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Routes in Sports Challenge Rock - West Face

Alligator Tears T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Chick Hern T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Eddie Haskel Takes Manhatten T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Ella-vation T,TR 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c R
I Just Told You T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b R
Mortal Thoughts T 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Ranger J.B. T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Ranger J.D. T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Rap Bolters are Weak S 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Ride a Wild Bago T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a R
Sphincter Quits T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a PG13
What's It To You T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
unknown T 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Type: Trad, 70 ft
FA: Dave Evans & Randy Vogel, December 1978
Page Views: 5,088 total, 28/month
Shared By: Tony B on Dec 24, 2002
Admins: C Miller, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

You & This Route


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Description

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...

Protection

A set of nuts and a set of cams from TCU's to 3".
Dustin Stephens
  5.9+ PG13
Dustin Stephens  
  5.9+ PG13
Great warm up. Medium-sized offset nut protects the crux well. Dec 4, 2016
dnaiscool  
 
If you are a 5.11 (or stronger) leader it may be difficult to differentiate between the grades of easy climbs...and 5.9 or .10a is butt easy compared to 5.11 anything. I think this route is a sandbag 5.9, and I say that based on a comparison of other routes of that nature in the Park. I've always been leery of a route when I see a "+" tagged on, and many route with this clever bit are sandbags that are -clearly- harder than their rating would suggest.

IMO....10a...and not for the newbie 5.9 leader....I even thought this was a pretty stout .10a...just sayin'...That opinion is based on having led hundreds of routes in the 5.9 to .10a grade over the past 40 years...but that is beside the point...

Just know that if you lead this climb, be prepared for cool movement, provocative gear and a route that is a little stiffer than the grade would indicate. Apr 18, 2015
John Groh
  5.9
John Groh  
  5.9
Definitely not R, and probably not PG-13 either Jan 19, 2015
Really fun climb. If you have climbed enough, making this climb not "R" rated shouldn't be impossible. I put like a #2 or #3 and a sling under the block up on the ledge and felt good with that. !00% confident it would not have gone anywhere if I did fall. Oct 22, 2014
somillionaire Viradia
Los Angeles, California
  5.9
somillionaire Viradia   Los Angeles, California
  5.9
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. Apr 19, 2014
D-Storm
  5.9 PG13
D-Storm  
  5.9 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. Apr 1, 2014
Jan Tarculas
Riverside, Ca
  5.9
Jan Tarculas   Riverside, Ca
  5.9
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 Oct 28, 2013
Nikki S
Cleveland, Ohio
 
Nikki S   Cleveland, Ohio
 
Protects well with small cams. Slung the chicken head before moving around on to the second crack. Feb 20, 2013
Nelson Day
Joshua Tree, CA
  5.9
Nelson Day   Joshua Tree, CA
  5.9
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! Jan 2, 2013
Tradiban
  5.9+ PG13
Tradiban  
  5.9+ PG13
5.9 moves and if you get lucky with the gear it protects just fine. Nov 25, 2012
Colonel Mustard
Sacramento, CA
 
Colonel Mustard   Sacramento, CA
 
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. Aug 24, 2012
Rafael Rovirosa
Salt Lake, UT
  5.9
Rafael Rovirosa   Salt Lake, UT
  5.9
Cool climb. Neither hard to protect nor sandbagged at 5.9. The move off the ledge is a bit heady. Jan 15, 2012
Adam Stackhouse

  5.10a R
Adam Stackhouse    
  5.10a R
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. May 4, 2009
CO_Michael
  5.9+
CO_Michael  
  5.9+
This is a great climb. Smaller pro for sure but totally safe. A couple small cams and nuts is all you need. Jun 29, 2008
David Wang
San Francisco, CA
  5.9+ PG13
David Wang   San Francisco, CA
  5.9+ 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. Apr 28, 2007
Jay Knower
Campton, NH
  5.9+ R
Jay Knower   Campton, NH  
  5.9+ 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. Mar 27, 2007
Sirius
Oakland, CA
 
Sirius   Oakland, CA
 
I thought this one was a classic. Puta madre! Dec 30, 2005
Woody Stark
  5.10a
Woody Stark  
  5.10a
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. May 7, 2005
Woody Stark
  5.10a
Woody Stark  
  5.10a
A superb route but very tricky to place reasonable pro in the lower portion of the upper crack. I'm glad to read about the low ball. Sandbagged at nine for sure. Jan 15, 2005
I recall slinging a horn that "protected" moving right into the crack quite well. Little stoppers and a 00 TCU would be helpful. Definitely a sandbag at 5.9, but one I can appreciate. Jun 2, 2004
Randy
 
Randy  
 
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. Dec 2, 2003
Chris Re
Boise, ID
Chris Re   Boise, ID
I found that a red lowball protects the crack well. I can place it in the crack before making a move out on face. Great Climb!!! Apr 8, 2003
M. Morley
Sacramento, CA
M. Morley   Sacramento, CA  
Bolt on original (5.10) variation replaced 3/00. Jan 12, 2003