Top Ten Less-Extreme Rock Climbing Routes

Stolen Chimney, Utah
By Cameron M. Burns

Stolen Chimney: Ancient Art, Fisher Towers, Utah

Utah's canyon country (not to be confused with Canyonlands, which is one particular section of the region) is a wondrous place of weird sandstone towers and deep azure skies. A place where—without too much effort—your mind, body, and soul can lose themselves. As famed desert climber Chuck Pratt once put it: "To gain any lasting worth from what the desert has to offer, we had to learn to put our pitons and ropes away and to go exploring in silence, keeping our eyes very open. It wasn't easy. We wasted a lot of time climbing until we got the knack.

One of the best places to lose yourself is on a route called Stolen Chimney, in the Fisher Towers of southeastern Utah. Of course, it's not the chimney that lures over 300 climbers a year to this route—it's the spectacular, wind-gouged summit on top of the chimney that looks like it's about to topple over.

Hundreds of magazine and book covers, advertisements, and videos have been shot with the so-called Corkscrew taking center stage. But don't be fooled by the photos you see: It's a good 500 feet to the ground on either side of that tiny little top.

Just the Facts

First ascent: P. Sibley, B. Roos, 1969

Time required: 3 to 4 hours

Technical grade: II, 5.9, C1

References: Selected Climbs in the Desert Southwest by Cameron M. Burns

Check out nearby Arches National Park


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