Working into the crux after just placing a little ...
This route is the most popular route on the West side of Sports Challenge rock. You can probably find it by just getting in the longest line, but in case you arrive first...Find the left hand end of the W face of Sports Challenge Rock, this will require a small amount of scrambling to reach. P1: Climb up a curving crack and up left onto the top of a small tower, which at the top is not attached to the cliff. A fist-sized cam can be placed as the "last good pro" before reaching this point. Step up and right off of the pedistal to seams out on the main face. Some protection could be had here (S) but placing it out of the crux seems sillier than just running it out a little more to reach a better stance. Most of the holds here are positive, but the climb is not suited to pushing your limits. Continue up this crack to a horizontal rack, then right to another crack and up to a lege just below the summit. Climb onto the summit and belay.To descend, rap from the bolts on the summit (above Rap Bolters Are Weak), or scramble down to the south.
Note- the old guidebook (1992 edition) misnumbers the topo/photo, so beware...
On the FA Dave lead up the initial crack, then placed 1 bolt on face up and left of the thin crack and climbed this (10a/b). I followed by unclipping the bolt and then climbing up the thin crack (the way it is most commonly done now). Not really sure who did the first lead of the thin crack.
I used a #4 Ballnut to protect the crux on the upper crack today, and it worked fine. I tested it with my full body weight. It did twist out when the second came up due to the angle of the lower rope pull. Sling it to avoid this. Be sure to place pro under the capstone at the top of the first crack just in case. The upper crack is most definitely 10a.
By Jay Knower Administrator From: Plymouth, NH Mar 27, 2007 rating: 5.9+5c17VIE1 5a R
I got on this climb expecting a mellow, fun 5.9 up a pretty section of rock. Though the pretty part was true, I found that I severely underestimated this one. The pro at the start of the seam was very bad (a small HB offset) and it took me a while to commit to the moves. Once on the seam, however, the pro gets better, and the climbing remains thought-provoking until the top. This was a great route that really pushed my comfort level.
By David Wang From: San Francisco, CA Apr 28, 2007 rating: 5.9+5c17VIE1 5a PG13
aptly named, especially if you find yourself trying to wiggle in wires at the crux (did not work for me). Blue aliens and blue TCU worked towards the middle of the seam, a little higher you can get a yellow alien in. Feels a bit harder than 5.9 with the gear wankery.
By CO_Michael Jun 29, 2008 rating: 5.9+5c17VIE1 5a
This is a great climb. Smaller pro for sure but totally safe. A couple small cams and nuts is all you need.
I guess I'm the only one who didn't think this was a sandbag. I felt it was no harder than 5.9. The move out onto the upper crack is nicely protected with a solid #4 BD micronut. I felt the climbing was thoughtful, but never very strenuous. Protects well with small stoppers/cams.
I'd agree that it is no harder than 5.9. The pro off the ledge is not inspiring in the least though, perhaps leading to a perception of the climb being harder. Personally, I would not want to test the protection there in the least, but you can call it well protected if you want.
By Tradoholic Nov 25, 2012 rating: 5.9+5c17VIE1 5a PG13
5.9 moves and if you get lucky with the gear it protects just fine.
By Nelson Day From: Joshua Tree, CA Jan 2, 2013 rating: 5.95c17VIHVS 5a
A blue ball nut protects the move out right into the crack from the first ledge beautifully and without run out. Nothing else I tried to put in worked. I would have felt confident whipping on the blue ball nut for sure!
Protects well with small cams. Slung the chicken head before moving around on to the second crack.
By RNclimber From: Riverside, Ca Oct 28, 2013 rating: 5.95c17VIHVS 5a
I dont think this is pg13 or R rated at all. Protects well, did not need any ball nuts or slinging a chicken head to move to the right crack after the first ledge. I was able to place a nut on a shallow crack down low before the main part of the crack starts...think knee/ankle level when standing on the ledge
By D-Storm Apr 1, 2014 rating: 5.95c17VIHVS 5a PG13
Re: "The move out onto the upper crack is nicely protected with a solid #4 BD micro nut." That was not the case for me, but the wire on my #4 BD micro nut was bent, so that may have affected its ability to seat well. Fortunately, you're on a big ledge at that point so you can take your time. I also recommend bringing a long sling to tie off the chicken head there; I was glad to have it since I ended up running it out after not finding any worthwhile gear at the first pod in the seam.
I agree the climb is an honest 5.9, but not a good one for a 5.9 leader.
I thought this was an awesome climb that actually protects fairly well. Like others said, a BD #4 nut wedges in nicely on its side edges, which I know isnt the ideal way to place a nut but it felt fairly bomber to me. This can be done from a safe stance on the tower with long enough reach. Or you can sling the chicken head(or do both like I did). If you really wanted to, I think a #5 or #6 BD cam could be placed at the top of the tower. The moves also were not harder than 5.9 but felt harder mentally because of the "R" rating getting in my head and the precision needed to place gear. Bring lots of small gear and some aliens if you have them.