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Peter Principle 

YDS: 5.10d French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 21 British: E3 5b

Type:  Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 80'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.11a French: 6c Ewbanks: 22 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 22 British: E3 5c [details]
FA: Karl Hammer, 1975
Page Views: 3,685
Submitted By: Tony B on Sep 28, 2003

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (51)
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Tyson on Peter Principle


This is the best line at the cliff, at least of the ones I did. The line starts up an easy left-facing corner/handcrack from a big table-like ledge to reach a smaller ledge (5.9?) and then continues up and right at the edge of a corner that becomes a crack, or set of cracks continueing past locks, jams, and liebacks to a crux where a lieback off of a good right hand and high foot on a seam take you to a solid jam again. The route can be protected pretty well if you take the right gear. If you like to load it up on the easier sections, consider taking a few extra cams.The route seemed to be easier than the book grade, and the crowd at the cliff (some locals) told me the former grade was not 5.11a, but 5.10. In any case, it is easier than Karl's Gym (5.10d) or Ariel.To descend, Rap 80' to the ground.


Standard Rack including cams from tiny to 3" and a set of nuts + optional tricams. You can set a TR on the bolt-anchors up above.

Photos of Peter Principle Slideshow Add Photo
Jeff cruising on Peter Principle.
Jeff cruising on Peter Principle.
Peter Principle
Peter Principle
Tyson cruxing on Peter Principle
Tyson cruxing on Peter Principle

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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Sep 3, 2015
By Anonymous Coward
Feb 22, 2005

Yeah, maybe old tahoe 5.10, I've seen many a fit sportos and jym climbers who crank 11+ face get swatted by the peterso I had to post to the comment about easier than ariel.Bring your best jamming and crack techniques and leave the egos back at the bay.

ps.. do yourself a favor and look up the meaning of the 'peter principle' sometime.

By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
Apr 20, 2006

The Peter Principle is the concept behind the book by the same name, written by Laurence J. Peter in the late 60's if I am not mistaken. I read it in 1985, coincidentally, on my first trip to this area of the country, so there was already an association in my mind and thought about it on my way up this route.
Though I was probably too young to understand some of the nuances of the book, I was able to grasp and retain the following...
Not to be confused with Murphy's Law, which states that "Anything that can go wrong, will", Laurence Peter postulated that a person is rewarded for performance by promotion, and when the performance is no longer exemplary, that the reward cycle (promotion) ends. Thus, with this in place, a person is always promoted to their level of INcompetence and all great performers in our modern world end up being mediocre in their final positions. It suggests that there must be a reward mechanism other than promotion, though the modern work force rarely pays out when a person stays in the same job, doing great work year after year.
An interesting concept and an astute observation made into a very humorous read. Sadly, it never seemed to motivate a change in promotional practices as far as I can tell, because it is still true today, about 25 years later. Still a worthy read and worthy of consideration if you are a manager of technical staff.

As for sandbagging, I think it's funny that one of you slammed me for downgrading Ariel, and admits that this route is old-school 5.10, while the other is slamming me here for downgrading this route, but at the same time saying how over-graded Ariel is...

So maybe the grades are mostly soft at this crag. Both of these routes are a good bit easier than Karl's Gym (10d), which was fair at it's grade or possibly a shave hard if this is your standard.
And nobody will die if they get on Ariel and it's harder than they expect unless they decide not to clip the bolts every 6 feet 3 times in a row...
I'm not worried about the consequences of this alleged sandbagging so much as I would worry about the consequences of grade inflation. When some poor sap that thinks these are 5.11's goes and gets on a real 5.11 that isn't as well protected- then we'll see an ugly accident.
By 426
Mar 6, 2007
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

Maybe violating rule #1, but Karls used to be 10c in the old white guide...

Like many climbs, Peter Principle can feel 5.10 once you got it dialed. When I onsighted it, it sure felt like 11...

It is more straightforward than Karls, certainly.
By Brandon14
Mar 7, 2009

This is one of the best trad climbs around in the 10+/11- rating. A great climb to train on and push your trad skills. Awesome protection
By peachy spohn
Aug 25, 2012

We could just call it 12a and be done with it? But, it is a great route with lots of fun moves! For what it's worth: I os it and it surely felt like 11 to me. Also, my friends who TRed it after me thought it was straight forward enough, but said they thought it was at least 11a.
By kolamjr
From: Tahoma, California
Dec 31, 2012

This is a great line, and one of the best cracks at Snowshed. There is also a great climb called Peter Panic between PP and Panic.
By CrimperE6
From: cheltenham, UK, SW is the BEST
Aug 24, 2015

Just think, this was done in 1975, (probably in bare feet and with 3 wires ;) Now its reduced to just another gym TR, disgusting really, and totally disrespectful to our climbing fore-fathers/sisters.
By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
Aug 24, 2015

A post script, of sorts, over a decade later.
To my chagrin, it seems that therewas quite the hullabalu over the grading of this climb at 10d vs 11a and lots of people talking about ego and injury and sandbagging...
Now, a decade later, it seems that the 11a crowd outnumbers the 10d crowd by 3:1. So it is 11a. Which we all know to be slightly easier than 10d much of the time... (As often acknowledged with a wink in mainstream climbing media.)

I'm just trying to figure now, why, if this is really 11a by a 3:1 margin, why someone thinking it might be 10d is a huge deal or massive sandbag. Is a letter grade really that distinctive? Hmmmm...
By Colonel Mustard
Sep 3, 2015
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

CrimperE6, please put your flag back in your pants. There are bolts and "convenience anchors" at this crag. It is the accepted local ethos at this "gym" and has been for decades. No need for renewed bolt battles because your aesthetic is disturbed. Go over to Star Wall and write the latest rant to be ignored by local climbers on the subject of fixed gear while you're at it.
By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
Sep 3, 2015

Sure - that's the point of consensus.
One of the comments I originally was responding to was removed due to the bigoted language in it that most adults have outgrown, so I suppose it makes my reply look strange.
I suppose my off-handed comment in the description (that the locals told me that the prior book rated it 10 not 11a) could be taken as a serious discussion, for me it was just a "well, looks like opinions differ" addition to the description. I'm just surprised that any disagreement by (*gasp*) a full letter grade would draw such ire. In any case, it is the 'net, and I suppose that nothing should surprise me.
By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
Sep 3, 2015

Reasonably recent, as I had never noticed it before. I flagged it as inappropriate due to the language and bigotry in it (not directed at me, but who cares?) One of the oritional replies (what would have been the first) was also pretty gruff, and apparently that has also been removed.
I am indifferent to the grading +/- one letter. There is no ire in that. It's a stat. I think you misunderstand the point I was trying to make. Consensus rules for sure and the point I was trying to get to was that in tons of votes, nobody deviated more than a letter grade and so I can't figure how someone cares enough about that to be calling people P%#$@s or F^%$ots, nor directing generalities such as that specifically to bay-area residents. Or for that matter, complaining about ego for either up or down grading or... Over a letter grade. When both options are printed in guidebooks.

Admin's did the service of ridding the page of the comments. Perhaps they know when the last one (that I flagged) was posted. I didn't really take care to not the date. I just found it out of place here, date notwithstanding.

Perhaps the whole discussion is now, but it is what it is. If people want to troll, they can troll, but it should remain within the bounds of dignity. I'll delete it all tomorrow now that I've (presumably) answered your question.
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