|The Monkey Skull
This is the crack in the face to the right of Upside the Cranium. Choose your start wisely, as the beginning is a bit chossy, and gear is not always trustworthy. I was forced left of the little roof to avoid yarding on a loose flake and would rate the moves as 5.8 R. The dihedral to the right looks easier and safer. This climb starts to get sweet at the hand to finger crack with the shrub growing out of it. Follow it up and hand traverse right and then left to gain the thin steep crack (crux) near the top of the climb. Fingerjam and crimp up this sustained crack being cautious of the attached but moving flake about half way up the crack. Finish at the chains for Upside the C. Be careful when being lowered, as a 60 meter just makes it to the ledges at the bottom. With a little more traffic, this climb will only become sweeter.
Mostly RPs and small TCUs for the crux crack.
|By Matt Juth|
Apr 8, 2004
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
A fun way to do this climb is to climb the first half of Upside.. and cut across to catch the upper (and best) section. Bring your small stuff. Pro can be a little tricky. Also watch the loose flake wedged in the crack. It will move a little when you pull on it.
|By Charles Vernon|
From: Tucson, AZ
Oct 18, 2004
I was a bit surprised to find that the loose flake "in the crack" *is* the crack, for about 8 feet. This is not obvious until you commit to this section. I wouldn't want to test the gear here, although it might hold. There's also an incipient crack just left of this flake that would take a bomber small cam.
Jun 19, 2007
Steve Dieckoff and I made the first ascent of this climb in about 1983 or 4.
Jun 20, 2007
There may be some confusion here, but based on the description, rating, and photo of the routes on this wall, I'm quite sure this climb, i.e., "Fever Dance," was climbed well before 1983-84. The main trad lines on this wall had already been climbed by the mid to late seventies, as were many of the obvious trad lines throughout the canyon. Caution is in order when claiming a first ascent in an area like South Saint Vrain Canyon, where years of activity passed without reporting or documentation.
Jun 23, 2007
Could be, ElMidd, but I knew most of the climbers in the area in the 70s, and though other routes like Sunshine were regular climbs (Ferguson and friend?) no one claimed/mentioned Fever Dance. Also, to get wires in on the lead, I had to clean the little crack at the top as I climbed. Of course it could have been climbed according to the grade as you say, but I don't think so. If you can find someone who says they did it earlier, no problem. It was actually disappointing to me when the bolt ladder (Upside the Cranium) went in to the left, within an arms reach of the crack.
Jun 23, 2007
Scott Woodruff climbed “Fever Dance” prior to 1983-84.
|By Bernard Gillett|
Jun 23, 2007
The infomation I've uncovered is that Dan Hare and Scott Woodruff made an ascent in the 1970s, and so did Ed Gerethy/Jeffery Butterfield. Dan wasn't certain who climbed it first when I spoke with him. There's a photo in Hubbel's guide to Lyons showing "Ed Geret" (he mispelled the name) doing the supposed FA.
I'm in the final throes of finishing off my guide to SSV and NSV (it still won't likely be available until spring), and would love to hear from any of the older climbers out there who remember the early ascents in both the North and South St Vrain canyons (Jello, did you ever get that photo I sent, of the Watchtower?). Speak up now, and you can help me avoid making corrections for any later editions. Just click on my name and send an email via this site if you'd like to share info.