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Routes in The Monkey Skull

Amy, Good Gorilla T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Casual Corner T 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Fever Dance T 5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Fringe Dweller T,S,TR 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Hollow Be Thy Name T,S 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Looking for Trouble T 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c
Monkey Trial T,S 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Ripple S 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Skull and Bones S 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Summit Block T,S 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b R
Sunshine Dihedral T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Upside The Cranium S 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
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Type: Sport, 100 ft
FA: Alvino Pon, Hank Caylor, and Butch Pomtier, 1993.
Page Views: 6,166 total · 29/month
Shared By: Richard M. Wright on Apr 3, 2001
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

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Upside The Cranium is the best of the lines on the Monkey Skull. It begins just right of the main trad dihedral on greyish, sub-vertical rock. The route begins to steepen as you approach bolt 4 and finishes up just about vertical. No one move is all that difficult, and most moves are 5.10- until near the last bolt where a long reach on thin but good edges delivers the crux (5.10c). Worth a pair of stars for the good rock, the continuity, and the fun climbing moves on well bolted stone.


QDs only. This route reqiures either a 60m rope or double ropes, being close to 100 feet long. 9-10 draws will suffice to reach the top and a double bolt anchor.


Smidgit - Upside the Cranium is one of the finer climbs in the SSV W/ some of the SSV nicer granite next to Crooked Cross a 5.9 crack and Guided by Voices 5.9 crack. As to the rating of Upside..., not one move on it is harder than on the routes just mentioned, and the guidebook rates it 10a, why is it 10c here? Jan 1, 2001
Richard M. Wright
Lakewood, CO
Richard M. Wright   Lakewood, CO
Smidgit, felt 10c to me. Maybe I was off. I may not remember this correctly, but I thought that Rolofson also gave it 10c. Jan 1, 2001
Richard, have you done Sunshine Dihedral (just left of Upside)? It looks like an incredible line in a beautiful dihedral...there are also numerous other cracks (and one other overhanging corner called Casual Corner) on this crag that look nice...done anything else here? Just curious...I went there to climb one day in January, but the sun wasn't shining on it, so we passed...can't wait to go back soon (I want Sunshine Dihedral...hehehe). Jan 1, 2001
UTC is a brilliant line. Sunshine Dihedral is very good also... a little pumpy jamming/liebacking through crux, but get rewarded with jug and pin to clip at the lip. The 5.8 crack to the left is good moderate crack climbing, with plenty of face features to keep it sane. -dmm Jul 19, 2001
Upside the Cranium is definitely a 10+ climb very sustained, small feet and difficult clips (up high). Otherwise the edging is spectacular. The top section of the climb reminds me of "Tribal Boundaries" at the City of Rocks. Aug 20, 2001
Ken Heiser
Boulder, CO
Ken Heiser   Boulder, CO
This is one of my favorite granite sport face climbs in the boulder area. My friends and I have been calling this 5.10b for a long time now, because although it is sustained it does not have one particularly desperate move. I highly recommend this route to anyone who wants to experience really cool edging on a beutiful granite face. P.S. There really are holds up there even though it looks completely blank from the ground ;-) Apr 10, 2003
Tonya Clement
Boulder, CO
Tonya Clement   Boulder, CO
Climbed on 4.12.03. With out a doubt...the best sport route that I have done in the SSV area. Paul Findley led it and four of us got to top rope it. What a spectacular afternoon. The is one I would go back to again and again. We found it best to stay right of the bolts. A 60M rope barely reaches the ledge just off the ground. Apr 13, 2003
Matt Juth
Matt Juth   Evergreen
Where is Guided by Voices???? May 16, 2003
Bo Johnston
Bo Johnston  
10c? I recall the book giving it 10a/b. Anyways, it didn't feel like 10c. Excellent route! One of the best face climbs I clipped up in many years!! Jun 7, 2004
Ron Olsen
Boulder, CO
Ron Olsen   Boulder, CO
The best sport route I've done in South St. Vrain Canyon; a classic slab and steep face climb. 10 bolts. A 60m rope is OK, but a 70m allows lowering or rappelling all the way to the ground.

I found the crux to be from the 6th to 8th bolts; stay slightly right for the easiest line. Nov 17, 2004
Adrian Hill
Adrian Hill  
Excellent and sustained. I didn't find any particularly long reach near the top (I'm 5'8"). Agree with Ron - crux is around the 6th bolt. Stay generally slightly right of the bolts for the easiest line. Apr 18, 2005
Great line good warm up. May 26, 2005
George Bell
Boulder, CO
George Bell   Boulder, CO
This is a great route and the easiest line takes some thought. I found the crux was clipping the 7th bolt. In the summer, I'd recommend doing this route in the morning before it is in direct sun. Jun 18, 2005
Hank Caylor
Glenwood Springs, CO
Hank Caylor   Glenwood Springs, CO  
C'mon Richard, the FA goes to Alvino Pon. Not hard info to track down for a man of your caliber, I wouldn't think. Jan 6, 2007
Richard M. Wright
Lakewood, CO
Richard M. Wright   Lakewood, CO
Hmmmm. No excuses. This route was logged into the old pretty hastily. Jan 7, 2007
Cale Farnham  
Did this the other day with phil and delicately loved it! Super thin moves and had a great time figuring out the beta! My fav next to the Sunshine Dihedral. Sep 7, 2009

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