Skull Rock

If you haven’t watched Stranger Things yet, you definitely should. It is a DIHEDRAL favorite. In the latest season, season 4, there is a rock named Skull Rock that the crew uses as a meeting spot. Ironically, Harrington created it as a make-out spot…but regardless of this rock’s history, we figured we ought to check out the send potential. We will each create a route on Skull Rock, name the route’s theme song (totally normal thing to do), and pick out a five person crew from the Stranger Things characters to send with us. For reference, here is Skull Rock with the routes labeled:


High-Clip, myself, and the rest of theDIHEDRAL crew mostly go for the bigger wall stuff, sticking with ropes and draws instead of crash pads and chalk buckets.  But I always say, ‘when in one of Steve Harrington’s popular make-out spots, you gotta make like the bros. and boulder.’

Skull Rock offers lots of potential climbs, but I’m thinking we get the first ascent right up the gut (or face as it were).  Start on the slabby lower boulder, until you reach the top.  From there you have a nice crimp rail feature on the left side of the nose.  Walk your hands up the nose until you can sink a toe just above the left nostril.  When both feet are up, reach for the crack just to the left of the right eye socket.  Hit that crack and the rest is cake.  Lean in for the final section of slab, and toss your hands in the air, one to celebrate the send, and the other to call for an ice cold Crystal Light!  Make your way down the backside and get ready to cheer on the homies, as they commence to ride the send train.

Route Name: Face Lift (Is that too on the nose?)

Grade: V5

Music: Talking Heads, Psycho Killer (Stranger Things Season 4 Official Playlist)

The Crew:

  • Eddie Brunson!  We used to have a rule at our climbing gym that whenever Metallica would come on the radio you had to jump on a 5.12.  Eddie would make sure this rule was enforced at all times and would absolutely smash every time!
  • Max Mayfield!  Max is one of my favorite characters on the show.  She is fearless.  Max would 100% be the first to hop on all the gnarliest routes, no questions asked.
  • Dustin Henderson!  Dustin is my man.  Every crew needs a brain to read the crux, and somehow Dustin always seems to figure things out just in a nick of time.  Plus, my man can work a compass like no one’s business.  I’m embarrassed to admit how often I get lost on the approach; Dustin solves that problem every time.
  • Nancy Wheeler! Make no mistake, Nancy is a badass!  She seems reserved, but behind her veil of innocence she is as fierce as a Demagorgan!  She’d keep meticulous notes about our trips and would be a welcome addition to theDIHEDRAL writing team.
  • Robin Buckley!  Robin sometimes lacks confidence but is always willing to try.  She’s a total team player who’s not afraid to call people out when they get too annoying.  Every crew needs someone there to provide balance, and Robin does this to perfection.


As Carrot said, we tend to climb real stuff, not boulders. Having said that, there are enough rope-like objects around Skull Rock to make it worth our while. Not to mention the impeccable vibes.

For you crack climbers, Skull Rock has the perfect route. Start in the small roof and keep your core tight as you traverse to the left side of the skull face. Then, follow the flake all of the way up. Be careful not to miss the bomber heel in the left eye as the pump gets REAL up there. To top out, toss a foot on the left eyebrow and beach-whale or shimmy the final section. Then, take the nap you have earned right on top of the boulder to celebrate your success.

Route Name: Unmasked

Grade: V3

Music: Musical Youth, Pass the Dutchie (Stranger Things Season 4 Official Playlist)

The Crew:

  • Jim Hopper. Hopper is an unkillable icon. Nothing could possibly discourage or stop him. Despite his grit, he can still give you a hearty chuckle. Hopper would start, maintain, and end the send train, all of the while keeping it fun.
  • Murray Bauman. Murray is the only vibe the send crew needs. He can only speak sarcasm (regardless of language). He might need a little push to send, but he will give back the support ten-fold to his fellow climbers.
  • Dmitri Antonov (“Enzo”). Again, we need to keep the sarcasm coming. Enzo will call out everyone on their nonsense, which is crucial on a bouldering trip. Meanwhile, he’ll use that conniving mind of his to break the beta for us short folks.
  • Steve Harrington. Sure, Steve wasn’t always a great guy, but he pulls up for everyone when they need him. Steve is an equal opportunity jerk, and he’ll fit right in with our sarcastic crew. With the hair of a god, Steve will also be able to make sure everyone looks their best for the send pics.
  • Eleven. Even though she’s still learning social and language skills, Eleven still manages to drop the spiciest comebacks. She’ll keep everyone laughing. With her powers, she can make sure everyone feels safe. Skull Rock has a number of high-balls, and it’s super easy to get hurt even with great spotters and crash pads. However, Eleven can catch everyone with her mind and lower them safely if they fall. No one can wuss out now!

Editor’s Note: Although part of it was modified for the show, this boulder does exist in real life. Check it out at this Mountain Project page.

11 Replies to “Skull Rock”

  1. I haven’t watched “Stranger Things” but I like the fact that it brought my “anthem” back to the radio (which I listen to). I wasn’t too happy with Kate Bush’ explanation of its meaning because to me it’s not about ‘luv’ but about Running Up that Hill. As a boulder climber (as was) I think I’d love this rock as much as I love your puns.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It would be interesting to hear what you thought about the show? I’m happy that you liked the puns, not sure High-Clip would agree, but I will take all the encouragement I can get! – Carrot

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ll probably get around to watching it at some point. 🙂 And, as my dad taught me, the ability to pun is a sign of advanced intellect. Advanced in what direction, I don’t know. He never said…

        Liked by 2 people

      2. There are some scenes where these kids remind me of the adventures you and your brother would have. Sage advice from your dad, I’ll run with that!

        Liked by 1 person

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