Type: Sport, 95 ft
FA: A. Miller
Page Views: 896 total · 6/month
Shared By: Aaron Miller on Jun 28, 2006
Admins: Shirtless Mike, Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Drew Chojnowski

You & This Route

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A subspecies of Homo sapiens (Homo sapiens neanderthalensis), they had bigger brains than modern day humans and were known for their advanced use of tools and culture.

Starts in center of Cave in right-facing dihedral above the slab start, shared with Spearhead. Pull through awkward and pumpy steep climbing to a break where Spearhead goes hard right to the spear-feature, trend left. Use some good underclings out left, with a good kneebar under a softball-sized block, then up the yellow stained streak to the roof. Trend right through a large but easy roof with good holds, and easily gain the upper face with an airy ( but generously-bolted) 11+ technical crux. This climb has some of everything. Good all around climbing skills are required as you will encounter crux moves of three distinctively different flavors. Very fun and rewarding.


Between Sapien and Cro-Magnon. Climb up slabs to base of roof center, just right of large steep dihedral.


12 to 13 bolts. Use long draws for bolts under steep section to reduce drag.


Keith Beckley  
Great, yet perplexing moves into the steeps. Relaxing middle....very techy stemming finish...tough last clip.. Awesome route! Nov 19, 2011
Aaron Miller
Santa Fe, NM
Aaron Miller   Santa Fe, NM
This route now has three fixed-chain draws at the steep start. Now I don't feel so obligated to climb this route every time I see some leaver-booty, and I can climb other routes in the Cave. Sheesh. Must be lots of sport climbers climbing out of their element here. Oct 13, 2012
George Perkins
The Dungeon, NM
George Perkins   The Dungeon, NM
Neanderthal's 5.11 upper thin face headwall is similar in difficulty and scariness to the upper parts of the 2 climbs to its left (Cromagnon, and, to a lesser extent, Lucy). As with Cromagnon, it's well-bolted but there's a lot of rope out by then, and it's hard for the belayer to see what's happening because of the overhang. At least 1 helpful hold broke in spring 2015 after I was done working on it, making the crux a little harder when I tried it 1 year later.

edit 2018: This is now the 2nd climb right of Cro-Magnon (a project(?) that is a direct start variation is in between). After you exit the overhanging corner, step left to stay on Neanderthal; staying straight is Spearhead (12d). Lower off the new intermediate anchor (anchor for Spearhead) if you're not feeling like doing the techy vert 11+ headwall. Jan 26, 2015