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Neat and Cool
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Neat and Cool 

YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 60'
Original:  YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a [details]
FA: David Lane and Perry Beckham, 1979
Page Views: 6,410
Submitted By: Peter Spindloe on Jan 20, 2007

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (191)
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Peter Croft halfway up Neat and Cool

Do not park in the residential neighborhood! Park in the designated lot MORE INFO >>>


This route climbs the steepest section of the Neat and Cool crag and is named for the now barely readable graffiti at its base.

The steepness of the route, the slippery start and fiddly initial protection makes this route a stiff lead for the grade. It initially diagonals up and left on a finger rail, then traverses back to the right on big holds. At the end of this traverse an underclinging jamming crux leads to a fine but all too short hand crack.


A couple of medium nuts and finger sized cams (maybe even tricams) protect the start. Hand and fist sized cams for the remainder. Bolted anchors are easily found at the top. The bolts are set up for belaying, not lowering, so walk off the back side.

Photos of Neat and Cool Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Finishing up the traverse right
Finishing up the traverse right
Rock Climbing Photo: Stemming the initial overhang
Stemming the initial overhang
Rock Climbing Photo: Getting started
Getting started
Rock Climbing Photo: going up to the crux with the Chief in the backgro...
going up to the crux with the Chief in the backgro...
Rock Climbing Photo: Neat and Cool
Neat and Cool
Rock Climbing Photo: Me on Neat and Cool with the Chief in the backgrou...
Me on Neat and Cool with the Chief in the backgrou...
Rock Climbing Photo: Peter Croft starting up Neat and Cool.
Peter Croft starting up Neat and Cool.

Comments on Neat and Cool Add Comment
Show which comments
By John Wilder
From: Las Vegas, NV
Jul 2, 2007
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

i'd disagree with the poster. the rock is not slippery, and the gear is bomber and plentiful.....its about .10a if you're used to bolts, if you're not, it'll feel a bit harder due to the steep nature of the route.
By Peter Spindloe
From: North Vancouver, BC
Nov 11, 2007

It's funny, I did it again a few weeks ago and found it pretty straightforward and not slippery this time. It must depend on the day, the humidity, how you feel, etc. Nevertheless, there have been some serious accidents on this climb so some people find it tough some of the time.
By Alpine Carl
Dec 27, 2007

There is a second set of bolts above the belay bolts Peter mentioned; these are rap-friendly. Rap towards the "road," not the route, for best results.
By Chris Duca
From: Havertown, PA
Jul 20, 2008
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

Led this route this past Friday, and the gear couldn't have been better. Great route, nonetheless!
By claytown
From: Boulder, CO
Aug 16, 2011

Fun climb for sure. I agree with the PG13 rating for newer trad leaders. After the initial fingers flake you should nest up some pieces before pulling past the horizontal and into the crack above in case you blow it as the initial gear won't keep you off the deck at this point. I've heard of bad accidents on this climb due to ground falls. No problem if 5.10 is routine for you but if it's your limit, stack up the gear in the horizontal. Dont read more if you don't want gear beta, otherwise you can place a #3, red alien and/or solid medium nut side by side to protect that move.

Up higher, I kept left to finish on the slab at top. You need to extend this a long ways for the master point to reach over the lip. Probably better to just go to the right anchor chains above the hand crack.
By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
Jun 4, 2012
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

Good gear opportunity, but not always easy to see or place I suppose. Juggy big moves are fine with confidence, might lead to stirring anyone who is already shaken.
By Bryan Hall
From: Portland, Oregon
Aug 11, 2012

I definitely disagree with the PG13 rating. Any route can be considered dangerous for a novice leader. There is plenty of pro to stay safe with and despite the comment about accidents occurring here the route should not have a PG13 rating.
By Mark van Eijk
Jul 22, 2015

I am not very bold, but I found the pro to be fine, just strenuous to place at times. Fortunately it's easy to step down for great rests before and after placing.

For those wondering about the gear beta, there's a bomber red C3 for the lower crux (can be backed up with a #.3 C4 a little lower) and #.75 C4 for the upper crux (pulling into the final, vertical crack). Beyond that it's straightforward.

I avoided this route for years because of its reputation, and now wish I had jumped on sooner. Maybe not as straightforward to protect as, say, the zip or exasperator, but certainly not run out.
By Ambrose Bittner
From: Seattle, WA
May 25, 2016
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

Consider leading this straight up via the platform vs. zigzagging left and then back right. It's much more aesthetic, but a more powerful move -- which also makes your gear placement more critical. You'll want an attentive belayer!
By BigRed11
Aug 31, 2016

I tried this route, fell off the lower crux, and blew a yellow mastercam that I had placed in the small roof before the traverse. Only my belayer kept me off the ground (and a boulder). I'm not a new leader and I double checked that this pro looked good before going for it.

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