poorly protected slab to reach the hand crack in the roof.
Looking up the gut of the 5.8 summit pitch. Old school!
Looking back up the East Face after we’d finished the route.

Gear Notes

Doubles of cams .2-4, triples of .75-2.

Strategy Notes

We approached from the East via Pack River Road/Chimney Rock trailhead 256. This approach is mellow and scenic, but much longer than the Western approach that I’ve used in the past. The East approach is about 11 miles roundtrip with no bushwhacking. After reaching the summit, we used the standard bolted rappel descent on the West Face, then wrapped around the North side of the peak back to our gear cache before hiking out.

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