Mountain Project Logo

No Hard Climbing at Shelf Road


Original Post
Jim Gloeckler · · Denver, Colo. · Joined Jul 2004 · Points: 25

I was told this about Shelf Road in 1990. Do you folks really believe this?

Brian Adzima · · San Francisco · Joined Sep 2006 · Points: 570

Well mountain project doesn't list any routes over 5.13, hadn't 14d, been done by then?

Jim Gloeckler · · Denver, Colo. · Joined Jul 2004 · Points: 25

What I thought; (about the statement) was that the guy who authored it, probably couldn't do all of the routes there when he said it. And for that matter most folks can't do them all either. I know that Rifle took over for most all of the top end stuff, but Shelf Road still has plenty of Hard Climbing.

abc · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 210

I guess it depends on your definition of hard. Shelf has routes up to 13d and a few projects that are probably harder, but 13d is a grade that is onsighted by the good women climbers.

Jon Cheifitz · · Superior, Co · Joined Jun 2008 · Points: 65

For most of us humans... myself included.

13d is hard.

and yes Shelf Road has some hard climbing.

That being said I think the ratings are a little soft. I onsighted an 11c/d last time I was there and normally that's just above my level. Maybe I am finally getting stronger and better at this 'climbing' thing.

Jim Gloeckler · · Denver, Colo. · Joined Jul 2004 · Points: 25

Brett:

"The good women climbers"? How about saying the world's elite women climbers onsite 13d. To me, good climbers can onsight about 5.10. and expert climbers 5.10-5.12. Gender has nothing to do with it.

Brian Adzima · · San Francisco · Joined Sep 2006 · Points: 570

so was this of a question of what "hard" and "good climber" means, or whether there are any hard routes at shelf?

Legs Magillicutty · · Durango · Joined May 2002 · Points: 590

The climbing at Shelf is so easy that even a caveman can do it!!!

Jim Gloeckler · · Denver, Colo. · Joined Jul 2004 · Points: 25

elite cavemen

by the way, he was eating a banana when he mentioned it

abc · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 210

I am ok with using the word "elite".

Without opening a can of worms here, my "gender" point is that the average "elite" woman doesn't onsight as hard as the average "elite" man.

In Europe, 5.13 is not considered hard. You see men and women of all ages climbing this grade with no fanfare.

Maybe as Americans we unintentionally hold ourselves back by our collective definitions of what is a good climber and what is a hard grade, especially when you consider that the mental aspect of climbing is probably the most important when pushing one's limits.

Jim Gloeckler · · Denver, Colo. · Joined Jul 2004 · Points: 25

Brett:

I agree with you on everything you said. 5.13 is not considered hard climbing by Europe's Hard men and Women, but the general climbing community's opinion is probably different.

YDPL8S · · Santa Monica, Ca. · Joined Aug 2003 · Points: 540
BrettPierce wrote: In Europe, 5.13 is not considered hard. You see men and women of all ages climbing this grade with no fanfare.
Is this really true? I guess the gene pool works more efficiently over there, or maybe the gravity field is less.
abc · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 210
Jim Gloeckler wrote:Brett: I agree with you on everything you said. 5.13 is not considered hard climbing by Europe's Hard men and Women, but the general climbing community's opinion is probably different.
I have spent a fair amount of time climbing in Europe, and in my experience, the general climbing community doesn't consider 5.13 hard. I certainly have taken a poll, but that is my experience.
abc · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 210
Scott M. Mossman wrote: Is this really true? I guess the gene pool works more efficiently over there, or maybe the gravity field is less.
Or maybe more people climb over there, and as a community, they have a different perspective.
Josh Brown · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2008 · Points: 20
Jon Cheifitz wrote:. That being said I think the ratings are a little soft. I onsighted an 11c/d last time I was there and normally that's just above my level.
Not to start a coast vs. coast pissing match but i've also found the grades in colorado to be softer than the gunks and adirondacks where i climb/live. I don't consider myself anywhere near a 10.a climber but was able to manage this grade pretty easy in eldo.it seemed the same in the flatirons and boulder canyon. can anyone with experience in both areas disagree or corroborate?
abc · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 210
Tracy Roach wrote:The climbing at Shelf is so easy that even a caveman can do it!!!
Sorry to offend; my original gender comment wasn't very tactful.

Believe me, I know that a lot of women climb much better/harder than I.
Jon Cheifitz · · Superior, Co · Joined Jun 2008 · Points: 65

I climbed in the Gunks/adirondacks a lot when I was growing up. When I first moved to Colorado I too felt that the grades were softer in general.

Today, Five years later I have adjusted and need to visit the gunks again to get a feel for it.

Rob Dillon · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2002 · Points: 730

Brett, step away from the tar baby!

cstorms · · North Bend, OR · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 1,170
Josh Brown wrote: Not to start a coast vs. coast pissing match but i've also found the grades in colorado to be softer than the gunks and adirondacks where i climb/live. I don't consider myself anywhere near a 10.a climber but was able to manage this grade pretty easy in eldo.it seemed the same in the flatirons and boulder canyon. can anyone with experience in both areas disagree or corroborate?
I am from NY and live in Denver and I completely agree. The Gunks are sandbagged and some stuff out here has felt a little soft. Not that I don't love it out here...grades are relative.
Monomaniac · · Morrison, CO · Joined Oct 2006 · Points: 17,295

As for the E Coast/W Coast, it really depends on the crag and the route. Grades at Shelf are not comparable to those in Eldo or Rifle. But even at Shelf there's a lot of variability between routes put up back in the day (hard) and those put up since the acquisition of Cactus (soft). Speaking of crags with no hard routes, my experience at the Gunks makes me think its a bit sandbagged, but I think style has a lot to do with it too. That quartzite wouldn't feel so slick with a nice fat bolt at your waist.

As for the "no hard routes", obviously this is a bit of an exageration, but the underlying point is valid. By modern standards, there is no concentration of hard routes at Shelf. There is one 13d, maybe two 13cs, and a few 13b's. There are a few projects that may or may not be climbable. I think the intent is to say, if you want to go somewhere to climb "hard" routes, you shouldn;t go to shelf, you shold go to Rifle, or wherever. If you want to climb $hitloads of 4-star 11's & 12's, in a beautiful setting, over-run with aggresive dogs, shelf is the place to be.

abc · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 210
Rob Dillon wrote:Brett, step away from the tar baby!
Hey Rob,

How was the XMAS tree business this year? Are you back in the Valley?

Say HI to KK for us.
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

General Climbing
Post a Reply to "No Hard Climbing at Shelf Road"

Log In to Reply