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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 Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 7,050'
Location: 38.6329, -105.2165 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 50,274
Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Richard M. Wright on Nov 30, 1999
This Afternoon

76° | 52°

64° | 46°

61° | 41°

57° | 40°

59° | 43°

59° | 43°
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
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The Gym features the best limestone at Shelf, abun...


Situated just North of the big hairpin and tad up the road, The Gym holds some of Shelf Roads most brilliant (and difficult) climbs. The wall is East facing and gets sun, therefore, only part of the day. Climbing at the Gym reminds me of Sinks Canyon or Ten sleep, with somewhat fewer pockets. The newer lines still retain sharp edges and spines, but for most routes these have been eroded away. Most routes can be done with a 50 meter rope, although a 60 meter is preferred overall. The occasional two pitch routes are readily done with the same equipment. For its overall climbing value, I think The Gym is the best crag at Shelf, with almost none of the discontinuities found at the Bank.

Getting There 

EDIT: The current "approved" approach is to park at the Bank Campground parking area, then follow the Cactus cliff trail down into the drainage for The Bank, up the other side, east along the base of the Bank to reach the old Cactus cliff access road, then up the road, along the base of The Vault to the pit toilet below the Cash Wall, then east again to reach the far left end of Cactus Cliff. Then follow the Cactus Cliff cliff-base trail along the entire length of Cactus, then to Spiney Ridge, along the entire legth of Spiney, around the point, then north past "The New Gym", to eventually reach The Gym. Sounds like a pretty long approach, huh? Basically its ~15 minutes further than Cactus, depending on your specific destination.

The upside is that there will be zero crowds once you finally arrive.

Climbing Season

Weather station 6.8 miles from here

79 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',11],['3 Stars',39],['2 Stars',21],['1 Star',7],['Bomb',1]

Classic Climbing Routes in The Gym

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for The Gym:
Ga-stoned Again   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   
The Crack of Dawn   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch   
Shorty Bob   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   
She's Got a Full Set of Camalots!   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   
Urban Fringe   5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport   
Natty Dread   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   
Crystal   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   
Morning Stretch   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   
The Raw and the Roasted   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c     Sport, 1 pitch   
Pulley Mammoth   5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   
In The Morning, You'll Be Mine   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch   
Arnold! Arnold!   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch   
Spontaneous Combustion   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   
The Gym Arete   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch   
The Smoking Pickle   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 95'   
The Ejection Seat   5.12b/c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch   
Gym Arete Direct   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 75'   
Head Cheese   5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   
My Generation   5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch   
The Example   5.13a/b 8a 29 IX+ 29 E7 6c     Sport, 1 pitch, 75'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in The Gym

Featured Route For The Gym
Rock Climbing Photo: At the end of the difficulties on the Smoking Pick...

The Smoking Pickle 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a  Colorado : Shelf Road : The Gym
This has a very thin and difficult sequence which starts as soon as you take your feet off the ground and does not stop until you reach the 4th bolt. Once you've gotten to the 4th bolt, rests placed just where you need them will get you through the moderate finish to the anchors. It is just as good as the other 12s on this wall if not one of the best.Although very similar to its neighbor Spontaneous Combustion, the crux section felt harder and more sustained. There is some loose roc...[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

Photos of The Gym Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking north from the left side of the Gym with a...
Looking north from the left side of the Gym with a...
Rock Climbing Photo: Bob Robinson making it happen!
Bob Robinson making it happen!
Rock Climbing Photo: just around corner from spiny ridge
BETA PHOTO: just around corner from spiny ridge

Comments on The Gym Add Comment
Show which comments
By Legs Magillicutty
From: Durango
Feb 27, 2008
There is a route that is located a few routes right of Gastoned. The first 2 bolts are homemade. It's pockety, very positive and extremely dirty. I knocked a huge block down from the left of this route this weekend. No one was hurt. I barely touched it and POW!!! The mid point of the route is pretty clean. Up by the anchors it gets dirty again. Anyone have any idea what this route is and what it is rated? Felt like a 9 maybe? My partner quessed 10a??
By Darryl Roth
Dec 1, 2010
A note of history that I haven't seen anywhere... the first route put up at The Gym was "VHS or Beta". I chose it because of the high quality stone. Due to the thin holds and less traveled location, it doesn't see much traffic, but it certainly typifies the style of climbing that was predominant in those early days of Shelf.

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