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YDS: 5.11+ French: 7a Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII ZA: 24 British: E4 6a

Type:  Sport, 60'
Original:  YDS: 5.11+ French: 7a Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII ZA: 24 British: E4 6a [details]
FA: FTR Pat Holt, Warren Gibbs, and Bob Haas, 1987. Don't know FFA
Page Views: 2,245
Submitted By: andy patterson on Jul 15, 2008

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (12)
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BETA PHOTO: Hard to expose the overhang and headwall in the sa...


Clamber up into the cave (easy 5th class), clip a bolt at the lip, grab some large huecos, then power into the very burly crux. Sustained climbing on beautiful rock awaits you above.


Right hand side of large cave. Heads straight up past large huecos and onto headwall of formation.


5 bolts to open shuts.

Photos of Caveman Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: The wildness that is the crux.
The wildness that is the crux.
Rock Climbing Photo: Andy Patterson leading past the crux into BRILLIAN...
Andy Patterson leading past the crux into BRILLIAN...
Rock Climbing Photo: Caveman
Rock Climbing Photo: nuff' said.
nuff' said.

Comments on Caveman Add Comment
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By andy patterson
From: Carpinteria, CA
Jul 15, 2008

The guidebook says 11c, a lot of other folks call it 12a, so I compromised by calling it 11+. Whatever it is, expect it to feel harder than other 11c's you've done.
By steve edwards
From: SLC, UT
May 18, 2009

I should give the first ascent to Wolfgang Leeb, because he bolted it, but. I actually did it first, so we'll split it, but most of the credit goes to the guys who tr'd it. We did, however, establish all the other routes here, some of which are well worth doing.

This route appears on the cover of my guide, btw. I'll agree it would be a tad hard at 11c, even if it were at the Tor fer crissakes.
By Nick Sullens
From: Yosemite/ Bishop
Aug 5, 2010

I broke a good smiley faced sidepull hold off of a pocket, might be a bit harder now, high elevenish, great climb.
By andy patterson
From: Carpinteria, CA
Oct 16, 2011

Okay, I'll be the punter and just say it: Caveman should be rated 5.12a. After said breakage, the upper headwall is noticeably harder, and thus I think it's fair to suggest bumping this already 5.11+ route into the 5.12 universe.

Had a great time out there on one of the last "summery" weekends of the season.
By Richard Shore
Feb 28, 2012
rating: 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a

Sooo good! Feels harder than the few other 11+ I've done. A wild foot-lock maneuver behind a flake above the lip of the cave was the key to unlocking the crux.
By steve edwards
From: SLC, UT
Mar 14, 2012

It's rated 12a in my guide and it was no giveaway at that even before the breakage. Not many of the climbers I've been there with have done it all I think all of them could easily do 12-.
By Will Barnes
From: Edmonton, AB
Jul 15, 2013
rating: 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a

I would still call it 11+. The crux is bouldery but it's over quick and then its only a couple more moves to the top. If there was more sustained climbing before the crux no doubt it would be 12-. Great climb!
By Timbo Stillinger
Jul 29, 2013
rating: 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a

I flashed this today on lead and have never sent a .12 anywhere on gear or bolts. Recently Ive tried leading and hung on Fun Terminal and Drive By Shooting in Yosemite and Silverback up Pine Creek and this climb is wayyyyyy easier than those .12a's. I'd say .11c/d is about right. There is no way this is the same difficulty or harder than the .11d direct finish to makunaima. Having said that this climb is SOOO FUNNNN!!!!!
By Phil Requist
Jul 29, 2013
rating: 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a

I agree with Timbo's comment. My comment here is quite similar to my comment on The Nose ( This route was originally rated 5.11c - granted that was as a TR, but there is a clip right before, and right after the crux, so that doesn't account for a full letter grade in my opinion.

It is also important to place any route's rating in context of other routes in the area. Is this route noticeably harder than the easy finish of Makunaima? Or Spiderline in Joshua Tree? How does it stack up against Power of Eating?

Letter grades are major - not minor - changes in difficulty. Let's start with this assumption (definition?) that I think everyone will agree upon: as rating go up, fewer people should be able to climb the grade. That is: more people climb 5.12a than 5.12b, than 5.12c, etc. So ask yourself: if 100 people climb 12a, how many will climb 12b? 12c? 12d? In my experience, maybe 60 will climb 12b; and 60% of those, or 36, will climb 12c; and 60% of those, or 22 will climb 12d. I think this if helpful to keep in mind when rating routes.

The only reason to change a route's rating is because it is out of line with other routes in the area. Usually, this is because the original ascentionist got it wrong, or something significant broke. Makunaima is the benchmark 11c for Santa Barbara - let's evaluate similarly rated routes in relation to it.
By steve edwards
From: SLC, UT
Apr 1, 2014

No idea what's broken or not but back when it was bolted, Wolfgang didn't get it in a day, and we'd all done Makunaima in Teva's (granted we could do it blindfolded, too). So something was hard about it. Comparing it to Drive By Shooting isn't really even the same sport, since that's a glorified slab. DBS is super hard to sort but, once you know where to go, kind of casual if you're good on your feet. This has a move that's always a move, which at the time felt a lot harder than the crux of Power. Maybe a height thing, since I've been there with Wolfie and two other solid 12 climbers who didn't do it, all short.

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