REI Community
The Bear
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Arete (aka 3-Star Arete) S 
Bear Arete S 
Bear Crack, The T 
Bear Cub Crack T 
Bear Fingers T 
Bear's Choice S 
Beast of Burden S 
Beast, The T 
Black Hole Sun S 
Body Snatcher S 
Brazin S 
Grigio S 
Jason and the Argonauts S 
Jekyll and Hyde S 
Just Bearly T 
Kidnapped S 
Kill Uncle S 
Kodiak S 
Mark's Moderate T 
Moonshine S 
Napa Valley Party Service S 
Old And In The Way S 
Old Ghost S 
Polar Bear Spire S 
Rampage S 
Silverado Squatters S 
Smash n Grab S 
Stone Free S 
Swallow My Pride S 
Theodore Roosevelt (aka Teddy Bear) S 
Treasure Island S 
Uncle Tom S 
Ursa Major T 
Ursa Minor, aka: Guillotine Crack T 
Wayne's World S 

Kill Uncle 

YDS: 5.12b French: 7b Ewbanks: 26 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 26 British: E5 6b

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch, 50'
Original:  YDS: 5.12b French: 7b Ewbanks: 26 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 26 British: E5 6b [details]
FA: Jordy Morgan and Jason Campbell (1991)
Page Views: 1,045
Submitted By: Brian Quiter on Apr 30, 2004

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (11)
Your todo list:
Your stars:
Your rating: -none- [change]
Your ticklist: [add new tick]
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [0 people like this page.]


Kill Uncle is located just left of the center arete problem on the Bear. You can start by traversing left over a bush towards the first bolt for a 12b variation. It involves pumpy pulls with few feet until you meet the normal route.

The normal route involves a traverse to the second bolt from the arete. Use of underclings and big moves get you past the next two bolts, then the climbing eases as you finish up at the anchors.


4 bolts to hangers.To top-rope, drop your rope from the arete's anchors and clip a directional or two because of the route's constant overhang.

Comments on Kill Uncle Add Comment
Show which comments
By Jerry Dodrill
From: Bodega, CA
Nov 17, 2007

Staying right above the third bolt, linking to the Arete anchors, makes this a real classic, adds another crux move, and avoids the big hueco pod that breaks up the left finish.
By J. Albers
From: Colorado
Nov 15, 2009
rating: 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b

I am not sure what to call the grade on this route. If starting in the chimney and traversing in, than I think this would get 12a for the crux sequence. However, the obvious and natural line (which we did) started directly below and a bit left of the bolt and followed the seam up and right to the pinch at the 1st bolt. Done this way, I thought the route was somewhere in the vicinity of 12c or d. I'm not comfortable calling it 12d yet because I was pretty burned by the time I got on it, but I think it is safe to say that this is solidly harder than 12b. I also think that a stick clip is wise because the fall zone is not on level ground. Also, if you do the chimney start, I think putting a 2 foot draw on the first bolt is wise and it still keeps the leader off the deck if you blow the second clip.

I am interested in what you think Mr. Dodrill.
By Jerry Dodrill
From: Bodega, CA
Dec 1, 2009

I agee. The direct, Kill Uncle start has been more of a Kill Joy to me and feels wicked hard on bad holds/no feet. I stick clip the first bolt, climb the arete a few moves and traverse left under the big bulge toward the second bolt. Its deluxe to pre-hang the third draw and clip it from the undercling with better feet than higher up.
By Caliza
Mar 17, 2013
rating: 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b

I did what the guidebook calls Uncle Tom, starting on the arete and traversing in left at the second bolt. I've don the route twice exiting two different ways, going slightly left at the 3rd bolt and exiting directly up at third bolt with the sharp undercling. I think the left exit, which is the easiest natural exit is 11c, whereas the direct exit with the undercling falls somewhere around 11d. The direct start on the crimps tho feels like a solid 12b. The start is harder than any move on Jason.
By Renaud
From: Boulder, CO
Apr 15, 2013

I worked the direct start yesterday and got it only after a good number of attempts. Very thin and bouldery!
Definitely stick clip that first bolt unless you're super confident at the grade or really want to break your ankle :)
I would also suggest 12c for the direct start (might be a little easier if you're 6ft or taller).
If such a move was found in the middle of the route instead of the start, it would probably be considered even harder.

I also agree with Dodrill that pre-hanging the 3rd draw makes a big difference. I wasted quite a bit of energy trying to clip this bolt on my first attempt. It was much easier on the 2nd attempt with the draw in place.
By Vlad S
May 24, 2013
rating: 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b

The direct start is definitely the more obvious way to climb this route. However, it has some of the most tenuous moves on the whole cliff. 12c might be appropriate, although I must have tried it more then 5 times and was pretty tired when I finally climbed though. Glad I didn't deck while clipping the 1st bolt - stick clip is not a bad idea. If you climb the arete below the 1st bolt you are skipping this crux and doing the 12a version.

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