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[TR] Mt Challenger- Challenger Glacier via Perfect


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Climb: Mt Challenger-Challenger Glacier via Perfect Pass


Date of Climb: 6/23-26/2005


Trip Report:

Three of us climbed Mt Challenger this past weekend, June 23-26th via Hannegan Pass, Easy Ridge, Perfect Pass, Challenger Glacier. Weather was all around us, but it held off enough for us to summit in good conditions.


Day 1: (half day, 4:15pm start) Hannegan TH to just across Chilliwack River

Day 2: Chilliwack River to Perfect Pass

Day 3: Perfect Pass to summit, and then back down and up to Easy Ridge

Day 4: Easy Ridge back out to trailhead. Reached car at 4:15pm


72 hours car to car.


Gear Notes:

3 Pickets, #6 hexcentric, .5, 1, 2 tricams, #9 and 10 nuts.


Had and used crampons but didn't really need them.


Approach Notes:

Trails are in good condition. Glacier in good condition as well, but very soft. sm_easyridge.jpgsm_summitridge.jpgsm_summitblock.jpgsm_challengersummit.jpg

Edited by peterclimb
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thanks for the TR, and congrats on your summit. perhaps someone can help me out with some more detailed information.


i tried to do this trip last year, but didn't make it to perfect pass. we followed easy ridge in fog to where it seemed we could no longer continue and began descending. based on route descriptions we were looking for a crossing 1000' below the ridge, but didn't find anything that looked okay to us until 1800'. here we found a small tent site and an easy creek crossing. the first 100-200' of gain on the other side involved some thrashing before reaching a short rock step. from here we descended back to the small tent site to camp before walking out the next day due to poor weather and apparent route finding incompetence.


based on that description, does it sound as if we were on route?

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james, to answer your specific question, from your description it sounds like you were somewhere in the valley below perfect pass. i've never dropped anywhere near that far down, so i don't know what's down there, but i suspect that with good visibility, you would have been able to get past the cliff band that stumped you and eventually been able to climb up the basin to perfect pass.


there are a number of ways to get past the imperfect impasse without losing so much altitue. there is a good discussion of the options on this thread. since this was posted, i have been in there one more time and i can confirm the 400' above the toe traverse as a good option, though quite exposed.

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There was a lot of snow coverage coming down to Perfect Pass from Whatcom. More pictures of the trip can be seen on my site:




As for gear, I used the #1 tri-cam to protect the traverse getting from the snow arete around to the base of the summit block. And on the summit block pitch (5.7) I used a nut and the hex. 20 feet of climbing then it's back to a scramble. I used the remaining gear, since I had it available, to build an anchor at the top.


We didn't waste time looking for the imperfect impasse so we just dropped down and around the ravine. We found a spot with a dirt ramp on the other side that we were able to cross over to, so we didn't have to descend the entire way.

Edited by peterclimb
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on your website there is a picture titled ravinedown. from that point were you able to cross, or did you continue descending? after descending about 1000' from easy ridge we came to a spot similar to the one in your picture where we tried to cross via a rising traverse, but the combination of wet rock and serious exposure forced us even lower.




thanks for your reply and the link. it sounds like there are many options up there.

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I took those two pictures so that someone later might be able to identify the Imperfect Impasse for me. We crossed almost 1000' lower (not certain since none of us had altimeters with us). Where we crossed, there was a short rock scramble down to the stream and then we were able to hike up a steep dirt ramp on the other side that led to some trees for about 20 feet then open heather steps. A few hundred feet higher we had to scramble up some 3rd class slabs on the left which lead to much easier terrain.


Hope that helps. We were fortunate to have clear weather when we did all this. In poor visibility/weather this routefinding would be difficult if not dangerous.



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Many thanks to Doxie and crew(Carla, Laurie and Katie) for establashing a great route across the glacier. This made our summit day much easier. We had a couple of PBRs for you at the trailhead.


As Peter describes, it was about 800 feet below the highest point on the west side of the Imperfect Impasse. as soon as you are able to cross head to the middle section of the ravine to a fairly obvious animal trail.


I am looking for a picture.



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That certainly helps. I'm confident that the 3rd class slab you describe was our turn-around point. Next time I'll have to try one of the options that Forrest and others have described, and if I can't make it happen I'll just head down to that crossover. Thanks to everyone that has helped me out with this. As you all know, it is a long way to walk to just turn around before even reaching the Pickets!

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The traverse through imperfect impasse wasn't bad. We tried to go high, but with our heavy packs and skis, decided to go low. We crossed at the obvious place below the cliffs to some trees. We hiked up those, along easy scrambling and traversed snow to get above the cliffs again. Here is a bad photo, but it shows the trees we went up. This is above the the cliffs BTW.



Edited by AllYouCanEat
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