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Knee Surgery

5.9+, Sport, 90 ft,  Avg: 2.7 from 16 votes
FA: Marty Brenner & Ross Newby
California > Central Coast > San Luis Obispo > Bishop Peak > P-Wall


This route starts next to Stage Fright, but goes up and to the left to common anchors. The moves are all there, but it's balancy and awkward in spots. The crux may actually be getting started as you step off the block over the abyss to actually get on to P-Wall itself - have your belayer stand below the start in the gully. This is a good, short route that demands your attention. The first ascentionist told me this was his first climbing activity after knee surgery, and hence the name.


I think there are four bolts, if I remember right.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Cheri Ermshar cleaning Knee Surgery 5.10a. Photo by Floyd Hayes.
[Hide Photo] Cheri Ermshar cleaning Knee Surgery 5.10a. Photo by Floyd Hayes.
Floyd Hayes leading Knee Surgery 5.10a. Photo by Cheri Ermshar.
[Hide Photo] Floyd Hayes leading Knee Surgery 5.10a. Photo by Cheri Ermshar.

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

Marty Brenner
Durango, CO
  5.10a R
[Hide Comment] I only placed three bolts. A fourth bolt would be nice for a direct finish through the bulge (probably mid.11). I'm living in CO now and won't finish that project, so have at it. The holds are sharp, but it is all there.

Also, Ross Newby should get credit for doing the first ascent with me. Sep 16, 2006
vincent L.
Redwood City
[Hide Comment] There are three bolts. the climbing after the third bolt is run out, the route is only 60 feet high so you don't need to climb far above the last bolt to be in a position to fall over half the route.

the route is good but it is mungy. doesn't seem like it gets climbed much. it is a good route to climb. Apr 2, 2008
Floyd Hayes
[Hide Comment] Good, clean route, now well protected. The first move to the bolt seemed hard from below, so I placed a big cam higher up in the gully. But then I discovered I could easily reach the bolt from the left, so after clipping the bolt I removed the cam. Despite being steep, the holds were all positive, requiring more balance than brute strength. Oct 17, 2011
John Knight
  5.9+ PG13
[Hide Comment] This is one of my favorite routes on P-Wall. Steep, well protected, relatively solid, and often in the sun. I hate to split hairs, but I think the grade is somewhere between 5.9 and 5.10a. I would encourage people getting on it for the first time to bring a couple cams (1/2" to 1" range") and shoulder length slings to protect the move to the first bolt (see Floyd's comments). Jan 21, 2012
Ryan Nevius
[Hide Comment] Some loose holds on this route. The movement is mellow and consistent. No way did it feel like 5.10 at any point though...Worth doing. Feb 27, 2012
Clay McKell
San Luis Obispo, CA
5.9 PG13
[Hide Comment] For future reference, there are now apparently two finishes to Knee Surgery. The left finish has a fourth bolt and as others have commented, feels about 5.9 or 5.9+. The right finish also has a fourth bolt and, as the FA commented, probably goes in the 5.11 range (I haven't attempted the right finish). Oct 2, 2016
Atascadero, CA
[Hide Comment] ^^^

I think the "right finish" you're referring to is actually the climb, Stage Fright.

Edit: Obviously, I was mistaken, based on the comments below. Oct 7, 2016
[Hide Comment] ^^^

Don't traverse left at the headwall, up and right on steep bolted (2?) .11a or b or so. Short power crux.

Also a route left of Knee Surgery .10d, or so, was clean but may have flora by now, named Mickey's Carnal Desire. Oct 8, 2016
Serial Crusher
A house
[Hide Comment] Just like Ken says going over the bulge is 11-. This variation has two bolts and finishes right under the anchor "Back Surgery .11b" in regard to Mr. Knight. A short crux that I thought was more sequential than powerful, but if you don't get the move just right it can turn into a powerful pull real quick. Oct 21, 2016