This is the hardest of a trio of routes found right of the Thunder Tactics area and left of the Surreal Estate wall, the other two routes of the trio being Staying Power and Once Upon A Time. (One of the trails to The Bank dumps you right at the base.) Sparkle In The Rain is as good as its highly touted neighbor to the left (Staying Power), but a good deal harder. Fun climbing from bottom to the top. The face at the start is somewhat technical, gaining the roof is pretty hard, but the crux is found high on the route, climbing the final steep face. The anchor apparently was moved higher up on the route after the first ascent, making the pump factor even more of an issue. Great, fun climbing that draws on all your sport climbing skills.
If you care: the grade for this route is variously written as 12b or 12c; it seems considerably easier than Future Fossil, a 12c a mere 250 feet further right, and Surreal Estate (also listed at 12c) is said to be harder still. To me, it felt more like the difficulty of Hot Beach or Blank Frank, 12b and 12a/b respectively.
8 bolts + 2 for anchor.
|By adam brink|
From: Boulder, CO
Nov 5, 2007
Fred, you are such a sandbagger! The problem is that you're so strong all these lowly 5.12s feel the same.
Sparkle felt harder to me than Surreal Estate, Blank Frank or Future Fossil. More important though, the climbing was excellent, varied and on great stone. A definite Shelf classic, no matter the grade.
From: Golden, CO
Apr 25, 2010
rating: 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- E6 6b
Great climbing that is very, very sustained. Excellent.
|By Jay Samuelson|
From: Denver CO
Feb 27, 2012
This is a sweet route with a variety of movement throughout, building in difficulty as you head up the wall.
|By Curt MacNeill|
From: Boulder, CO
May 24, 2013
A Shelf Road mega classic. This thing is badass, and I agree with the others in saying that it's pretty sustained. I thought for the grade there were lots of solid/ difficult moves including some mono pockets at the top. Great route!!!!