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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: Trad, 120 ft
FA: unknown, pre-1981?
Page Views: 5,653 total · 29/month
Shared By: Michael Kullman on Oct 12, 2002
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

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This is the beautiful, large, right-facing dihedral to climber's left of Upside The Cranium. The Hubbel guidebook lists this climb as 5.10a/b. We clipped the first two bolts of UTC to protect the start. The majority of the start and lower portion of the dihedral is 5.8/9 climbing easily protected with small / medium gear. Over the last 25-30 feet, the dihedral arcs dramatically to the right across a steepening face. This makes for a fairly strenuous jamming / stemming / smearing crux rewarded by positive holds at the top of the dihedral to an easy finish. This is a high quality route, well worth doing.


Pro to 4". A #2 Camalot is oh-so-nice for the crux.
Casey Bernal
Wheat Ridge, CO
Casey Bernal   Wheat Ridge, CO
After you clip the two bolts it is runout to the start of the dihedral. If you fall on this section, you will fall about 30 feet onto a ledge. Check the hand/foot holds carefully, one shifted as I got my weight on it. Don't fall. Sweet climb. Oct 15, 2002
Actually, there is a small crack maybe 5' up and left of the second bolt that will accept a small stopper or two. I think this will keep you from cratering, but it's still a bit run out before you hit the lower portion of the dihedral. Not falling is good advice ;-) Oct 15, 2002
I looked carefully at the crack and decided it was not good enough to leave a piece in it. There are no solid placements that will stay put (the route wanders a little above there making it easier for the piece to wiggle loose). The crack if (I remember correctly) is roughly a horzontal (actually a diagonal up and right on a vertical face). Bad idea for a stopper placement. Just my opinion ... Oct 15, 2002
Michael Kullman
Michael Kullman  
I think the vertical crack I am referring to is actually intersects the horizontal crack you are talking about (think they are part of the same flake). It seemed like we had a solid small stopper placement there.

I believe you can actually see it in the picture of Sunshine Dihedral in the Hubbell guide book (pg 62 if you have it). Look directly below the small bush (kind of hard to see, almost center of photo) just to the right of the base of the dihedral, right of the climbers rope. (Of course the guy in the picture *really* ran it out, didn't bother clipping bolts, his first piece looks to be 40+ feet up....)

But in any case I do totally agree that it's still a run out to the base of the dihedral from that second bolt (even with a stopper placement above it), I should have noted that in the description, thanks for the feedback. Oct 15, 2002
Leo Paik
Westminster, Colorado
Leo Paik   Westminster, Colorado  
Somewhat reminiscent of Ruper's 1st pitch in Eldo but a mirror image and harder.

Felt hard for 10a. Today, my partner (rarely falls on 10s) took a whipper. Look for feet R at the crux. Jun 17, 2003
Matt Juth
Matt Juth   Evergreen
The old piton is gone at the top! Easier than Upside.

One insecure move. Sep 12, 2003
Leo Paik
Westminster, Colorado
Leo Paik   Westminster, Colorado  
Correction: That was Rover's 1st pitch, not Ruper's. Getting old and ... I forgot. Sep 12, 2003
Bo Johnston
Bo Johnston  
Great route! I felt like the crux up off the sloping ledge was a real test of faith. Thin toes and awkward body position makes it a pump towards the end. I was pumped at the last 10 feet but the hold give just the relief for a successful top out! I clipped the two bolts in the begining of the route too and really didn't see how people get all worked up about the runout there. Easy climbing. Jun 7, 2004
Charles Vernon
mind & body in Colorado, he…
Charles Vernon   mind & body in Colorado, he…
Best route at the crag. Really fun, wild moves out the overhang, with an exciting juggy topout. This thing has good jams, a fair # of feet, and at the top, 2 cracks to use (also, gear is great). My partner doesn't usually lead gear routes harder than 10-, and he had no problems leading this. I don't think I'd upgrade it. Oct 18, 2004
Adrian Hill
Adrian Hill  
5.10b seems about right. Protection is good - take a #4 Camalot or equivalent. No need for the pin to ever be replaced. Apr 18, 2005
George Bell
Boulder, CO
George Bell   Boulder, CO
This is perhaps the most obvious route in the entire canyon when driving down the road. Well worth it with a moderate start but pumpy and sustained crux. The poison ivy bush to the left is very green and healthy this year. Fortunately you don't need to grab anything near it, but it is only about 1 foot away in one section. Jun 18, 2005
Cale Farnham  
Loved this route! Fell at the crux but dialed in the moves and am definately comming back for the redpoint! Super pumpy lie backs to the top of the roof! Must do in the Vrain! Sep 7, 2009
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
Great route, great fun, but only 10a?? OK, well, I have a riddle for you.

Q: What goes "FFFFFFFfftffffttttt... WHUMP!!!! Argh?!?!?"
A: That's someone getting hit by a sandbag.

Solid 5.10 with the crux being getting up into the dihedral and established there on your feet. Jul 29, 2010

How did you like the flake jug thing at the end? I remember wanting desperately NOT to reef on the thing... and then desperately reefing on the thing. Pretty cool route. Jul 29, 2010
Dana Prosser
Dana Prosser   Boulder
There is a second pitch to the climb twenty feet to the climber's left of the top of P1 (same 2nd pitch as Fever Dance). You'll see a dihedral with a crack and a wide slot above. The crux of the pitch is squirming through the slot (nice to have 1 #4 Camalot or #4 Friend). After topping out, walk climber's left and then scramble down skier's left back to the ledge and rappel off the chain anchors. Jun 13, 2011
Andy Kowles
Andy Kowles   Longtuckles
Great climb! If you try to go straight in with the jams, it will feel harder...if you jam a little bit and transition to layback technique for a couple moves it feels right on at 10a. No way this is 10c!

Great climb! Great finish! Nov 13, 2012
Jay Eggleston
Jay Eggleston   Denver
You can clip the third bolt on Upside the Cranium with a long sling. Done this way, it does not feel very runout. May 22, 2016
In 1981, Mike Endicott led me up this. There were no bolts or adjacent routes, but the old fixed pin was there. I recall reading/hearing (at sometime since) that Layton Kor placed that pin.

We continued up what is now known as "Alvino's Variation," which I led. Gillett's guidebook says that Alvino and partner did the FA in 1993. It was probably climbed by Kor and/or others long before 1993, because this is the most obvious way to the top, and it is fun. Dec 6, 2016

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