REI Community
Main Wall
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Black Primo T,S 
Blue Moon T,S 
Chameleon, The T 
Cheeseburger in Paradise T 
Comes a Time T 
Dingomaniaque S 
Dr. Gizmo T 
Emotional Rescue T 
Feeling Edgy T,S 
Honey Pot Dihedral T 
Horse Play T 
Hot Wee Wee T 
Just Another 5.9 T 
Morning Glory T,S 
Opharian Complex T 
Post Office Crack T 
Rainbow Warrior S 
Savelli Express T 
Total Recall S 
White Salamander S 
Y-Crack T 
Unsorted Routes:

The Chameleon 

YDS: 5.12d French: 7c Ewbanks: 28 UIAA: IX ZA: 28 British: E6 6b PG13

   
Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 45'
Original:  YDS: 5.12d French: 7c Ewbanks: 28 UIAA: IX ZA: 28 British: E6 6b PG13 [details]
FA: John Wineburge & James Stover
Page Views: 340
Submitted By: Christian Prellwitz on Aug 21, 2016

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (1)
Your todo list:
Your stars:
Your rating: -none- [change]
Your ticklist: [add new tick]
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [0 people like this page.]
BETA PHOTO: Overview photo, with the line of the 'The Cham...

Description 

This fierce little line offers up great rock quality, technical and bouldery movement, some unique beta and a spicy run out to the anchor over a tiny, and somewhat dubious, cam placement. It is a good choice for boulderers!

Start standing to the right of the first bolt (stick clipping is highly recommended), near the start of 'White Salamander'. Move left on sidepulls to reach a good incut near the first bolt. From here, head upwards on an amazing sequence of edges, crimps, gastons, and sidepulls until reaching a large incut, a bit above the 3rd bolt. From here, angle left to gain the arete, and follow this to the two bolt anchor.

After the third bolt, the difficulties ease, but the commitment factor increases. A marginally placed small cam or two may provide a slight increase in confidence. Or you can just ignore the risk and punch it straight for the chains. If you decide not to place a cam or if the cam doesn't hold, there is groundfall potential, especially if you fall near the anchor.

Location 

This route is located immediately left of 'White Salamander'.

Protection 

This line has 3 bolts and then a long run out to the bolted anchor. This runout can be somewhat protected by a very small cam (or two possibly). Stick clipping the first bolt is highly recommended.


Comments on The Chameleon Add Comment
Show which comments
By Christian Prellwitz
From: Telluride, CO
Aug 21, 2016

In my opinion, this route would be a lot better (and probably see a bit more traffic) if another bolt or two was added. Honestly, one bolt would be enough to make it a lot safer. I understand the Ophir ethic, but not many people are going to want to risk potential groundfall over a sketchy cam placement to climb this thing. A line with a a similar set up that comes to mind is 'Secrets of Nature'. These are great lines, and I admire and respect the way in which they were established, but unfortunately the sketchy nature of the gear placements is causing these lines to fall into obscurity, with little to no traffic. I'm all for mixed gear lines with good gear, but most of the lines I'm referring to are basically sport climbs through the crux and then R/X rated through long runout sections to the anchors, in a way that seems out of character with the rest of the climb.

In 'Telluride Rocks', it actually states that there are 4 bolts on this climb. So, I'm not sure if one went missing or that information was inaccurate, but 4 bolts would be a lot nicer than the current 3.

Anyhow, if you do get on this line, it might be good to check out the gear placement before trying it ground up, as it isn't super obvious.

Edit: I recently sent 'Secrets Of Nature', and after inspecting it on top rope, I was able to find three pretty good, albeit VERY small, placements, so my opinion of the gear situation on that route did change a bit.
By Airbiscuit
Sep 5, 2016

Stover not Stevens on the FFA, and go ahead. I don't mind, and I'm sure John doesn't either at this stage of the game, although it was more his baby than mine. We were stickclipping the first bolt. It's all gas pedal through there. At the top, I can't remember if we were being lazy or just figuring if you just sent 5.12/13 (we though probably 13-), then 5.10/11 wouldn't be that big of deal - true to Ophir style. It was a good addition, it should get climbed more.
By Christian Prellwitz
From: Telluride, CO
Sep 7, 2016

John (I'm assuming), Thanks so much for reaching out and sharing your thoughts and history! I agree that if you do the bottom section, you should be able to finish the top easily (though when I climbed it, I was pumped enough that the finishing holds didn't feel quite as good), but I would hate to see someone get seriously injured if a hold broke or they happened to slip on the finishing moves. Having the run out at the finish seems anomalous compared with the bolting on the rest of the route and given the fact that it sits next to the well-bolted 'White Salamander'. In my opinion, this route is every bit as good, maybe even better, than its neighbor, and another bolt would likely increase the traffic and get it the attention it deserves, but, when I sent it recently, I was probably the first to do so in a long time. So, thanks for the approval to add a bolt. I'll let you know if/when we do that.

As for the grade, I gave it 12d, but I could see it being 13a as well. I just sent 'Secrets Of Nature' yesterday, and they felt similar in difficulty in the crux section.

Most importantly, thanks for bolting and establishing such an awesome climb. It's one of my favorites in Telluride.
By Airbiscuit
Sep 7, 2016

Thanks, I'm James, it always kinda irked me they got my name wrong in the book, but such is life. We had a great couple of year's there in the late '90s and early 2000s. So many classic routes put up by the who's who of climbing: Chouinard, Barber, Kees, Stump, Fowler, Lowe, Long, Hill, and Wilford. They're all in there. We felt honored to be there learning the way it truly should be done by climbing these masterpieces. After doing the classics, we stretched out to the fringes then finally added our own brush strokes. I helped John with "The Chameleon" and "Run Like an Antelope" (Blackout after he freed it), and he helped me with the "locals Route" high on the wall branching out from Orion Belt.

It all seems so long ago now.

I vaguely remember it being fairly easy to solo up the slab and drop a TR over The Chameleon. I also seem to remember bounce testing those small cams, and they seeming pretty good. I got to thinking about it, & John was a fairly staunch supporter of the Ophir ethic, as am I. For me, as the years pass and friends and love ones make their way to the other side, I am less and less about the danger and more into the fun & adventure. That's where I sit. John may not have softened as much as as I over the last 15 years. If you want to add a bolt, you need to ask him, Chameleon was truly his brush stroke.

He's not on here, but he goes by Johnsolo on supertopo. Hit him up. He's still as chill as ever.

And Christian, WAY PROPS that route was FIERCE!
By Christian Prellwitz
From: Telluride, CO
Sep 9, 2016

Thanks, James. So many good lines out there on this beautiful wall. I don't have anything planned in the works yet, so far as adding a bolt goes, but if the question arises, I'll reach out to John and see what his opinion is.
By Patricio Vyhmeister
Nov 13, 2016

I always wanted to contact John and James to see if the route was actually sent or just a project, because I wanted to add a bolt too. Now that I know the route was done first by James, it should remain that way, but it is a bummer that that nice piece of rock can't be taken advantage of. At this pace, it's gonna get 1 ascent every 10 or 16 years. I tested those cam placements, and they were not bomber at all, and you can totally hit the deck if you rip them out. Good job on sending it, Christian, that is a hard one.
By Christian Prellwitz
From: Telluride, CO
Nov 17, 2016

Patricio--

Thanks! It sounds like James is open to a bolt being added. We just need to ask John's permission. James provided John's contact info on Supertopo. Perhaps we should reach out. I agree that it is an excellent line that is hardly going to get any traffic if a bolt isn't added.

Mountain Project

The Definitive Climbing Resource

MTB Project

Next Generation MTB Trail Maps

Powder Project

Backcountry Ski Maps & Secret Stashes
FREE Stickers · Gyms · RSS · School of Rock · Contact · About