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Routes in The Bear

Arete (aka 3-Star Arete) S 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Bear Arete S 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Bear Crack, The T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Bear Cub Crack T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Bear Fingers T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Bear's Choice S 5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a
Beast of Burden S 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Beast, The T 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Black Hole Sun S 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Body Snatcher S 5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a
Brazin S 5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a
Grigio S 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Jason and the Argonauts S 5.12b/c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
Jekyll and Hyde S 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Just Bearly T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b R
Kidnapped S 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Kill Uncle S 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Kodiak S 5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Mark's Moderate T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a R
Moonshine S 5.13b/c 8a+ 29 X- 30 E7 6c
Napa Valley Party Service S 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Old And In The Way S 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Old Ghost S 5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b
Polar Bear Spire S 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Rampage S 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Silverado Squatters S 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Smash n Grab S 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
Stone Free S 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
Swallow My Pride S 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Theodore Roosevelt (aka Teddy Bear) S 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Treasure Island S 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Uncle Tom S 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
Ursa Major T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13
Ursa Minor, aka: Guillotine Crack T 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Wayne's World S 5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a
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Type: Trad, 120 ft, 2 pitches
FA: Mark Howe (1998)
Page Views: 2,749 total · 16/month
Shared By: Brian Quiter on Apr 29, 2004
Admins: Aron Quiter, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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Access Issue: Mt. St. Helena Crags - Fire Damage from Fall 2017 Details


Mark's Moderate begins in the very obvious wide crack in the center of the Bear. Easy chimneying brings you past the first few bolts until the crack gets narrow enough to require a little thought. After the fourth bolt, head a little right to meet the 3 bolt anchor.

The second pitch is pretty fun. It heads straight up from the anchor past three bolts, then follows an overhung crack on a very featured face.

To the right of the crack, the rock is very lose. There's also a lose side-pull block near the third bolt. So be careful and very aware if there are people at the base of the bear.


4 bolts and a piton to 3 bolt belay on ledge, then 5 bolts to 2 bolts up top. The second pitch is a little runout at times but can easily be supplemented with a 1 or 2 inch cam. The top anchors are 20 feet back from the top ledge, and the ledge is full of loose rock. It is wisest to belay from up top and to BRING HELMETS!!!!You can walk off to the left via the crystal pockets area (see area overview map) or rappell off the top of Theodore Roosevelt and do a second rappell from the 1st pitch belay ledge.


Salamanizer suchoski
Janesville Ca.
Salamanizer suchoski   Janesville Ca.  
Moderately sustained. A fall clipping almost any bolt would be a messy, bloody, twisted, agonizing.....well, not good. Made me think a bit though. Definitely not 5.9 like my guide book said. .10a/bR is more what I was thinking. Mar 15, 2006
Matteo Fiori
Mariposa, CA
Matteo Fiori   Mariposa, CA
I agree with above post; 5.9+ sustained maybe. I took it easy and went with Theodore Rooseveldt on the second pitch. Much less heady for a rookie leader. Surprisingly good rock quality, though the top needs a good sweeping! Look out below! Nov 15, 2007
daniel c
San Francisco, CA
  5.10a R
daniel c   San Francisco, CA
  5.10a R
With a .75 - 1 cam to protect between third and fourth bolt, I would take away the R but its still a little spicy. Be careful with the lichen on this route - chossiness goes down in the late summer / fall. Sustained 5.9 with 10a move over the bulge. Have fun! Enjoy the view and quiet from top. Sep 6, 2009
Jerry Dodrill
Bodega, CA
  5.10a R
Jerry Dodrill   Bodega, CA
  5.10a R
I did the second or third ascent of this with Mark back in the day. It was loose and covered in thick lichen. I swore it was .10b, and still haven't been back on it. Dec 1, 2009
If you are runout on this climb, chances are you missed one of the camouflage painted bolts, a small cam or nut will take some of the bite out of reaching the waco near the top.
P.S. I always like to point out that the climb is called "Marks Moderate", as in, Mark is moderate...the climb is hard. I remember that Eric B. made short work of the crux bulge on this. Jun 9, 2010
marc g
San Francisco, CA
  5.10a R
marc g   San Francisco, CA
  5.10a R
This was a fun, two-pitch route that was probably 5.10a. the last part of both pitches seemed kind of run out. the 1st pitch was an easy end than followed a crack to the right. The second pitch (on the right) ends with a nice arete move about 5 feet over the bolt. The top was littered with small stones that can easily rain down on the bottom belayer(s). Aug 31, 2010
Floyd Hayes
  5.10a PG13
Floyd Hayes  
  5.10a PG13
This climb offers a fun variety of climbing techniques, which is why it is now my favorite on Mt. St. Helena. It isn't runout if you use a cam or two. Pitch 1 is well protected with easy chimneying (5.6?) until it narrows at the 3rd bolt, followed by a few moves of 5.9 face climbing on the left side, then easy face climbing (5.4?) which can be protected by clipping the anchors of Lower Arete on the left and Black Hole Sun on the right (and by 0.2-1" cams). Pitch 2 has four cruxes, each steep but mercifully short followed by good stances: (1) face climbing above the 2nd bolt (look for the 3rd bolt to the right; the bolt to the left is for Teddy Bear); (2) crack climbing over a bulge well above the 3rd bolt but easy to protect with one or two 1-2" cams; (3) an arete/crack protected by the 4th bolt; and (4) a wild, slightly overhanging corner protected unnecessarily by the 5th bolt, which I didn't see until after I had placed a 3" cam. It's virtually impossible not to knock off some small flakes piling up at the top of the climb, but fortunately they're small. I recommend descending by walking left for 20' to the anchor for Teddy Bear (aka Theodore Roosevelt) and rapping 75' to the first anchor of Mark's Moderate (more comfortable than the anchor at the base of Teddy Bear), then 85' to the ground. Sep 21, 2010
Runout?? Maybe the term is height dependent ;) but i didnt feel runout at all on this. I brought a few misc pieces to supplement, but couldnt be bothered to place them. The route is too fun and thought provoking!
Dirty, but very secure the whole way. Also did Theodore Roosevelt while we were up there. Jan 3, 2012
Bruno Beltran
Stanford, CA
  5.9+ PG13
Bruno Beltran   Stanford, CA
  5.9+ PG13
Route is pretty clean now. Clipping a rusty fixed piton makes it no longer feel all that run out. Still a long way to the first anchor from the last bolt, but by then you're on easy fifth class...

Overall, pretty solid route, thoughtful and varied. My go-to for introducing my friends to the area.

Early August 2016 saw an infestation of ants at the Theodore Roosevelt anchors and a couple of the ledges on the way up, beware.... Aug 19, 2016
Christopher Clobus
San Francisco, CA
  5.9+ PG13
Christopher Clobus   San Francisco, CA
  5.9+ PG13
Stem up the chimney (there's a few bolts). Clip the old piton for mental health before truckin up an over the buldge to another bolt. After that, scramble up to the right to the three bolt anchor. Great climb IMO. Bring your stem skillz! Nov 14, 2016
Jerry Dodrill
Bodega, CA
  5.10a R
Jerry Dodrill   Bodega, CA
  5.10a R

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