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

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches
Original:  YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a [details]
FA: Steve Matous, 1974
Page Views: 573
Submitted By: Jesse Ryan on Sep 18, 2001

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (48)
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Jason leading skull

Dirt roads reopened as of June 2014 MORE INFO >>>


This classic line lies in the center of the SE side of Poland Hill. Scramble up to the low angle hand crack in a right-facing dihedral, then climb with determination and haste the overhanging hand crack that continues above (crux). Belay just below the wide crack. With good protection surmount the interesting slot (5.9ish) and belay atop. Walk off the back of the formation.


Standard Vedauwoo rack up to four inches, emphasizing the hand sizes. There are no anchors or bolts on this route.

Photos of Skull Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking straight up the final roof crack.
Looking straight up the final roof crack.
Rock Climbing Photo: Mitch "the muscle" Musci trying to make ...
Mitch "the muscle" Musci trying to make ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking up at the crux
Looking up at the crux
Rock Climbing Photo: Working the P1 crux.
Working the P1 crux.

Comments on Skull Add Comment
Show which comments
By Petsfed
From: Laramie, WY
May 30, 2003
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

"Interesting" is right. Watched my part do a knee bar with one leg and kicked his other leg above is head to pressure off another feature. If you're doing it right, the first part is not at all strenuous. Remember to hang from the jams and don't over do it while jamming.
By pete cogan
Aug 21, 2004

This route can easily be done in one pitch. The only reason to set a belay is if you want to clip into bird-crap coated slings in a reeking, festering spot. Not a good enough reason.
By nolteboy
From: Fort Collins, CO
Apr 18, 2005

Don't be intimidated by the steep crux on p.1 - the jams are bomber. This climb is best done in one pitch.
By Stephen Marsh
From: Thornton, CO
Sep 25, 2005
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

I really enjoy this climb - except for getting around the bird crap in the middle. Have done it twice so far, always in one pitch. The second time I had no one able to second it, so I set a belay at the top, and was able to clean all my gear easily on rappel. Just had to go around back and scramble up to get my anchor pieces. The second half looks alot harder than 10a from the ground but the hidden ledges help alot. Some #1 and .75 camalots are all you need for a quick anchor setup.
By Steve Matous
May 26, 2006

FA Steve Matous 1974, named after a skull that was found in the crack by an old raptor nest
By Brian Story
Nov 14, 2006
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

The steep hands section is classic and not to be missed. I too had trouble puzzling my way into the upper OW/chimney. Bring at least one #4 camalot size piece for the upper section. This climb should be done as one pitch.
By Luke Clarke
From: Golden
Sep 7, 2007

What sort of skull?
By Petsfed
From: Laramie, WY
Sep 23, 2008
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

Now features a pair of bolts on top. A new style #5 Camalot fits great in the top section (better and higher than an old #4 Camalot, which fits right above an awesome #3 Camalot placement), but you can also score a good looking #1 Camalot in one of the small cracks in the same area.
By cstebbins024
From: Laramie, WY
Aug 9, 2015

Skull is a fantastic route! The second part definitely felt like the crux to me and requires some beta. Tough onsighy IMO. Doing it in one pitch makes way more sense than two. I prefer to place a BD #6 in the OW section, but a #3 and #4 should be placed earlier. Enjoy!
By K Gustafson
Aug 15, 2016
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

Save BD sizes #3-6 for the offwidth roof crack. I wish I would have had a Big Bro to keep the rope from pushing my big cams into the crack during the topout. Would have placed it right next the #4. Overall, a great route which embodies the essence of Vedauwoo.

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