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Routes in Lightning Rock

Ground Fall Interceptor (GFI) T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Off The Grid T 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Power Shortage T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Short Circuit T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R
Type: Trad, 260 ft, 2 pitches
FA: Chris Banks and Howard Burkhart
Page Views: 1,253 total, 8/month
Shared By: spanky on Jul 31, 2004
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

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Season raptor closures Details


Start 15 feet right of Short Circuit/Meltdown. Climb up to the left edge of the low ceiling band, undercling and lieback around the roof and stretch up for a fingerlock (tricky protection). Face climb up and right on perfect stone, 5.9+, and then up and left on easier climbing to the large ledge 60 feet up. Belay at the tree.

Move right on the ledge to a thin crack 10 feet right of the Meltdown finger crack. Climb the finger crack to its end, then sketch past 3 bolts of fantastic steep slab climbing. Crux is between 1st and 2nd bolts. At the 3rd bolt, perform a delicate traverse right, 5.10d, to gain discontinuous cracks that lead to a stance on the right edge of the face. From the stance, step left into a thin crack in a shallow corner. Lieback and jam this to its top, place a critical #00 TCU, and perform difficult moves pulling over a bulge, exciting 5.10c. After the bulge, climb up and left on runout 5.9 slab to reach a thank-god jug. Easier climbing, 5.6 or 5.7, finds the top. Use slings on horns for belay, walk off for descent.

This is a full 200-foot pitch if done as described. If using a 50-meter rope, set intermediate belay at stance below upper crack, using a couple of 2" cams for anchors. However, when done as one pitch, the 2nd pitch is a long, sustained lead with multiple cruxes of excellent thin face and crack climbing. Quality!


Rack: single set of medium stoppers, single set of cams from #00 TCU up to 2". Long slings for both anchors.


GFI is a great addition to the Ridge. Super fun climbing with a bit of spice. But, I did notice that all the bolts were placed incorrectly. The bolts were not placed perpendicular to the surface of the rock. So, only the bottom portion of the nut is in contact with the hanger. The bolts are OK for now, but eventually they will come loose. Jun 11, 2006
Had a nice tour of GFI/Spanktrovision on 5/24/05. Route does well as two pitches, but whoever gets the second pitch will have much more to think about...though the first pitch is very nice and has great rock. There are a lot of gear options at the roof, and all placements seemed very good.

I thought the crux was after the third bolt, though I traversed a bit late to the right to gain the headwall crack. This was much harder than anything below, in my opinion. I also noted that if one finishes the thin crack section (after the three bolts) and exits the crack directly and a bit to the right, this seemed stout for 11a. I could see chalk and better holds to the left, but the moves were just as good and exciting as the thoughtful slab below.

Though the rock quality after the second pitch jug begins to suffer as the route winds down, GFI should not be missed. The second pitch alone is worth the hike, and it isn't over after the beautiful face climbing. The thin crack presents an obvious dilemna regarding foot placement - at the exact spot of the climber seen below, if I remember correctly. The picture is also a bit deceiving as the bolts are not exactly sportily placed.

At 5.11a, this one climbs much harder than many of the routes I have climbed on Lumpy rated just below the grade, but that is most likely given the ease of deviating from the sequential slab moves. This is a great addition to Lightning Rock. Hats off to the one who put up this one!

-JM May 26, 2005
...Nice work on GFI Spanky This a great mixed trad route with exciting moves to the finish. Apr 22, 2005
Ivan Rezucha
Fort Collins, CO
Ivan Rezucha   Fort Collins, CO
I've posted a photo under Power Shortage that shows the crux face of Ground Fall Interceptor. It looks really good... Nov 7, 2004
justin dubois
Estes Park
justin dubois   Estes Park
I suggest that the title of this route be changed to "Spank-tro-vision", in honor of the first ascentionist.Other early suggestions included "All in with a pair of two's". Those of us who've played poker with Spanky know what I'm sayin'. Great route in any case, just watch out, that crack and slab up top is a wee bit zesty! Nov 4, 2004