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The Highlands aka Highlander
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Stiff Upper Lip 

YDS: 5.12a French: 7a+ Ewbanks: 25 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 25 British: E5 6a

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch, 70'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.12a French: 7a+ Ewbanks: 25 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 25 British: E5 6a [details]
FA: Alan Nelson, 1996
Page Views: 949
Submitted By: Richard M. Wright on May 18, 2001

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (24)
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BETA PHOTO: Stiff Upper Lip going through the roofs and large ...

Upper Canyon access closed - 8p Mar. 22 - 5p Mar. 28 MORE INFO >>>


Stiff Upper Lip is just as advertised, delivering the crux after the very last clip and the last roof problem. The entire left side of Highlander is composed of various roof problems, most difficult. Stiff Upper Lip is the first route encountered on the right side of the roof sector.

It takes off up a sparsely bolted slab at 5.8 to 5.9 to gain the roof system at an awkward crack that splits the first roof. Munge through the first roof to gain a second roof on huge deep flakes and great body movement. Just turn off the brain and muscle up the overlaps. Get situated below the third overlap, get the last clip, and pull a 5.12b/c (closer to c) crux while looking at anchors that are just out of reach! Thin, technical, and powerful, the crux has been avoided entirely by dropping a sling from the anchor. This is bomb-proof bolting, so hang in for the final move, there is not a chance in hell of getting hurt, just make the move.

If it were not for the easy entry slab, Stiff Upper Lip would certainly go with three stars for the big, fun, powerful moves on way overhanging stone. Bring the biceps and you'll have a blast - just save a crimp or two for the anchors. The Master of Clear Creek strikes again.


QDs only. This 70 foot roof problem needs only 8 - 9 draws and something for the double bolt anchor at the top.

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By piz
Nov 6, 2002

11d, there is no way that this route is 5.12. No sandbag, just jugs.
By Anonymous Coward
Dec 26, 2002

The last bolt it bad. It is pulled out a significant amount. Maybe the 'Master of [Clear Creek]' could fix his poor, 'bomb-proof bolting' job.
By Darren Mabe
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Aug 29, 2005
rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a

First roof is awkward move, and I think is crux. Be careful on that clip, a short draw will cross load the biner! Backclean the couple of bolts under the roof, or extend with a runner.

Second roof is all jugs and a pumpy clip of the anchors. If you do it right, you will be clipping the anchors at your chest from a semi-positive jug above and heel hook.
By Jay Samuelson
From: Denver CO
Dec 7, 2008
rating: 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a

There's quite a bit of loose rock on this route, be careful and have an attentive belayer.

I second the comments on this being .11+ as opposed to .12-. Wind Machine felt harder, I've been on Wind Machine a few times, but had never been on this before. Regardless of the grade, it's a decent bit of fun climbing.
By J. Albers
From: Colorado
Nov 28, 2010
rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a

I thought the first roof was maybe 11c/d and the second roof was 12a...especially if you are short. Darren is right about clipping the anchors at your chest. I worry that the huge section of rock that makes up the jug before the final hard section will eventually come out...I pity the fools who around for that disaster.

If any locals are heading up there, the anchors could stand to be tightened down (I hand tightened the right bolt a couple of days ago).
From: chatfield lake ,co
Jan 29, 2011
rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a

The route felt like 11c until the last 5 feet, which had a bouldery finish round V5. Great fun route, hold on!!!
By Mike Humphries
From: Arvada, CO
Mar 14, 2013

IMHO, and that's all it is since I hold the route equippers of CCC like Alan Nelson in the highest regard, this is the worst route I have been on in the canyon. Choss, bat shit, and filth are the names of the game on this one.

Also, the last bolt that is right smack in the middle of the dirt, bat shit mess that is sprayed on the wall, needs some attention as it's partially hanging out of the wall.
By Will Sharp
From: Breck, CO
May 6, 2014

A good route that is like 11 to the last move. The chains are hard to clip. Also this route is super hard to clean!
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