Tom’s Experience Climbing Ancient Art:
Climbing the Fisher Towers Stolen Chimney Route of Ancient Art is extremely exposed and very scary to climb. Ancient Art is very popular, many call it a classic, and may require long wait times in order to climb to the top. This rock formation has been on the cover of numerous posters, magazine covers and guidebooks, as well as the Citi bank commercial. The Stolen Chimney Route is not a climb you will easily forget.
My family and I (including our dog, who had to wait at the bottom of the climb with my pregnant wife) left the Fisher Towers trailhead at 7:00 am and were the third group to start climbing. However, there were maybe a dozen groups after us, so it was important that we started early.
It is 4 pitches, but the last pitch is the highlight of the climb, and is very exposed; it is also the pitch that receives the most publicity. The route is rated 5.10 but can be made easier if using bolts to create ladders. Most of the route was fairly well protected for an experienced climber.
My dad is an excellent rock climber and has been climbing for many years. He led our family on this climb. The first pitch is up an easy rock pile to the base of a chimney. The second pitch is through a dirty chimney to a nice natural platform.
The third pitch is up an exposed face to the bridge. The fourth pitch is walking about 20 steps across an extremely narrow and exposed ledge to a diving board, then up to the tip of the narrow summit. As you look over the edge from the bridge, there are hundred foot drop offs on either side; which make for a very airy ascent.
Depending on the group size and how many groups ahead of you, climbing Ancient Art could take anywhere from a few hours to all day. It took our group of four most of the day. We climbed it in the spring, so the temperature was fairly nice, and waiting for others wasn’t much of a problem.We ended up rappelling to the bottom, but people looking for an even bigger thrill can base jump to the bottom.
Ancient Art Trail Info: Start at the Fisher Towers trailhead and hike in about .5 miles. The trail brings you around to Ancient Art, where there is another well worn trail to the left of the main trail that leads to the base of the climb. Dogs are allowed in the Fisher Towers Area.
GPS Coordinates: Trailhead – 38.724844,-109.308826 Ancient Art Rock Climb – 38.721663,-109.304223
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