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

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch
Consensus:  YDS: 5.12a French: 7a+ Ewbanks: 25 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 25 British: E5 6a [details]
FA: Richard Aschert, Dave Dangle, and Darryl Roth
Page Views: 6,556
Submitted By: montay on Jan 1, 2001

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (80)
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Photo by Tracy.


An exceptional route that will demand strength, technique, and innovation. This is a Shelf Road top 10 (IMHO).

To find this route, hike up to the Free Form Wall in the Sand Gulch canyon. Towards the far left end of this wall is a yawning chimney with red home made hangers. This bolted chimney is "Barney (5.9)". to the left of this is "Freeform". It is noticeable by the steep, somewhat left-leaning arete-like prow at the top.

Chalk up, load yer guns, and keep the children off the street.

Cruise upwards past the first 4 bolts on fun face moves. Be sure to save most of your ammo for the top. Milk the rest at the beginning of the business (if you need to). Fire up through the last 4 bolts on crimps and little pockets. It is a wee bit steep through here, so do whatever you can to help your arms out. This part begs for technical footwork and body position. Good luck!


8 bolts and anchors.


From Bill Ballace, towards the left of Free Form Wall, this is the proudest line on the wall. It ascends the obvious and gently overhanging, rounded prow up top.

Photos of Freeform Slideshow Add Photo
Katy S starting up Freeform in evening light.
Katy S starting up Freeform in evening light.
Cliff on Freeform.
Cliff on Freeform.
Katy S cruiswing the top on the send.
Katy S cruiswing the top on the send.
Heading into the crux of Freeform.
Heading into the crux of Freeform.
In all its glory.
In all its glory.

Comments on Freeform Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Mar 17, 2015
By Mark Eller
Nov 6, 2001

Best .12a at Shelf! Reachy, thin and nasty on the initial slab, but outstanding moves follow: powerful and technical pockets and an in-your-face crux when you pull the final bulge.
By Mike Sofranko
Nov 27, 2001

Awesome route! I got denied both times I tried it, but it's still one of my favorite examples of the genre anywhere. Do this route!
By Stephan Greenway
Feb 25, 2003

Agreed...one of the finest 12a's at Shelf!
By Andrew Iltis
From: Denver, CO
Jun 12, 2007

This fantastic route is broken into two sections: a tricky slab, and a rounded overhanging prow, separated by a monster rest. Great onsight potential if you can sequence the upper pocket section just right on your first go. Hint: If you give up the onsite, you can take a look at the upper sequence from the line to the right of Free Form called Barney (pumpy 5.9).
By Noah G
From: Alma, Co
Sep 28, 2009
rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a

Classic and a benchmark for the grade. Ever-increasing difficulty to the top and sequency at the bulge.
By Jay Samuelson
From: Denver CO
Nov 1, 2009
rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a

I agree with others, this is an awesome route. A tricky slab down low, with a powerful slightly overhanging face topping out over a bulge to finish. Power, balance, sequence and technique are all needed for this route. Definitely the best .12 I've been on at Shelf, although I haven't sampled many.
Nov 11, 2013

I noticed a bunch of pink tick marks all over this route the other day. Please don't use colored chalk to tick every hand hold and foot hold and not bother to brush them off after you've finished. The crux sequence isn't even very long on this climb. If you can't do 10ft of climbing without having every hand hold a foot hold ticked with colored chalk, then you really need to get out of the gym more often. I did my best to brush them off, but it definitely leaves a noticeable pink smear on the rock.
By slim
Nov 18, 2013
rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a

A Shelf classic, and for good reason. This route has it all - funky cobble geodes, sweet pockets, techy face, steep headwall. Way fun.
From: Eldorado Springs, CO
Jan 19, 2015
rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a

I remember this being a very fun route. It felt like 12a, although easier than Gym Arete, which might be a sandbag for the area.
By Jordan Hirro
From: Colorado Springs/Glenwood Spri
Mar 12, 2015

Overall very good climb! Definitely one of the best (and the softest, in my opinion) 12 at Shelf. Not as hard as any other 12a's at Shelf for sure but a must do!
By Skyler B
Mar 17, 2015

Beautiful! Great pockets and amazing movement! In my opinion a little easy for 5.12 but nonetheless an amazing route!
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