REI Community
North and West Faces
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Better than Bitter S 
Broken Thumb T 
cTr S 
Diminishing Returns T 
Falling Apart at the Seams T 
Flamin' Freddie T 
Guilt Trip T 
Hollow Man S 
Nuthin' Tuff T 
On a Whim T 
Pins and Knickers T 
Split Seam T 
Tuff Enough T 
Tuff'n Up S 
Winky and Waxman Go Bolting S 
Wrecking Ball S 

Better than Bitter 

YDS: 5.10b/c French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII ZA: 20 British: E2 5b

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch, 80'
Original:  YDS: 5.10b French: 6a+ Ewbanks: 19 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b [details]
FA: Chris Omer, Doug Roylance 1997
Page Views: 11,460
Submitted By: Nathan Fisher on May 3, 2005

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (198)
Your todo list:
Your stars:
Your rating: -none- [change]
Your ticklist: [add new tick]
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [0 people like this page.]
Scott Stevenson on lead.


Above Winky and Waxman Go Bolting is this newer bolted route. It follows the bolts to chains and is well-protected and exposed. This is Hollow Man on steroids. A great route, a must-do route... Enjoy jamming around that chockstone. This climb is similar to Hollow Man in the sense that it is pretty consistent and very vertical to slightly overhanging; it differs in the sense that there is a harder move and it has way more exposure.

Do this route!!!


7 draws for the climb and 2 more for the chains.

Photos of Better than Bitter Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Will Hurlbut on the finishing moves of Better Than...
Will Hurlbut on the finishing moves of Better Than...
Rock Climbing Photo: 2 routes, 2 climbers.
2 routes, 2 climbers.
Rock Climbing Photo: Rick leading. Stout route!
Rick leading. Stout route!
Rock Climbing Photo: Derek squeezing in a morning climb.
Derek squeezing in a morning climb.

Comments on Better than Bitter Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated May 10, 2017
By Anonymous Coward
May 10, 2005

Thought it was little harder than a .10b.Must do!
By Nathan Fisher
May 10, 2005

Here is the beta from the FA. At the ledge near the end of the climb, there are two options. 1) Stay left using the ledge 5.10c 2) Stay right---more in line with the bolts. 5.10d. I did the straight line and will stick with my 5.10b rating.
By Gary Olsen
Jun 3, 2005

Hi,This route follows a very similar line to a route done ground up, no bolts in about 1985 or so, by yours truly. Check out the Guide it is called Split Seam. Doesnt look exactly like it but kind of squeezed. Just thought you should know.
By glen kaplan
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Jun 20, 2006
rating: 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

Yeah, this is probably one of my FAVORITE climbs in BCC.

It is a flip-flop approach...
Rarely too busy...since most only do Winky...
Longish, despite the ledge above Winky...
Big, overhung moves on big tonka holds...
Still gets me pumped eventhough I could tell you that there are approximately 6 different chalked up holds near the top (right) crux that you don't even need to touch... it!

Oh, and you might as well make it a link-up with Winky's for some added bonus...

Oh x2...esteemed Gary Olsen: my take is that Split Seam is actually a bit to the right (about 10 feet) and first follows the corner/crack of the tower that forms 'Diminishing Returns', tops out past these anchors and transfers back to the main wall via some really steep, really positive climbing into a discontinuous crack system and right facing corner. then, it makes some big moves up and right, through an awesome hand/horizontal crack and finishes at the tight hands/finger crack in the roof. This climb is also about 10 feet left of Pins and Knickers (even the direct line that doesn't start next to hollow man). I'm not sure as I wasn't even climbing 20 years ago, but if you were following any type of natural pro line with 'Split Seam', you probably climbed well right of this route.
By Gary Olsen
Aug 21, 2006

Dont take my previous comments as a negative on this route. Certainly seems like this route is fun and popular; whereas, split seam was a scare fest.
By glen kaplan
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Oct 23, 2006
rating: 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

oh come on...I beg to differ!

Split Seam (or at least the trad line that is to the right of 'Better Than Bitter') is awesome! I have done it a handful of times now and it is always a blast.

Except if you choose to top-out to the right. Following the crack up and right is really fun movement, and hard...but it is scary!!!!
By Big T
From: West Jordon, Utah
Aug 17, 2007

I just went and checked out the chains at the top of this climb and noticed that each hanger has a long rapide attached to them. The south hanger has a rapide that goes right over the edge which seems like it would create a bit of leverage to pull out the bolt, also the nut on the bolt was loose or at least not tightened all the way down. Anyone else notice this? I'm not a bolter but maybe it would have been better to put the hangers on the face? Or maybe just attach a smaller rapide to the hanger.
By Mike Stearns
Jun 9, 2008

I noticed that the last bolt hanger was VERY loose. I hand tightened it as much as I could. If you are planning on doing this route soon, maybe bring a wrench and tighten that thing down. If no one has by the time I get back there, then I will.
By Tyler King
From: Salt Lake, UT
Aug 19, 2008
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

Awesome Climb. One of the best low sport 10's in the canyon! The last bolt is still a spinner. I will be returning shortly for the redpoint and will tighten the nut. I wasted too much energy searching for holds in the dark at the bottom, yes this is a pumpy climb!
By Aimee Bates
Apr 19, 2009
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

Great route! Sustained climbing, pumpy, and really fun moves. Don't forget to enjoy the view!
By Michael MacFadden
Aug 9, 2009

Just climbed this today. It looks like there was a bolt chopped right before the big horizontal crack. The climb is still perfectly safe with out this bolt. It did seem to protect the hand jam move. Does any one know why this was removed (Bad condition, unnecessary, etc?).
By Daryn Edmunds
Aug 6, 2010

This is the best 5.10 sport climb in BCC by far. Might be the best sport in BCC period. I think grade is more like 5.10d if you stay right at the end and dont step off onto the ledge up high.
By Tim Wolfe
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Jul 2, 2011
rating: 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

Good route. So popular now it is getting awefully greasy. Perhaps stout for 10b BCC grade.
By Jacob Wiglama
May 11, 2012

Fun climb! Crux is on last bolt. Everything was solid and clean.
By Peter Hayes
Jul 22, 2012
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b PG13

I give the "PG-13" because there is a distinct possibility of hitting the initial ledge if you belay from the ground with too much rope out, and the nervous leader comes off before nailing that mammoth jug below the second bolt. A fall to the sloping ledge here poses the real possibility of putting your ankles in the hurt locker.

There were 9 bolts on this when I did it a decade ago, just sayin'.

If one steps left and sits down on that ledge at the crux near the top, then the .10b is valid; however, if that ledge is artificially avoided (which would not be the case if this were simply a pitch on a big wall) and one works through the top moves with that ever-increasing pump, then the grade is pushing 5.10+..especially if one -artificially- stays to the right of the bolts at the top. This game of "elimination" could be played on any route (try doing "Hollow Man" with just the left hand) but it really comes to play on this one when several obvious options present themselves to the taxed leader working for that on-sight.

PS I beg to differ with Mr. Kaplan on the safety of "Split Seam", which is 15 feet right of "Better Than Bitter" and has no bolts. I led this and placed a lot of gear, including numerous TCU's and a fist full of RP's, and I must agree with Gary Olsen (and, Kudos to you for that ballsy FA!!) in that the climb is a scare-fest. Though one may place gear in cracks, and the gear holds up a draw, that in no way improves the quality of the rock the gear is in. I doubt the gear in this rock would hold a fall, and once a piece rips, I think there is a real possibility of decking because everything could rip. Great climb! Bad Rock! r/x rating is completely warranted.
By Jordy Hanson
May 5, 2013

Ha so fun! great holds and fun climbing! Do it!
By Garrett C
From: SL,UT
Jul 18, 2013
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

Just starting to lead 10's, so this one was an animal. Ledge before chains is so tempting, given the pump you have when you get there. Fun climb, but a little scary given how high you are before you clip that first bolt (even though you have solid jugs).

Edit: Did this climb again and must say this climb is amazing. Arguably the best at challenge. Do yourself a favor and climb BTB while every other joe schmo is standing around Hollowman. I free'd up the left side of Winky to the first bolt. Solid holds the entire way, sustained, and exposed. Classic for sure. Crux for me bolt before chains. Noticed a bunch of chalked up holds waaay out right of the bolt but there was absolutely no good holds.
By Super Fluke
From: Earth
Apr 14, 2015
rating: 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

We climbed this from the ground linking "Winky and Waxman Go Bolting" into "Better than Bitter", Achievable with a 60m rope and 10+2 draws.

I would suggest to setup belay on the ledge on top of "Winky and Waxman Go Bolting", easily accessible if you head up around to the south. This would reduce rope drag from the ground and increase risk to the first bolt, possible PG start.

3rd bolt missing. (nuts would fit here for added pro.)
5th bolt not tight, hanger spins.
Top anchors, left anchor little old and the right one looks new.

Overall a great route.
By AleSan
Sep 3, 2015

Just want to say that this is a great route. Well-deserved three stars. Lots of holds to choose from. The length, steepness, and exposure is what makes it attractive. Endurance is key to make it super enjoyable. I would rate it 10c/d. One can start it from the bottom, following the dihedral to the right of Winky and Waxman Go Bolting. You may use a couple of 0.1s up to 0.5s to protect this variation. A 70m rope will suffice to take you up and down. Please if you go up there take an adjustable wrench to remove a quicklink sitting on bolt three and to tighten the pretty loose screw holding bolt six. Enjoy this climb!
By Cassidy Thomas
From: Salt Lake City, UT
May 10, 2017

3rd bolt missing. Pretty big runout and dangerous fall if you mess it up. I would take extra pro or pass on the route until the bolt is fixed.

Mountain Project

The Definitive Climbing Resource

MTB Project

Next Generation MTB Trail Maps

Powder Project

Backcountry Ski Maps & Secret Stashes
FREE Stickers · Gyms · RSS · School of Rock · Contact · About