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Routes in Challenger Wall

Adventure Punks T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Challenger T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b PG13
Enterprise T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c R
Explorer T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Jupiter II T 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Lost in Space T 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Right Stuff, The T 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c PG13
Space Cowboys T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13
Voyager T 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
X-15 T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c R
Type: Trad, 560 ft, 4 pitches
FA: Jay Smith and Randal Grandstaff
Page Views: 5,732 total · 46/month
Shared By: chad umbel on Oct 13, 2007
Admins: Larry DeAngelo, Justin Johnsen

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RAIN AND WET ROCK The sandstone in Red Rocks is fragile and is very easily damaged when it is wet. Details

Description

Challenger may be the first route to be established on this wall but I'm not sure. Rope up below the most central crack system on the cliff and it also has a prominent little porch of rock to lay your rack out on. You can also add two more pitches (5.8 and 5.10d) to the four described here.

Pitch 1) -5.10d: Start climbing up moderate terrain directly below the roof that marks the crux of the first pitch. Get below the roof and do some cool opposition moves to gain your position below the roof. Undercling and stem out the right side and keep your eyes peeled for a key foothold out right. Move up easier ground to a two bolt anchor with a small stance.

Pitch 2) -5.10d: climb up a nice crack and layback until it is possible to traverse right towards a little corner/alcove below the main right facing corner that marks the meat of this fine pitch. Climb up the corner using small stoppers for pro, and fingertip laybacks for skills. This eventually eases off and turns into nice hand pods and secure flared locks for about 50 ft. End at a semi hanger with two new studs. Really rad pitch.

Pitch 3) 5.10b: This pitch starts off sorta shitty but I guess is worth while. Do a big reach out right off the anchor and start your grovel through some vegetation for about twenty feet to gain a weird flaring groove. Climb this and gain better ground eventually perching up below a decent sized roof. Do some trickery and bust out the left side of this roof. Then do some more balancy stuff to gain a nice ledge with two bolts for the anchor.

Pitch 4) 5.10b: This pitch can be done one of two three ways. The original line goes up the thin right facing corner off the belay and goes up and right toward a short left facing corner. You can also hand traverse out a thin rail, no feet (5.11) right off the belay and gain the 4th pitch of Jupiter II.

We however downclimbed out right off the belay and traversed until it is possible to grab a cool undercling and crank off a few locks and holds to gain the 4th pitch of Jupiter II as well. Anyway you go it's a decent pitch of climbing with more good rock. Climb up the face with cool holds and semi hollow flakes. Offset Aliens would be nice for this pitch but can totally be done without as well.

The climbing is pretty moderate and never desperate. Make your way up toward the little left facing corner and eventually climb up the arete of this to gain another two bolt anchor with suspect tat. Watch out for the two huge loose death blocks on the left side of the corner. These would be a huge threat to the belayer if dislodged!!

Location

Do four single rope raps to get back to your pack.

Protection

A single rack up to 2" Camalot, but doubles on .5 through 1" is sorta nice. Offset Aliens could defintely be useful and HB Offsets are nice as well. A nice selection of stoppper and rp's, draws and slings as well. One 60 meter gets you up and down. ( New webbing and biners would be nice for the new bolts at the anchors.)
Jason Albino
San Francisco, CA
  5.10d PG13
Jason Albino   San Francisco, CA
  5.10d PG13
Great climb and a fun adventure. Did the approach in just about 90 min using the Handren book beta. 1 1/4 hours as stated would be pretty quick, but I could see it if you knew exactly where you were going and hiked swiftly. Bring solid approach shoes for the rocky path and boulder hopping, and consider a tight-fitting pair of climbing shoes for at least the pitches with the friction cruxes.

As a pretty solid 5.10 trad climber at 6' tall, I also felt the both the stated ratings in this page's original post, and those in the Handren book, we're a bit off. Here's my take, including the last two pitches of Jupiter, which we did as an extension as the book recommended.

BETA ALERT!

P1: 10 b/c: not much underclinging needed. Can place a ~.3/.4 right after the stuck piece, pull out right to the good right foot, then set a #1 in the lip of the crack and the rope will run fine.

P2: 10d: really delicate and thin friction crux in the main corner. Tight shoes helpful - wore my comfortable trad shoes and wished I'd brought a stiffer pair for this pitch.

P3: 10b/c PG13: pro is pretty spaced on this pitch, and the roof pull isn't strenuous but is tricky, somewhat reachy, and committing. Great pitch though, and not at all bushy. Be solid at the grade for this lead.

P4: 10 c/d: I thought the friction crux in the corner was almost as hard as the P2 crux (though shorter) - really delicate feet and not much for hands. Again, tight shoes would be helpful here for maximum friction purchase.

P5: 5.8: definitely bushy but straight up, pretty short and good pro.

P6: 10b/c: really fun but totally reasonable at 10b with a touch of good jamming technique and using the thin rails on the left wall for stemming feet. 3-4 cams in the .5-2 range will sew up the hard bit. Once it gets wide, look for the first reasonable opportunity to move left to finish the pitch. If you continue straight up before traversing out left, you'll encounter a bunch of enormous death blocks. Jan 2, 2018
Tim Wolfe
Salt Lake City, UT
  5.11a/b PG13
Tim Wolfe   Salt Lake City, UT  
  5.11a/b PG13
Pretty darn hard - every pitch. Stout for the grade. We thought the 4th pitch was the crux - we went straight up the very thin corner ending at a small roof then moving right. Both of us logged some air high on that corner turning a blank slippery bulge about 40 feet up. Have your head on for this route - luckily my partner was in the zone, I got spanked. Jun 16, 2017
David Bruneau
St. John
  5.11a
David Bruneau   St. John
  5.11a
Given grades didn't really reflect my experience. I'd say 11a, 10b/c, 10b and desperate 10c. I think P3 was the best of the lot - Go up the left crack 10 feet and traverse high into the right crack for easier climbing and bush avoidance. P1 roof was burly for the grade - maybe a hold broke. My partner got his rope stuck at the lip and had to downclimb to get it unstuck despite extending all pieces under and after the roof. Maybe use Big Wall technique and duct tape over the crack at the lip?

We placed a yellow ballnut on every pitch, as well as a few RP's here and there.

Thanks to Luke for the anchors, they look great. A bit of simul-rapping trickery was required for us to unstick the rope on P2 rap, easy to see how it could cause problems. Nov 26, 2016
Princess Mia
Vail
  5.10d PG13
Princess Mia   Vail
  5.10d PG13
Yep pitch two is a rope eater when rapping. I highly recommend rapping Jupiter. Super clean. However, the last rap leaves you 15 feet shy of the ground if you use a 70m rope….. I didn't find the down climbing that easy…… but maybe I was just tired……

I thought pitch two was glorious. Super fun body position. I didn't think the thin dihedral was that desperate……in fact I got a no hands rest in the "crux". I thought the balancy and reachy moves on pitch four being the most desperate on the whole climb. Never figured out that sequence. Oct 21, 2014
Luke Stefurak
Seattle, WA
 
Luke Stefurak   Seattle, WA
 
This route is now has Rings/Links on all anchors thanks to the ASCA and John Wilder for getting me the hardware. We rapped Jupiter II with a 70m (as mentioned above) and didn't have any issues with stuck ropes. May 2, 2014
Derek Doucet
  5.10b/c PG13
Derek Doucet  
  5.10b/c PG13
A very nice route. Well protected with small gear, including RPs. The only exception is a brief moment on P1, stemming to gain the stance below the roof. A fall here would be a possible ankle breaker. The roof itself is very well protected.

As for the route as a whole, note that "well protected" doesn't mean gear over one's head anywhere one wishes. There is certainly real climbing above pro. A competent 5.10 leader with a reasonable lead head and adequate small pro should be fine.

The grades of the pitches felt a bit off to me. I'd say p1 is more like .10b/c, and p2-4 all felt .10a-ish. The climbing is similar in character to the Alcohol Wall (Mai Tai, Gin Ricky, Rob Roy, etc.) though there is nothing as difficult or as run out as Mai Tai (which is itself pretty reasonably protected with some care).

All in all a really fun route in a gorgeous location. Apr 18, 2014
Great route! The second pitch is a rope eater. Good idea to rap left, following the secon pitch of space cowboy. Apr 13, 2014
Gargano
Oakland, CA
 
Gargano   Oakland, CA
 
Excellent route. Highly recommended. Varied climbing on solid rock.

RPs are good to bring along. Some hybrid cams would be handy in a few key spots.

We rapped Jupiter II with a single 70. No problems. Three raps. The first two are rope stretchers. Fifteen feet of easy down climbing is required on the third to get to the ground. Nov 12, 2013
jspitzer  
 
Climbed this route a couple days ago. This route follows an impressive corner system with delicate climbing at the 5.10 level. There is definitely some technical climbing above gear.

Pitch 1: Climb up broken slabs to the under cling roof. (0.4-0.5 BD cams) protects the roof move. 100ft

Pitch 2: Climb up into the thin right facing corner above the anchor. Crux is about 30ft above belay. Small gear and RP's protect this section. The crack easiest up to the anchor about 110ft. Awesome pitch.

Pitch 3: Traverse right 5ft off the belay to the next crack system. Follow up V groove with gear partially spaced to the roof. The crux is pulling the roof out left which you can get a .5 and .75 just before the roof. Just after the roof you can just a small cam or RP. Another 15ft of climbing to the anchor. 90ft pitch. I thought this was the hardness pitch and a bit bold.

Pitch 4: Technical stemming and balancing moves off the anchor for the first 30ft. Traverse right to easier terrain to the anchor. 70ft.

Can rap the route with a single 70m rope.

Doubles in small gear is very helpful. Enjoy The Challenge. Apr 15, 2013
Darren in Vegas
Las Vegas, NV
Darren in Vegas   Las Vegas, NV
Removed tattered webbing from the first two anchors and left quicklinks and biners on the bolted stations. Please leave the biners as they are there to facilitate easier rappelling, not for bootying. Better yet, replace the biners with more quicklinks and rap rings. Jun 10, 2012
another sucker getting the rope stuck...

The only warning I have is on the last rap down challenger we got our rope stuck 3 times on the thin crack near the top of the second pitch on Challenger benighting us. I swung to the right and placed 2 nuts as directionals for the pull to prevent the rope from running in the crack. After that the rope got stuck just slightly and we were able to pull hard enough to get it unstuck. The first time I unstuck our rope i was able to see the remnants of a rope in the same crack system that someone must have cut to get down.
To be honest I'm not sure if it would be better just rapping Jupiter2 with a 70m and down climbing the last 20' or so. The anchors on Jupiter2 currently do have gear to rap off. Use your judgement. Good luck. Feb 19, 2012
Andy Hansen
Longmont, Colorado
  5.10d PG13
Andy Hansen   Longmont, Colorado
  5.10d PG13
This is a superb route. Both the crux pitches felt solid for the grade and the tips crack was very radical and technical but with good locks when you need them. The last two pitches however felt slightly sandbagged and a word of caution to those of you who go up there without a full set of RP's (me)... don't forget the RP's! I would say overall the whole route clocks in at 5.10+ with the upper pitches being headier and harder than the guidebook would advertise. Excellent route, great stone, great approach! Oct 1, 2011
Rob DeZonia
  5.10d
Rob DeZonia  
  5.10d
This route is awesome! We used long runners on the gear under roof and didn't have any issues with the rope getting stuck. Definitely recomend finishing with the last two pitches of Jupiter. The super steep hand crack at the top is great and easier than it looks. Sep 4, 2011
max hasson  
 
Rope got stuck leading the first pitch, after pulling the lip care must be taken (as said) to keep the rope to climber's left of the crack, in the direction of the anchor. Second pitch crux was avoided by climbing arete to the left, still challenging but appeared easier than the (splitter) tips crack. Climbed straight up and traversed above vegetation on third pitch, rock's a little friable but fun moves and no gardening. Did the original fourth pitch option and found one hard move, maybe hardest of the route. Rope got stuck a second time after pulling the rope on the second to last rappel (also noted here). I had to run back up the second pitch (pretty fun), luckily the rope pulled the second time.

Excellent route, cool amphitheater, beautiful hike, makes me want to go back and get on X-15, Jupiter II and Adventure Punks. Dec 1, 2009
Karsten Delap
North Carolina
  5.11- PG13
Karsten Delap   North Carolina
  5.11- PG13
In my opinion the tips crack was desperate. Use a 70m rope and rap rings would be nice. Apr 1, 2009
Scotty Nelson
Boulder
Scotty Nelson   Boulder
Our rope got stuck on the 2nd to last rappel. Suggest pulling the rope to the left on this rappel.

Would be nice if someone puts some rap rings on the nice new belay bolts. Nov 20, 2008
John Wilder
Las Vegas, NV
  5.10d PG13
John Wilder   Las Vegas, NV
  5.10d PG13
definitely bring webbing for the upper anchor if you do this route- and, while we were pretty sure a 60m rope would work for the descent, some of the raps would be rope stretchers- a 70m makes it easily.

great route- dont forget the rp's! Sep 10, 2008
J. Thompson
denver, co
  5.10d
J. Thompson   denver, co
  5.10d
Warning! The roof on pitch 1 is a rope eater! I'm talking mid lead....placing a green Alien in the Choke spot might work. Or be sure to throw the rope around to the right after pullling the roof....then be very careful if you place gear after that....

Great route. Sep 9, 2008

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