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Chasing the Dragon

5.11+ A0, Trad, Aid, Alpine, 900 ft (273 m), 9 pitches, Grade IV,  Avg: 2.5 from 2 votes
FA: Reid Dowdle
Idaho > Central Idaho > Sawtooth Range > Elephant's Perch
Access Issue: Please use WAG bags for human waste and pack it out! See request from the Wilderness Ranger in the Sawtooths. Details


This route has some amazing pitches. Unfortunately, the first (crux) pitch is low angle and collects dirt and munge. But don't let this put you off. The second pitch, the Wafer of Woe, is one of the best 5.10 pitches at the Perch. Think Wheat Thin to the Stovelegs and you get the idea. Brilliant and three stars on its own! A suggested approach would be to climb easy ground left of the first pitch of Mountaineer's, trending left to a small pine tree. From here you can either clean and lead/TR the first pitch, or just climb pitch 2 and 3 as an alternate start to the Mountaineer's.


Starts approx. 100' left of Mountaineer's Route.


Standard double rack with extra small wires. Some welcome bolts protect the Wafer of Woe.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

the wafer. super good climb, bad photo
[Hide Photo] the wafer. super good climb, bad photo
the top section of the wafer
[Hide Photo] the top section of the wafer

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

Spencer Weiler
Grand Junction
[Hide Comment] Did the wafer of woe pitch as recommended for an alternate start to mtn route. Stellar, classic pitch. Bit of exaggeration to compare it to wheat thin, but still excellent. A huge pocket jug marks the start next to the first bolt down from the lone tree. Get on this one as it is wicked fun. Jul 25, 2012
[Hide Comment] The pendulum goes free at 5.12-. The bolts are a little too far left to be nice. Recommend placing 1 bolt, 1 m right, for free climbing. Jul 12, 2013
[Hide Comment] The first slab pitch will keep your attention until the end. Gear is thin and not great at the start, but holds and pro continue to appear when you need it. Not for the faint of heart. Definitely 5.11+ slabaneering. Worth doing just the first couple of pitches alone. Jan 26, 2015
[Hide Comment] P-3 involves a flared crack, which has a very sketchy thin flake in the back that's ready to come out. (I jumped off when the flake started to peel off and ripped two c3's) I'd advise avoiding this pitch until it gets cleaned out or a bolt is added to allow climbing without using the loose flake, which would likely direct-hit the belayer. Jun 27, 2016
[Hide Comment] Been on this route many times and have never seen dirt or munge on the first pitch. The topo shown for this route is very old and there has been a direct start to the right that is as clean as granite gets. Probably it was this old start that was grungy at some point. The start is low angle but that doesn't make it easy (5.11+) The 3rd pitch can easily be bypassed if the loose flake is still joining the Mountaineers Rt. for a ways. Jul 3, 2018