This route is right of Frontal Lobotomy, and is the middle route of three short routes enroute to multiple bolted belays about 40 feet up. This route involves clipping a bolt and making a thin face move or two to reach for a hand-sized hole in the wall. Grab this and make another move before clipping a second bolt.
The second bolt on this route is ill-positioned involving a real stretch to the left with the left hand. A fall while attempting to clip this would be as I often read, "unfortunate." I will reposition it over next time I'm there. Also, this route can be extended by clipping a qd into one of the initial belays and heading up and right from there. Two more bolts through very easy territory to a 3-bolt belay makes it more fun. Two more bolts to the top to belay at one of the upper Trough belays, complete it.
By Josh Hibbard From: Los Angeles Area, CA Mar 29, 2007 rating: 5.106b20VII-E2 5b
The guide books and the metal sign at Big Rock dub this a 5.9. However, the beginning (up to the hand-sized hole) seems more difficult than 5.9 to me. The dike provides some features for your feet, yet it is very slippery. I have climbed this route since 2003 and am guessing that a foothold broke loose making it a 5.10 route. Or, I might just be getting old and fat...
By Euan Cameron Administrator From: Redlands and Mammoth Lakes Mar 30, 2007 rating: 5.10a6a18VI+E1 5a
I agree that it is harder than 5.9. I think it is perhaps harder than the 10a just to the left.
By Bill Olszewski From: Colorado Springs, CO May 1, 2007 rating: 5.10a/b6a+19VI+E2 5b
Climbing directly through the hole is quite reachy and perhaps lends to a higher difficulty rating. You can also climb slightly to the right and traverse back to the hole, which is a little easier than straight up. But if you can reach the hole from the good stance it's definately no harder than 5.9.
revisited: Climbed this again recently and it definately seems harder than I remember. I agree Euan, harder than Frontal Lobotomy.
By C Miller Administrator Jan 25, 2008 rating: 5.10a6a18VI+E1 5a
Mind Bender video -
By Jon Leicht May 12, 2008 rating: 5.95c17VIHVS 5a R
I did not think this was as hard as 10a. maybe climbing at Santee is paying off and the little edges don't seem so little. I would give it an "R" though. You BETTER make that clip on the second bolt. It is a little off right. I don't think you would hit ground, but darn close!
By EJH From: Menifee, CA Apr 13, 2010 rating: 5.10a6a18VI+E1 5a
Definitely feels harder then Frontal Lobotomy (5.10a), but not a full grade. Feels a bit more slippery, which makes you take pause when heading through the crux.
Grade inflation seems to be infiltrating Big Rock? Like Josh Hibbard I've been climbing this route for awhile, since 1983, and while the footholds on the dike are slippery, I don't see where anything has broken off over the years. While gravity maybe exerting a greater pull on me, "Mind Bender" remains a thoughtprovoking climb on wonderfully featured orange rock.
Slick feet just past the crux caused a slide where I attempt to slow down by grabbing the hueco on the way down. Ended up just above my belayer. Bad move..It turned out alright so I wrapped it tight with tape and took another shot which was successful. It's for sure is a bit runout at the top.
By Rob Selter From: running springs Ca Apr 6, 2012