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Routes in The Monkey Skull

Amy, Good Gorilla T 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 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
Unsorted Routes:
Type: Trad, 100 ft
FA: ?Ed Gerethy/Jeffery Butterfield, 1970s?
Page Views: 1,426 total, 8/month
Shared By: Petro on Aug 8, 2003
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route


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Description

This is the crack in the face to the right of Upside the Cranium. Choose your start wisely, as the beginning is a bit chossy, and gear is not always trustworthy. I was forced left of the little roof to avoid yarding on a loose flake and would rate the moves as 5.8 R. The dihedral to the right looks easier and safer. This climb starts to get sweet at the hand to finger crack with the shrub growing out of it. Follow it up and hand traverse right and then left to gain the thin steep crack (crux) near the top of the climb. Fingerjam and crimp up this sustained crack being cautious of the attached but moving flake about half way up the crack. Finish at the chains for Upside the C. Be careful when being lowered, as a 60 meter just makes it to the ledges at the bottom. With a little more traffic, this climb will only become sweeter.

Protection

Mostly RPs and small TCUs for the crux crack.

Photos

Ross Swanson
Pinewood Springs
  5.10
Ross Swanson   Pinewood Springs
  5.10
After many visits to Monkey Skull, finally onsighted this climb. Looking down from the belay I couldn't believe all the gear I put in, but I'll tell you, I didn't notice the moving flake. My partner said he saw the flake expand when he took out the cam at its small crown. RP/HBs were useful. Nov 13, 2016
Jay Eggleston
Denver
  5.10c/d
Jay Eggleston   Denver
  5.10c/d
The loose flake flexes a little, but I doubt it will come off. The crux area has bad feet and teeny hand holds. Some holds for the feet are available to the left, basically on Upside the Cranium. May 22, 2016
Kevin P
Loveland
Kevin P   Loveland
Led this today, the pro is good but kind of hard to get in places, super thin. Bring a mess of small stoppers and cams, otherwise a standard rack up to a 3. Fun and safe. The loose flake business didn't seem to be a big deal. I had bigger problems sewing up the tiny little crack at the crux. May 22, 2016
The infomation I've uncovered is that Dan Hare and Scott Woodruff made an ascent in the 1970s, and so did Ed Gerethy/Jeffery Butterfield. Dan wasn't certain who climbed it first when I spoke with him. There's a photo in Hubbel's guide to Lyons showing "Ed Geret" (he mispelled the name) doing the supposed FA.

I'm in the final throes of finishing off my guide to SSV and NSV (it still won't likely be available until spring), and would love to hear from any of the older climbers out there who remember the early ascents in both the North and South St Vrain canyons (Jello, did you ever get that photo I sent, of the Watchtower?). Speak up now, and you can help me avoid making corrections for any later editions. Just click on my name and send an email via this site if you'd like to share info. Jun 23, 2007
ElMidd  
Scott Woodruff climbed “Fever Dance” prior to 1983-84. Jun 23, 2007
Jello  
Could be, ElMidd, but I knew most of the climbers in the area in the 70s, and though other routes like Sunshine were regular climbs (Ferguson and friend?) no one claimed/mentioned Fever Dance. Also, to get wires in on the lead, I had to clean the little crack at the top as I climbed. Of course it could have been climbed according to the grade as you say, but I don't think so. If you can find someone who says they did it earlier, no problem. It was actually disappointing to me when the bolt ladder (Upside the Cranium) went in to the left, within an arms reach of the crack.

Cheers,

Jeff Lowe Jun 23, 2007
ElMidd  
There may be some confusion here, but based on the description, rating, and photo of the routes on this wall, I'm quite sure this climb, i.e., "Fever Dance," was climbed well before 1983-84. The main trad lines on this wall had already been climbed by the mid to late seventies, as were many of the obvious trad lines throughout the canyon. Caution is in order when claiming a first ascent in an area like South Saint Vrain Canyon, where years of activity passed without reporting or documentation. Jun 20, 2007
Jello  
Steve Dieckoff and I made the first ascent of this climb in about 1983 or 4. Jun 19, 2007
Charles Vernon
Tucson, AZ
Charles Vernon   Tucson, AZ
I was a bit surprised to find that the loose flake "in the crack" *is* the crack, for about 8 feet. This is not obvious until you commit to this section. I wouldn't want to test the gear here, although it might hold. There's also an incipient crack just left of this flake that would take a bomber small cam. Oct 18, 2004
Matt Juth
Evergreen
  5.10c
Matt Juth   Evergreen
  5.10c
A fun way to do this climb is to climb the first half of Upside.. and cut across to catch the upper (and best) section. Bring your small stuff. Pro can be a little tricky. Also watch the loose flake wedged in the crack. It will move a little when you pull on it. Apr 8, 2004