Type: Sport, 70 ft
FA: Richard Aschert, Dave Dangle, Bob D'Antonio, 1986
Page Views: 5,473 total · 26/month
Shared By: Richard M. Wright on Sep 24, 2001
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

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Approximately 60 feet right of Lats is a classic Shelf burl-fest that ascends a smooth, bulging wall, The French Are Here. Starting ten feet left and behind a tree is the line, Gravitations, that ascends the same wall and runs to the same anchor. This is an interesting line chock full of pockets, edges, and a discontinuous seam. It also provides the easy way to get a top-rope on The French which ticks in with a 5.12c sequence pulling through the bulge. However, Gravitations is also a fine line in its own right being solid, continuous, and interesting. It is a bit more run out than The French, but this is largely near the anchor. I thought this was a good route and worth the struggle.


7 bolts.


Peter Beal
Boulder Colorado
Peter Beal   Boulder Colorado
Maybe the best line for its grade at Shelf, definitely worth three stars Oct 4, 2001
I agree: This is the best route of its grade at Cactus and maybe at all of Shelf. The run-outs are intimidating, but a handful of small to medium cams allows you to protect between the well-spaced bolts. Many ways to climb this -- all pumpy as hell! May 23, 2002
This was the best pitch I climbed on my only visit to Cactus Cliff. The bolts are definitely a bit spaced for your typical sport route... and its not like its easy between clips: you certainly have to bust some moves well above bolts. I found it interesting that this route was so easy to get on, whereas I pretty much had to take a number to get on the adjacent "Lats don't have feelings." Nov 21, 2002
A sustained pitch, with interesting moves, a little variety and more excitement than I'm used to finding on a Shelf route. A 1 and/or 1.5 Friend helps de-spice the most runout section.

Probably the best pitch I've done at Shelf. Jan 27, 2003
It occurs to me that with all the comments bout "spice" and runouts, some do-gooder might get the idea to add a bolt or two to Gravitations. Please, please, please don't! The route is great the way it is. Jan 28, 2003
In my opinion, the runouts help make this a 3 star climb. If more closely bolted, it would be just another great Shelf face climb, but much less memorable. It is plenty safe, just a little intimidating. The falls would be clean, the clipping stances are good, and the hardest climbing is all near the bolts. I wish more routes were established as thoughtfully as this one.

Side note, I'm not sure where you would place gear on this route, anything worthwhile anyways. Dec 22, 2003
Lance Cockwood
Lance Cockwood  
Quality from base to summit. Aug 11, 2004
I agree with MacDonald, definitely established in the old style but the new guide book has it right on... not a ton of protection, but it's right where you want it. Jul 6, 2006
Golden, CO
Monty   Golden, CO  
Didn't find this to be "run out" at all. It's a beautiful route, and if you're a quazi solid 11 climber it should be a must do climb. Nov 2, 2008
Westminster, CO
jarthur   Westminster, CO
The bolting style is typical of any route that Doug Reed and Porter Jarrard bolted in NC, New River Gorge, and the Red River Gorge. This should have been named The Example in my opinion because the bolt spacing is perfect. Cool moves and sustained from the 2nd bolt to the last. Nov 9, 2008
Tim Stich
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Tim Stich   Colorado Springs, Colorado
Although I have rarely if ever climbed a route of this grade straight through, I found taking a few rests allowed me to piece it together and have a really good time! Don't pass up this route because it's over your head. You may also be surprised. Nov 28, 2009
Jesse Ryan  
Agree with the quality and preserving this route's nature as is, BUT I know of folks who hobbled away from this line with injuries due to the run-outs. Nov 5, 2010
Brian Adzima
San Francisco
Brian Adzima   San Francisco
This route is great, unlike other Shelf routes. If this was at Ceuse, it might get climbed. Nov 14, 2011
Curt MacNeill
Boulder, CO
Curt MacNeill   Boulder, CO
Awesome route and every bit as classic as its neighbor, Lats. Widely spaced bolts, so climb and clip with caution. Could probably use one or two more bolts to make it safer for the masses. Great fun though.... Jan 21, 2012
Ben Hall
Boulder, Colorado
Ben Hall   Boulder, Colorado
Ultra classic!! Excellent route. If you're not focused on the runouts between bolts, it climbs perfectly and is bolted so. Must do! Mar 5, 2013
Jason Halladay
Los Alamos, NM
Jason Halladay   Los Alamos, NM  
This is easily my favorite 11d at Shelf, if not my favorite route overall. Great movement on quality rock with hard to read sequences. Pumpy yet technical. The bolt spacing adds to the overall enjoyment by allowing flowing, uninterrupted climbing movement between clips.
If absolutely desired, some finger-sized gear would minimize the runs between bolts. Mar 14, 2016
Tore off a giant X-marked hold next to the second bolt on 5/23/2016. I went to it without seeing the X on my first go at this route. It came loose in my hand, so I decided to do everyone a favor and clean it up. In its place is a smaller jug facing the correct direction which can be used as a foot later on. No change to the grade as I felt like the 5.11 crux was higher up.
May 26, 2016
Matt Jones
Colorado Springs, CO
Matt Jones   Colorado Springs, CO
Great climb, not to be missed. If you're in the area, get on this thing! Dec 17, 2017
Rob Pressly
Denver, CO
Rob Pressly   Denver, CO
The spacing between the bolts seemed fine. All the clipping holds are great, and any fall would be clean. Fantastic route! Jan 29, 2018
Skyler Mavor
Fort Collins
Skyler Mavor   Fort Collins
Don't believe the runout hype! Stick clip if you like, but don't worry about the spacing above, it's very thoughtfully protected. Mar 27, 2018