Type: Sport, 50 ft
FA: Jerry Dodrill (1998)
Page Views: 3,061 total · 17/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


The Beast starts just left of the hand crack on the left side of the Bear. Climb past 2 bolts, employing lots of lateral movement then go over the diagnol crack and continue up past the crux and two more bolts until you reach the finish. The moves are constantly interesting and make you think.


Four (now 5) bolts to cold shuts shared with Jason and the Argonauts (.12b)


- No Photos -
Jerry Dodrill
Bodega, CA
Jerry Dodrill   Bodega, CA
This route is a variation start to Jordy Morgan's route "The Beast" aka "The Gong Show" which starts up the steep crack. I bolted the Beast of Burden variation in 1996 or 1997.

NOTE: In 2005 several key holds broke on this sequential route. The start has been rebolted. There are now five bolts in total. The killer handlebar hold is gone, and a key crimp just above and left of it. I'd call the route .11c now and more sustained, which makes it better.

2018 Post Fire Edit: The first three bolts have been replaced and all are in good shape. Much loose rock was removed from the route and the crux is now very different though the grade is probably about the same; .11c. Big moves. Feb 19, 2006
Oakland CA
caughtinside   Oakland CA
One of the best routes at the crag, continuous and fun with an athletic crux. There are now 5 bolts on the route, not 4. Jun 1, 2008
davis, ca
rockpunk   davis, ca
Hrmm... I onsighted this last year. I don't think it's an 11c. 10d/11a max for the short, but funky crux sequence. Aug 7, 2009
Jerry Dodrill
Bodega, CA
Jerry Dodrill   Bodega, CA
Or you were feeling strong and read the sequence well? It was a consensus .11b until two holds broke. Definitely harder now. Enough to bump a letter grade? I thought so. Maybe not. Needs more consensus. Sep 21, 2009
Climbed this on Sunday 9/20/09. There is a jug hold right below the fourth bolt at the end of the crack (end of the traverse in from the left on Beast of Burden) that is very loose now and poised to break off in the hand of the next person who yards on it. The portion of the flake above this hold appears solid still.

In hindsight It's so loose I should have ripped it off when lowering but I don't think breaking it off poses a dangerous fall for a leader even if only the third bolt is clipped at that point. Heads up to your belayer though. Sep 21, 2009
It's official, one of the jugs on the crux is no longer in place. When I first approached it today, it was wiggling around, so I thought it better just to work it out, rather than have it drop unexpectedly on a belayer at some point in the future. The crux is conceivably still doable, as the higher jug is still in place, but as the now gone jug marked a "rest" before at the start of the crux, things might be more interesting. This route is amazing, but definitely not easier than 11c, with or without the fallen jug. Nov 8, 2009
J. Albers
J. Albers   Colorado
There seems to be a bit of a discussion on the grade, so I thought I would add my two cents. I was up there yesterday with 4 others, three of which got on this route. Here are my observations. First, this is a really nice route and the movement through the crux is quite enjoyable. Second, there is no way that this route is 10d/11a. I did the crux a second time as I lowered out, just to make sure that I could evaluate the grade. All of my partners and I came to the same consensus. We all thought this route was about 11b/c. We all thought that it was a bit stout for 11b, but not on the solid side of 11c either. If I were forced to choose, I would push it towards 'c', but just to let a potential leader know (particularly if you are short) that they should be able to pull a move or two harder than 11-. Hope this helps.
Cheers. Nov 15, 2009
Great route. Fun, sustained, moderately technical crux, but If you're able to read it quickly you shouldn't have any issues. I'm between 5'2" and 5'3" and did onsite this, but got the impression that additional reach would've been beneficial at the beginning of the crux. Aug 23, 2011
Bernard Van De Walle
San Francisco, CA
Bernard Van De Walle   San Francisco, CA
Onsighted this yesterday.
I would say that the key is to move quickly and don't hesitate too much at the crux. Also some good on the spot reading skills helps a lot.
Also this climb and the whole sector are face climbs... If that is your kind of climbing you could get it easily. Feb 24, 2013
Bruno Beltran
Stanford, CA
Bruno Beltran   Stanford, CA
Climbed this yesterday post-fire on the new bolts, thanks Jim/Jerry!

The route now seems to have a single stand-out crux move.

Balancy more than burly; seems desperate until you find the good holds.

11 or 11+ I'd say is about right, but most of my difficulties where with hold finding, not with executing the movements for the red point so I'll be interested to hear people's opinion. Apr 30, 2018
There are now two ways to do the crux of this route. If you follow the bolt pattern up the clean face as the route previously did before the fire it clocks in around 11.d and if you head up and left at the end of the traverse into the blocky jugs on the left side of the seam and then step over right Is say it’s about .11a/b. Aug 7, 2018