REI Community
Sex Cave
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Freezer aka The Fridge, The 
Head Cold S 
Head Like a Hole S 
Rubble S 
Stone Cold Head S 
Stone Cold Modern S 

Head Like a Hole 

YDS: 5.12d French: 7c Ewbanks: 28 UIAA: IX ZA: 28 British: E6 6b

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch
Original:  YDS: 5.12d French: 7c Ewbanks: 28 UIAA: IX ZA: 28 British: E6 6b [details]
FA: Pete Zoller, 1991
Page Views: 3,384
Submitted By: Nate Weitzel on May 1, 2001

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (22)
Your todo list:
Your stars:
Your rating: -none- [change]
Your ticklist: [add new tick]
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [1 person likes this page.]
Sean Connors climbing Head Like A Hole PHOTO: The ...

Seasonal Raptor Closures MORE INFO >>>


This is the easiest route at the Sex Cave. It goes at 12d if you use the "scary block" beta for the moves between bolts 2 and 3, keeping this section at 5.11. Or you can bypass this hold which requires a 5.12 move that adds to the overall difficulty of the route (5.13a). The "scary block" is not all that scary and couldn't come out unless you go up there with a crowbar, but since there is a reference to it in the guide I thought it should be mentioned.

Head Like a Hole is quite a sustained route, with a very tricky clipping crux near the end of the cave section, followed by a slightly runout 12a/b finish on the face. Falling here will only result in a great swing due to the overhang, but the runout does make you think a little bit. Overall a worthy route that will keep you on your toes.


6 bolts / 2 bolts (biners) anchor.

Photos of Head Like a Hole Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Sam Benedict working the moves. PHOTO: The Todd Le...
Sam Benedict working the moves. PHOTO: The Todd Le...
Rock Climbing Photo: Jimmie Redo on HLAH.  © 2008 Ken Cangi, All Right...
Jimmie Redo on HLAH. © 2008 Ken Cangi, All Right...

Comments on Head Like a Hole Add Comment
Show which comments
By Ken Cangi
From: Eldorado Springs, CO
Jul 26, 2005
rating: 5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b

This route climbs much better than it looks. The moves are sustained and interesting. Watch out for Prairie Rattlers. I once had a close encounter with one, while I had a friend on belay.
By Tom C
Apr 26, 2006

GEAR ALERT: I started work on Head Like a Hole last week. The long sling at the end of the cave has a wire gate biner that was continuously opening as I moved above the crux section. I replaced it with my own draw. If this is your draw I will re-replace it upon my completion of the route. As of right now it hangs on the second bolt of Stone Cold Modern. Furthermore, the biner on the chain draw was very difficult to clip and stuck open a few times. I have replaced this with my own biner. The biner I replaced is on the bolt that the chain draw hangs from. I will also re-replace this biner upon completion of the route. Furthermore I have x-ed a block that was used for clipping the second bolt. I was using it to clip from and it did not move for some time. On one burn I used it as a foot and noticed that it jiggled significantly. As result the X. This makes clipping in this section rather difficult as it cannot be reached from below and if climbed above risks a nasty ground fall. I plan on stick clipping myself.

BETA: This is the beta I've worked out on Head Like a Hole. It still needs work and I would appreciate any insights or technique. This might be tall-man beta as I'm six foot and plus two. I believe the beta for the traverse through the roof to be relatively self-evident. Keep your feet low and find the best slopers to clip from, they are there. CRUX. Upon moving through a rail of the worst slopers on HLAH there will be a vertical slot. Right foot down and right from this hold. Slightly mantle to rest on this right foot and clip. Bring left hand down to sloper next to slot-jug. Left foot out left (tick-marked), drop-knee and gaston a sloper on the arete. Heel hook by right hand on a sloper. Slap/squeeze a crimp that opposes the gaston a foot and a half left and slightly down. Match feet. Right foot walks through to a knee scum on the arete (wear pants or a pad). Bump to a decent clipping jug. Drop left foot entirely and clip. Left foot match. Right foot on previously used gaston and rock over on the right foot. Right hand to a shallow finger lock (pinky catch if you can). Bump left hand to a decent jug. Stand up. Left hand on the arete and bump as high as you can. Flip the finger lock to a good undercling pinch. Right foot on the clipping jug below. Stand up and set left foot on a pebble on the corner of the arete. Right hand toss to the right side of the now double arete. Left heel hook and left hand releases to a decent crimp by the anchors. Either clip here or more your feet up again to achieve a slopey jug.
By Tom C
May 8, 2006

Finished the route. The questionable draw with orange sling and pink gate biner now hangs above the first crux on stone cold modern. The other biner still hangs on the chain. Another group has placed a draw and a biner where mine used to be.
By Bart Paull
From: Boulder, CO
Mar 14, 2009
rating: 5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b

Great route. It's not any harder if you don't use the "loose block" at the bottom. Packs a punch as all the business is towards the end, and it's steeper than it looks! Very solid at the grade, more difficult than several other 13s in the canyon in my opinion.
By Adam Peters
From: Salt Lake City, Utah
Jan 19, 2013
rating: 5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b

12d/13a...classic slash grade. Great movement, fun climbing on a weird looking formation.

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