The Great Chasm is a 3 pitch route in the Middle Fork. It is located directly south of the Hot Zone and immediately down and across-canyon from the Matrix.
Directions: Hike up the Middle Fork trail as for the Matrix. At a point approx. 6 minutes up the Middle Fork trail a large boulder is passed on the right hand side. The trail to the Hot Zone cuts right immediately past the boulder. At this point, turn left and cross the drainage bottom, then head up the sidehill toward a distinct arete. The route starts on the arete.
Pitch 1: Ascend the arete and follow bolts to the prominent ledge. Belay from two bolts on the ledge. "Sporty" 5.5, 60M. The first pitch is a FULL 60M.
Pitch 2: Scramble right across 4th class terrain to a pod with belay anchors. 30'. Leave your second rope at the anchors in the Pod - you will use it there for the descent.
Pitch 3: Climb straight up on huge jugs and stellar climbing! This is a fantastic pitch! Belay from bolts just under the summit on a vertical step.
Summit Register: From the last belay station scramble right then up to the summit on easy 4th class ground. Sign the register then scramble back down to the belay for the descent.
Descent: Rappel to the "Pod", then rappel on TWO ROPES to the ground.
PS: I hope to have an additional set of anchors placed on the descent before fall '06 so that only one rope is necessary. In the meantime, take TWO ROPES.
PSS: On our ascent on 8.18.06 we discovered that the summit register ammo cannister had taken on water and the register book was saturated and moldy. I replaced it with a new book, but the can still leakes. If you climb this route before winter sets in, please take several large (big enough to hold 8.5X11 book) freezer bags and some new pens to improve things until I can get the can replaced. Thanks!
Download a topo here.