Type: Sport, 80 ft
FA: Bob Robertson, Harvey Miller, 1986. Re-equipped 2001
Page Views: 2,522 total · 11/month
Shared By: William Prehm on Dec 31, 2000
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

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Start at the left end of the ledge below Lats Wall, just left of Red Giant. Follow a meandering line up the center of a slabby, reddish face.

Don't fall on this one. The rock on this climb is like a grater: sharp, pointy formations on less-than-vertical rock, with widely-spaced bolts.


7 bolts and an anchor.
This route climbs a section of red stone perpendicular to the main orientation of Cactus Cliff. Look for the left wall of a right-facing dihedral. Even with updated gear, the bolt locations and frequency might offer some excitement for a climber at his or her limit who is used to the modern style of bolting on most Shelf routes. Oct 18, 2001
Peter Beal
Boulder Colorado
Peter Beal   Boulder Colorado
I thought this climb was one of the best 5.10s at Shelf. Instead of mindless pocket grabbing and big ledges, this route offers genuinely thoughtful climbing. I agree that several bolts aren't in quite the right place but the slightly runout feel of the route adds something interesting without actual danger. And I don't remember any problem with getting to the anchor. Apr 1, 2002
This route has been re-bolted again since the last time I climbed it 2 years ago. I didn't get on it but the bolting looks sound and takes a nice direct line up the slab. (Now if somebody could take care of the sharpness :) Apr 9, 2002
Rick Thompson
Mount Nebbiolo, CO
Rick Thompson   Mount Nebbiolo, CO
Dave, et al - With the assistance of Lauren Sigman, I re-equipped this route last November as part of a volunteerism day (in a similar spirit of Celebrate Eldorado) organized by Mark Hesse and the Rocky Mt. Field Institute. In doing so we had the arduous task of removing about a half-dozen rusty 1/4" star-drives split shaft bolts and home made hangers. All old bolt holes were restored to hide any potential scars, and new stainless steel bolts and hangers were placed in the general location of the originals. It took something on the order of 5 hours for two of us to complete the work - ouch, my legs were numb from hangin' in that harness for so long. It is worthy to note that first ascentionist Bob Robertson drilled this route ground-up style about 15 years ago. I suspect this explains the "sporty" nature of the route (I prefer to call it "old style sport climbing"). Peter, I couldn't agree more with your characterization of this being a fine route. Dave, you'll note most of the critical holds were conservatively comfortized when we re-equipped it and I think you'd have a fine time on it now, although you'll still find an occasional "sharpie". Enjoy :~) Apr 14, 2002
It survived for 15 years without being "conservatively comfortized", why did it need it now? Just a question...nothing more...nothing less Apr 15, 2002
Thanks for comfortising the holds. It makes a more enjoyable line for those of us not as tough as the previous commentator. Apr 22, 2002
Be careful with guides...My Falcon Guide calls this a 5.10a. No way in hell is it a 10a, so watch yourself. Oct 1, 2002
David Danforth
David Danforth   California/Colorado
I agree; I probably have the same guide and it says that this route is a 5.10a, and it sure didn't seem like a 10a to me, so don't trust the books. Oct 22, 2002
Larry Shaw
Larry Shaw  
Small pockets and small feet at a slabby angle. Sep 27, 2004
Brian Adzima
San Francisco
Brian Adzima   San Francisco
The # of bolts is fine. One or two are in a little less than optimum place to clip if you are short. Nov 11, 2007
Westminster, CO
jarthur   Westminster, CO
This climb is good to throw in the mix if you are out at Cactus Cliff for the day. Although this might be thought provoking once you've done a few other Shelf routes (not suggesting Shelf is overbolted, spend the day at Muir Valley at the Red River Gorge and you'll see true bolt ladders) this route has bolts exactly where you need them. Reminds me of the typical bolting style at the New River Gorge and earlier Red River Gorge. Not a route I'll keep doing, but a really awesome route to do at least once. Mar 23, 2008
T. William
T. William   Avon
Watch out for the family of hornets living in one of the pockets about 3/4 of the way up. Came face to face with 5 or 6 of them, that was the mental crux for me! Sep 8, 2010
Bill Olszewski
Colorado Springs, CO
Bill Olszewski   Colorado Springs, CO
Great route, scary lead. Stay off this one if .10c is pushing your limits; there is potential for a 25' fall and the low angle and good friction of the rock will take your ankle. Kudos to hardman Bob R for bolting such a bold lead ground up. Nov 30, 2011
nate post
nate post   Silverthorne
Not my favorite, but nonetheless it was well worth one go and a good lead it was. It's a little different than everything else around here and in my book deserved some extra credit for the spicy lead over a cheesegrater rock and for the bold, ground up bolting. Mar 7, 2013
Jordan Hirro
Colorado Springs/Carbondale
Jordan Hirro   Colorado Springs/Carbondale
Not really the biggest fan of slab, but this was great. The holds are sharp, and the route a bit interesting. Great warmup. Dec 2, 2013
Sends McGee
Denver, CO
  5.10c PG13
Sends McGee   Denver, CO
  5.10c PG13
I have been in Colorado only about 4 months, but this is probably my favorite route out West so far. Very underrated. Lots of awesome pockets and crimps with some semi-technical moves that were really fun and balancy. Sep 28, 2015
Keith W
Keith W   Denvah
One of the more unique lines I have done at Shelf. Thin moves on low angle, shredder rock. Spicy lead for sure. You really have to trust the small handholds sometimes, but the rock texture makes it so that there are feet pretty much everywhere. Make sure your lead head is strong before getting on this one. Dec 11, 2017
Boulder, CO
Branty   Boulder, CO
This route is a lot of fun. The bolt spacing keeps things interesting, and the moves are fantastic! A great, slabby time! Jan 28, 2018