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The Sentinel - West Face
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Butt Buttress, The S 
Centipede, The T 
Chameleon, The T 
Desert Song T 
Flared Bear T 
Great White Buffalo T 
Illusion Dweller T 
Not for Loan T 
Rubberfat Syndrome, The TR 
Some Like It Hot T 
Where Eagles Dare T 
Where Janitors Dare T 
Worms in Your Brain T 

The Chameleon 

YDS: 5.12b French: 7b Ewbanks: 26 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 26 British: E5 6b

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 100'
Original:  YDS: 5.12b French: 7b Ewbanks: 26 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 26 British: E5 6b [details]
FA: (TR) John Bachar & Mike Lechlinksi, December 1979, FL: Dave Mayville & Paul Borne, 1989
Page Views: 2,864
Submitted By: Drewsky on Feb 10, 2008

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (8)
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Sterling Wilson on The Chameleon. Photo by David ...


This amazing line takes the second line of bolts off the ground to the right of Illusion Dweller (the first being old 1/4 inch bolts from an .11d). Tricky and challenging face climbing past five bolts constitutes the technical crux, while the 'redpoint' crux is 30 feet of gritty, flared crack that arches left to join Illusion Dweller before its crux. Shares the Illusion Dweller rappel anchor. Someone must follow to clean; descend as for Illusion Dweller WITH AT LEAST A 60M ROPE.


Approach as for Illusion Dweller; The Chameleon is about 35-40 feet to the right and starts from the ground.


Bolts and gear to 2 inches, including small to medium cams (although larger gear may possibly work). Long slings (especially under the Illusion Dweller roof) will be useful to reduce drag from the traverse.

Photos of The Chameleon Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Bolts to the right of Illusion Dweller
Bolts to the right of Illusion Dweller

Comments on The Chameleon Add Comment
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By Brad G
From: 1994 Honda Civic
Nov 29, 2010

I got through both the crux and the R section and fell on the flaring 10+ crack. I found that section to be real sandbagged so just a heads up. Fortunately that section protects well with a Green-yellow offset alien and both a .75 and 2 camolot.
By Muff
Jun 2, 2011

Albeit I attempted this on TR I would have to agree with Brad's statement. I only took one run on this route but was able to make the entire route clean until the "10+ flaring crack" this section is pump-tastic and requires a lot of brute strength. The lower section of this route which constitutes the technical crux is comprised of a stellar mix of power and techy balancy moves. The upper section with the 10+ crack is what I would consider the physical enduro crux. Definitely pre run this one on TR! Leading this route would be very proud as the gear is sparse and you would be looking at some serious air time. Amazing route overall.
By Drewsky
Dec 20, 2011

I don't know what I was smoking when I led this one. I didn't protect the flared crack for 30 feet (and, of course, the sort of funky section after the bolts end) but after a less fruitful trip up the neighboring Centipede I know that it protects well until the last 10 feet. Obviously I didn't fall or I would have been in a bit of a quandary. The vagaries of youth, I say!
By Josh Harding
From: Mariposa, Ca
Sep 29, 2012

Great route, don't agree with "R" rating. Yes, I TRed first, as recommended by Muff. The climb protects easily. I got two bomber pieces in the "R" section and another 7 pieces of bomber gear in the crack portion. Safe great climb.
By Nelson Day
From: Joshua Tree, CA
Mar 11, 2013

I agree with Muff and Drewsky. Very proud lead as the gear looks horrible/non-existent in that upper flaring crack, which felt .11'ish to me. Hats off to you who led this thing. Burly. I TR'd the Centipede and thought the shared flaring crack finish was the scariest part from a leading/protection perspective. As far as Josh H's, comment, I would love to follow you on this some time so I could see your gear beta!
By Drewsky
Jan 26, 2014

The final crack protects just fine with, I think it was, a red Camalot or two. I think when I first led this I simply didn't have the gear for the final section. I got near the end of that flared section, looked back right about 25' to my last piece and barely got through it. Exhilirating. Last year when I tried Centipede I whipped out of that flared section numerous times onto a good placement. I don't know where .10+ came from but it's not! The point here being, the gear is good at the end and decent if funky after the bolts. 'Safe' is relative here: I climbed this onsight and it was dicey for me with the gear I brought. I fully agree that lowering down it and sussing the gear would yield plenty of bomber placements.
By Alex Shainman
Feb 10, 2014

Hands-down one of the BEST pitches of it's style/grade/length in the Park! Brilliant! There's really nothing "R" about it...PG-13 for sure (if you bring a double set of mixed-brand, techy cams from tips to 2" and good footwork, you will have options). Bitchin' techy sequences through the bolts and into the crack, then you eye up this arching traverse. With the above comments, there's no spoiler that there's some business near the end of said traverse so I'll just say that was the only section where I had to get scrappy with it...You'll definitely take a good whip but you should air out and there's bomber gear, just make sure you place it properly! If you held on through the traverse and had to de-pump in Illusion Dweller, then you did it right! By JT quality standards, except just past the first bolt, this rig's got totally killer rock! Hell yeah I'm sprayin' ... She's a gem! GET'R DONE!

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