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I don’t talk to the writer, I talk to the song.
– Luciano Pavarotti

Chair Mountain – 12,721 feet

Often viewed from the highway near McClure Pass, this recalcitrant Twelver is a climber’s prize.
Chair from the northeast Chair Mountain seen from the northeast

The east ridge is the left skyline
Jennifer approaching Teocalli's southeast slopes on 8/9/03 Jack Dais on Chair’s lower east ridge
Jennifer and Jack Dais on Chair's east ridge Jennifer and Jack Dais on Chair’s east ridge
Gerry following the natural line on Chair's east ridge Gerry following the natural line on Chair’s east ridge

Photo by Jennifer Roach
Jennifer approaching Chair's summit Jennifer approaching Chair’s summit
Chair from the highway west of McClure Pass Chair from the highway west of McClure Pass
Except where noted, Gerry took the above photos in 2004
Gerry following the natural line on Chair's east ridge Chair’s east ridge in May, 1971

Remember when we had real winters?
Gerry's Chair in the Air expedition on top Gerry’s Chair in the Air expedition on top in May, 1971
Gerry took the last two photos in May, 1971 while instructing an Outward Bound course.

USGS 7.5’ Quadrangle: Chair Mountain

East Ridge – Class 3
Unfortunately, public access to Chair’s east ridge is largely blocked by private property. As always, get permission from the landowner before crossing any private land. From 11,400 feet in upper Chair Creek to the summit, you will be on public land.

From upper Chair Creek, hike south to the 11,420-foot saddle between Point 11,866, a ranked Elevener, and Chair Mountain. From this privileged position, you will have a dramatic view of Chair’s northeast face, and a practical view of your approach to the lower east ridge. From the saddle, hike 0.3 mile south-southeast, and climb a west-angling weakness to reach the east ridge at 11,700 feet (Class 3). Depending on the time of year and conditions, the approach to the ridge may be the crux of your climb. Once on the ridge, scamper up it, staying south of the actual ridge crest. Most of the climb is Class 2+, punctuated with occasional Class 3 moves. If you find yourself making harder moves, look around for an easier way. The mother rock here is solid, but the ledges carry many loose, and sometimes dangerously poised blocks. When dry, the ascent of Chair’s east ridge is indeed a Colorado Classic. Reach the summit ridge at 12,700 feet, and stroll 200 yards northwest across beautiful, large blocks to the highest point.
Copyright © 2001-2017 by Gerry Roach. All Rights Reserved.
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