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The Dome
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Umph Slot, The T 
Unsorted Routes:

The Umph Slot 

YDS: 5.10 French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 150'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10d French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 21 British: E3 5b [details]
FA: FA: Pat Ament & Wayne Goss, 5.9 A4, 1964. FFA: Chuck Pratt, 1965.
Page Views: 7,098
Submitted By: Mark Hammond on Oct 13, 2002

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Rich working the exit moves on The Umph Slot.

Seasonal Raptor Closure MORE INFO >>>


This is a novelty route. Still, it is one not to be missed. 5.8+ is traditional rating, feel free to choose your own after climbing it. Begin on left side of The Dome near Gorilla's Delight. Climb Pinnacle route, 5.10a or 5.11a, to lower right side of large A-roof and the start of the slot. Struggle to get inside (for the tunnelers) and then struggle some more to escape; head jam optional. If and when you emerge (or are reborn?), take the finger crack on the left. Go spray to your friends about how they must do it.


Normal rack, include a #4 Camalot. Perhaps, need bigger gear if climbing outside the slot (not tunneling)?

Photos of The Umph Slot Slideshow Add Photo
Frosty Weller leading the Umph Slot. Mid '80s.
Frosty Weller leading the Umph Slot. Mid '80s.
Probably the most painful route in the universe  w...
Probably the most painful route in the universe w...
Hardest 5.8 ever, awesome.
Hardest 5.8 ever, awesome.

Comments on The Umph Slot Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Feb 20, 2014
By Mark Hammond
From: Eldorado Springs, CO
Oct 13, 2002

The 150ft length is a Very Rough estimate. If you try to do it in one pitch and come up short......you have been warned.
By Cisco
Oct 14, 2002

Don't even have an illusion that this route is anywhere near 5.8+, unless your 4'2" and have no shoulders. You can also start this by going up The Owl and continuing left where you would go right to the bottom of Supersqueeze-5.6.
By Bill Wright
Oct 14, 2002

Mark must be a Hobbit or a Dwarf to get inside this route. Climbed on the outside this route is well into the 5.11 range. I recommend two #5 Camalots and a #3 Big Bro if aiding this baby (the only way I could get up it). Nothing else really fits because you can't reach in far enough to place a #4 Camalot. You do place some smaller gear at the start, but be careful you don't place it too deep and you'll need to go find Mark to retrieve it.
By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
Oct 14, 2002
rating: 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c

The way I have done it (twice) was one side in and one side out. Then you can pinch the rock bewteen your thighs for friction (we called the right side of the crack "Mrs Bubb" as a joke) while thrutching up the with arm-bars and poor jams. Be warned, if you slip in this position, you may damage "the goods. I'm a fairly small guy (5'10" 165lbs) but have VERY long arms, and I'm pretty flexible. So, I fit further in than most people and could reach further back than most who can fit in. I found the climb to tick in at about 5.10+/11-.

Very body-size dependent. Smaller people have an advantage, but so do apes with VERY long arms and big paws.
By Anonymous Coward
Oct 16, 2002

I saw Dave Miller "wine master to the stars" free solo this without chalk or shoes-no lie!!!
By david goldstein
Jun 21, 2003

Hard to give this nasty 10' stretch of climbing a difficulty or a quality rating. For one thing, it's completely size dependent. As someone who is pretty narrow front to back, I could just barely fit inside -- removing my gear sling made the difference between success and failure. As a squeeze chimney, the way I climbed it, it was considerably harder than the notorious squeeze chimney section of the Harding Slot; this would make Umph Slot at least 5.10. As an offwidth, the way someone wider would have to climb it, it's probably that much harder.

Note that most of the way there is good hand size gear (and handjams) in the back, if you can reach.

Do this back to back w/ Supersqueeze for the full on abuse program -- 20' feet of climbing that will feel like that many pitches.
By Steve Annecone
From: boulder
Oct 25, 2003
rating: 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b

This has got to be one of the nicest offwidths in Boulder (although granted, there aren't that many). I found it to be very sustained throughout the overhanging section, with very insecure arm barring and toe heel moves, until a killer chicken wing about 10 feet out can be obtained. I used a #5 Camalot and moved it along, until leaving it behind near where you can get up on the less steep upper face. I'd call this test piece 5.10d and felt it had moves as hard as the crux on Crack of Fear. Great route!
By James Beissel
From: Boulder, CO
Jul 1, 2005
rating: 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b

This climb is unratable. Stuff yourself in it and call it whatever you want. I'm about 190 and getting inside the crack isn't even an option. My chest won't fit in, but I can get some good chicken wings and work the lip gaston style with my right hand. I use a #3, #2, #5, #4.5 Camalots, with some extra #1s or #2s for the anchor. Placing a #3 low on the pitch keeps the rope out of your way if you fall out.
By Jason Price
Nov 20, 2006
rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b

I'm not a big dude--5'9", 145 lbs., and I had to climb out of the crack, chicken-winging hard with my left arm, kind of gastonneing/smearing with my right hand. Hard to believe that 15-20' of climbing gets you so thoroughly pumped! My pushing muscles--triceps/pecs (and my adductors, with regards to Mrs. Bubb!)--are aching today with nary a pain in my pulling muscles. Re: gear, we used 2 #2 Camalots low in the crack, one about 1' above the other, and a #6 Friend, pretty tipped out, 1' above that. If you aid this thing, take several #5 Camalots or #6 Friends, but for free climbing, I would say just place a #2 Camalot as high as you can and then punch it. David Goldstein is right: this thing is definitely harder than the squeeze section of the Harding Slot.
By Mike fenice
From: Boulder, CO
May 12, 2007
rating: 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b

After having butterflies in my stomach all day, I went for it. Climb this baby left side in, as if it wasn't already obvious enough. For the first 8', you can climb and place gear in the hand crack inside. I placed a red and gold Camalot to start. Once you start moving up you are forced outside by the laws of physics. Don't let that scare you, bust into a "chicken wing" it's the only way. You can also heel toe with your right foot. Place a number 6 and inch your way to the top. (on-sight Baby!)
By Joshua Merriam
From: Boulder, CO
Oct 31, 2007

Stuggle violently
up the overhanging slot.
Umph - 5.8 my @$$.
From: Santa Monica, Ca.
Feb 27, 2008
rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b

Nothin' like doing the chicken wing thing and then putting a major stress on your funny bone. I was not laughing though at this "5.8" that my partner drug me up. For me, it was probably 5.9 A1 (seconding, I grabbed the rope).
By Jay Anderson
Apr 16, 2011

I onsight free soloed this back in '77 or so, when I was a skinny kid from Laramie, total tunneler. Not barefoot but in EBs. Now, 15 lbs heavier and 34 yrs, more mature, I suspect it would the fringes for me!
By Bob Dobalina
Jun 22, 2011

The slot is really hard. Harder than any 5.10 I have ever done. And I've done my share of bombay chimney slots rated harder.
Maybe I was doing it wrong....
By slim
Jun 22, 2011
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

If you still have both of your nipples, you didn't try hard enough.... :)
By Cedar Wright
May 7, 2013

This route actually 5.8 if you find the hidden jug at the top and have a good updraft. The moves are much easier if you have a large torso and a huge ass.... Classic. Good training for The Crack of Fear... which may be 5.8 too.
By scott rourke
May 15, 2013

I wore holes through my skin at my chest and elbow, through my long sleeved shirt (the shirt did not rip). Just the friction of the shirt on my skin! Of course I didn't feel anything until I topped out. I thought that if I ever did this thing again, I'd stick a large square of moleskin on the two spots, but this is probably aid....
By Goat
From: Boulder
Sep 8, 2013
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

I don't know what 11a offwidth feels like, but I know what 10+ offwidth feels like and this was hard. I am of normal size.
By Eric Klammer
From: Boulder, CO
Feb 20, 2014

Wow. Short approach, good scenery, easy communication, engaging climbing, and "exciting" nipple and crotch stimulation make this one the better, in my opinion, "date climbs" in the Boulder region. Definitely a pitch worth considering when trying to find that perfect route to show someone new to the sport what climbing is all about and to learn the origin of the saying "if your chest isn't bleeding, you're not trying!"
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