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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 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
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 5.10c 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: Sport, 50 ft
FA: Jordy Morgan and Jason Campbell (1991)
Page Views: 1,106 total · 6/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


Kill Uncle is located just left of the center arete problem on the Bear. You can start by traversing left over a bush towards the first bolt for a 12b variation. It involves pumpy pulls with few feet until you meet the normal route.

The normal route involves a traverse to the second bolt from the arete. Use of underclings and big moves get you past the next two bolts, then the climbing eases as you finish up at the anchors.


4 bolts to hangers.To top-rope, drop your rope from the arete's anchors and clip a directional or two because of the route's constant overhang.


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Jerry Dodrill
Bodega, CA
Jerry Dodrill   Bodega, CA
Staying right above the third bolt, linking to the Arete anchors, makes this a real classic, adds another crux move, and avoids the big hueco pod that breaks up the left finish. Nov 17, 2007
J. Albers
J. Albers   Colorado
I am not sure what to call the grade on this route. If starting in the chimney and traversing in, than I think this would get 12a for the crux sequence. However, the obvious and natural line (which we did) started directly below and a bit left of the bolt and followed the seam up and right to the pinch at the 1st bolt. Done this way, I thought the route was somewhere in the vicinity of 12c or d. I'm not comfortable calling it 12d yet because I was pretty burned by the time I got on it, but I think it is safe to say that this is solidly harder than 12b. I also think that a stick clip is wise because the fall zone is not on level ground. Also, if you do the chimney start, I think putting a 2 foot draw on the first bolt is wise and it still keeps the leader off the deck if you blow the second clip.

I am interested in what you think Mr. Dodrill.
Best. Nov 15, 2009
Jerry Dodrill
Bodega, CA
Jerry Dodrill   Bodega, CA
I agee. The direct, Kill Uncle start has been more of a Kill Joy to me and feels wicked hard on bad holds/no feet. I stick clip the first bolt, climb the arete a few moves and traverse left under the big bulge toward the second bolt. Its deluxe to pre-hang the third draw and clip it from the undercling with better feet than higher up. Dec 1, 2009
Caliza Rodriguez
Caliza Rodriguez  
I did what the guidebook calls Uncle Tom, starting on the arete and traversing in left at the second bolt. I've don the route twice exiting two different ways, going slightly left at the 3rd bolt and exiting directly up at third bolt with the sharp undercling. I think the left exit, which is the easiest natural exit is 11c, whereas the direct exit with the undercling falls somewhere around 11d. The direct start on the crimps tho feels like a solid 12b. The start is harder than any move on Jason. Mar 17, 2013
Boulder, CO
Renaud   Boulder, CO
I worked the direct start yesterday and got it only after a good number of attempts. Very thin and bouldery!
Definitely stick clip that first bolt unless you're super confident at the grade or really want to break your ankle :)
I would also suggest 12c for the direct start (might be a little easier if you're 6ft or taller).
If such a move was found in the middle of the route instead of the start, it would probably be considered even harder.

I also agree with Dodrill that pre-hanging the 3rd draw makes a big difference. I wasted quite a bit of energy trying to clip this bolt on my first attempt. It was much easier on the 2nd attempt with the draw in place. Apr 15, 2013
Vlad S
Vlad S  
The direct start is definitely the more obvious way to climb this route. However, it has some of the most tenuous moves on the whole cliff. 12c might be appropriate, although I must have tried it more then 5 times and was pretty tired when I finally climbed though. Glad I didn't deck while clipping the 1st bolt - stick clip is not a bad idea. If you climb the arete below the 1st bolt you are skipping this crux and doing the 12a version. May 24, 2013

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