An absolute blast! Stur chimney felt very classic with old pitons. Great route for new trad leader.
I took the shuttle across the lake and climbed the class 4 NE ridge. I found it to be a very demanding mountain. On a few occasions I thought I was done when I couldn't find a safe enough route to advance on. I recall climbing through a couple tunnels to discover the best path. Similar to Grand Mogul, it was optimal to stay at dirt level and skirt around much of the spiny ridge rather than staying on top. I made the summit, but felt defeated at the same time. The route finding and occasional exposure (I was majorly afraid of heights as kid so there's always some residual there) made for a mentally exhausting day.
Great fun on Stur Chimney. Summit register, which used to be bolted with a chain onto the summit proper is now is the saddle at the top of the chimney. Hot day with just a few snow field crossing. We then traversed over and climbed Heyburn's West Pinnacle after crossing the major saddle. Saw a goat on the West Pinnacle, a cairn near the summit and some web slings to get off. We did 3 rappels to get off the West Pinnacle.
A great trip, best climb I have ever had! Mt. Bike to wilderness boundary, Hike to 3rd bench lake and camp, climb to summit the next day, and out. Sweet trip!
My first technical peak. Climbed the Stur Chimney with Sean, Chris, and Scott. Long approach via Bench Lakes trail. Awesome day. Trip Report
Climbed as 1 group (trailed ropes) with Dave, Chris,and Scott. It was a really fun climb. Like last time I did it, the rope got stuck on the pull. Chris soloed up about 1/4 way to free it. Not much snow at all- small crossing at south end of Upper Bench Lake.
Long day leaving from Redfish Lake trailhead with a bit of a loose approach. Route itself is short but very pleasant with a great summit.
Great day with dad up the Stur Chimney. For a 60 year old, he was cruising. My first trad lead!
We climbed the Stur Chimney via bench lake approach. Camped at upper lake through a 6+ hour rain/wind storm followed by a blue bird day of climbing.
What a horribly long scramble up the couloir around the south side. We decided to go down the bench lake side and hike back around to our camp which was up Redfish Creek Trail.
And what were those strange flashing lights at night?
I'd heard the Stur Chimney had a short 5.2 section, so I was cocky enough to head up without a rope and gear. Needless to say, I entered the chimney, thought WTF am I doing?, and headed back down the mountain. A few weeks later I returned with my pal Tony, a rope, and gear. He led the chimney (although I would have if I'd have known it was a sport climb with all the old solid pitons in place). The top is a little scary. I walked out and straddled a section of ridge for a few photos, and could actually make the ridge top creak by squeezing my thighs. That's some loose rock!
I don't remember the years but I climbed the Stur 3 different times with various friends. I've done both the Bench Lake approach and the more interesting Redfish Creek approach.
Approached from Bench Lakes. Climbed the Stur Chimney to the top of the west summit. This was my first class 5 summit and I really enjoyed it.
Climbed the Stur Chimney- hardest part was the approach. Saw Mtn Goats at the broad saddle west of the West Summit.
Climbed the Petzoldt Couloir between the East and West summits. After cresting a class 4 scramble brought us to the fun and blocky East Summit. Descending down the south side gulley was really fast- we skied the scree. Back to the Shuttle boat easily.
I've also ascended the East Summit from the SE side via a Class 3 chute to a Class 4+ ridgeline.
fastandlight and I drove up from Boise Friday night, and caught the last shuttle boat across to the far end of Redfish lake around 8:15. What a great deal - trade 6 dollars to avoid about 5-6 miles of hiking. well worth it!. We started hiking towards flat rock junction. After probably a couple miles at most we started heading up a steep dry drainage on the south east flanks of Heyburn. The draining was mostly class 2 with a couple class 3 sections, but it never flattened out ... ever. It was starting to get dark, and we were looking for a place to bed down. We finally found a ledge where we could bivy I am guessing around 8700 ft. The first bivy for both of us where we actually contemplated tying in, but figured that would be overkill.
In the morning we woke and decided that we would continue up and bring all our gear with the intention of coming down the opposite side via the bench lakes. We had bivied on the right side of the main drainage. Above us, it now split into two steep and narrow drainages. We chose the one on the right as it seemed to be leading in the general direction of the summit based on the quad we had. Class 3 turned to class 4 a few times which made for some fun scrambling. Somewhere around 9300 - 9500 ft, it turned back to class two scree. We could now see the summit tower above, but we were starting to get concerned since we were on the Southeastern flanks instead of where we wanted to be on the west. We had hoped that we would be able to traverse over the ridge to the west side, but that wasn't panning out. We continued up to the highest point next to the summit tower headwall, and realized that there was no getting to the stur chimney from here. We were now standing at what is referred to as the silver saddle. We did not want to backtrack the hundreds of feet down to try and find a way to the west side, and to the north was the steep snow filled north couloir. So here we were litterly less than probably 120 ft from the summit but on the wrong side of the tower.
We contemplated climbing the short East face on the main tower, where there is is a route based on Lopez's book. However neither of us being trad experts could see a good way up the lower section. Supposedly the first 40 ft are the hardest, but there was a section that looked pretty run out for our liking, so we decided not to attempt it.
We then decided to descend the very steep north couloir to the highest bench lake. We set up a rappel and started down. With only one 50 m rope this would be slow. Also Lopez's book described it correctly - full of rotten rock. We did a second rap down to get us onto some 3rd class rock/gravel/mud. We decended another couple hundred feet, where again we had to set up a 3rd rap to go over another cliff. Downclimb more 3rd class shitty rock (the kind where boulders the size of car tires would be suspect) to where the couloir widens to a 50 degree snow field which we then had to downclimb without axe or crampons. Thank God it was warm and we could kick steps in the snow with our trail shoes. It seemed like it took hours (actually it did) to get down this. Physically and mentally draining. So many times I was tempted to glisade, but without anything beyond a hiking pole or a cleaning tool for braking, I thought it would be best to continue the laborious process down.
Finally down to the upper most bench lake, where we took a break and drank water. From there back down to Redfish it was pretty uneventfull. We got back and the boat back at approx 6:30 pm saturday night. We were a bit bummed at getting so close, but after talking to another couple guys who were foiled attempting the northwest ridge and not being able to find the correct route to the summit either we didn't feel so bad. With so many pinacles and ridges on Heyburn it is often hard to get to the top.
Next time would probably approch from the same way, as it seems shorter than going via bench lakes - just have to make sure we get the right drainage this time.
I enjoyed reading your report. You're not kidding on that couloir, it never seemed like it was going to end. We kept thinking that we could turn north up one of those couloirs and it might take us to the saddle just off the west face but thought the description said to go to the saddle off the west of the west pinnacle. Once there, we had to slide down the scree slope several hundred feet, go clear around the west pinnacle and then back up again. We finally made the summit about 6pm and booked it for the upper bench lake before we lost daylight.
Climbed with Fred. A long day!
Climbed with Monica Spicker on a beautiful day. It took us 13 hours from car to car via the Bench Lake Trail from Redfish Lake.