Type: Sport, 50 ft
FA: Jordy Morgan and Jason Campbell (1991)
Page Views: 1,197 total · 7/month
Shared By: Brian Quiter on Apr 29, 2004
Admins: Aron Quiter, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

You & This Route

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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
Did this yesterday in nice afternoon shade conditions after one "recon" burn putting up the draws.

I started on pockets on the face, moved LH up into the crimpy seam, RH on a sloper/crimp/sidepull on the arete, and big LH move into the pinch at the top of the seam to the right of the first bolt. Done this way actually felt maybe v3 (Eg, not 12b/c and nowhere near 12d). Perhaps I am actually describing the 12a start? (Some conflicting info out there, as others describe the 12a as climbing essentially on the 5.10 arete/chimney and traversing out left)

You could eliminate the arete hold and use a moderately more difficult RH bump into the pinch, using it more like a fingerlock but this isn't much harder (maybe half a V grade).

I actually thought the ~v4 crux was moving between the second and third bolts. A very bouldery iron cross move out left with no feet into two very thin crimp moves and strenuous lock-off/mantle before the undercling below the 3rd bolt (prehanging draw here is a lifesaver). One of the feet I was using crumbled away on the send go, so perhaps now this section is even harder than before.

Either way, it's a fun and sequential route! Apr 14, 2019