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Shades of Gray 

YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a R

Type:  Trad, 4 pitches, 350', Grade II
Original:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a R [details]
FA: Pat Ament, Cam John, Gray Ringsby, 1979
Page Views: 168
Submitted By: Dougald MacDonald on May 3, 2003

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (14)
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Matt on P4.

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  • Description 

    This was a wonderful find on the Eldo obscure tour. It's really a series of variations on The Bulge, with four short, high-quality pitches. We shared belays with The Bulge the whole way -- where The Bulge goes right each pitch, this route goes left. We don't think we did the third pitch right -- the guidebook says to belay in a small, red, right-facing corner and to climb straight up from an "alcove." We could see a small alcove about 10 feet left of the second belay on The Bulge, but there didn't seem to be any corner. That's probably where you're supposed to belay. We diagonaled up and left from The Bulge belay, climbing over a bulge with decent pro at about 5.10. The rest of the route matches the guidebook description nicely. Go do it!


    Standard Eldo rack with RPs.

    Photos of Shades of Gray Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: Bulge P1 variations: Green, Shades of Grey (5.9 R)...
    BETA PHOTO: Bulge P1 variations: Green, Shades of Grey (5.9 R)...
    Rock Climbing Photo: The Bulge just to the left of the alcove (discusse...
    BETA PHOTO: The Bulge just to the left of the alcove (discusse...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Matt on P2.
    Matt on P2.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Looking up P1 (head for dark corner in the center ...
    BETA PHOTO: Looking up P1 (head for dark corner in the center ...
    Rock Climbing Photo: The roof on P2....
    The roof on P2....
    Rock Climbing Photo: The crux corner on P1....
    The crux corner on P1....

    Comments on Shades of Gray Add Comment
    Show which comments
    By Tony B
    From: Around Boulder, CO
    Sep 14, 2003
    rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R

    The 3rd pitch does start in said alcove. When you get there you can set pink and red tricams or a few similarly sized stoppers overhead in the crack you will see only upon arrival there. I belayed at the anchors though, and then went left as part of the next pitch. As well, we also did the bulge/roof just left of the bolted belay of the roof- took a orange HB microcam and a few stoppers, but none were very good. A second small cam would have made me feel better (.3") but was not on my rack, so we did without. Moves are juggy to a good pinch and then sloper there. Nice variation.
    By Shane Zentner
    From: Colorado
    Oct 7, 2007
    rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R

    The crack on pitch two is great until it ends half way through the pitch. Where the crack ended, I climbed straight up and left to join the anchors for 'The Bulge'. I started the third pitch from the bolt anchors, headed up and left, and found myself seriously runout with questionable gear placements down and right from me. After repeated attempts I retreated and probably did a variation of the third pitch.
    By Eric Klammer
    From: Boulder, CO
    Oct 23, 2014
    rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R

    I'm also unsure of the correct route up pitch 3. I started from the Bulge anchor and traversed to above the "alcove" with feet on a balancy ramp with bad hands. From there, I shot up and just slightly left to the next Bulge anchor. The seam I encountered at the overhang I managed to fiddle a sideways RP into, and the only okay piece on the pitch was now 10'-12' below me. After pulling the seam, it is then runout to the anchor on crystals and cobbles (5.7 or so) and quite heady. Not sure if I was on the correct line or not, even for R it seemed pretty poorly protected, as a fall after the crux and to the top would have you on the ride of your life and going way past the belay.... If I ever do this climb again, I will definitely sandbag my partner into leading P3.

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