University Wall Rock Climbing
This proud cliff was once a prime destination for Shelf's top climbers, hosting an astounding collection of stellar lines. Development began here in the summer of 1987, and culminated in Darryl Roth's historic 1989 ascent of The Skinwalker
, at the time Shelf's hardest free climb. An unfortunate indiscretion by a visiting climber caused the local land owner to close access to the crag, and as a result, these brilliant climbs have tragically drifted into obscurity.
Though the crag only features a modest number of routes, the harder lines are among the very highest quality routes of their grade's at Shelf. Of particular interest is Roth's masterpiece, which rivals The Example
for the title of Shelf's best 5.13, and would warrant classic status at any climbing area in the country. Other stellar routes include Le Pumping Bull, The Sabbatical, Critical Mass,
and Mr. Toad's Wild Ride
. The mid-level routes here are not exceptional and probaby not worth the grueling, 45-minute approach and mandatory river crossings. Most do not have anchors, feature impressive runouts, and require supplemental trad gear.
Routes L--> R:
1. Unknown #1 5.10?, bolts to chain anchor
2. Unknown #2 5.10?, bolts to chain anchor
3. Bad Intuition, 5.10c? bolts & gear, no anchor?
4. Room With a View
, 5.11a, 3 bolts, no anchor
5. Crowded House, 5.12a, bolts, no anchor? Begins on ledge directly above #4
6. Sorority Girls, 5.11+, bolts & gear, no anchor?
7. The Sabbatical, 5.12d?, 5 bolts, lower from last bolt (beefy cold shut)
8. Le Pumping Bull
, 5.12b, 9 bolts, no anchor (or 8 bolts, finish on #9's anchor)
9. The Skinwalker
, 5.13b, 8 cold shuts, 2 bolt anchor
10. Unknown #3 5.11/12?, red bolts, 2 bolt anchor (2nd chain anchor 40' above 1st anchor)
11. White Punks on Rope
, 5.10c, bolts & gear, no anchor (move left to #10's 2nd anchor)
12. Pocket Rocket, 5.11+?, gear & 3 bolts?, no anchor?
13. Critical Mass
, 5.13a?, 9 bolts, no anchor?
14. Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, 5.12-?, 6 bolts to 2 bolt anchor?
15. One Tree Hill, 5.12-?, 5 bolts?, no anchor? (use #14's anchor?)
16. Unknown #4, 5.8/9?, 5 bolts to chain anchor (on east face of large boulder below #15)
17. Que Sera Sera, 5.12-?, 4 bolts & gear? no anchor?
This crag was included in Mark Van Horn's 1990 Shelf Road Rock Guide
. Copies are currently available from Chessler
, the Denver Public Library or CSprings Public Library. This book is still impressively accurate despite its age. PM for additional information.
Climbing Season For the Shelf Road area.
Weather station 8.5 miles from here
5 Total Climbing Routes
['4 Stars',3],['3 Stars',1],['2 Stars',1],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]
Classic Climbing Routes in University Wall
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in University Wall
Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for University Wall:
Featured Route For University Wall
Critical Mass 5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c CO
: Shelf Road
: University Wall
Perhaps Shelf's first 5.13 lead, Critical Mass climbs an amazing, bulging buttress of exquisite, bullet limestone. The business comes quick with a brutal "B2" boulder problem on poor crimps to reach a sinker 2-finger pocket at the first bolt. The crux ends with a big move to reach a large, flat edge at the 2nd bolt. The angle relents as the line moves left, into a scoop, past a bit of a runout to reach the third bolt. More featured black stone leads to a sloping ledge with a small dead tree ...[more] Browse More Classics in CO
"Mr. Toad's Wild Ride" (L) & "One T...
The Pumping Wall: Purple: Sorority Girls. Green: ...