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The Gym

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Armstrong Express, The 
Arnold! Arnold! 
Arrowhead Spire 
Black Mamba Arete 
Blast from the Past 
Bolt the Planet 
Bone 'n' Vein 
Bottom Feeder 
Bubba's Belly (aka The Example Simulator) 
Cask Strength 
Cimmaron Lanes 
Comin' In Smooth 
Crack of Dawn, The 
Deeper Shade Of Soul 
Dizzi Lizzi 
Easy Cheese aka Trout Fishing in America 
Ejection Generation 
Ejection Seat, The 
Even Bad Dogs Get A Bone 
Example, The 
Five Dollars 
Ga-stoned Again 
Great Escape, The 
Green Bonus, The 
Gym Arete Direct 
Gym Arete, The 
Head Cheese 
Hot Rod Lincoln 
I Never Met a Carbo I Didn't Like 
I'll Be Back 
In The Morning, You'll Be Mine 
Jane Fonda Warm-up 
Librium Quiver 
Morning Stretch 
Muscles From Brussels 
My Generation 
Natty Dread 
Needle Haven aka Fallen Prophet 
New Rule 
New Vernacular, The 
Oh... What Are You Looking At 
Orange Marmalade 
Our Bosch of Immaculate Conception 
Paradise Regained 
Penitentiary Pump 
Prickly Pear 
Profits of Rage 
Pulley Mammoth 
Rally Monkey 
Raw and the Roasted, The 
Real Deal, The 
Rio Station 
Senor Verde 
She's Got a Full Set of Camalots! 
Shorty Bob 
Smoking Pickle, The 
Solar Flex 
Spontaneous Combustion 
St. Patty's Slab 
Stud with a Rug 
There Goes the Neighborhood 
Three Stooges 
Thunder & Lightning  
Tomato, Tomotto 
Trailer Park Logic 
Trout Fishing 
Up Valley Goes Downtown 
Urban Fringe 
VHS or Beta 

The Gym 

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Elevation: 7,050'
Lat, Long: 38.6329, -105.2165 Map Incorrect?
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Administrators: Ben Mottinger, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman
Submitted By: Richard M. Wright on Nov 30, 1999
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What's New
  Print a Mini-Guide with routes

Add Route Add Photo Add Comment Add Event 

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50° | 29°
53° | 35°
66° | 42°
Chance of Rain
60° | 38°
Chance of Rain
63° | 38°
The Gym features the best limestone at Shelf, abun...


Situated just North of the big hairpin and tad up the road, The Gym holds some of Shelf Roads most brilliant (and difficult) climbs. The wall is East facing and gets sun, therefore, only part of the day. Climbing at the Gym reminds me of Sinks Canyon or Ten sleep, with somewhat fewer pockets. The newer lines still retain sharp edges and spines, but for most routes these have been eroded away. Most routes can be done with a 50 meter rope, although a 60 meter is preferred overall. The occasional two pitch routes are readily done with the same equipment. For its overall climbing value, I think The Gym is the best crag at Shelf, with almost none of the discontinuities found at the Bank.

Getting There 

EDIT: The current "approved" approach is to park at the Bank Campground parking area, then follow the Cactus cliff trail down into the drainage for The Bank, up the other side, east along the base of the Bank to reach the old Cactus cliff access road, then up the road, along the base of The Vault to the pit toilet below the Cash Wall, then east again to reach the far left end of Cactus Cliff. Then follow the Cactus Cliff cliff-base trail along the entire length of Cactus, then to Spiney Ridge, along the entire legth of Spiney, around the point, then north past "The New Gym", to eventually reach The Gym. Sounds like a pretty long approach, huh? Basically its ~15 minutes further than Cactus, depending on your specific destination.

The upside is that there will be zero crowds once you finally arrive.

73 Total Routes

['4 Stars',11],['3 Stars',35],['2 Stars',22],['1 Star',3],['Bomb',2]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for The Gym:
Ga-stoned Again   5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   
The Crack of Dawn   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch   
Urban Fringe   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ E3 5b     Sport   
Crystal   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   
The Raw and the Roasted   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch   
Pulley Mammoth   5.11+ 7a 24 VIII E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   
Cimmaron Lanes   5.11d 7a 24 VIII E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch   
In The Morning, You'll Be Mine   5.11d 7a 24 VIII E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch   
Spontaneous Combustion   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   
The Gym Arete   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch   
The Smoking Pickle   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 95'   
The Ejection Seat   5.12b/c 7b+ 27 IX- E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch   
Lockdown   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   
Bone 'n' Vein   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   
Ejection Generation   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   
Gym Arete Direct   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 75'   
My Generation   5.12d 7c 28 IX E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch   
Head Cheese   5.12d 7c 28 IX E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   
The Example   5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ E6 6c     Sport, 1 pitch, 75'   
Deeper Shade Of Soul   5.13 8a 29 X- E7 6c     Sport, Chipped, 1 pitch   
Browse More Classics in The Gym

Featured Route For The Gym
Chris Kanes on the crux of The Example.

The Example 5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ E6 6c  CO : Shelf Road : The Gym
Climb the distinctive buttress left of the Gym Arete. A stout beginning leads to good pockets, including the best mono at Shelf. A final crux off a poor undercling leaves most dangling 10 feet lower. This is a must do for the grade, even if there is still some debate regarding the grade and the "true" line....[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

Photos of The Gym Slideshow Add Photo
Bob Robinson making it happen!
Bob Robinson making it happen!
just around corner from spiny ridge
BETA PHOTO: just around corner from spiny ridge
Looking north from the left side of the Gym with a climber on Cask Strength.
Looking north from the left side of the Gym with a...
Comments on The Gym Add Comment
Show which comments
By Legs Magillicutty
From: Littleton
Feb 27, 2008

There is a route that is located a few routes right of Gastoned. The first 2 bolts are homemade. It's pockety, very positive and extremely dirty. I knocked a huge block down from the left of this route this weekend. No one was hurt. I barely touched it and POW!!! The mid point of the route is pretty clean. Up by the anchors it gets dirty again. Anyone have any idea what this route is and what it is rated? Felt like a 9 maybe? My partner quessed 10a??

By Darryl Roth
Dec 1, 2010

A note of history that I haven't seen anywhere... the first route put up at The Gym was "VHS or Beta". I chose it because of the high quality stone. Due to the thin holds and less traveled location, it doesn't see much traffic, but it certainly typifies the style of climbing that was predominant in those early days of Shelf.