REI Community
The Gym
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Armstrong Express, The S 
Arnold! Arnold! S 
Arrowhead Spire S 
Black Mamba Arete S 
Blast from the Past S 
Bolt the Planet S 
Bone 'n' Vein S 
Bottom Feeder S 
Bubba's Belly (aka The Example Simulator) S 
Butt Flambé  S 
Cask Strength S 
Cimmaron Lanes S 
Comin' In Smooth S 
Crack of Dawn, The S 
Crystal S 
Deeper Shade Of Soul S 
Dizzi Lizzi S 
Easy Cheese aka Trout Fishing in America S 
Ejection Generation S 
Ejection Seat, The S 
Even Bad Dogs Get A Bone S 
Example, The S 
Five Dollars S 
Fly Little Super Boy S 
Ga-stoned Again S 
Great Escape, The S 
Green Bonus, The S 
Gym Arete Direct S 
Gym Arete, The S 
Head Cheese S 
Here Today Gone Tomorrow  S 
Hot Rod Lincoln S 
I Am A Machine S 
I Never Met a Carbo I Didn't Like S 
I'll Be Back S 
In The Morning, You'll Be Mine S 
Jane Fonda Warm-up S 
Librium Quiver S 
Lockdown S 
Morning Stretch S 
Mountaineer's Route S 
Muscles From Brussels S 
My Generation S 
Natty Dread S 
Needle Haven aka Fallen Prophet S 
New Rule S 
New Vernacular, The S 
Oh... What Are You Looking At S 
Orange Marmalade S 
Our Bosch of Immaculate Conception S 
Paradise Regained S 
Penitentiary Pump S 
Pinhead S 
Prickly Pear S 
Profits of Rage S 
Pulley Mammoth S 
Rally Monkey S 
Raw and the Roasted, The S 
Real Deal, The S 
Rio Station S 
Scarface S 
Senor Verde S 
She's Got a Full Set of Camalots! T,S 
Shorty Bob S 
Smoking Pickle, The S 
Solar Flex S 
Spontaneous Combustion S 
St. Patty's Slab S 
Stud with a Rug S 
There Goes the Neighborhood S 
Three Stooges S 
Thunder & Lightning  S 
Tomato, Tomotto S 
Trailer Park Logic S 
Trout Fishing S 
Untapped S 
Up Valley Goes Downtown S 
Urban Fringe S 
VHS or Beta S 

The Gym Arete 

YDS: 5.12a French: 7a+ Ewbanks: 25 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 25 British: E5 6a

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch
Original:  YDS: 5.12a French: 7a+ Ewbanks: 25 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 25 British: E5 6a [details]
FA: Bob D'Antonio and Darryl Roth, 1987
Page Views: 9,957
Submitted By: Richard M. Wright on Sep 20, 2001

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (84)
Your todo list:
Your stars:
Your rating: -none- [change]
Your ticklist: [add new tick]
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [1 person likes this page.]
Midway up The Gym Arete.


The best route of its grade at The Gym? Probably.

Hike up the trail and stop. The stunning arete right before your eyes is The Gym Arete. The line has a direct start at 5.12c that I have toproped on several occasions. This seems really fingery and gets quite powerful in the entry moves that are very steep. Alternatively, step into the corner and pick out a short, diagonal variation for "only" 5.12b. This seems a lot more user-friendly and gains the arete on a very natural, curving line.

Overall, the route is very continuous. Climbing is unusual for the Shelf, being on edges and square cuts until quite high on the route when a rogue pocket or two will start to emerge. This is positively a great line, and I wish my notes referenced the FA team. I have some guesses but nothing concrete. Jump on it!


Eight to ten draws and a rope.

Photos of The Gym Arete Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Gunning for the top.
Gunning for the top.
Rock Climbing Photo: Cruxy crimper.
Cruxy crimper.
Rock Climbing Photo: Classic.
Rock Climbing Photo: Holly Hillenbrand climbs well.
Holly Hillenbrand climbs well.
Rock Climbing Photo: Great route!
Great route!
Rock Climbing Photo: The Gym Arete. As you can see, it's not an arete a...
The Gym Arete. As you can see, it's not an arete a...
Rock Climbing Photo: Entering the crux.
Entering the crux.
Rock Climbing Photo: Adam Osterhoff on Gym Arete.
Adam Osterhoff on Gym Arete.

Comments on The Gym Arete Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jan 18, 2017
By Anonymous Coward
Sep 21, 2001

Cool climb but not really an arete mor like a rounded face....
By Peter Beal
From: Boulder Colorado
Oct 4, 2001

Hasn't this always been called 12a?
By Richard M. Wright
From: Lakewood, CO
Oct 16, 2001

Wow! Thanks Bob D'Antonio. As a founding father of the Shelf, I was guessing that this was your route. How did it ever come to pass that all the FA data were neglected in Mark Van Horn's book? I was under the impression, perhaps wrong, that you had worked together on several routes.
By Richard M. Wright
From: Lakewood, CO
Oct 16, 2001


I do believe that the FA data are important, and I will pick up Rico's guide. The effort spent in getting a line in, the cleaning, the rehersal, the cost, and the imagination are part of the history that I like to invoke when I'm on a good line. I can't recall all the times that I have looked up at a route simply jazzed by the imagination of a great line or marveled at what an eye it took to spy the line in the first place. It is interesting in this context that many of the European guides cite the equippers and re-equippers of a route and not the single individual who apparently snagged the first free ascent. Unless the route is right at the cutting edge, the FA information is far more informative and interesting than the FFA data.
By Anonymous Coward
Oct 19, 2001

Glad to see old Bob and Richard patting each other on the back...also like to read about how Richard really likes to see FA info in a guide, this seems to be a common thread in his comments on routes at Shelf. Van Horn, right or wrong, left the FA info out of the book and explained why...if you do not like it you can buy the Rick T. book and read all about the crappy new routes installed in the past few years...lots of nice choss with only a few quality lines here and there. If the lack of FA info was such a tragedy, why didn't someone step up and write a new guide years ago? Too lazy? Producing a guide book is not easy work and at the very least Van Horn took a shot...more than can be said for anyone else.
By Anonymous Coward
Oct 19, 2001

Maybe I use this moniker being aware of your perchance for are correct that you did not directly insult Van Horn's guide but, in a left handed way, you did an even better job...with lines like -_

"I never worked with Van Horn on any route in the area and rarely talked to him. He was not invovled with early FA's and I never saw him down at Shelf in the early going.To my knowledge he has never asked Richard Aschert or any other(me included)climbers who were active with the early FA's and even the newer routes at Cactus Cliff."

Reading this, I wouldn't say you are endorsing his book now are you? Also, I did not say that ALL the new routes are rubble piles, just the vast majority of the new routes. There are great, new lines that have been installed but that has not been the norm.

You ask-_

"If the routes are "worthless choss piles" explain to me why Cactus Cliff is so popular with Front Range climbers"

Maybe it is because it is nice and warm in the winter? I dig the quote but who are you was not from my post; Never said anything about "worthless". Maybe they are mostly, read MOSTLY, middle-of-the-road climbs on less than perfect rock. Can we agree on that?

Lastly, maybe I just like crusing these msg boards, posting loads of shit and seeing who gets the most tweaked. It is not far removed from the general rehashing and bickering that is the norm.
By Anonymous Coward
Oct 19, 2001

oh yea...the reference was to this Richard Wright character, not Richard Aschert. May as well get the right people stired
By Richard M. Wright
From: Lakewood, CO
Oct 19, 2001

AC - are you suggesting that I should care about your comment?
By Mark Eller
Oct 30, 2001

And now... back to the climbing. The direct start isn't wildly harder than the upper arete. However, I receieved excellent beta for the tricky sequence of clipping, downclimbing and traversing at the third bolt on the direct start. I'd give 12a for the arete and 12b for the straight up version. The direct is a great combination of steep pulling at the bottom and extremely technical movement above.
By Mark Eller
Nov 6, 2001

I spoke too soon. The direct version is harder than I thought -- in fact it's the first climb at that grade in Shelf that I haven't been able to finish in a day. It must be solid for 5.12c, or even c/d, as the Van Horn book lists.
By Darryl Roth
Apr 20, 2003

By the way, my name is Darryl Roth, NOT Darrly Roth. Please take note Bob, thanks.
By Ken Cangi
From: Eldorado Springs, CO
Jul 26, 2005

Kids, can't we all just get along? Come on now; just agree that this route a mega classic, and lets get back to the business of climbing. History will sort itself out.
By Jay Samuelson
From: Denver CO
Mar 9, 2009
rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a

Great route. I couldn't find a distinct crux, although I imagine the crimp could count since it's the smallest hold on the route. I also don't think this route deserves an R rating. Sustained route that starts out on decent pockets, increases in difficulty and stays with you for a great ride to the chains. Classic.
By Zane Dordai
Dec 3, 2012
rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a

Spoiler alert!: Maybe I had bad beta, but I disagree with a lot of the comments about this not being very cruxy. The entry moves were all on pretty good holds ('twas a bit sequential but no hard moves) to a really tiny hold and then some sustained outro moves. The end was awesome in that there were for sure a few places where one could fall; I almost fell hiking my feet up with the anchors right in my face. Definitely one of the best Shelf and all time routes that I've done...get on it and bring your crimp strength!
By Curt MacNeill
From: Boulder, CO
Feb 16, 2015

A fantastic route, brilliant pockets and stone. In line with most classic 12a's at Shelf. After watching dozens of people on it this year, there is definitely a crux at about mid-height. I watched many people fall at the exact same spot which is usually a good indicator. Nonetheless, a very worthy route on great stone. Despite the name, I have heard the ongoing joke for years that the route is actually not on an arete. I agree with this. The arete is slightly left and the entire line sits right of the "actual" arete and climbs a face. Gives us all a good laugh though....
By Adam Block
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Jan 18, 2017

Be sure to wipe off tick marks you place on your routes. It's super annoying trying to onsight a route when every single foot chip is ticked with a gym tape width of chalk. It's not only detracting from the route's appeal, it's misleading when I have to check each ticked footchip to see if it's some hidden pocket. It's outdoor climbing, get used to having to look for holds and actually remembering some beta. At the very least, wipe it off on your lower, bro.

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