American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Idaho, Chimney Rock, North Face

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1960

Chimney Rock, North Face. The first ascent of the North Face of Chimney Rock was made by Don Bergman and Ed Cooper in July. This is only the second route, and the possibility of many additional difficult routes exists. Easy scrambling on the northeast ridge followed by one class 4 pitch brought us to a large 35° slab. Here the difficulties began, and several bolt studs indicated previous attempts. About 45 feet of 100° aid climbing, separated by one good ledge, brought us to a belay point. The weather was deteriorating, but since the rain could not reach us, we continued. An airy swing around the corner to the right (north) on a bolt, three more pitons, and Don was rewarded with a lightning strike nearby. We retreated with all possible haste, leaving our ropes in.

Several days later we returned, prussiked up the fixed ropes, and Don continued his fine lead up and to the right. The crux had been passed. For the remaining 250 feet we alternated in three leads of class 5 climbing. On the summit we saw the five-foot-high cairns that are so conspicuous in the post cards. About 17 pitons and three wood wedges were used, almost all of the pitons being giant aluminum angles, needed in the very wide cracks on Chimney Rock.

Edward Cooper, Seattle Mountaineers

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