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Animal Instinct 

YDS: 5.12c French: 7b+ Ewbanks: 27 UIAA: IX- ZA: 27 British: E6 6b

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch, 70'
Original:  YDS: 5.12c French: 7b+ Ewbanks: 27 UIAA: IX- ZA: 27 British: E6 6b [details]
FA: Fred Knapp and Dan Hare
Page Views: 7,627
Submitted By: Brian Milhaupt on Apr 8, 2002

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Shaun Reed moving into the second crux.

Seasonal Closure MORE INFO >>>


This climb is on what is described here as the Upper Animal Wall. If you approach from the Lower Animal Wall the climb comes into view right away as the left side of the bolted arete. A good winter or evening route which sees its share of sunshine. The route starts upon a ledge 20' off the ground. To reach the ledge, you can clip the first bolt of Sun Dog with a long runner, or scramble up 5.8ish. Thin liebacks will take you through the first 3 bolts, to the first 5.12 crux. A ledge is then reached, which provides little rest before more sustained climbing using the arete on the right. The climbing eases slightly in the last 15' to the 2 bolt anchor. 70' This sustained route is a hard to redpoint (I haven't). The position is excellent.


7 draws.

Photos of Animal Instinct Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Another classic on Animal World Rock, with Animal ...
Another classic on Animal World Rock, with Animal ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Shaun Reed making the long reach on the lower crux...
Shaun Reed making the long reach on the lower crux...

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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jan 29, 2015
By Fred Knapp
Sep 16, 2003

No one has commented on this fine route? If the grade and bolts aren't [controversial], I should say that I rated the route 12b, not 12c and feel that it should be a benchmark for that grade. Also, a bolt was added by a third party (I gave permission after getting tired discussing it). I just don't want people think I'm another overbolter/overgrader. It's just that I try to use the standards of Eldorado Canyon, Rifle or American Fork.
By Richard M. Wright
From: Lakewood, CO
Sep 17, 2003
rating: 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b

Geee, Fred, how could we have let this slip by? For what it is worth, here is my impression. First, Animal Instinct is a killer line and truly worth the three stars posted here (That was the stroke). Second, it's tricky and powerful, but well worth the trouble to solve. Initially easy moves gain the base of the arete which is followed by a few straight-forward moves to a powerful undercling off progressively worsening feet. Hunker up with the undercling in the right hand (sic!) and then make a very strenuous reach right with [left] hand to an initially sloping ledge. This move seemed hard. Once established right of the arete and on the ledge, a step around left puts you on the arete proper with holds coming from both sides. We found that a couple of heel hooks worked well for this sector. In fact, a heel hook seemed essential for the last clip on the arete. Move left at the top of the arete to another hard move on largely crisp edges. This is followed by a run up to the anchor on Sun Dog. Frankly, the final 5.9 run to the anchor seemed like a full blown crux in its own right, not difficult but spooky by the time you get here. Overall: great line, interesting and difficult moves, well protected but for the end, on excellent quality Boulder Canyon granite. (***)
By Fred Knapp
Oct 1, 2003

Thanks,'s just that I was feeling so neglected....
By Richard M. Wright
From: Lakewood, CO
Oct 1, 2003
rating: 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b

We should all be so neglected. You didn't comment on the beta yourself, Fred, but was the left hand cross-through the way you had sussed out the first crux? This move seemed really powerful, has so far always stalled me, and may not even work if you don't have the ape index.
By Joe Collins
Oct 2, 2003
rating: 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b

To jump in here, Richard... the beta I used for that section was to crank from the undercling straight up with the left to a well-ticked gaston edge. My partner used a four-pad micro-crimp just below and to the left of this. Then I would quickly slap the right hand onto the groper (the one you probably cross to). This might not work if you don't have the ape index. We both initially tried the cross-through to the groper, which went more staticly, but couldn't move up from that hold.

I could buy this as being a really hard Rifle-12b, but in B.C. or C.C.C this is solid 12c.
By Richard M. Wright
From: Lakewood, CO
Oct 2, 2003
rating: 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b

Joe - Thanks for another view. We had taken a look at the gaston and decided that the feet just got worse. The cross-through leaves your right foot well placed, but requires a great deal of flex in the hips, and it's powerful. Frankly, I'd prefer it without the cross-through since that makes the move even more powerful. Next time we are up there I'll give the gaston a try. In similar situations, I've found the trickier footwork to be more successful than the more powerful solution.
By Fred Knapp
May 1, 2004

Richard - Yes, it's a long reach with the right hand.
May 10, 2004

12b? I've heard this thing called a possible 13a (duck and run), not that I'd know. Perhaps solid, very solid 12, possibly +. On the first crux, it seemed best to go up with the left hand first to the sloping gaston, and then match before slapping for better holds. Feet are terrible. Not sure how you could do the upper section without heel hooks.
By Jim Collins
Aug 23, 2004

This is a stellar route; Kudos to Fred and Dan for putting it together.

If you don't step around the corner to the right after the first crux to rest (which drops the difficulty), but instead stay to the left for a more taxing rest, then it is a comparable red point to Latest Rage at Smith Rock in Oregon, although more moves. It is a notch harder than Easy Skankin in Rifle, but a notch easier than Pretty Hate Machine. So, call it standard solid 5.12. (Certainly, no-one will call it 12a.) It would be a difficult route to onsight--very beta intensive.

Yes, you have to use lots of heel hooks, especially on the upper arête (I count four). Using these heel hooks and slapping the arête_well, you are not going to get better pure arête climbing in the Front Range.

PS: Fred: where did the added bolt go in?
By Fred Knapp
Oct 13, 2004

Jim, The added bolt when it below the bolt that protects the lower crux. It is designed to help if you blow the clip. I'm a cheapscate when it comes to bolting, at least by today's standards.
By Anonymous Coward
Nov 13, 2005

12cs at Rifle take me 5 or less tries. This one took me about 10. It is very [temperature-dependent], but I would say the crux move is as hard as any move on Vaso. It's much harder, for instance, than "Bovine Impact" at Rifle, another Fred Knapp route...It's a super good route, though, regardless of the grade. I also moved straight to the left-hand gaston from the right hand undercling, and then slapped the sloper.
By ac
Nov 14, 2005

FWIW, this may have a height dependent crux, as I did not think this was a hard-12c. I got this second try and have never sent Rifle 12c in fewer than 3 tries (Vasodilator took me about 10)
By ?????
Nov 14, 2005
rating: 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b

Sweet route, temp-dependent
By Matt Henderson
Jul 15, 2008

Phenom route - definitely 12c.
By Paul Hunnicutt
From: Boulder, CO
Oct 26, 2008

My partner sent the lower crux this way: right hand on the undercling...left hand up left to a small 2 finger lip that is sharp. Right foot on tiny dime edge and after moving the left foot up to an ok smear throws with right hand to the sloper. I could get the left hand 2 finger hold, but then couldn't release the undercling...might try the other beta here and skip this crap 2 finger hold.

Not using heel hooks on the upper section would be stout.
By Matt Battaglia
May 28, 2009
rating: 5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b

Did the sharp left hand crimp next to the first crux-clip break? It seems a lot smaller than I remember it, I hadn't been on this route for years. Maybe it was the smarmy weather. Still one of my top 5 favorite front range routes. I think 13a if you don't do the no hands rest between cruxes, 12d if you camp out on the ledge; moves are as hard (but not as painful and crimpy) as HOD to the left.
By Jesse Huey
Apr 23, 2010

I left an Ipod Nano here yesterday April 23rd 2010.... If you found it, would you please please get in touch with me... you will get infinite Karma points! 4252680126.

By Curt MacNeill
From: Boulder, CO
Mar 23, 2011

This is a magnificent route that climbs the beautiful arete. I have worked the route the last two days and felt that there were two distinct and different cruxes, one about 3 or 4 bolts out and then another near the top. There seem to be a million tick marks for feet all over the route with some fun, body tensiony heel hooking on the upper section. I copped a no-hands rest about halfway up by traversing 1 foot right at the ledge although the guidebook doesn't seem to consider this "on". Either way, it's a pumpy route and fairly consistent with the grade. As usual, you get the climbing grade controversy, I have heard that it's as low as 12b and as high as 13a. I have been climbing lots of mid to hard 12s in Rifle, Potrero, Shelf, Clear Creek, the New, etc. and feel that it's fairly consistent with the grade of 12c. Rate it what you want if it makes you feel better. Nonetheless, the route is stellar and props to the person who bolted the route! Make sure to check out Animal Magnetism close by.... I reckon that this is the best 5.11 in Boulder Canyon....
By Aleks Zebastian
From: Boulder, CO
Jan 29, 2015

Climbing friend,

I make enjoyable pumping flash of this fine route! I very much like power arete with hold of undercling shape! I take deep breath and forearms become refreshed at crux, and climbing becomes not so difficult with the correct mental state and many practicings of the 4-plan.

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