Arrow-right Camera
Sports >  Outdoors

Out & About: Chimney Rock climbing routes erased

OUTCRY – Climbers were humbled this month to find a massive rock fall had wiped out a generation of climbing routes on the east face of Chimney Rock, a landmark on the skyline east of Priest Lake.

The iconic granite pillar in the Selkirk Mountains lost classic climbs, including Magnum Force, a route first free-climbed in 1967 by Spokane Mountaineers John Roskelley and Chris Kopczynski.

“Many tons of Inland Northwest climbing history are now part of the boulder field at the base,” said Dane Burns, one of the rock’s pioneering climbers.

“From the splitter crack line of Yahoody left all the routes are now gone. That includes but not limited to the Beckey/Cooper South Nose route, later freed by Roskelley and Kopczynski and renamed Magnum Force, Kimmie, named after our friend Kim Momb, and UNI, the first trad 5.12 crack done in the Inland NW.”

Zach Turner, who reported the rockfall on July 5, noted the east face has a swath of new routes to be pioneered, but warned that more unstable rock appears to be hanging on the wall.

Local map sources seriously reduced

OUTROUTED – Northwest Maps, most recently located in Spokane Valley, has closed its retail store founded in 1985. That leaves a huge gap in local retail map sales.

Spokane once was a premier hub for maps. The U.S. Geological Survey map store in the downtown post office was closed at the end of 2001 after offering 43 years of service.

The S-R Outdoors Department feels pity for anyone who thinks an 8- by-11-inch digital map printout with smearable ink or even a GPS unit are satisfactory replacements for the information available to somebody who spreads out and pores over a 7.5-minute topo quad.

• Northwest Maps still offers free map index service and local products online at

• REI on North Monroe Street sells some topo and recreation maps.

• Forest Service and state public lands maps can be purchased from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management Office, 1103 N. Fancher Road.

• USGS maps can be purchased online at the USGS Store.

Trophy elk hunter tagged for lying

OUTLAW – Outback Outfitters guide Jon C. Wick, 46, of Summerville, Ore., and Tod L. Reichert, 72, of Salkum, Wash., have pleaded guilty to criminal violations in a 2007 Blue Mountains elk hunt involving Washington’s coveted “Governor’s tag.”

Reichert purchased the any-bull auction tag and hired Wick’s guiding service.

Violations include using a helicopter to spot elk for the hunt, guiding outside the outfitter’s licensed area, and lying to enforcement officers.

Reichert’s sentence includes a $5,000 fine and two years’ probation during which he cannot enter a national forest. Wick’s sentencing is set for Sept. 13.