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The Monkey Skull
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Upside The Cranium S 
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Upside The Cranium 

YDS: 5.10b/c French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII ZA: 20 British: E2 5b

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch, 100'
Original:  YDS: 5.10c French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII ZA: 20 British: E2 5b [details]
FA: Alvino Pon, Hank Caylor, and Butch Pomtier, 1993.
Page Views: 5,580
Submitted By: Richard M. Wright on Apr 4, 2001

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Getting to the last clip on Upside the Cranium. St...


Upside The Cranium is the best of the lines on the Monkey Skull. It begins just right of the main trad dihedral on greyish, sub-vertical rock. The route begins to steepen as you approach bolt 4 and finishes up just about vertical. No one move is all that difficult, and most moves are 5.10- until near the last bolt where a long reach on thin but good edges delivers the crux (5.10c). Worth a pair of stars for the good rock, the continuity, and the fun climbing moves on well bolted stone.


QDs only. This route reqiures either a 60m rope or double ropes, being close to 100 feet long. 9-10 draws will suffice to reach the top and a double bolt anchor.

Photos of Upside The Cranium Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Getting near the top.
Getting near the top.
Rock Climbing Photo: Beautiful granite on this one.
Beautiful granite on this one.
Rock Climbing Photo: Mid winter 2001, only about 30 degrees brrrrrr!!!
Mid winter 2001, only about 30 degrees brrrrrr!!!
Rock Climbing Photo: The base of the climb.
The base of the climb.
Rock Climbing Photo: Upper third of the pitch.
Upper third of the pitch.

Comments on Upside The Cranium Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Sep 7, 2009
By Anonymous Coward
Jan 1, 2001

Smidgit - Upside the Cranium is one of the finer climbs in the SSV W/ some of the SSV nicer granite next to Crooked Cross a 5.9 crack and Guided by Voices 5.9 crack. As to the rating of Upside..., not one move on it is harder than on the routes just mentioned, and the guidebook rates it 10a, why is it 10c here?
By Richard M. Wright
From: Lakewood, CO
Jan 1, 2001

Smidgit, felt 10c to me. Maybe I was off. I may not remember this correctly, but I thought that Rolofson also gave it 10c.
By Matt Bauman
Jan 1, 2001

Richard, have you done Sunshine Dihedral (just left of Upside)? It looks like an incredible line in a beautiful dihedral...there are also numerous other cracks (and one other overhanging corner called Casual Corner) on this crag that look nice...done anything else here? Just curious...I went there to climb one day in January, but the sun wasn't shining on it, so we passed...can't wait to go back soon (I want Sunshine Dihedral...hehehe).
By Anonymous Coward
Jul 19, 2001

UTC is a brilliant line. Sunshine Dihedral is very good also... a little pumpy jamming/liebacking through crux, but get rewarded with jug and pin to clip at the lip. The 5.8 crack to the left is good moderate crack climbing, with plenty of face features to keep it sane. -dmm
By Anonymous Coward
Aug 20, 2001

Upside the Cranium is definitely a 10+ climb very sustained, small feet and difficult clips (up high). Otherwise the edging is spectacular. The top section of the climb reminds me of "Tribal Boundaries" at the City of Rocks.
By Ken Heiser
From: Boulder, CO
Apr 10, 2003

This is one of my favorite granite sport face climbs in the boulder area. My friends and I have been calling this 5.10b for a long time now, because although it is sustained it does not have one particularly desperate move. I highly recommend this route to anyone who wants to experience really cool edging on a beutiful granite face. P.S. There really are holds up there even though it looks completely blank from the ground ;-)
By Tonya Clement
From: Boulder, CO
Apr 13, 2003

Climbed on 4.12.03. With out a doubt...the best sport route that I have done in the SSV area. Paul Findley led it and four of us got to top rope it. What a spectacular afternoon. The is one I would go back to again and again. We found it best to stay right of the bolts. A 60M rope barely reaches the ledge just off the ground.
By Matt Juth
From: Evergreen
May 16, 2003

Where is Guided by Voices????
By Bo Johnston
Jun 7, 2004
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

10c? I recall the book giving it 10a/b. Anyways, it didn't feel like 10c. Excellent route! One of the best face climbs I clipped up in many years!!
By Ron Olsen
From: Boulder, CO
Nov 17, 2004
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

The best sport route I've done in South St. Vrain Canyon; a classic slab and steep face climb. 10 bolts. A 60m rope is OK, but a 70m allows lowering or rappelling all the way to the ground.

I found the crux to be from the 6th to 8th bolts; stay slightly right for the easiest line.
By Adrian Hill
Apr 18, 2005
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

Excellent and sustained. I didn't find any particularly long reach near the top (I'm 5'8"). Agree with Ron - crux is around the 6th bolt. Stay generally slightly right of the bolts for the easiest line.
By Anonymous Coward
May 26, 2005

Great line good warm up.
By George Bell
From: Boulder, CO
Jun 18, 2005

This is a great route and the easiest line takes some thought. I found the crux was clipping the 7th bolt. In the summer, I'd recommend doing this route in the morning before it is in direct sun.
By Hank Caylor
From: Glenwood Springs, CO
Jan 6, 2007

C'mon Richard, the FA goes to Alvino Pon. Not hard info to track down for a man of your caliber, I wouldn't think.
By Richard M. Wright
From: Lakewood, CO
Jan 7, 2007

Hmmmm. No excuses. This route was logged into the old pretty hastily.
By Cale Farnham
Sep 7, 2009

Did this the other day with phil and delicately loved it! Super thin moves and had a great time figuring out the beta! My fav next to the Sunshine Dihedral.

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