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Sinocranium 

YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c

   
Type:  Sport, 7 pitches, 650', Grade II
Consensus:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Pogue, Hemken
Page Views: 10,872
Submitted By: Nathan Fisher on Jun 6, 2004

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (91)
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BETA PHOTO: Anchor locations are approximate. Pitch 2 is reall...

Description 

Sinocranium is on the east face and can be approached by following the cairns and the faint trail. The route itself has 2 distinct styles on it. The first 4 pitches and the last 2 are slabby and relatively easy. Pitch 2 is the hardest of these slabby sections and works lright of a roof band. Pitches 4 and 5 can be combined if desired.Pitch 5 climbs up the vertical quartz vein for 60 feet. The final pitch is more of a scramble to gain the summit than a climb. 2 ropes are needed for the rappels down. Also, pay attention to the beginning of the route as it easily missed. As you are climbing up the hill on the east side you hike on the slab forming the bottom of the dome. The climb starts in this vicinity. First time I climbed this we missed it completely and ended up FS'ing it up to the 1st anchors without realizing we had missed it.

Protection 

Sinocranium has bolts and plenty of them. Bring up to 16 draws for this route, but one can climb it with less if you don't mind passing bolts by. It has double bolt belay stations all the way up and 2 60 meter ropes are recommended.


Photos of Sinocranium Slideshow Add Photo
Looking up P3 from atop P2.
BETA PHOTO: Looking up P3 from atop P2.
View from pitch 3 looking out towards Castle Rock
View from pitch 3 looking out towards Castle Rock
The rest of the bunch coming up pitch 3 on Sinocranium!
The rest of the bunch coming up pitch 3 on Sinocra...
Steinfells Dome from parking area; Sinocranium is on the right hand side of the big dome.
Steinfells Dome from parking area; Sinoc...
Brian leading the crux pitch that is WAY protected but fun, unique positions.
Brian leading the crux pitch that is WAY protected...
Fun climbing on the crux pitch of Sinocranium. September 2008.
Fun climbing on the crux pitch of Sinocranium. Sep...
Sher-bear climbing the crux "fun" pitch!
Sher-bear climbing the crux "fun" pitch!
Sinocranium
Sinocranium
View of the parking area from top of Sinocranium, long way down!
View of the parking area from top of Sinocranium, ...
A double rope rappel.
BETA PHOTO: A double rope rappel.
Dalon and Sheri successful at the summit!
Dalon and Sheri successful at the summit!
Leading the 5.8 Pitch
Leading the 5.8 Pitch
Should you see these crazies climbing, run the other way!!
Should you see these crazies climbing, run the oth...
Start of Sinocranium-NOTE: Large cairn.
BETA PHOTO: Start of Sinocranium-NOTE: Large cairn.
Jeremy following on Sinocranium.
Jeremy following on Sinocranium.
Sinocranium far off
Sinocranium far off
The 5.8+ pitch
The 5.8+ pitch
Triumphant after descending. Route starts just out of the left side of the frame and wanders right around the horizontal vein.
Triumphant after descending. Route starts just out...

Comments on Sinocranium Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Aug 9, 2014
By Anonymous Coward
Aug 23, 2004

Fun climb. Most of the slab sections are 5.2ish or less. A few thin sections keep things interesting. You can stretch the rope on pitches 3 and 4 (190 ft), and belay right below the "headwall" crux pitch, so theres no drag to deal with. If youre squeamish on 5.8, dont worry, theres 11 bolts in about 40 feet of climbing on this pitch!

Two sixty meter ropes seems almost mandatory (the second pitch is like 190 feet), but you can leave your second rope at the end of pitch 3 (or the midway anchor if combining 3 and 4). To get down, rap three times with your sixty, then twice with 'em doubled.
By Anonymous Coward
Jul 4, 2005

Climbed this just a few days ago....not sure that any of the slab pitches would rate at 5.7 in my opinion though...seemed like 5.6 at best, with A LOT of easier climbing in between (maybe I am used to LCC slabs though) We played "double deuce" (only allowed 4 bolts of your choice on the slab pitches, and that made it like an LCC route!!). The 5.8 seemed disproportionally hard for the grade though, but maybe I made it harder than it needed to be? Kind of in your face after all that easy slabbing, but VERY well protected. The bolting on the slabby pitches seemed inconsistent to me...almost seemed like when it steepened up, the bolts spread out, and when it was lower angle they were closer? maybe just foreshortening? Anyway....still a darn fun route...great view from the top!!Walk off is fine, one bolted rap with some downclimbing (if you have less than a 60M rope, be sure to tie some knots, my 70M landed perfectly on the ledge) hike down is only like 15 minutes to your pack. If you liked Jackson's thumb, this one is better, in my opinion. Biggest dome in the valley!
By Andrew Gram
Administrator
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Sep 6, 2005
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

We combined the 4th pitch and the steep headwall pitch, and that worked well with a 70 meter rope - no rope drag.

We must have done a different descent. We scrambled over the summit and down to a ledge on the east side with a cairn and some chains. Two raps from chains down the gully, and no tricky downclimbing at all required. We had one 70m rope, but one 60 probably would have been ok too.
By kpinwalla2
May 27, 2006

The standard descent is to walk over the summit to a ledge on the northeast side that is just below the top. From here you can rap down a steep gully with intermediate anchors to the ground in two raps with a 60 m rope. Thus, you only need one 60 m rope to do the climb.
By Doug Hemken
Administrator
Jun 27, 2006

Putting up this route with Pogue was a fun and memorable couple of days! Not only did we get to spend our days where there were no other climbers, but the views are pretty spectacular. I can't describe how much fun it is to wander up a huge slab asking yourself "where should I go next"?

Look around, there should be several more routes on this slab, too!
By R Squared
Jul 6, 2006
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

I thought it was a good climb. It would be a good first multipitch for a lot of people
By 46and2
From: Las Vegas, NV
Jul 18, 2006
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Great safe multi-pitch climb and perfect for first timers on multi pitch climbing. I agree with the earlier post that when the climbing is ridiculously easy the bolts are a little closer than when it thins out, but nothing to really worry about. The VERY well protected 5.8 section is awesome fun and in your face compared to the rest of the route but IMHO was the highlight of this climb. DO NOT climb this thing in mid day in summer, you'll cook. Fantastic City Climb.
By Tim O'Doherty
Oct 28, 2006

Fantastic climb, lots of air and a great one to help you get comfortable with multi pitch climbing. Finding the start was a challenge, hiked right by it, make sure you look closely as soon as you get to the slab, at the base of the dome. Well bolted and anchors are solid. Little interesting at the top, got to 5th anchor, buddy lead to the summit and after 3 very spaced out bolts, nothing but a scramble to the top. Couldnt find belay anchor on top, so be prepared if needed, to build an anchor on solid boulder on top,you will need some slings. Rap down was good, again,took some looking over Northeast edge,to find rap anchors,you need to be careful to look for chains. They are weathered and blend in with the rock, are on a ledge about 10ft down from the top, behind some boulders. We did build a cairn to help locate. All in all, a great climb.My compliments and thanks to the route developer.
By Greg Barnes
Dec 21, 2006
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Most of the slabs on this route are 4th class with occasional moves in the 5.0-5.2 range. The steep dihedral is 5.8 but very tightly bolted. Overall, great route (unless it's windy!).
By Jeff Fiedler
Jun 25, 2007

Thanks to FA's for a great and safe climb.

Just to confirm that it is possible to rap off the NE using a single 60m rope. First rap comfortably gets you to the next rap station. Second rap got us ALMOST to level ground -- just about 5 feet of non-technical scramble. Its a bit awkward to get off belay, but not actually difficult (and I'm not a hard climber or free solo junky).

Just be very careful to center the rope and knot ends.
By wasatch-mtn-man
May 29, 2009

A few comments: Super fun climb. You can basically walk much of the low-angle slab sections. I can't imagine any of the pitches except for the 5.8 are anything greater than 5.5. We literally walked up some of these sections and bent down to clip some of the bolts.

Both my climbing partner and I feel like the 5.8 section was more like 5.8+ but after about two moves you reach another bolt.

We were glad to have 2 60m ropes for the rap off of the NE end. There is a gully with visible chains from the summit. It's a bit of a bush-wack rappel but two 60 m ropes get you safely to a ledge for an easy down-climb.

Super great views, fun climb and a great multi-pitcher!
By Xover
May 31, 2009

Did this two days ago. Since I utilized some of the earlier posted beta, I'll add my two cents. With a 70m and some easy simul-climbing, you can do this thing in 3 pitches. As was said earlier, combine P1&2 (about 350'). Combine P3&4 (about 200') with no simul-climbing needed; can belay 2nd up. Combine P5&6 (about 180') with no simul-climbing required. Then run up to summit and look for chains just down to the NE about 10' on rappeler's left side of the obvious gulley on a perfect ledge. The cairn marking where the chains are is still there and just above them. 2nd set of chains is down about 100' on the rappeler's right side of gulley. Rap straight fall-line to the ground and walk back to your packs in about 10-15 minutes.

For what it is worth, I think the individual(s) above that said they only saw one set of chains down lower, downclimbed the upper rap section to the lower chains.
By Blake Summers
From: Park City, Utah
Sep 25, 2009

Yea, easy two 100' raps. Cairn on summit no longer there marking access to rap anchor. Great views o the City.
By Christine Gal
From: lake forest, il
Jun 29, 2010

cairns are there... can see first one from last anchor, easy scramble (walk) up to top, then see a second one just above location of rap rings.

used just one 70m rope, worked great for both the climb and the rap... make sure you get to center rope for second rap, takes you perfectly to easy decent down the gully
By jeffozozo
From: santa clara, utah
Sep 7, 2010
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

There is a nice cairn near the bottom of the route now, close to the trail. It should be hard to miss.

P1 is really easy (I would rate it 5.3), and the bolts are placed really close together (sometimes its kind of silly).

P2 is long, and the belayer doesn't have a good view of the climber after the first 3 bolts. We had 16 draws and we ran out. I would rate it a 5.5 or 5.6, as there are a couple of moves where you have to trust your feet.

P3 is 5.6, again a couple of moves where you need good slab technique.

P4 is shorter and an even lower angle than the previous two.

P5 is 5.8+ or 5.9. It isn't that long and there are plenty of good holds, but there are a few places where the holds are not that positive and you have to have good foot placement. It is very well protected though, as everyone has said.

P6 has only 2 bolts above the anchor which is really strange because the other pitches seem to have too many bolts. And since you are on the top of the world, you feel a little exposed as you run it out over the prow. The moves to the first bolt are just a little scary, because its a good 15 feet above the P5 anchors. I'd rate P6 as a 5.5 max though only for the first few moves, it is low-angle most of the way.

Only the ledge at the top of P6 is a really good, flat belay station. The rest, you can't really sit, and there aren't really good places for your rope to pile up. The top of P5 is ok, but there isn't much room there. Don't plan on having a nice ledge to sit on and eat your trail mix until you get to the top.

There is a nice flat spot at the very top of the dome, (beyond the ledge at the top of P6) and it is ringed with large boulders. It is almost like it was designed for you to sit up there and eat your lunch. The view from here is spectacular.

To get down, look to the North East side, there is a nice rap station there, starting from a big ledge. The rappelling is easy, even though the gully is brushy, and there doesn't seem to be a great way to toss your rope to avoid the bushes. Two 100' raps is accurate. The second is longer and it would be easy to rappel off the end of a doubled 60M rope if you weren't careful. (tie your stopper knots).

We used 1 70 meter rope, and it worked great.

The trail from the bottom of the gully back to the packs is easy to find.

This is a great climb to take for folks new to multi-pitch routes. It is not hard, yet it is long and strenuous, and you go through all the motions required for multi-pitch climbing. It took us about 7 hours car to car, though we went really slow. The route gets sun from the morning till the late afternoon, so I wouldn't attempt it in the summer time, unless you left really early or really late and didn't mind walking down with your headlamp.
By Matt Brodhead
From: Logan, UT
Oct 18, 2010

Follow the cairns @ the top of the dome to locate the rap anchors.
By Ty Morrison-Heath
From: Bozeman, MT
Apr 26, 2011

A fantastic multi pitch slab festival. Easy climb with very liberal bolting makes for a great first outdoor multi pitch lead. The 5.8 is a little hard for 5.8 but it has 13 bolts in about 40 feet so it's no big deal. I lead the first three pitches in my approach shoes. 1st pitch I didn't actually didn't touch the rock with my hands and did 150 feet of climbing in maybe a minute and a half. Belayer got more of a workout than I did. Fantastic climb though if you want to simply get on top of something. Loved it!
By Greg Taylor
Jun 14, 2011

Fun climb for an intro to multi-pitch. Did this in 4 pitches with a single 70m rope (1, 2, 3-4, 5-6). Combining pitch 3 and 4 is a FULL 70 meters but takes you right to the head wall for the crux. Crux seems hard for 5.8 but maybe it is just the abrupt change in difficulty and style. Beautiful views of the entire area.
By cragsavvy
From: Salt Lake City
Aug 11, 2011

if you are an experienced climber: DO NOT DO. it is not worth the time and energy to climb 6 pitches of easy 5.1-5.5 for one mediocre pitch of 5.8
By Brian in SLC
Aug 17, 2011

I'm an experienced climber, and, I very much enjoyed this great route. Nice line up a prominent formation.
By Matt Schroer
From: Logan, Utah
Sep 12, 2011
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Really, really fun climb with great views 100% of the time. The second pitch is really fun, and the crux pitch is fun, but I definitely feel it was more in the 8+/9- range. Super well protected, regardless. Thanks go out, once again, to Kevin Pogue for another amazing route. Climbing all his routes in the City/Castle this summer has been a blast and I highly suggest this endeavor to all climbers looking for fun.

Also - there is a huge cairn at the base of the climb, so it's pretty tough to miss. There are rap anchors off the back of the dome - look for them just over the summit and down to the right. You can see them from where you will want to eat lunch. The second rap anchors are located on rappeler's right in a gully.
By wayniak
Sep 14, 2011
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

3&4 can be combined w/70m. 5&6 can be combined w/70m. One 70m rap will take you to the top of the slabs on the NE side, requiring fouth class.
By caughtinside
From: Oakland CA
Sep 23, 2011

If you're mostly climbing 5.10, this route is a great rest day activity as a simulclimb. 30 minute approach, take 20 draws and do it with a couple changeovers. Nothing strenuous, nice summit.
By Matt Schroer
From: Logan, Utah
Jan 17, 2012
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

I was checking out photos of this route earlier tonight and stumbled on this picture of the route from Kevin's website:

people.whitman.edu/~pogue/imag...

Does anyone know about the variation that appears to go right of the crux 5.8 pitch on the original Sinocranium route? Does it exist? Rating? Any information would be greatly appreciated, as I would love to mix it up a bit the next time I do this climb.
By Alec
May 14, 2012
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Nice position and great rock, but the climbing is rather ho-hum. If I were to do it again, I'd just simul-solo the first 4 pitches up to the base of the crux pitch. Easy slabbing, no way ever harder than 5.5. Crux pitch is overbolted to the point of distraction, but I suppose you can just skip 'em.
By oldfattradguuy
Jul 30, 2012

Being an experienced climber means that you have actually gone on a climbing trip with someone other than your father.
By Pink Thunder
From: Colorado Springs
Jun 11, 2013

Crux on this route is spotting the bolts between the runouts.

Did it in four pitches, linking 3-4 and 5-6. Brought 20 draws, which was way too many. And no need to clip every bolt; vast majority of the route is like 5.2.

At the summit, couldn't find a final anchor, and wound up belaying my second up from the final bolt on the pitch.

One 70 meter rope was fine for the rap; no need for two 60's.
By Ezra Ellis
Jun 23, 2013

Climbed it in 3 long pitches with a 70 meter, clipped like every 3rd or 4th bolt on the easy parts!
5.8- for a ratting
By Doug Hemken
Administrator
Aug 5, 2013

Matt, that old photo is just an overlay of where KP thought the route would go versus where it actually went.
By idahomike
Oct 19, 2013
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

We did this route and Theatre of Shadows back to back. The Theatre is a more fun climb. The slab sections on this were a little too easy. I walked up the first pitch without using my hands. The 5.8 pitch was fun and the exposure made it exciting. Good climb to work on your multi pitch belay skills in a stress-free environment.
By Trevor.
Jun 17, 2014
rating: 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c

One good strategy for those looking to move fast is to simul-climb to the base of the 5.8 pitch, pitch that out, and simul or solo to the top. Taylor and I did the whole route in 34 minutes this way!
By apay34
Jul 24, 2014

sooo, its kind of hazy from the comments, but can i/has anyone done this climb with a single 60m rope? from what the comments say it sounds like theres two 100ft raps that a 60m would be able to handle, are the 70m ropes just for convinence or neccesity? any advice? thanks!
By Trevor.
Aug 9, 2014
rating: 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c

Two rappels with a single 60m will get you down.