Type: Sport, 70 ft
FA: Alan Nelson, 1996
Page Views: 1,284 total · 6/month
Shared By: Richard M. Wright on May 17, 2001
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

28 Opinions

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Stiff Upper Lip is just as advertised, delivering the crux after the very last clip and the last roof problem. The entire left side of Highlander is composed of various roof problems, most difficult. Stiff Upper Lip is the first route encountered on the right side of the roof sector.

It takes off up a sparsely bolted slab at 5.8 to 5.9 to gain the roof system at an awkward crack that splits the first roof. Munge through the first roof to gain a second roof on huge deep flakes and great body movement. Just turn off the brain and muscle up the overlaps. Get situated below the third overlap, get the last clip, and pull a 5.12b/c (closer to c) crux while looking at anchors that are just out of reach! Thin, technical, and powerful, the crux has been avoided entirely by dropping a sling from the anchor. This is bomb-proof bolting, so hang in for the final move, there is not a chance in hell of getting hurt, just make the move.

If it were not for the easy entry slab, Stiff Upper Lip would certainly go with three stars for the big, fun, powerful moves on way overhanging stone. Bring the biceps and you'll have a blast - just save a crimp or two for the anchors. The Master of Clear Creek strikes again.


QDs only. This 70 foot roof problem needs only 8 - 9 draws and something for the double bolt anchor at the top.


11d, there is no way that this route is 5.12. No sandbag, just jugs. Nov 6, 2002
The last bolt it bad. It is pulled out a significant amount. Maybe the 'Master of [Clear Creek]' could fix his poor, 'bomb-proof bolting' job. Dec 26, 2002
Darren Mabe
Flagstaff, AZ
Darren Mabe   Flagstaff, AZ
First roof is awkward move, and I think is crux. Be careful on that clip, a short draw will cross load the biner! Backclean the couple of bolts under the roof, or extend with a runner.

Second roof is all jugs and a pumpy clip of the anchors. If you do it right, you will be clipping the anchors at your chest from a semi-positive jug above and heel hook. Aug 29, 2005
Jay Samuelson
Denver CO
Jay Samuelson   Denver CO
There's quite a bit of loose rock on this route, be careful and have an attentive belayer.

I second the comments on this being .11+ as opposed to .12-. Wind Machine felt harder, I've been on Wind Machine a few times, but had never been on this before. Regardless of the grade, it's a decent bit of fun climbing. Dec 7, 2008
J. Albers
J. Albers   Colorado
I thought the first roof was maybe 11c/d and the second roof was 12a...especially if you are short. Darren is right about clipping the anchors at your chest. I worry that the huge section of rock that makes up the jug before the final hard section will eventually come out...I pity the fools who around for that disaster.

If any locals are heading up there, the anchors could stand to be tightened down (I hand tightened the right bolt a couple of days ago). Nov 28, 2010
chatfield lake ,co
DJ RYNO   chatfield lake ,co
The route felt like 11c until the last 5 feet, which had a bouldery finish round V5. Great fun route, hold on!!! Jan 29, 2011
Mike Humphries
Arvada, CO
Mike Humphries   Arvada, CO
IMHO, and that's all it is since I hold the route equippers of CCC like Alan Nelson in the highest regard, this is the worst route I have been on in the canyon. Choss, bat shit, and filth are the names of the game on this one.

Also, the last bolt that is right smack in the middle of the dirt, bat shit mess that is sprayed on the wall, needs some attention as it's partially hanging out of the wall. Mar 14, 2013
Will Sharp
Breck, CO
Will Sharp   Breck, CO
A good route that is like 11 to the last move. The chains are hard to clip. Also this route is super hard to clean! May 6, 2014
Castle Rock, CO
aikibujin   Castle Rock, CO
I'm obviously pretty weak, since initially I couldn't even pull the first roof until I got some beta on the footwork. I thought the second roof was easier, just a big throw to an ok hold (smaller than anything else on the route), but it is very well-protected. Clipping the anchor is a different story. Someone put the draws on the anchor for me, otherwise clipping the anchor probably would've been the crux.

If the anchor was 4-5 feet to the right, it would be much easier to clip and to clean this route. Dec 3, 2016