|The North Gym
"The North Gym" is a generic name for the section of cliff that extends from the north end of The Gym to the south/east end of The North End. The cliffline faces more or less east, but the southern end (aka "The Arcade") faces slightly south and is less vegetated, so it tends to be much warmer than the mid-section ("Teenage Prostitutes Area") that sees little sun, making this cliff a great destination for those days in which you want morning sun but evening shade. There are currently only a handful of routes here, but they are all high quality, with several among the best of their respective grades at Shelf. The unique features found on this cliffline provide the potential for many more memorable routes should someone find the desire to put them up. There are few moderates (though Power Milk & Bagels is surely among the best 5.10's at Shelf), but many great lines in the 5.11/12 range, including one of Shelf's best 12a's, Who Left The Fridge Open?, and currently Shelf's hardest route, Apogee Pending.
This was one of the very first cliffs at Shelf to be developed. The route Teenage Prostitutes was established in October 1985 by Neil Canon, Bob Robertson & Rich Aschert. The ascent was done ground-up and included the use of at least one piton (and a star-drive), which is still in-situ to this day. For whatever reason, only five or so more routes were put in before local activists turned their attention to other cliffs. Another five routes were installed by unknown parties in the ensuing 20 or so years, before the 2011 surge in development.
Many of the routes here have high first bolts. A stick clip is highly recommended.
Routes L --> R:
1. "Tommy" (Unnamed), 5.11, 5 red bolts, 2 RBA.
2. "Pacman Gomez" (Unnamed), 5.11, 6 red bolts, 2 RBA.
3. Power Milk & Bagels, 5.10-, 8 red bolts, 2 RBA.
4. Closed Project, ?, ~7 bolts, no anchor.
5. Observe God's Mistake, 5.10, 6 bolts, 2 BA (shared with next route).
6. Lead Farmer, Direct start to OGM, 5.12, 4 bolts, plus last 2 bolts of OGM, Shared 2 BA.
7. Closed Project, ?, ~5 bolts, 2BA.
8. Rum-Tum-Tuggernaughts, 5.11-, 7 bolts, 2 BA.
9. Here We Go Again... Again., 5.12, 5 bolts, 2 BA.
10. Earth Mama's Natural Night Camo, 5.10, 5 bolts, 2 BA.
11. Full Retard, extension to "Earth Mama's" through steep bulge, 5.13-, 2 bolts, no anchor.
12. Scorcher VI: Global Meltdown, 5.11-, 5 bolts 2 BA.
13. Who Left the Fridge Open?, 5.12-, 6 bolts, 2 BA.
"Teenage Prostitutes Area":
14. Unknown 1, 5.11-, ~9 bolts, 2 BA.
15. That's What She Said, 5.12+, 5 bolts, 2 BA (shared with previous route).
16. Power Thirteen, 5.13-, 6 bolts, 2 BA (shared with previous route).
17. Apogee Pending, 5.14-, 6 bolts, 2 BA.
18. Long Black Veil, 5.12, 6 bolts, 2 BA.
19. Flamingo Lane, 5.10+, 4 bolts, 2 BA.
20. Logan's Run, 5.12-, 4 bolts, 2 BA.
21. "40-Year-Old Virgin" (Name Unknown), 5.11, 4 bolts, 2 BA.
22. "Black Crack" (Name Unknown), 5.9, 6 bolts, 2 BA, higher 2 BA.
23. Teenage Prostitutes, 5.12-, 8 bolts, piton, 2 BA.
24. Pimp's Main Prophet, 5.13, 5 bolts, 2 BA.
25. Unknown #2, ?, 2 bolts + gear?, 3BA with long chains
26. Unknown 3, 5.10-, 5 bolts, 2BA shared with next route.
27. Spitting Image, 5.13-, 5 bolts, 2BA shared with previous route.
28. Unknown #4 Rt Face of High Dihedral, ?, ? bolts, anchor?
Despite its obscure location, this cliff ironically has one of the shortest approaches at Shelf, due to the re-routing of the Cactus/Spiney/Gym approach.
Drive ~1.4 miles north from the (now-gated) Cactus Cliff Access Road, to a small pullout (also 0.8 miles south from the river crossing at The North End P-lot). At this pull-out, you should be more or less directly below the obvious, overhanging dihedral of "Apogee Pending". Drop off all your gear & passengers, then drive North 0.8 miles to The North End Parking (pull out on the left/west side of the road, just before the river crossing), park here, and shuffle back down the road to the drop-off point.
A steep trail heads south up the road cut, and continues south for another 30 yards or so, then begins to switch-back up the hill towards "Apogee Pending". Follow cairns, up a gully with loose red stones, past some cactus, then weaving through scattered pinon pines to the cliff base. The approach time is ~5 minutes from the road. Once at the cliff-base trail, head left for "The Arcade", and right for "Teenage Prostitutes Area" and beyond.
Alternatively, approach as for The Gym, but continue north along the cliffline for another 5 minutes or so past The Green Bonus & Bone 'n' Vein to arrive at the south end of "The Arcade". There is not much of a trail along this section of cliff, so travel with packs may be difficult.
24 Total Routes
['4 Stars',2],['3 Stars',12],['2 Stars',8],['1 Star',2],['Bomb',0]
Browse More Classics in The North Gym
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for The North Gym:
Featured Route For The North Gym
Apogee Pending 5.14a 8b+ 32 X+ 32 E8 7a CO
: Shelf Road
: The North Gym
Apogee Pending climbs the directissima up Shelf Road's most continuously steep panel of rock. Unfortunately, a no-hands rest at mid-height detracts from the continuity of the line, but the upper half features 25-30 moves of brutal cranks and sustained, pumpy climbing. The route offers a wee bit of techno-piss, wild dynos, leg threads, tweaky pockets, and a sting in the tail on outstanding cream, pink, & black stone. This wall faces north and receives no sun whatsoever. Stick clip the first bo...[more] Browse More Classics in CO
Local Information for The North Gym
Latest Regional Forum Messages
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|By Mike Anderson|
From: Dayton, OH
Mar 15, 2011
I'm laughing my ass off at the route names on this wall. Well played, sir.
From: Morrison, CO
Mar 15, 2011
Man, the best ones are still projects....
|By Jason Halladay|
From: Los Alamos, NM
Mar 16, 2011
Get back there and send those other projects, Mark...I look forward to more great names. Huge congrats on Apogee Pending.