Type: Sport, 70 ft
FA: Tom Eisenman, Pete Gallagher, & Larry Schubarth, 1979
Page Views: 13,237 total · 82/month
Shared By: Rich Kelly on Sep 17, 2005
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

239 Opinions

Your To-Do List:

Add To-Do · View List

Your Star Rating:

     Clear Rating

Your Difficulty Rating:

-none- Change

Your Ticks:

Add New Tick


First Blood is the first route right of the California Ethics Pinnacle. It follows a crack to a bulge and then over it into a corner which is followed to an overhang at which point the route curves right to the belay anchor.

First Blood is one of the best moderates at Shelf. It had plenty of holds, smooth jams and great protection (if one ignores the easy run out to the 1st bolt). It looks way harder then the rating but it is all there. The only place where there was not bomber holds was moving right to the anchors. The Menses Prow is a great place to take fledging climbers as there are many quality 5.8's and 5.9's here. Be sure to include this one on your list!

Note that this climb was mistakenly (I assume) left out of the most recent Shelf Road guidebook (Shelf Road Rock - A Complete Climbing Reference).


8-9 bolts, plus 2 bolt anchor.


Mike Anderson
Colorado Springs, CO
Mike Anderson   Colorado Springs, CO
I concur.

As far as I can remember, this is the best 5.8 I've done at Shelf. It's nice and steep, has great rock and big holds...lots o' fun. Jan 9, 2006
Ryan Bibler
Ryan Bibler   MT
One of the best, most aesthetic moderates I've done! May 2, 2006
Nate Oakes  
I agree with Mike - best 5.8 I've done at Shelf Road. Very similar feel to Cheese Grater for the first 2/3 of the route. It's easier if you don't wait until the last minute to move out to the right face under the anchors. Don't fret the runout to the first bolt, there are bomber hand- and footholds. May 17, 2006
Jeff Fiedler
Jeff Fiedler  
On 10/20/07, several of the hangers were spinning. Someone had a wrench and checked the bolts, which seemed to be in good shape.

So, just a heads up to a beginner leader not to get freaked out if you end up slapping at a moving hanger with your draw. Oct 22, 2007
I have only been climbing a year and a half, but this is likely my favorite climb so far, very aesthetic, exposed, and fun! Oct 24, 2007
Larry C. Schubarth
colorado springs, colorado
Larry C. Schubarth   colorado springs, colorado
This route was put up in 1979 by Tom Eisenman, Pete Gallagher?, and myself, and protected all on stoppers and hexes, all the way to the top. Besides the big taboo on bolts back then, we were a lot braver(dummer) then. The Shelf Road area was really new and as far as I know, only a few climbs had been done there by Harvey Carter, Tom, Pete, and myself in the pre-sport, all"clean" climbing era. Nov 21, 2008
Rich F.
Colorado Springs, CO
Rich F.   Colorado Springs, CO
This was a great crack climb -- though there are so many edges and pockets, you can climb the whole thing without ever doing a jam. I took some cams for the crack, but the bolts are so well placed there's no need for the cams even as a back up. Great climb! Apr 17, 2011
There are actually three bolts at the anchor, and it is worth taking a long enough sling/cordelette along to make sure you can use all three pieces to build a bomber anchor. Two of the three bolts at the anchor were spinning along with about half the bolts on the way up.

Great climb though. The runout to the fist bolt is no big deal as it's pretty much 4th class terrain up to it. Then jam through the nice crack to some fun face climbing around the bulge. The move to the anchors is a bit awkward, but there are a few jugs to grab as you make the move if you look a bit. Apr 23, 2012
Climbed this on 10/17/15. Thought it was Bat Crack per our guidebook; maybe it's misnamed in the Shelf Guide book we have? 5 or 6 bolts, many of the cold shut hangers still spin on the bolts; didn't have my wrench with me to tight them up a bit.

Side note: we rescued two bail draws off this route. Pretty sure they belong to a guy and a gal and their beagle. Email me with a description if you think they're yours, and we'll figure out a way to get them back to you. Oct 17, 2015
Cody Nottingham
Avon, CO
Cody Nottingham   Avon, CO
Very fun climb for a beginner leader, with a few shortcomings IMO. Climbed 9/11/2016 and noticed two holds near the top left about level with the last bolt both had a chalked "X" on them. Gave them a knock and slight pressure, and they seemed solid, but I did not put weight on them. Not using these two holds made it a bit more difficult for me to finish to last bolt and anchors. Anyone know what is up with these? Also many of the hangers were loose on the way up. Great climb overall. Sep 12, 2016
Charlie Beck
Boulder, CO
Charlie Beck   Boulder, CO
Climbed this route yesterday, and there was a ton of loose rock on it with loose hangers that I doubt could hold a fall. If you are leading at 5.8, I'd advise avoiding this one and trying some of the other routes at this crag. Mar 27, 2018
Gina Kuzmick
Gina Kuzmick  
Absolute blast of a climb. Super fun moves with some crack action. One of the best routes I've done at Shelf. Mar 30, 2018