Climbing-the-Chimney7

Climbing the Chimney in Colorado's San Juans

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After packing up our gear, we began to head back down. Luckily for us, Jackie had brought along her ankle brace which was leftover from her numerous ankle injuries over the years. With the brace, plus my high-top approach shoes, I was able to stabilize my ankle well enough to hobble down the mountain. Two rappels and a bushwhack through the spruce forest found us back to our beloved Jeep where water and food were waiting. Total time on the mountain: fourteen hours.

Chimney Rock is not a pleasant or easy mountain so climbers should take heart. The standard 5-pitch, 5.6 III, south face crack is run-out, loose, mostly unprotected, and has extreme rockfall danger.

The rock quality and conditions makes this a true adventure climbing challenge. It would be a test for any seasoned alpine rock climber and gave us a new respect for the San Juan Mountain range. Because of its beauty and magnificence, Chimney Rock lures and entices, begging to be climbed. But beware; you may get more than what you bargained for!

Related – Wham! Bam! Lessons in Colorado’s High Country

* Published by JPFreek Adventure Magazine – The leader in Jeep and adventure enthusiast publications.

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