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The Catacomb
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Abbaye d'Orval T,S 
Contortionist's Forte T,S 
Crack a Smile T,S 
Gravestone S 
Headstones S 
Hot Zone, The S 
Mausoleum, The S 
Natural Born Driller S 
Saint Sixtus Scoop S 
Spider Line S 
Throw Me A Scone T 


YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch
Consensus:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Lawrence Stuemke, 1995
Page Views: 1,361
Submitted By: Michael Walker on May 25, 2002

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (25)
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BETA PHOTO: 07-27-2003.


Originally reported as "Right Sunny Niner (5.9)" in the R&I 80 (8/97) mini-guide, this short romp appears as a 5.7 in the 2001 Bernard Gillett guide. Whichever, the quality of the route is no less diminished and you'll find wonderfully varied rock along its four bolt course.

Gravestone can be found on the West side of the Catacomb (right side when descending the Catacomb trail), about half way down the Sepulcher Formation. The start can be identified by a large flake standing in front of the Sepulcher which appears as a wide tombstone when viewed from above.

The start begins behind this flake, then climb up easy shelves to the first bolt, and follow 3 bolts of crystal pinching and Needles-like knob grabbing. The anchor is off to the left above the steep climbing, a two bolt affair shared with The Mausoleum. Rap 40' to the ground.


4 bolts to a two bolt anchor.

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By ClimbandMine
Aug 5, 2002

5.7 my ass. My partner and I thought it was 5.8/8+. It's as hard, if not harder than Headstones (5.8) - the route to the right, up the hill, and almost as hard as the Mausoleum, to the left. Great route, though.
By Brian T. Wandzilak
Aug 30, 2002

I agree with Dave completely. This was not a 5.7. But don't let that discourage you. This is another great Monastery route. The moves are there, just look for your feet and pull off the small hands. This route and Mausoleum are great routes for the beginning leader at the Monastery. I start here every time I go to this place.
By James Balasalle
Jul 16, 2003
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

I'll third the notion. Harder than 5.7. I thought it was almost as hard as the route to it's left, "The Mausoleum," which is rated 5.9-. A fun route nonetheless. There is some variation in the moves too. Decent ledges down low, and pebble pinching up top. I found this a good route to practice movement and fluidity... Which is good, cause I need the practice.

Not 5.7...
By Jake Wyatt
From: Longmont, CO
Aug 3, 2003

I don't know... perhaps the moves are height-related. I'm 6'1" and my partner last weekend is 6'2", and neither of us thought it was any harder than 5.7.
By Nate Oakes
May 17, 2006
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

I'm 5'-10", and I agree with the first three. I felt like difficulty-wise, there was little to no difference between this route and Mausoleum. A good warm-up, especially with the tinier pinches near the top.
By chris deulen
From: Merriam, Kansas
May 31, 2006
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Classic Monastery sandbag slabfest. Creepy.
By Canon
Sep 2, 2012
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

NOT 5.7!
By Bruce Hildenbrand
Jan 19, 2015

In June 2014, Dale Haas and I replaced the cold shut hangers on the anchor bolts with SS hangers. We added SS quicklinks and rings. The American Safe Climbing Association - ASCA ( provided the hardware. They appreciate your support.
By Jonny d
Sep 8, 2015

Climbed it this past weekend with my son. Agree with threads above. Thought I was off-route on a 5.9. Not a confidence-builder for someone new to the Monastery. Head over to Bride to get in a real 5.7 on gneiss.

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