Peak:  Coxcomb Peak (13er)
 Route:  Southwest Chimney
 Range:  San Juan
 Posted By:  supranihilest
 Date of Info:  08/08/2020
 Date Posted:  08/09/2020

Great trail over West Fork Pass and into Wetterhorn Basin. Crappy off-trail ascent to the base of the climbing on grass and lots of loose junk. There are three climbing pitches from here. In order:

Pitch 1 (often called Class 4): we all thought this was the hardest pitch. It was about 15-20 feet of low Class 5 up a weird detached flake/chimney thing. The hands were OK but the feet were bad and the chimney full of loose junk. This part was also slightly overhanging. There were other options left and right. Above this was a ton of Class 3 with loose rock to the belay below the second pitch chimney. I placed a #.75 cam and one nut on this 35 meter pitch. Was able to find three good enough placements for an anchor.
Pitch 2: The "crux" pitch. Usually rated 5.3, but felt like Class 4. Far easier than the first pitch. Solid rock and solid body positioning in a nice, wide chimney. Placed a #2 cam and that's it. Would have felt more comfortable soloing this pitch than the first. Used the rappel station and two nuts for an anchor.

There's then a short Class 3 scramble to a 20 foot notch, this notch is pitch three. Rappel into the notch and scramble out the other side at Class 3. Scamper to the summit, then back into the notch.

Pitch 3: we left the rope in the rap station and I top roped up and then belayed from the top. Awkward and slightly overhanging. Felt about 5.6. Questionable rock.

Besides the rappel into the notch there are two rappels to get back to hiking territory:

Rappel 1: Go back to the top of the second pitch and rappel down to the top of the Class 3 section. We then scrambled down 20-30 feet and then over into a kind of cleft, then up the cleft and over to the rappel station underneath a detached spire. This rappel station is a bit awkward to get to but does not require a belay.
Rappel 2: rappel to the ground from the rappel station below the detached spire.

I led the first two pitches in trail runners. Rack consisted of a set of nuts, .75, 1, and 2 cams, most of which got used at one point or another, and a few alpine draws. One 60m half rope was used (it took forever to do anything with our team of four). Rappel stations were all in good shape but carry webbing with you just in case.

 Comments or Questions
Good description
08/09/2020 17:53
We did this last weekend And your description is spot on. First pitch was the weirdest.


First pitch
08/09/2020 18:15
Totally agreed on first pitch weirdness. The options left or right of the narrow chimney would have been more congenial climbing but offered poor protection, unlike the chimney, which at least had some OK placements for cams and perhaps a slung horn. It was personally my least favorite of the three pitches. Everything else was awesome though. Definitely a peak I would do again.

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