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The name says it all. Dark rock, in the shade, and a good choice for pulling limestone pockets on a hot day. This excellent crag offers a somewhat unique experience from other crags in the main Shelf area. This is one of the "old school" crags at Shelf, with bolting & grading more in line with the original lines at The Bank, Sand Gulch & The Gallery. If you're used to Cactus Cliff style bolting, be prepared for spaced-out bolts, and be prepared to supplement some routes with gear.
There are two ways to approach the Dark Side, depending on the routes you're headed for. Park at the newly expanded parking lot just past The Bank campground for both approaches.
60 Total Routes
Browse More Classics in The Dark Side
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for The Dark Side:
Lumina 5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a Sport, 1 pitch
Fight or Flight 5.9+ 5c 17 VI E1 5a Trad, 1 pitch, 60'
27 Tons 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ E1 5a Sport, 1 pitch, 85'
Teenage Wristband 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ E1 5a Sport, 1 pitch, 80'
Edge Of Fright 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII E2 5b Sport, 1 pitch, 60'
Corner Pockets 5.10c 6b 20 VII E2 5b Sport, 1 pitch, 70'
Porkus Procurement 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ E3 5b Sport, 1 pitch
Dark Side Roofs 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ E3 5c Sport, 1 pitch, 65'
Enchanted Porkfist 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ E3 5c Sport, 1 pitch
Muted by Reality 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ E3 5c Sport, 1 pitch
Crown of Thorns aka Box Lunch aka Lou Raven's Rest 5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- E3 5c Sport, 1 pitch, 80'
Suspender Man 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- E4 5c Sport, 1 pitch
Redlined 5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- E4 6a Sport, 1 pitch, 80'
The Welcoming 5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII E4 6a Sport, 1 pitch, 65'
Levels of the Game 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ E5 6a Sport, 1 pitch, 50'
The Plum 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ E5 6a Sport, 1 pitch, 80'
El Guapo 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ E5 6a Sport, 1 pitch, 70'
Call From Overseas 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ E5 6a Sport, 1 pitch
Blank Frank 5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ E5 6a Sport, 1 pitch
The Audition 5.12b/c 7b+ 27 IX- E6 6b Sport, 1 pitch, 70'
Featured Route For The Dark Side
Muted by Reality 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ E3 5c CO : Shelf Road : The Dark Side
I have what I call the "Holy Trinity" of the Dark Side black slab routes: Black Awareness, The Crack's On Top, and Muted by Reality. Enchanted Porkfist is my most climbed route in all of Shelf, but I use this as a warmup for these climbs. I LOVE!! slab climbs but I hadn't even gotten on "Muted" until this past spring, being warned off by all the "leaver gear" that used to adorn this route; but last spring I noticed it had been retrobolted and jumped on it. At 11a, I thought th...[more] Browse More Classics in CO
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