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The Monkey Skull
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Amy, Good Gorilla T 
Casual Corner T 
Fever Dance T 
Fringe Dweller T,S,TR 
Hollow Be Thy Name T,S 
Looking for Trouble T 
Monkey Trial T,S 
Ripple S 
Skull and Bones S 
Summit Block T,S 
Sunshine Dihedral T 
Upside The Cranium S 
Unsorted Routes:

Fever Dance 

YDS: 5.10c/d French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 21 British: E3 5b

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 100'
Original:  YDS: 5.10c/d French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 21 British: E3 5b [details]
FA: ?Ed Gerethy/Jeffery Butterfield, 1970s?
Page Views: 1,423
Submitted By: Petro on Aug 9, 2003

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (10)
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Kevin leading the crack.


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.


Mostly RPs and small TCUs for the crux crack.

Photos of Fever Dance Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Worst picture ever, but you get the idea.  The dud...
Worst picture ever, but you get the idea. The dud...

Comments on Fever Dance Add Comment
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By Matt Juth
From: Evergreen
Apr 8, 2004
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

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.
By Charles Vernon
From: Tucson, AZ
Oct 18, 2004

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.
By Jello
Jun 19, 2007

Steve Dieckoff and I made the first ascent of this climb in about 1983 or 4.
By ElMidd
Jun 20, 2007

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.
By Jello
Jun 23, 2007

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.


Jeff Lowe
By ElMidd
Jun 23, 2007

Scott Woodruff climbed “Fever Dance” prior to 1983-84.
By Bernard Gillett
Jun 23, 2007

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.
By Kevin P
From: Loveland
May 22, 2016

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.
By Jay Eggleston
From: Denver
May 22, 2016
rating: 5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b

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.
By Ross Swanson
From: Pinewood Springs
Nov 13, 2016
rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b

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.

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