Flight of the Challenger
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One of the more classic trad routes in Squamish and not to be missed by those climbing at the grade. Very atypical for Squamish in its steepness.
Seen from back a bit, The Challenger is the obvious rising crackline that begins down low in the overhang and rises up to the right into the crack/flare at the right-most end of the Pet Wall. Aesthetic and unmistakable.
The Challenger can be broken into two distinct sections, first a steep, juggy section, reminiscent of a sport climb without any bolts. The second section requires a more technical approach in the shallow flare above the overhang. A couple more big moves near the top deliver a final sting in the tail.
Start from a sharp boulder and pull onto the very steep wall on good sidepulls to a jug. Clip the old pin and power through some big moves on jams and slopey rails to a big flake and a decent rest. Another big move from the flake gets you established below the lip on a jug. Transition into the crack above the lip on powerful, and sometimes painful, fingerlocks.
The crux for many...continue up the shallow flare with a very thin seam in the back, an experiment in balance and footwork that eventually eases off into a hand/fist crack and another decent rest....but its not over yet. A couple more big moves from the top of the hand crack see you to the end.
Far right end of Pet Wall.
Cams and Nuts....single set from #3 Camalot to .5 (possible to place #4 as well) and a selection of small cams. Small-Med Stoppers. 6 slings/draws. Fixed 'biners on the chains. Those not on-sighting are encouraged to scope the gear, which is not always obvious (in the overhang anyway).
May 2, 2014
rating: 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
I think the pin is gone gone gone. Awesome climb.
By walker emerson
Aug 21, 2014
Gear for flight of the challenger in order:
Draw for bolt
Long sling for bolt
BD # 1
BD # .75
BD # 2
BD # 1 w/draw
Metolius blue/purple offset
BD red C3
BD red C3
Alien Blue w/ draw
BD # 3