Ascent of Mount Challenger on 2020-07-26

Climber: Amrit Panda

Others in Party:Susan S.
Sharon C.
Date:Sunday, July 26, 2020
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Challenger
    Elevation:8207 ft / 2501 m

Ascent Trip Report

TLDR Version
- The river ford was pretty straightforward.
- The useful snow on the impasse seemed too low for a high traverse. Given the wet slabs we didn't spend any time trying to do a high traverse.
- Challenger glacier is in great shape with easy to navigate crevasses.
- If you trust pitons no need to haul any pro, 3 draws will do it.
- 30m glacier rope good for all raps.
- Tracks are from 07/26(summit day)-07/27(hike out)

Detailed TR
4-day climb of Mount Challenger

Day 1- Hannegan Pass TH to Point 5988 on Easy ridge
This was a day mostly on trails. Left the TH around 0630 hrs and made good time up Hannegan Pass. We then dropped down to cross the Chilliwack river via the Chilliwack river trail (taking a mental note that we will have to gain this ~2300' on our way back sigh!!). Slightly after you cross BM-2874 on the trail there is a cairn for the turn-off to get to the river crossing (@ 2710').
The river fording was pretty straightforward with about knee deep water level around noon.
The climber's trail from the river to Easy ridge is easy to follow - yes you are greeted by some devil's club in the beginning but no real bushwhacking involved. Once we got to the opening on the ridge at ~5100' Red face mountain was right on our face. Quick break and then we continued to camp 1 at 5988' just before approaching Easy peak.
In retrospect this was the right decision (and not to continue to Easy peak) as water sources go poof beyond Easy peak until you start dropping again.

Day 2 - Easy Ridge to Perfect Pass
We decided on a pretty relaxed start at 0730 hrs
Easy peak was true to it's name an easy and short scramble on some occasionally loose rocks. Great views from the lookout.
Only patches of snow on the ridge. We then reached the drop off point and were glad there was a nice snowfield to make the descent pleasant. We transitioned to mountaineering mode here with boots on and I glissaded this snow field until I came close to wet slabs. Given teh snow level and wet slabs, the general consensus was we should just suck it up and drop down to go around the Impasse. We dropped down along a waterfall at the end of the snowfield from the ridge. This was a mistake that landed us in some serious bushwhacking that not only gobbled up the helmet of one team members but also mandated a rappel around a tree to finally get to the bottom of the chasm. The best way is to directly shoot for the end of chasm from the snowfield (which we did on our return see attached tracks)
Easy snowfield crossing followed by a moat puzzle put us on the other side of the Impasse and up we went. Only thing to note here is to stay on the North side of Perfect pass at all times and just take the path of leas resistance avoiding wet slabs and bushwhack whenever possible. We reached the pass around 1800 hrs
Camping at Perfect pass is just....perfect :). Phenomenal views and great water sources directly from the glacier.
Summary Total Data
    Route:Easy ridge-Imperfect Impasse-Perfect Pass
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack, Stream Ford, Snow on Ground, Exposed Scramble, Rock Climb, Glacier Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Rope, Headlamp, Ski Poles, Tent Camp
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Amrit Panda
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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