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First Blood is the first route right of the California Ethics Pinnacle. It follows a crack to a bulge and then over it into a corner which is followed to an overhang at which point the route curves right to the belay anchor.
First Blood is one of the best moderates at Shelf. It had plenty of holds, smooth jams and great protection (if one ignores the easy run out to the 1st bolt). It looks way harder then the rating but it is all there. The only place where there was not bomber holds was moving right to the anchors. The Menses Prow is a great place to take fledging climbers as there are many quality 5.8's and 5.9's here. Be sure to include this one on your list!
Note that this climb was mistakenly (I assume) left out of the most recent Shelf Road guidebook (Shelf Road Rock - A Complete Climbing Reference).
8-9 bolts, plus 2 bolt anchor.
BETA PHOTO: First Blood. Climb the crack and corner, pass a b...
Peter Dillon at the roof, starting the traverse to...
Kelly on First Blood. Be sure and look to your ri...
Leading First Blood.
Photo by Laura.
Craig on First Blood.
Brenda rappels "First Blood".
|By Mike Anderson|
From: Dayton, OH
Jan 9, 2006
As far as I can remember, this is the best 5.8 I've done at Shelf. It's nice and steep, has great rock and big holds...lots o' fun.
|By Ryan Bibler|
May 2, 2006
One of the best, most aesthetic moderates I've done!
|By Nate Oakes|
May 17, 2006
I agree with Mike - best 5.8 I've done at Shelf Road. Very similar feel to Cheese Grater for the first 2/3 of the route. It's easier if you don't wait until the last minute to move out to the right face under the anchors. Don't fret the runout to the first bolt, there are bomber hand- and footholds.
|By Jeff Fiedler|
Oct 22, 2007
On 10/20/07, several of the hangers were spinning. Someone had a wrench and checked the bolts, which seemed to be in good shape.
So, just a heads up to a beginner leader not to get freaked out if you end up slapping at a moving hanger with your draw.
Oct 24, 2007
I have only been climbing a year and a half, but this is likely my favorite climb so far, very aesthetic, exposed, and fun!
|By Larry C. Schubarth|
From: colorado springs, colorado
Nov 21, 2008
This route was put up in 1979 by Tom Eisenman, Pete Gallagher?, and myself, and protected all on stoppers and hexes, all the way to the top. Besides the big taboo on bolts back then, we were a lot braver(dummer) then. The Shelf Road area was really new and as far as I know, only a few climbs had been done there by Harvey Carter, Tom, Pete, and myself in the pre-sport, all"clean" climbing era.
|By Rich F.|
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Apr 17, 2011
This was a great crack climb -- though there are so many edges and pockets, you can climb the whole thing without ever doing a jam. I took some cams for the crack, but the bolts are so well placed there's no need for the cams even as a back up. Great climb!
|By Jeff Thomas|
Apr 23, 2012
There are actually three bolts at the anchor, and it is worth taking a long enough sling/cordelette along to make sure you can use all three pieces to build a bomber anchor. Two of the three bolts at the anchor were spinning along with about half the bolts on the way up.
Great climb though. The runout to the fist bolt is no big deal as it's pretty much 4th class terrain up to it. Then jam through the nice crack to some fun face climbing around the bulge. The move to the anchors is a bit awkward, but there are a few jugs to grab as you make the move if you look a bit.