Black Chimney

Page Type
Wyoming, United States, North America
Route Type:
Scramble and technical rock climb
Time Required:
Most of a day
3rd class up to a small section around 5.8

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Black Chimney
Created On: Sep 6, 2005
Last Edited On: Jan 18, 2006


*NOTE* I had the wrong route name on this before; I changed it from Northeast Chimney to Black Chimney after reading about the routes in more detail in "A Climber's Guide to the Teton Range". Sorry for any confusion.

Start at the Lupine Meadows trailhead but do not take the Garnet Canyon trail. Instead look for an unmarked trail about 100 yards away on the west side. Follow this trail (the Apex trail) up to the Worshipper and the Idol, two large gendarmes on the left side of the trail. Not far from this there is a vague trail leading to the right. Follow it up to an obvious notch far to the right. You will have to cross some small chimneys never more than 4th class. There is a small blotch of snow at the top of this narrow couloir just before you get to the top of the notch.

Route Description

At this notch, Crooked Thumb will be visible. Up and to your left you will see a chimney about 20 ft tall. It is not much harder than 5.5 and can be done easily without protection though some parties with less experienced climbers will want to rope up. At the top of the chimney there is a grassy ledge about 1 to 2 feet wide that you will traverse about 100 feet to the east. This will bring you to the Northeast Chimney where the toughest part of the climbing begins. There are several sections and ledges where loose rock can be kicked off easily; a helmet would be beneficial. The first move is onto a large chockstone about 10 to 12 feet above. There is a rappel sling around the chockstone. Continue working your way up the chimney. The crux is about halfway up where there is a high ledge and few good hand or footholds. It is about 5.8 (though I have seen it described as being as difficult as 5.9). A few more moves will take you almost to the top. The easiest way to the summit from here is to turn left and up and traverse east until you meet up with the East Face route where the rest of the route is quite obvious to the tiny, exposed summit.

The easiest way down is to descend the East Face though there are some fixed pitons and rappel slings in the NE Chimney. They appeared to be in poor condition, so take your own slings if you descend this route.

Essential Gear

Ice axe and crampons are necessary early in the season.
A helmet is very beneficial because of the loose rock near the top of the chimney.
Should you choose to protect the route, bring a light rack with cams up to 2 inches.
Several shoulder length slings.
Approach shoes are adequate for this climb.

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.