Double Chimney

The Grand Teton's Owen-Spalding Route
Don't go up anything you can't get down.













Climber by 1st entrance
 
Climbers downclimbing in the Crawl - The Double Chimney access is behind them.

Most climbers use the hand-in-crack traverse to access the 2nd Entrance of the Double Chimney.




Climber at 1st Entrance


Looking down the 1st Entrance


1st Entrance




1st Entrance








1st Entrance


Looking down 1st Entrance


 The 'uncommon' variation above the 1st Entrance takes you to a ledge above the Open-'V' or it can take you to the Catwalk. It's fairly easy when dry.






The 'uncommon' variation above the 1st Entrance.
 

The 'uncommon' variation above the 1st Entrance.



The 'uncommon' variation above the 1st Entrance.


Climbers at the 1st Entrance and headed for the 2nd Entrance via a hand-in-crack traverse.


Climber headed for the 2nd Entrance via the lower ledge




Climbers directly below the 2nd Entrance and on the lower ledge.
When dry, this is a nice way into the 2nd Entrance.



Climber on lower ledge


 Stay close to the east wall under snowy conditions as you exit the Crawl


 A look at the rock by the climb off the lower ledge


 Access to the 2nd Entrance from the lower ledge


 ....with snow







Hand-in-crack traverse from 2nd to 1st Entrance - downclimb.


Heading for the 2nd Entrance










The pull-in move at the 2nd Entrance




 This individual was on his first climb up a big mountain and soloing.

His feet are more likely to go out from under him in this position but he still manages to work his way to the 2nd Entrance without any issues. When we see climbers slip in this area, they usually recover by using the friction of their body against the rock. The handholds are also stellar when dry so that keeps climbers from falling a half mile into Valhalla Canyon. As climbers get closer to the 2nd Entrance, the footholds are thinner & mostly friction and climbers have to make a transition from outside handholds to inside ones. Sticky shoes make this transition relatively easy. Climbers have indeed fallen from the Owen-Spalding's exposed areas. Lighting, high winds, wet rock, ice, & snow make this area pretty sketchy.

The video below shows Bob Harris taking a slip as he tries to enter the 2nd Entrance. He recovers nicely and goes on to make some Grand Teton climbing history.







We were behind this climber sans crampons, axe, & rope but we did have a stubby screwdriver.
 
This group of climbers had ice tools and crampons. They went for the 2nd Entrance of the DC. That was too risky for us so we went up the 1st Entrance which, while slick, was the safer option given our lack of gear. Crampons don't make a purchase getting to the 2nd Entrance but they will provide friction against the rock and they may be able to get a point atop a tiny hold if you're lucky - snow hides holds. Good body position is critical if you are headed for the 2nd Entrance under poor conditions. This lead climber knows the mountain very well and is an accomplished climber. After the DC, we took the Owen-Chimney Bypass Crack and they took the Catwalk to reach Sargent's. Above there, the climbing was pretty nice.










Renny coming off the North Ridge and at the 2nd Entrance

Bottom of 1st Entrance

Looking down at 2nd Entrance from the top of the DC


 
Entering the 2nd Entrance

We saw this climber setting up at the 2nd Entrance so we took the 1st Entrance.
This is not a spot to get in a game of Twister with fellow climbers.


Hand-in-crack traverse to 2nd Entrance.

This free-soloing climber in green did choose to play Twister with the climber setting up a belay at the 2nd Entrance. Of course, this is not a great place to set up a belay; nonetheless, if you can free-solo this hill, you can probably make it up the 1st Entrance and stay out of the way of other climbers.










Entering the 2nd Entrance



Entering the 2nd entrance




See that ice below the Open-V, it makes for a dangerous move into the middle of the DC. This usually raises more red flags for us than the access to the DC.



The Tunnel Variation





When dry, the tunnel is easier than any other variation.




 Looking at the crack between the Tunnel Variation and the Open-'V'.


 Looking up from the Tunnel Variation at a climber exiting the Open-'V'.






It takes some effort & thought to figure out the best way out of the top of the tunnel variation.

Coming out of the bottom of the tunnel variation. When slick, this is a dangerous place (the lower exit from the tunnel).




Exiting the tunnel

The Open 'V'



If you like crack climbing and a challenge, try the crack to the south of the Open-V when it's dry.
It's short but sweet. This is not a 5.4 exit.




The rock slopes at the entrance to the Open-V.
It's one of the reasons that this area is dangerous when slick.




Climber headed for the North Slot



 



 
 


Open 'V'


Looking down the Open-V



Climbing to the north out of the Open-V

Climber above the exit from the Tunnel variation

Open 'V'

Climber headed for North Slot

















North Slot (far right), Tunnel Exit (bottom left), Open 'V' (top)














Coming out of the Tunnel Variation




We clean the exit from the DC when it's icy so that the descent is easier and safer. There are several variations that can be used to get out of the DC. The 5.4-easy exit is off of the rock that the climber in green is sitting on. The Tunnel Variation is just to his south. To the north of the climbers is another exit variation via the upper-half of the DC Bypass variation. You can also climb out of the Open-V by climbing its eastern wall. It's not the easy way. Most climbers exit the Open-V by heading north - over the exit from the tunnel variation.



Getting out of the DC can also be tricky if it's slick and you're in tennies.


















Getting out of the Open-V takes a little creative thinking.

When we descend, we often head for the Open-V and stem across the walls to get into and out of the Open-V. This can be a little difficult for non-climbers, and short climbers. If you can safely drop into the tunnel variation when it's dry, then that will be the easiest option.







Exiting the Double Chimney




When icy, or filled in with snow, this slabby area requires GREAT care.























Climber at the bottom of the Owen Chimney
Rope coming out of DC

View from inside Owen Chimney back toward DC


Climber in blue taking the scramble to the Catwalk



Snowy scramble to Catwalk.
Use the first opening in the Owen Chimney when this area is sketchy.






Enjoy Safe Climbing