Mountain Project Logo
To save paper & ink, use the [Hide] controls next to photos and comments so you only print what you need.

The Smoking Pickle

5.12a, Sport, 95 ft,  Avg: 3.2 from 47 votes
FA: Dave Dangle, Rich Aschert, 2004
Colorado > Canon City > Shelf Rd > Gym

Description

This has a very thin and difficult sequence which starts as soon as you take your feet off the ground and does not stop until you reach the 4th bolt. Once you've gotten to the 4th bolt, rests placed just where you need them will get you through the moderate finish to the anchors. It is just as good as the other 12s on this wall if not one of the best.

Although very similar to its neighbor Spontaneous Combustion, the crux section felt harder and more sustained. There is some loose rock along the way, but further ascents will help clear some of this away. Having your belayer wear a helmet is not a bad idea.

Location

This is located at the Combustion Wall Area immediately left of Spontaneous Combustion.

Protection

12 bolts with a 2 bolt anchor.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

The crux start involves sustained cranking on insecure crimps and small pockets.
[Hide Photo] The crux start involves sustained cranking on insecure crimps and small pockets.
At the end of the difficulties on the Smoking Pickle.
[Hide Photo] At the end of the difficulties on the Smoking Pickle.

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

[Hide Comment] A brilliant route. One of the best at Shelf! May 19, 2008
Aeon Aki

  5.11+
[Hide Comment] This route climbs more like a bouldery V4 to an engaging and exposed 5.9 headwall, both classics in their own regards. It's almost a shame that the upper slab is gaurded by such a stout beginning. 5 stars! Mar 2, 2009
Curt MacNeill
Boulder, CO
 
[Hide Comment] Great route and one of the best at Shelf. The opening bouldery sequence is brilliant. Once you hit the 4th bolt, the climb goes down a full number grade or more but is still engaging and fun, all the way to the top. Awesome route! Oct 25, 2012
Ben Hall
Boulder, Colorado
5.12-
[Hide Comment] Boulder problem to 5.9 climbing. Master the boulder problem (crimpy) and henceforth master the climb, barring broken holds. Solid climb* Apr 29, 2013
slim

  5.11d
[Hide Comment] Excellent route, slightly easier than Spontaneous Combustion (both the lower crux climbing as well as the slab climbing above). I can't believe this route wasn't put up until 2004. Totally blows my mind that such an awesome line hid in plain view for nearly 20 years. Nov 11, 2013