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.
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.
Weather station 6.8 miles from here
79 Total Climbing Routes
['4 Stars',10],['3 Stars',39],['2 Stars',22],['1 Star',6],['Bomb',2]
Classic Climbing Routes in The Gym
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in The Gym
Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for The Gym:
Crystal 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport, 1 pitch, 60'
Butt Flambé 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport, 1 pitch, 80'
Head Cheese 5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b Sport, 1 pitch, 60'
The Example 5.13a/b 8a 29 IX+ 29 E7 6c Sport, 1 pitch, 75'
Featured Route For The Gym
Head Cheese 5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b Colorado
: Shelf Road
: The Gym
Head Cheese lies to the right of the Crack of Dawn (the 10b bolted crack). It's a steep route for Shelf Road on mostly good pockets and crimpers. Facing mostly north, it doesn't get much sun. Trundle up 20 feet to the first bolt. The rock seems solid here but it's a little spooky soloing this far on Shelf Road rock. Move through two steep roof systems with a fairly good rest in between. There are 2 very closely spaced bolts midway up the route. I heard that a clipping jug fel...[more] Browse More Classics in Colorado
Looking north from the left side of the Gym with a...
Bob Robinson making it happen!
BETA PHOTO: just around corner from spiny ridge
By Legs Magillicutty
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.