REI Community
Menses Prow
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
A Sheep in Wolf's Clothing S 
Abscessed Words to Climb S 
After Dark S 
Armies Of Metaphors S 
B.O.S.S. Method, The S 
Back for More S 
Baroque Period, The S 
Bat Crack T,S 
Big Chill, The S 
Caught in the Middle S 
Chiba Chiba S 
Cosmic Thing S 
Dealin' Crack T 
Dumb Waiter S 
Fever S 
First Blood S 
First Strike S 
Flashback To Acid Beach S 
Graceland S 
I am a Viking S 
Jumbo Pumping Love S 
Krakatoa S 
Lamont's Period  S 
Lick My Love Pump aka Love Pump S 
Light Days S 
Liquid Affair S 
Lunch at the Y S 
Menses S 
Metaphysical Fictions S 
My What a Big Bulge S 
No Passion for Fashion S 
Original Route S 
Period Epic S 
Period Piece S 
Pig Dictionary S 
Prima Nocta  S 
Pueblo Gringos S 
Red Dog S 
Scratch and Claw S 
Shelf's Worst Route S 
Slender Fungus S 
Smart Server S 
Smokin' Crack T 
Stratabulge S 
Sudden Impact S 
Sundogs S 
Thirteen Engines S 
True to Tradition/Tucker's Faith S 
Turbo Charged, Inter-Cooled Meat Machine S 
Weed n' Feed T,S 
Unsorted Routes:

First Blood 

YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch, 70'
Original:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Tom Eisenman, Pete Gallagher, & Larry Schubarth, 1979
Page Views: 12,281
Submitted By: Rich Kelly on Sep 18, 2005

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (202)
Your todo list:
Your stars:
Your rating: -none- [change]
Your ticklist: [add new tick]
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [1 person likes this page.]
Brenda rappels "First Blood".


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.

Photos of First Blood Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Kelly on First Blood.  Be sure and look to your ri...
Kelly on First Blood. Be sure and look to your ri...
Rock Climbing Photo:
Rock Climbing Photo: Craig on First Blood.
Craig on First Blood.
Rock Climbing Photo: Leading First Blood.  Photo by Laura.
Leading First Blood. Photo by Laura.
Rock Climbing Photo: Peter Dillon at the roof, starting the traverse to...
Peter Dillon at the roof, starting the traverse to...
Rock Climbing Photo: First Blood.  Climb the crack and corner, pass a b...
BETA PHOTO: First Blood. Climb the crack and corner, pass a b...

Comments on First Blood Add Comment
Show which comments
By Mike Anderson
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Jan 9, 2006
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

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.
By Ryan Bibler
From: MT
May 2, 2006
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

One of the best, most aesthetic moderates I've done!
By Nate Oakes
May 17, 2006

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.
By Jeff Fiedler
Oct 22, 2007
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

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.
By CalebSimpson
Oct 24, 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!
By Larry C. Schubarth
From: colorado springs, colorado
Nov 21, 2008

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.
By Rich F.
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Apr 17, 2011
rating: 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c

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!
By Jeff Thomas
Apr 23, 2012

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.
By yekim
Oct 17, 2015

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.
By Cody Nottingham
From: Avon, CO
Sep 12, 2016

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.

Mountain Project

The Definitive Climbing Resource

MTB Project

Next Generation MTB Trail Maps

Powder Project

Backcountry Ski Maps & Secret Stashes
FREE Stickers · Gyms · RSS · School of Rock · Contact · About