REI Community
Select Route:
Back Surgery S 
Black Streak S,TR 
Dark Side of the Moon T,S,TR 
Direct Exposure T,S 
Dyno Dogs S 
Energy Crisis T 
Epidural T,S,TR 
Flinging Moss at the Molson Belay S,TR 
Free For All S 
Garden Party S 
Hanging Teeth T 
Impacted Stool Crack T 
Indecent Exposure T,S 
Jump For Joy T 
Knee Surgery S 
La Leche S 
Leapin' Lizards T,S 
Letterman T 
Mickey's Carnal Desire S 
Oh My! T,S,TR 
Out of Hangers S 
P-Crack T 
P-Wall Direct T 
Poor Man's Cave (variation) T 
Poor Man's P Crack T,S 
Pump Floyd T,S 
Route Canal T 
Rusty's Cave T 
Slime and Dine T,S 
Sofa King Great T,S 
Spring Route T 
Spring Route (Direct Variation) T 
Squeeze Job T 
Stage Fright T,S 

Knee Surgery 

YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: E1 5a

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch, 90'
Original:  YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: E1 5a [details]
FA: Marty Brenner & Ross Newby
Page Views: 1,608
Submitted By: Bob Hill on Jan 1, 2002

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (13)
Your todo list:
Your stars:
Your rating: -none- [change]
Your ticklist: [add new tick]
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [0 people like this page.]
Cheri Ermshar cleaning Knee Surgery 5.10a. Photo b...


This route starts next to Stage Fright, but goes up and to the left to common anchors. The moves are all there, but it's balancy and awkward in spots. The crux may actually be getting started as you step off the block over the abyss to actually get on to P-Wall itself - have your belayer stand below the start in the gully. This is a good, short route that demands your attention. The first ascentionist told me this was his first climbing activity after knee surgery, and hence the name.


I think there are four bolts, if I remember right.

Photos of Knee Surgery Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Floyd Hayes leading Knee Surgery 5.10a. Photo by C...
Floyd Hayes leading Knee Surgery 5.10a. Photo by C...

Comments on Knee Surgery Add Comment
Show which comments
By Marty Brenner
From: Durango, CO
Sep 16, 2006
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a R

I only placed three bolts. A fourth bolt would be nice for a direct finish through the bulge (probably mid.11). I'm living in CO now and won't finish that project, so have at it. The holds are sharp, but it is all there.

Also, Ross Newby should get credit for doing the first ascent with me.
By vincent L.
From: Redwood City
Apr 2, 2008

There are three bolts. the climbing after the third bolt is run out, the route is only 60 feet high so you don't need to climb far above the last bolt to be in a position to fall over half the route.

the route is good but it is mungy. doesn't seem like it gets climbed much. it is a good route to climb.
By Floyd Hayes
Oct 17, 2011
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Good, clean route, now well protected. The first move to the bolt seemed hard from below, so I placed a big cam higher up in the gully. But then I discovered I could easily reach the bolt from the left, so after clipping the bolt I removed the cam. Despite being steep, the holds were all positive, requiring more balance than brute strength.
By John Knight
Jan 21, 2012
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a PG13

This is one of my favorite routes on P-Wall. Steep, well protected, relatively solid, and often in the sun. I hate to split hairs, but I think the grade is somewhere between 5.9 and 5.10a. I would encourage people getting on it for the first time to bring a couple cams (1/2" to 1" range") and shoulder length slings to protect the move to the first bolt (see Floyd's comments).
By Ryan Nevius
From: Estes Park, Colorado
Feb 27, 2012
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Some loose holds on this route. The movement is mellow and consistent. No way did it feel like 5.10 at any point though...Worth doing.
By Clay McKell
From: San Luis Obispo, CA
Oct 2, 2016
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13

For future reference, there are now apparently two finishes to Knee Surgery. The left finish has a fourth bolt and as others have commented, feels about 5.9 or 5.9+. The right finish also has a fourth bolt and, as the FA commented, probably goes in the 5.11 range (I haven't attempted the right finish).
By FrankPS
From: Atascadero, CA
Oct 7, 2016


I think the "right finish" you're referring to is actually the climb, Stage Fright.

Edit: Obviously, I was mistaken, based on the comments below.
By Ken Klis
Oct 8, 2016


Don't traverse left at the headwall, up and right on steep bolted (2?) .11a or b or so. Short power crux.

Also a route left of Knee Surgery .10d, or so, was clean but may have flora by now, named Mickey's Carnal Desire.
By Serial Crusher
From: A house
Oct 21, 2016

Just like Ken says going over the bulge is 11-. This variation has two bolts and finishes right under the anchor "Back Surgery .11b" in regard to Mr. Knight. A short crux that I thought was more sequential than powerful, but if you don't get the move just right it can turn into a powerful pull real quick.

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