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Areas in Challenge Buttress

East Face 15 / 5 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 20
North and West Faces 10 / 6 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 16
Sales Pitch Area 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 4
Elevation: 6,000 ft
GPS: 40.622, -111.746 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 72,816 total · 431/month
Shared By: Nathan Fisher on Apr 8, 2004
Admins: Andrew Gram, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq


This buttress has a multitude of climbs ranging from 5.6 to 5.11. There are still new routes sprouting on this wall. Depending on the weather you can find a nice face, as you can climb the north, west, or east faces. A short approach and a decent quantity of sport routes translate into a crowded cliff at times.

Aerial photo here.

Getting There

Park at Stairs Gulch, and clamber up the bank on the SW of where the creek crosses the road.

Follow the trail through the woods until you reach a fork, take the right fork for the north and west faces, and the left fork for the east face.

Challenge Buttress is right there to your right at this point; just find the nearest trail to hit the east face, trying not to damage too much vegetation in the process.

40 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Challenge Buttress

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Moral Bells Arete
5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c
Tuff Enough
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Coral Bells Arete
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Hollow Man
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R
Flamin' Freddie
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Chambered Nautilus
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Better than Bitter
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Touch of Teflon
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Guilt Trip
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Winky and Waxman Go Bolting
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Wrecking Ball
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Worthy Whoopsie
Sport 2 pitches
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Tuff'n Up
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Moral Bells Arete E Face
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
Tuff Enough N and W Faces
5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c Trad
Coral Bells Arete E Face
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
Hollow Man N and W Faces
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Flamin' Freddie N and W Faces
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R Trad
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Chambered Nautilus E Face
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
cTr N and W Faces
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Better than Bitter N and W Faces
5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Touch of Teflon E Face
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Trad
Guilt Trip N and W Faces
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Trad
Winky and Waxman Go Bolting N and W Faces
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Wrecking Ball N and W Faces
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Worthy Whoopsie E Face
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport 2 pitches
Tuff'n Up N and W Faces
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
More Classic Climbs in Challenge Buttress »

Weather Averages

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Prime Climbing Season


hey guys, I lost my phone tonight while climbing on Challenge. I went back to look but it was too dark to see very well. I'm assuming it fell out of my pack or pocket when i was hiking on the scree field near Hollow Man. If anyone finds it please let me know! it's an iphone 6, cracked screen in a wallet case. my university of utah id is in there as well as drivers license. please call or text Taylor Reid 8016083149 Jul 24, 2016
Lost a TRX suspension training kit on the west side of Challenge on sunday June 26th. If anyone picked it up, it was in a bag by winky and waxman. Can text 573-239-3205 if found. Jun 27, 2016
So I either lost "the book" here or the guy I let borrow it never gave it back. If you are that guy or found it please text or call 574-274-9160. I can describe it. Thanks! May 11, 2016
Found tonight: a pad and a bag with a rope. It probably belongs to a group that are relatives that we talked to a bit. Just to make sure we don't give the items to someone who doesn't deserve them, tell us how many of you there are and how you're related. Text me (please don't call if it's late) at 337-2I2 8o35. Sep 19, 2015
Jason Unruh
Jason Unruh   Stockton
HARNESS AND SHOES FOUND!!! I found a harness and a pair of shoes on the East side of Challenge Buttress on Wednesday September 9th. Please reply if you think they are yours Sep 17, 2015
Spencer Ericksen
Salt Lake City, Utah
Spencer Ericksen   Salt Lake City, Utah
Hey all! Found a green Nalgene 1-liter water bottle near Hollow Man. If this belongs to anyone, please message me describing a few of the stickers on it, and I'll be happy to return it to you. It seems to hold a lot of personal value and I'd love to see it find its home. Jun 15, 2015
Help please. I can't our climbing helmet, it's an orange mammut brand, this area was the last area I remember having it. It would've been there within the last two weeks. If any honest person found it or saw it please contact me. or 801-678-1137. It would've been most likely on the east side/west facing wall near the 13 bolt route. Thank you. Aug 12, 2014
I was climbing Friday night, August 24th at challenge buttress up Big Cottonwood Canyon. While cleaning up I accidentally took another party's brand new Locking biner with new ATC. They look like they have been used maybe once. I feel awful about this. I thought they were ours. I beleive it was from a group of students from the UofU. Please contact me if it is yours or pass along the word. Call me at 801-550-3001. Once again very sorry. Be willing to describe the equipment. I don't want to give it to a random douche. :)

Max Aug 25, 2012
ddriver   SLC
smax, we also saw that yesterday and climbed it. Looks like a botched job that was sort-of cleaned. The two remaining bolts were not placed deeply enough and the hangars are spinners. There are probably a half dozen studs still in place, a couple with nuts. I'd rate it 5.3 or 5.4. The rap station is handy though for routes to the right. Jun 25, 2012
Wanship, UT
smax   Wanship, UT
Anyone know what the deal is with the bolts next to Sweet and Low, to the right? There seem to be quite a few bolts but only 2 hangars, plus the two at the anchors. Jun 7, 2012
Andrew May
Westminster, CO
Andrew May   Westminster, CO

Whats the name of the route just left of Mega? Is it Whoopsie?
I couldnt seem to find it in the book... Jul 7, 2010
Brian in SLC
Sandy, Utah
Brian in SLC   Sandy, Utah
"I would hope people will show the area a little more respect."

Hey, soon to be old dude, I think the staging area has been gettin' hammered for years. There's just a gob of traffic, all day on the weekends, and, every night on the weekdays. Super popular area. Kinda compares to the Slips staging area.

Not sure what kinda of TLC we could effect there. Got a pretty good buffer of foliage which hides the staging area from the trail. Erosion hasn't seemed to be out of hand. Its just flattened and dusty. Many many feet.

Astro turf? Aug 3, 2009
Salt Lake City
Shaft   Salt Lake City
Last time I was up at coral bells, there was a commercially guided group (8-9 people) that weren't doing the area any favors. Why should an area close to the road in BCC be any different than AF? Aug 3, 2009
ddriver   SLC
Just ran into the "new" routes Mega and Whoopsie, and the extended Coral Bells. Whoopsie is an excellent addition. It seems, though, that the base area around Coral Bells has really taken a hit in the last 12-18 months. Lots of vegetation has been removed, the base area is expanding and way dusty, and the area is taking on the aura of an AF sport crag. I would hope people will show the area a little more respect. Aug 3, 2009
glen kaplan
Salt Lake City, UT
glen kaplan   Salt Lake City, UT
Rap Not Lower!!! Aug 14, 2007
salt lake city, UT
icsteveoh   salt lake city, UT
There's another new route here I guess as of ~ two years ago. Left of Hollow man is a 3 bolt 5.11b put up by Tim. Twas sweet to see him climbing with his mom and pulling the huge roof on this thing. Apr 29, 2007
I have documented the "new" routes as Unknown (5.5), and Wrecking Ball. Both routes are listed under Challenge Buttress. Jul 28, 2005
Does anybody know names or grades for two bolted routes on Challenge that aren't in "The Book"? One is the bolted line next to Birth Simulator. I always thought it *was* Birth Simulator until I realized that's the trad crack. The other is the new bolt line just to the left of Hollow Man. Looks like fun. Anybody know anything? Jul 28, 2005

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