Rock Climbing Chimney Rock in North Idaho

Priest Lake Rock Climbing

Bare in mind, I have only rock climbed no more than like ten times. Sam and Edwin both asked me if I wanted to go climb some wall named Chimney Rock, which lies in the Selkirk mountain range in North Idaho. Not just rock climb though, trad climb.

I was stoked and instantly said “when?”

I met Sam at his house and we headed out to Sandpoint, ID to meet up with Edwin. Sam and Edwin had pretty much all the gear and I pretty much had none. You could say I am an avid and prepared climber. We do a little gear check, grab some quick food and snacks from the store and roll out in Edwin’s Dodge Ram that he calls home. it was a an hour or two drive to get to Chimney Rock. We parked at the trail head and geared up for a decent hike in.

Vier of Harrison Peak in North Idaho

I remember hiking through a forested area where Sam was telling a dope story, so dope that he hit his head on a branch that had fallen across the trail. We laughed, Sam was fine, we continued up the timbered trail to the top of the rocky ridge. Shoot, just going to the top of the ridge was gorgeous, I would go back just for that.

Once we made it to the top of the ridge, we made our way down the other side across the boulder field with the big granite slab in front of us. I remember walking up to it and seeing burned tress and what looked like a rock slide. Pretty sure Zues just thinks that Chimney Rock makes for a fancy lighting rod.

Finally we begin setting up, checking the ropes, slipping the shoes on, harnessimg up, and finding the route. Did I mention our three pitch climb turned into five pitches? Yeah, it gets better.

First Pitch goes a little something like this:

Edwin sets the route, Sam cleans it and they anchor in from above. They toss the rope down to me and I tie the rope into my harness and get ready climb up.

“Climbing! I shouted”

“Climb on!” Sam shouts back

Yes..we do only have one rope. Also, we just went over how to tie knots and stuff so I was super confident. The climbing actually wasn’t hard, it was a nice ice breaker with the wall.

Second Pitch:

Sam sets this one, Edwin cleans it and they toss the rope down. This toss down was a little more difficult as they traversed left a bit. I hear the rope cutting through the air first and then catch it, tie it and all that good stuff. Sam and Edwin told me I needed to grab the trad gear that we used for anchors before I make my way up, I got two out of three. That thing was in there good! I trusted Edwin’s setting skills after that.

Pitch three:

This is where it get’s good. I was chilling on the little cliff anchored in as Edwin and Sam try to figure where the heck the route goes. I was happy where I was, getting used to the height and being anchored to some crack in the granite, enjoying the views. I begin going up and see Edwin standing on a little tiny narrow edge right above Sam’s head. Sam was somehow anchored in below Edwin on another tiny edge.

I was climbing up thinking: ”Where the frick do I go?”

Oh, that’s right, I don’t go anywhere.

Sam and Ed both had to clip me in. I was hanging on to the rock like a cat grabbing a curtain after being thrown in a tub. I got anchored in and pretty much dangled. No foot holds, just trusting my friends and their gear. I eventually got a little more comfortable with the idea of hanging out. “Oh hey guys, guess I’ll just chill here, wtf?” I don’t even remember how we started going up.

Pitch Four:

This was a little one just kind of getting back on track with the route. We actually let some guys that we saw climbing up, while we were setting up and starting, pass us. Apparently we are slow AF. They let us know where the heck to go, thankfully. I mean we were just doing it, getting rowdy.

Pitch Five:

The final pitch. We were so close to the top! We just sat on this last edge taking some views in and what not. Took some photos and chatted a bit. Once again, Sam and Edwin head up first and Sam belayed me up to the top. Shoot, this was such a dope climb even though we were all noobs. I think I remember Sam telling me Edwin had only trad climbed like once or twice. It was a two pitch repel to get down and without Sam and Edwin I could not have done this climb. Big thanks to you two if your read this. As always thanks for reading! Here are some photos of the climb:

Chimney Rock in North Idahoclimbing chimney rock in IdahoRock Climbing Chimney RockRock Climbing in IdahoRock Climbing Chimney RockRock Climbing Chimney Rock in North Idahochimney rock priest lake viewRock climbing gearharrison peak North Idaho


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