Type: Sport
FA: Bob Robertson and Richard Asher, trad 1st then bolted.
Page Views: 7,329 total · 34/month
Shared By: montay on Oct 12, 2001
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

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To find this route, read the directions given in the route titled "Pinhead". From Pinhead, hike approximately 100 yards to the north and locate a HUGE roof about 60 feet off the deck. To the left of this lies the gorgeous lines of "The Gym Arete" (please see Richard Wright's entry for this route) and "The Crack of Dawn". The Crack of Dawn is probably the most striking crack line I have seen at Shelf. We are talking BEAUTIFUL!!

The Van Horn book gives this line 10b. The old select 200 book gives a rating of 11b, which is a bit far fetched. Purists might have a kiniption about seeing a crack like this bolted. However, I am going to stick to the facts on this one (please join me in leaving this subject untouched as it could easily explode into terrabytes of discussion).

The facts are as follows:

Start up on funky, hollowed, pockety rock to a high first clip (red home made hanger). Get ready to crank. Jam from fingers to hands and maybe even a fist or two, and heck, even throw in a lieback or two just for kicks. Follow this recipe for about 4 bolts. Stir in a little finger crack/ face edging for about 3 bolts to the anchors. A very tasty route.

This could probably be a good trad lead for a sport climber who is learning to place gear. No brainer bomber gear and bolts for backup.


8 bolts and anchors.


Bob and Carrie Robertson are responsible for this route. There only reason I know this is the homemade hangers on the route. That is their trademark and every route with these hangers on them should be attributed to Bob and Carrie. Oct 23, 2001
Rick Thompson
Mount Nebbiolo, CO
Rick Thompson   Mount Nebbiolo, CO
AC - I think you need to do a little homework here before you start suggesting that every route with home made (I prefer to call them "Homer-Made") was put up by Bob & Carrie. Home made hangers were used by nearly every new route activist at Shelf Road in the 80s. In fact, they were commonly used at many climbing around the country. That's the way it was back then! Cold shuts were also commonly used as bolt hangers. Frankly, the high quality gear that we see on many of "today's routes" simply wasn't so readily available 10-15 years ago. While you may be right that Bob did this one, a great number of other routes equipped with these were done by others.

Why don't you take a moment to actually log on with your real name - no need to be a faceless corward. Jan 31, 2002
This route was done by Richard Asher and myself on natural pro. Carrie and I went back, recleaned the crack, and bolted it. We then went back a second time and changed the hangers. We think it's one of the best 10s we have done at Shelf. Feb 27, 2002
Peter Beal
Boulder Colorado
Peter Beal   Boulder Colorado
I also think this route is one of the finest lines at Shelf and fact that it's bolted doesn't detract from this. In fact if I had to use natural gear, I'd probably put in a lot more pieces than the number of bolts. There's a spot where the crack goes a little wide and the last bolt is well below your feet, not to mention the chossy opening section where a broken hold could send you on a 15-20' digger. So it's not exactly overbolted. Mar 19, 2002
Erik L Ahrn_
Erik L Ahrn_  
This route deserves three stars! Nov 17, 2003
Three stars for a Shelf Road bolted crack?

Some folks in Boulder are going to lose their lunch when they see that.

Excellent line! Nov 18, 2003
Bill Ballace
Bill Ballace   Pullman,WA
Shelf is a designated sport area. I'm not going to bring my gear here, so the fact that this crack is bolted doesn't really distract from its greatness. Feb 3, 2006
SAL   broomdigiddy
This route could go on gear, but I wouldn't want to take a whip on it. The rock is a bit chossy as is most of Shelf. Great line though and a perfect spot to get warmed up for the stout classics that surround it. Great for the grade 5.10 for sure. Super fun!!!!!!!!! Apr 30, 2007
Flagstaff, AZ
WSue   Flagstaff, AZ
Great route!

Though actually there are 8 bolts + anchors instead of the advertised 6. Sep 5, 2010
Jessica Pemble
Yosemite, CA
Jessica Pemble   Yosemite, CA
The final push to the anchors really makes you think. Sick route! Nov 24, 2011
Felt pretty hard at .10, but whatever I will play along. Fun climbing. Feb 23, 2012
Zane Dordai
Salt Lake City
Zane Dordai   Salt Lake City
This climb is incredible. Perfect lieback movement if you choose not to jam. Excellent thoughtful crux as well. Some holds were loose.... I would absolutely not trust gear in this rock. Thank you to whoever bolted this and made it accessible to everyone! Nov 29, 2012
Jordan Hirro
Colorado Springs/Carbondale
Jordan Hirro   Colorado Springs/Carbondale
Didn't feel very 10b with the numerous juggy rests but overall a fantastic line! I think its length may contribute to its rating. In any case, amazing. Highly recommended. :) Oct 20, 2013
Dylan Demyanek
Las Vegas, NV
Dylan Demyanek   Las Vegas, NV
The line is beautifully obvious until the last bolt. It appears from the chalk that many people have trended to the right, ending on a jug about 4 feet to the right and slightly above the anchors. This makes clipping the chains incredibly awkward and is not the correct line. The route actually bends slightly left of vertical at the top and climbs, more or less, directly to the chains. The holds and movement are better this way, if a bit less obvious. Nov 28, 2016
Keith W
Keith W   Denvah
Great line. Really fun climbing, and I think 10b is right on the money with a couple of the moves you make. I too got tricked into going right at the top and found clipping the anchor to be the final crux move. Dec 11, 2017
m1nd7r1p McG33
Denver, CO
m1nd7r1p McG33   Denver, CO
Another Shelf climb with loose hanger nuts: 2 by my count. One is a spinning hanger about halfway up, the other is the left anchor nut. Both will need a wrench to tighten, only got them finger-tight as I forgot to put a wrench in my pack. Feb 3, 2018