Chimney Rock – Rappel Chimney (II 5.7)

Cory Rekasie and I skied in to Chimney Rock on June 26, 2022 and climbed the Rappel Chimney route on the West Face. It was a nice, chill day in our local mountain range.

Skinning with bear spray on my waist and a pack full of rock climbing gear. Photo: Cory Rekasie
Cory about to cash in on some turns en route to Chimney Rock.

I’m still a new skier and proved it this trip. I couldn’t believe how difficult the skiing was as we dropped off of a ridge toward Chimney… until I realized that I forgot to put my touring boots in ski mode. Dang it! Once we reached the base of the route, I racked up and thought I was about to feel in my element again – wrong. I got weirdly spooked on the first pitch, which is only 5.6 or so but slabby and not obvious. Thankfully things got more straightforward on the awesome second pitch, which got me fully stoked again. A few pitches later we were on the summit, where we joked that Cory is developing a pretty good alpine rock resume for someone who doesn’t consider himself a climber! Truth be told, it’s a real treat for me to play rope gun on these moderate routes in the rugged Selkirks, only a few hours from home.

Unbelievably snowy for late June! Cory on the approach, back in skinning mode.
Nearly there. Photo: Cory Rekasie
Me climbing the first pitch. Photo: Cory
Cory coming up the third pitch.
Cory on the summit.

After chilling on the summit for a bit, we did four rappels and skied out to the cars. As we ascended back up to Horton Ridge, an old Huey helicopter appeared and did a bunch of low passes over us – perhaps a training mission of some kind. It’s always fun to see small aircraft in the mountains!

Harsh realities of summer skiing: it’s actually a lot of walking… Photo: Cory

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