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Routes in The North Gym

"40-Year-Old Virgin" (Name Unknown) S 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
"Black Crack" (Name Unknown) T,S 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
"Pacman Gomez" (Unnamed) S 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
"Tommy" (Unnamed) S 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Alpha Chino's Chinos S 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Apogee Pending S 5.14a 8b+ 32 X+ 32 E8 7a
Earth Mama's Natural Night Camo S 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Flamingo Lane S 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Full Retard S 5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c
Here We Go Again... Again. S 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Lead Farmer S 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
Logan's Run S 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Long Black Veil S 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Observe God's Mistake S 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Orange S 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c
Pimp's Main Prophet S 5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c
Power Milk & Bagels S 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Power Thirteen S 5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c
Rum-Tum-Tuggernaughts S 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Satan's Alley S 5.13c 8a+ 30 X- 31 E7 7a
Scorcher VI: Global Meltdown S 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Spitting Image S 5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c
Squeeze S 5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b
Teenage Prostitutes S 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
That's What She Said S 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
Treble Huck S 5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c
Unknown 1 S 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Unknown 3 S 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Who Left the Fridge Open? S 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Order Wrong? Sort Routes


"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:

0. Treble Huck, 5.13-, 10 bolts, 2 BA.


"The Arcade":
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.

Short Break

4. Alpha Chino's Chinos, 5.12, 7 bolts, 2BA.

Short Break

"Tropical Wall":
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. Satan's Alley, 5.13, 6 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.

Short Break

14. Be Australian, 5.11+, 7 bolts, 2BA
15. Booty Sweat, 5.11-, 7 bolts (1st bolt sharded w/ #17), 2 Cold Shut Anchor
16. Alpha's Ass Water, 5.11-, (Linkup of adjacent routes, 7 bolts, 2BA)
17. More Shredded Than A Julienne Salad, 5.12, 7 bolts, 2BA
18. The Boy Everybody Was Jealous Of, 5.12-, 7 bolts, 2BA


Approach Trail

"Teenage Prostitutes Area":
19. Unknown 1, 5.11-, ~9 bolts, 2 BA.
20. That's What She Said, 5.12+, 5 bolts, 2 BA (shared with previous route).
21. Power Thirteen, 5.13-, 6 bolts, 2 BA (shared with previous route).
22. Apogee Pending, 5.14-, 6 bolts, 2 BA.
23. Long Black Veil, 5.12, 6 bolts, 2 BA.
24. Flamingo Lane, 5.10+, 4 bolts, 2 BA.
25. Logan's Run, 5.12-, 4 bolts, 2 BA.

Short Break

26. "40-Year-Old Virgin" (Name Unknown), 5.11, 4 bolts, 2 BA.
27. "Black Crack" (Name Unknown), 5.9, 6 bolts, 2 BA, higher 2 BA.
28. Teenage Prostitutes, 5.12-, 8 bolts, piton, 2 BA.
29. Pimp's Main Prophet, 5.13, 5 bolts, 2 BA.

Short Break

"The Cirque":
30. Unknown #2, ?, 2 bolts + gear?, 3BA with long chains
31. Unknown 3, 5.10-, 5 bolts, 2BA shared with next route.
32. Spitting Image, 5.13-, 5 bolts, 2BA shared with previous route.
33. Orange, 5.11-, bolts, 2BA.
34. Squeeze , 5.12, 9 bolts, 2BA.

Long Break

35. Unknown #4 Rt Face of High Dihedral, ?, ? bolts, anchor?

Getting There

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.

29 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at The North Gym

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
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Mike Anderson
Colorado Springs, CO
Mike Anderson   Colorado Springs, CO
I'm laughing my ass off at the route names on this wall. Well played, sir. Mar 15, 2011
Morrison, CO
Monomaniac   Morrison, CO  
Man, the best ones are still projects.... Mar 15, 2011
Jason Halladay
Los Alamos, NM
Jason Halladay   Los Alamos, NM  
Get back there and send those other projects, Mark...I look forward to more great names. Huge congrats on Apogee Pending. Mar 16, 2011

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