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[TR] Chimney Rock - East Face (U-Gap) 08/24/2020


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Trip: Chimney Rock - East Face (U-Gap)

Trip Date: 08/24/2020

Trip Report:

Are blue collar classic climbs becoming in vogue this year?  I was the 18th person of 2020 to sign the Chimney Rock summit register this past Monday!



I was inspired by solo trip reports from Jon Parker and Eric Eames (nwhikers) earlier this summer.  I always thought I’d need a partner for Chimney Rock, but I enjoy traveling solo and their reports planted the seed that maybe I could do this one alone.  

Late Sunday afternoon I left the Pete Lake trailhead with a bit of anxiety about what lay ahead.  It took just under 4 hours to get to the bivy boulder at 4800’.  I was moving quick and racing daylight so I didn’t have to bushwhack in the dark, but I needn’t have worried, the climbers trail is pretty beaten in and was relatively easy to follow.

Monday morning I was moving shortly after first light.  I accessed the Chimney Glacier at the flat spot @ 6400’ immediately below the imposing North Peak.  An easy traverse of the glacier and then up the U-Gap couloir and gully which was heavily moated and a took a lot of weaving back and forth to get through.

At the top of the U-Gap came the section I was most anxious about.  Super exposed class 3/4 ledges that look quite improbable from far and from near.  The ledges had my complete attention.  Early on there are a couple blind corners that seem to lead to nowhere but 1000+ feet of air.  Once you commit the traverse is quite easy, but the exposure is quite heady.  After the exposed traverse the white rocks and hidden ramps went quickly.  The three rock pitches felt easy with rock shoes and the benefit of a self belay taking away the exposure anxiety.



Views from the top were sublime.



The hike out was long but it felt good to reflect on a climb well executed.


Gear Notes:
60m rope, light rack

Approach Notes:
leave PCT at the second switchback to minimize brush
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If you list it, they will peakbag it.  There's been at least 3 other ascents in the past week since my trip.  21 ascents in a year seems crazy, but its prominent position on the Snoqualmie Crest begs for it to be climbed.  And despite Potterfield's recount of the mountain, the rock is fairly good where you need it to be.

I'm guilty of Smooting as well.  Chimney Rock was 98/100 for me.

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On 8/28/2020 at 4:48 PM, bellows said:

Are blue collar classic climbs becoming in vogue this year?  I was the 18th person of 2020 to sign the Chimney Rock summit register this past Monday!

Looks like Smoot's to blame. People love lists

did not read earlier comments so nevermind

Edited by kukuzka1
not reading properly
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