Had a nice day out with my dad, kept it light (or so we thought) doing standard routes up Challenger, then to KC via avenue, and then back and down. But I'm here to talk about the shit show that is the north ridge up Challenger. Like many, I've been seeing a lot of commentary on it, but would like to emphasize the current state of conditions for the sake of public servitude. After all, we live in a society.
I found this stretch on the North Ridge (for clarity, right as you leave the lake and begin the altitude schlepping), to be my least enjoyable 14er experience in recent memory. From a choss, slippery, and danger perspective (missile city), I honestly found the last ~600 feet to gain the ridge sketchier at times than ridge-gains like Broken Hand Pass and Little Bear up to ridge from Lake Como. Feel free to debate me and I'm not trying to be a 14er hardo here, but the point I'm making is don't look at this and think "oh Class 2, right on, I'll rip right up that with my 60 year old dad". Wrong. I'm really not trying to be dramatic, but what inspired me to write this post was a large missile came down from above on us with some SERIOUS speed, thankfully it was about ~25 yards to our climbers left, but if this thing caught someone it'd be instant bye bye. Again, I'm not trying to be dramatic, but as a disclaimer I've been smoked by couloir rock fall before and landed in the ER, so maybe I have a PTSD-driven bias that's an outlier to a statistically relevant reality. But whatever, take my commentary and decide what you wish.
Also, it seems like a lot more people these days are going north ridge up Kit and then down this shit on Challenger. That's awesome, super sick climb, but please pay attention to these posts b/c it's even worse going down. Point of this whole post is just keep your wits about you out there b/c it's a narsty, unpleasant climb in its current state. Late summer monsoons will only make it worse.