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YDS: 5.11d French: 7a Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII ZA: 25 British: E5 6a

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch, 70'
Original:  YDS: 5.11d French: 7a Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII ZA: 25 British: E5 6a [details]
FA: Richard Aschert, Dave Dangle, Bob D'Antonio, 1986
Page Views: 4,790
Submitted By: Richard M. Wright on Sep 25, 2001

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High up with one clip to go before the anchors on ...


Approximately 60 feet right of Lats is a classic Shelf burl-fest that ascends a smooth, bulging wall, The French Are Here. Starting ten feet left and behind a tree is the line, Gravitations, that ascends the same wall and runs to the same anchor. This is an interesting line chock full of pockets, edges, and a discontinuous seam. It also provides the easy way to get a top-rope on The French which ticks in with a 5.12c sequence pulling through the bulge. However, Gravitations is also a fine line in its own right being solid, continuous, and interesting. It is a bit more run out than The French, but this is largely near the anchor. I thought this was a good route and worth the struggle.


7 bolts.

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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated May 26, 2016
By Peter Beal
From: Boulder Colorado
Oct 4, 2001

Maybe the best line for its grade at Shelf, definitely worth three stars
By Dougald MacDonald
May 23, 2002

I agree: This is the best route of its grade at Cactus and maybe at all of Shelf. The run-outs are intimidating, but a handful of small to medium cams allows you to protect between the well-spaced bolts. Many ways to climb this -- all pumpy as hell!
By Joe Collins
Nov 21, 2002

This was the best pitch I climbed on my only visit to Cactus Cliff. The bolts are definitely a bit spaced for your typical sport route... and its not like its easy between clips: you certainly have to bust some moves well above bolts. I found it interesting that this route was so easy to get on, whereas I pretty much had to take a number to get on the adjacent "Lats don't have feelings."
By david goldstein
Jan 27, 2003

A sustained pitch, with interesting moves, a little variety and more excitement than I'm used to finding on a Shelf route. A 1 and/or 1.5 Friend helps de-spice the most runout section.

Probably the best pitch I've done at Shelf.
By Dougald MacDonald
Jan 28, 2003

It occurs to me that with all the comments bout "spice" and runouts, some do-gooder might get the idea to add a bolt or two to Gravitations. Please, please, please don't! The route is great the way it is.
Dec 22, 2003
rating: 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a

In my opinion, the runouts help make this a 3 star climb. If more closely bolted, it would be just another great Shelf face climb, but much less memorable. It is plenty safe, just a little intimidating. The falls would be clean, the clipping stances are good, and the hardest climbing is all near the bolts. I wish more routes were established as thoughtfully as this one.

Side note, I'm not sure where you would place gear on this route, anything worthwhile anyways.
By Lance Cockwood
Aug 11, 2004
rating: 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a

Quality from base to summit.
By Tlake
Jul 6, 2006

I agree with MacDonald, definitely established in the old style but the new guide book has it right on... not a ton of protection, but it's right where you want it.
By Monty
From: Golden, CO
Nov 2, 2008
rating: 5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII 25 E4 6a

Didn't find this to be "run out" at all. It's a beautiful route, and if you're a quazi solid 11 climber it should be a must do climb.
By jarthur
From: Westminster, CO
Nov 9, 2008

The bolting style is typical of any route that Doug Reed and Porter Jarrard bolted in NC, New River Gorge, and the Red River Gorge. This should have been named The Example in my opinion because the bolt spacing is perfect. Cool moves and sustained from the 2nd bolt to the last.
By Stich
From: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Nov 28, 2009

Although I have rarely if ever climbed a route of this grade straight through, I found taking a few rests allowed me to piece it together and have a really good time! Don't pass up this route because it's over your head. You may also be surprised.
By Jesse Ryan
Nov 5, 2010

Agree with the quality and preserving this route's nature as is, BUT I know of folks who hobbled away from this line with injuries due to the run-outs.
By Brian Adzima
From: San Francisco
Nov 14, 2011

This route is great, unlike other Shelf routes. If this was at Ceuse, it might get climbed.
By Curt MacNeill
From: Boulder, CO
Jan 21, 2012

Awesome route and every bit as classic as its neighbor, Lats. Widely spaced bolts, so climb and clip with caution. Could probably use one or two more bolts to make it safer for the masses. Great fun though....
By Ben Hall
From: Boulder, Colorado
Mar 5, 2013
rating: 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a

Ultra classic!! Excellent route. If you're not focused on the runouts between bolts, it climbs perfectly and is bolted so. Must do!
By Jason Halladay
From: Los Alamos, NM
Mar 14, 2016
rating: 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a

This is easily my favorite 11d at Shelf, if not my favorite route overall. Great movement on quality rock with hard to read sequences. Pumpy yet technical. The bolt spacing adds to the overall enjoyment by allowing flowing, uninterrupted climbing movement between clips.
If absolutely desired, some finger-sized gear would minimize the runs between bolts.
By Aaron Hwang
May 26, 2016

Tore off a giant X-marked hold next to the second bolt on 5/23/2016. I went to it without seeing the X on my first go at this route. It came loose in my hand, so I decided to do everyone a favor and clean it up. In its place is a smaller jug facing the correct direction which can be used as a foot later on. No change to the grade as I felt like the 5.11 crux was higher up.
Rock Climbing Photo: Goodbye, dangerous loose block by the second bolt.
Goodbye, dangerous loose block by the second bolt.

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