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Cactus Cliff
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Affluenza S 
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Muscle Beach 

YDS: 5.11a French: 6c Ewbanks: 22 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 22 British: E3 5c

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch, 80'
Original:  YDS: 5.11a/b French: 6c Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E3 5c [details]
FA: Bob D'Antonio and Vaino Kodas, 2001
New Route: Yes
Page Views: 12,581
Submitted By: Ron Olsen on Feb 7, 2001

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (308)
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Austin Brown.


This route share the first two bolts and moves as Afterburner. Climb up a short crack and then angle to the right up into a steep shallow corner. Follow the line of bolts up through the corner and steep face to the anchor. Great climbing on good holds and rock.


Twelve bolts to a two-bolt anchor.

Photos of Muscle Beach Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Cactus Cliff - Left (2).  Errata: Route 31 is Tits...
BETA PHOTO: Cactus Cliff - Left (2). Errata: Route 31 is Tits...
Rock Climbing Photo: Those are some nice muscles.
Those are some nice muscles.
Rock Climbing Photo: Unknown climber enjoying last light on Muscle Beac...
Unknown climber enjoying last light on Muscle Beac...
Rock Climbing Photo: Austin Brown.
Austin Brown.
Rock Climbing Photo: Amber up high on "Muscle Beach".
Amber up high on "Muscle Beach".
Rock Climbing Photo: Nan finishing the crux flake of Muscle Beach.
Nan finishing the crux flake of Muscle Beach.
Rock Climbing Photo: Nan cruising the lower section.
Nan cruising the lower section.
Rock Climbing Photo: Muscle Beach, Oct. 2011.
Muscle Beach, Oct. 2011.
Rock Climbing Photo: Unknown climber, Oct. 2011.
Unknown climber, Oct. 2011.
Rock Climbing Photo: Near the end of the bulging crux. Photo by Paul Re...
Near the end of the bulging crux. Photo by Paul Re...
Rock Climbing Photo: Taking advantage of the only rest.
Taking advantage of the only rest.
Rock Climbing Photo: Starting the crux.  This is how Cactus looked the ...
Starting the crux. This is how Cactus looked the ...

Comments on Muscle Beach Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Mar 21, 2017
By Dr. Dan
From: Steamboat Springs, CO
Feb 27, 2004
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

I am no Shelf Road veteran, but the only climb in the 11 range on this section has to be Muscle Beach. It has its own start in an irregular crack just left of Afterburner. Once through the crack it works straight up on smoother rock on some steep holds and then angles right on the slightly overhanging bulge. It is an excellent route, but rather than 11b/c it felt more like 11a.
By Dave Meyers
From: Golden, CO
Dec 17, 2006

Let's at least stick to the guide book ratings here. Definitely .11a. if this route was at old Shelf (Contest, Freeform, Gallery, etc.) it probably would be .10d.
By jarthur
From: Westminster, CO
Mar 23, 2008

Like the book says, "Not a single move of 5.11..." what this climb lacks in technical difficulty it only delivers on the pump factor. It's a route I'll get on everytime I go back. Easily the best of the grade at Cactus Cliff.
By Ben Cassedy
From: Denver, CO
Nov 21, 2010
rating: 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a

Stellar route, but much harder than any 11a's I've done lately, including enduro routes like this one. Harder than Free Willie in Bocan, Fuzzy Undercling at the Red, Reefer Madness in Clear Creek, etc., just to name a few.

Or maybe I just suck.
By Ben Cassedy
From: Denver, CO
Nov 21, 2010
rating: 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a

I also noticed that the person who called this 10b/c (what?!) 'cleaned it on TR' and at least one person who called it 11a one-hung on it. Dude. It's an endurance route.
By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
Dec 30, 2010
rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b

There were sure awfully good rests on it. I did it fresh off of a pretty severe injury (just got the splint off of my broken wrist a few weeks ago) that made the other 10s around give me pause... but this one, no. Didn't get pumped, didn't struggle. And I was hanging the draws OS.
I'm not trying to brag, I'm just saying that the 5.10 rating is an available opinion to more than just people who hung on it or followed it. I'd endorse that.
By Hans Hoffman
From: D'iberville, MS
Jul 14, 2011
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

The 4/5th bolt is loose. I don't remember exactly which one. I tightened it as much as I could with my hands. Still climbable just thought I'd share.
By Curt MacNeill
From: Boulder, CO
Jan 11, 2012

I have done many many routes from 5.10 to 5.13 at Shelf and this is among one of my favorite climbs at any grade. Regardless of the debatable grade (I thought it was roughly 5.9c), it's very enjoyable climbing and can serve as a great warmup for some of the harder routes at Cactus. Do it!!!
By dancesatmoonrise
Dec 2, 2012
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

Sweet OS this afternoon. Agree the 11 a/b rating is perhaps just a tad soft. Also agree that it is totally classic. True that there is not really any technical crux, but in the upper half is a section that was interesting and had to be worked out without a great rest. Stays on ya most of the upper half. Very well protected, solid modern gear after the fourth bolt. Gave it four stars.
By Ben Hall
From: Boulder, Colorado
Feb 14, 2013

Definitely a Shelf Road favorite for the grade!
By Jordan Hirro
From: Colorado Springs/Carbondale
Jan 14, 2014

Way fun. Reiterating the above comments, just watch out for the pump. Enjoy!
By sanz
From: Raleigh, NC
Mar 23, 2014

I thought this route, Blackman's Burden, and Misalignment all felt about the same difficulty, 10+ range. Sustained but lots of big holds and good feet to keep the pump at bay. Great route.
By Nate Liles
Apr 18, 2016

Replaced anchor in 2016, hardware courtesy of the ASCA. Consider a donation today @
By Benjamin Chapman
From: Small Town, USA
Jan 3, 2017

Bob & Vaino...what an awesome name. Thanks for posting, Ron.
By Joel Allen
From: La Crosse, WI
Mar 21, 2017

The individual moves are all in the 5.10 range, but I thought this was fairly pumpy, so I think 5.11a is a fair grade for this.

I'm not sure how Tony didn't get pumped at all, but I sure as hell did. I was also leading it OS hanging draws, and I whipped off at the second to last bolt purely out of being pumped.

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