Tag Archives: Colorado

EarthTreks Golden vs Movement Denver

In Colorado, I’ve often been able to climb outside every month of the year. Notice, I didn’t say every day of every month – it does get below freezing here!

Some of my friends say: take up a Winter sport – like skiing! While that is an option, for now I still find myself obsessed with climbing, and would like to just do that.

But, trips out can get cancelled at the last minute due to swift weather changes in Colorado, so the default answer is: climb indoors!

In the Denver Metro area, we are blessed with a couple very fine gyms, Movement Denver, and my home gym: EarthTreks Golden (ET).

I’ve been a member of ET since it opened a couple of years ago. As their website states: “The 29,000 sq ft purpose-built facility opened in 2013 and boasts over 28,500 sq ft of climbing on walls up to 45 ft high.” 

The EarthTreks Golden facility, in my humble opinion, is world class. Two levels, high walls, great route setting for both Bouldering and lead/Top Rope – it’s my first recommendation for a good rock gym in the Denver area. The people who work there are also great – all climbers, all seem genuinely friendly and knowledgable.

Comparisons are often made between Movement Denver and ET, with most reviews tending towards giving ET the nod as the better gym. I’ve been to both gyms since I also tend to keep a punch pass for Movement,  so I can give you some tips on why I prefer EarthTreks.

Why people prefer EarthTreks Golden:

  • ET allows 6 free guest passes a year with their membership that can be used for any guest once per month. Movement only allows their guest passes to be used with people who have never been to Movement before.
  • Lead rope availability is much higher at ET than at Movement. I’ve never personally had to wait for a lead rope at ET, but have had to multiple times at Movement.
  • Less crowded at ET. I’ve seen boulderers waiting 4 deep at Movement, and the ropes area is typically a zoo during the prime after work hours of 5:30-7:30.
  • ET has programmable locks for their lockers, with no lockers marked as “reservable.” Beyond the occasional malfunctioning locker I find this more agreeable than having “reservable” lockers that you have to pay for. I also like the convenience of never having to bring my own lock. Reservable lockers also leave one less for the rest of us.
  • ET has a kids area on the 2nd floor, whereas Movement does not (as far as I know).
  • Discount for shoes, clothing, equipment, etc, for members at ET.
  • There’s a good amount of parking at ET, with overflow parking in the strip mall below the Gym, as well as at the Panoramic Orthopedic Center just above/next to the gym (after 5pm, and weekends).  While the main parking lot can get filled up, there are options nearby. Compare this to Movement during peak hours, where you might find yourself walking a few blocks from some shady side streets when the main parking is filled.

What people like about Movement:

  • Close to Downtown. I have partners that live in Downtown, so Movement is the natural choice.
  • Long, overhanging lead wall. Steep is good for lead training – gets you strong with the sustained overhang.
  • Free towels.
  • Reservable lockers. Some people prefer to have their own lockers using their own locks, and are willing to pay for this convenience.

Some people say that both the staff and the climbers at ET, are much nicer than at Movement. I have met nice climbers at both, but I do think that the staff at ET seem nicer and genuinely enjoy working there. This translates to better customer service at ET in my experience.

The crowding at Movement may also create an “opportunistic” attitude of jumping onto routes without consulting those nearby who may have been lacing up for a go. I find this attitude and action less often at EarthTreks, as there’s usually a route open, even during rush hour.

Route Setting

I think the route setting is different at both, which makes sense given the different route setters, but I have found both to be professional and enjoyable. I do find that Movement Denver grading is harder than at ET, meaning a 5.10a at Movement is in general a tad harder than an equivalent 10a at ET. It could also be because when I climb at Movement I tend to stick mostly to the overhanging lead wall – which is both long as well as overhung the entire length. But, I’ve noticed this tendency to harder grading on the regular top rope area as well.

Boulder route setting is comparable between the two, it just tends to get crowded at Movement during prime hours.

Conclusion

Well, that sums up my feelings between the two gyms. Both are worldclass facilities, and you can get a great rock climbing session at both, yet in comparison I’m just glad that I live closer to EarthTreks. I like the benefits of ET in comparison to Movement, but don’t get me wrong: Movement is great too! ET is just a little bit better in my opinion, so if you are deciding between the two, all else being equal (distance, price, etc) I would tend towards ET.

It’s nice that we have such a great choice of gyms in the Denver area!

 

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Shelf Road: 3rd Annual Gathering

This year, I was invited to the 3rd Annual Shelf Road Gathering. This is a climbing party organized by Angela Benefiel, for her friends, and friends of her friends. Marissa invited me for this year’s gathering, and with every invite to Shelf I feel compelled to go – as Shelf is one of my favorite places to climb.

The limestone walls at Shelf are super rough, sharp and griptastic! Sometimes on certain walls I feel like I could almost just slap my palm against a spiky wall and pull down – it can be that spiky. And with the temperatures dropping, it’s my go to place when I need a winter climbing fix.

It’s November in Colorado, and the nights drop temperature into the 30s with daytime temps in the upper 60s. Against the south-facing walls of the Menses Prow, or the Bank it can get 10-20 degrees warmer, feeling like mid-Summer.

I’ve written about Shelf Road before, as well as visiting there prior to my trip to Moab for the Steph Davis crack climbing clinic. It’s one of my favorite places in Colorado to climb.

Marissa, Dana, and me

Marissa, Dana, and me (photo: wanderingink.com

On Friday, only about 10 of the 21 total people arrived (out of 49 invited), the remainder arrived on Saturday. Sitting at the campfire on Friday night I talked to Megan and we discussed how just 2 years ago Shelf was fairly empty on a Saturday. Nowadays, the popular areas such as Cactus Cliff, the Bank, and Menses Prow can get overrun with climbers. We debated on whether the area was just discovered, or whether it was just because of the density of climbers invading Colorado. Probably the latter. Because of the hordes number of climbers there’s even a GoFundMe to pay for more pit toilets at Shelf.

But Shelf is quite large, with over 1,000 routes, from what I’ve been told, so if you don’t like the crowds, either climb 5.11 and above, or easier – go to one of the less visited crags. The area is also being actively bolted, with new routes going in every day. If folks would spread out, then there would be plenty of space to climb.

On Saturday, Marissa, Dana Shin and I explored Menses Prow, one of the crags closest to the Sand Gulch camping area. It’s in the area known as the Gallery.

The night before was windy, and was a “3-dog-night,” an australian saying that it was so cold that you would need “..three dogs to keep warm.” I used 2 sleeping bags, my down one inserted into my cotton one. But Saturday was sunny and warm.

Approach to Menses Prow

Approach to Menses Prow

The hike is forested, and while steep at times, had many areas for photo opps.

Marissa spreading her wings!

Marissa spreading her wings!

Trails are well marked, with signage pointing the way to different crags. Once we arrived at Menses Prow, we found a large group of climbers taking up many of the routes. We were able to squeeze in on The Baroque Period. A nice 5.8 warm up. It felt longer than its 80 feet, with a dihedral crack to start, flakes and edges and long reaches to get to the top.

Dana on Baroque Period

Dana on Baroque Period (photo: wanderingink.com)

I remember getting about 3/4s of the way and thinking I was at the top – then looked up and saw 20 more feet to go!

Must belay with style!

Must belay with style! (photo: wanderingink.com)

But after that, we looked to swap with the party to our left.

‘We have one other person, then I’ll clean it, and then you can have the route,’ the guy who led that route called Prima Nocta, replied. What this translated to was ‘Well, we have 10 other people in my group gangbanging the side of the mountain, and at least 4 of them want a crack at this before we let you have it.’

We tried to be patient, saying things like, ‘It’s just nice being outside!’ all the while glancing over to see a new person roping up. Dana hinted that we could jump on the short 5.9 two routes over called Period Epic if those a-holes other climbers were still on  Prima Nocta.

That’s the thing, huge groups of 10 or more climbers come and take over crags, forcing others to wait, or move on to farther crags. While our group was quite large, we all separated into smaller 3-4 person groups to different crags.The same was true when the group expanded to 21 people. We didn’t all converge onto one crag, not allowing others a crack at a particular climb. It was a little infuriating.

‘Though, it would be nice to have 4 routes setup, and then you could go from one route to another,’ I mused, but swiftly disabused myself of that thought.

I don’t want to be part of the problem.

So, we moved on over to Period Epic, a nice 5.9 with a high first bolt.

‘Dang, I forgot my stick clip back at camp!’ I said. Despite what some hardmen say, some routes were actually meant to be stick clipped. The first bolt is high not to scare the bejesus out of some newbie (although sometimes I think it is), it’s so that it has sufficient height to actually save someone from decking. With rope stretch the first bolt has to be high, sometimes 15-20 feet in order to be of any practical use.

But getting there can be sweat inducing.

Whatever, I gut up and nutup and went for it. The first clip wasn’t that bad, actually, the leading holds were solid.

Patrick on lead! Where's the first bolt?

Patrick on lead! Where’s the first bolt? (photo: wanderingink.com)

I liked Period Epic – a brief 60 footer, but various climbing, from crimpy face, to a flaked edge. Side pulls and long clips.

By the time our group was done with that route, Period Nocta finally cleared out.

Dana on the start of Prima Nocta

Dana on the start of Prima Nocta (photo: wanderingink.com)

I’m glad we waited, it was another nice long climb with varied climbing, starting on a left flake. It wanders a bit – first left, then right, and then back left and up to the chains.

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Prima Nocta, from above (photo: wanderingink.com)

That night, by campfire…

Fire it up!

Fire it up!

Saturday night, the rest of the gang arrived, 21 people in all, playing music and drinking it up. Angela, the organizer, was a brewer at Coors/Miller in Golden, and she brought a few cases of beer with her. Despite all the beer, booze and spliffs being passed around, it was a chill, cheerful group. The fire ring was piled as high as we could get it with burning logs, a fire proof glove lending a hand to turn logs and retrieve fallen foil-wrapped foods.

Kenny Dang, a climber friend who works for Skratch labs, brought cookies he made from the Skratch labs cookie mix. With the added chocolate center it was delish!

Day Two

The next day, we decided to go check out the Mural Wall. The previous day I looked over and didn’t see a soul over there, so I thought it might work out better for us.

We did come upon a large group, but they were more accommodating, moving off routes to allow us to climb.

Send or descend, there is no try! (photo: wanderingink.com)

We started on DeMartini, a nice 5.7 warmup. It had a couple crack systems to practice all my mad crack climbing skillz.

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Dana on DeMartini (photo: wanderingink.com)

From DeMartini, I eyed the 10b to the right, called Soldier Without Faith.  I knew that I needed to start consistently doing 5.10s, but I knew a 5.10b would be a stretch, but should be well within my wheelhouse. The climb was airy at points, exposed on a face at the upper half, with a blind reach around the arete with a high reach to gain the jug that was just below the chains.

Protect the King (photo: wanderingink.com)

Protect the King (photo: wanderingink.com)

 

Mural Wall

Mural Wall (photo: wanderingink.com)

Dana in her happy place (photo:Dana Shin)

Dana in her happy place (photo:Dana Shin)

I felt pretty good after leading that one. We then moved on to the 5.9- Protect the King, which had a bonafide crack up the first half, where again I could utilize my mad crack climbing skills I learned at the Steph Davis Crack Clinic I just took. I inserted my hands wrist deep, compressed my hands till they filled the crack, and dropped my elbows down to cam them in – and rose up, camming my feet as I went.

It almost felt natural.

Above the handjams at protect the King (photo:wanderingink.com)

Above the handjams at protect the King (photo: wanderingink.com)

The route then switched left to crimpy face climbing, vertical and exposed. I just kept sinking my fingers and tips of my toes as I progressed upwards. It was a nice finish.

Protect the King (photo: wanderingink.com)

Protect the King (photo: wanderingink.com)

It was nearing 3pm, and with a 3.5 hour drive back, it was time to end this and start hiking back. It’s always nice to find another crag to climb, and the Mural Wall is another area I want to explore.

Until next time!

The Gallery area (photo: wanderingink.com)

The Gallery area (photo: wanderingink.com)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Morrison Routes

I went with my brother the first time to the Morrison Routes. Katie, her son Sawyer, and I went back up to Morrison to discover some more top rope routes.

It’s one of those perpetually sunny areas that is great for winter cragging, and happens to be one of the closest crags to Denver (the 2 other areas that come to mind are North Table Mountain, and Clear Creek.

Rock Climbing Colorado

Since I’ve taken a sabbatical from bouldering, I mostly have looked to lead sport, and so ignored this area until I remembered seeing some folks setting top ropes last time I went bouldering here.

Author - going to go set the top ropes!

Author – soloing to set the top ropes! (photo: Katie Grimes)

Morrison is mostly known as a bouldering area, but flipping through Mountain Project, I saw a variety of top ropes, sport and trad, ranging from a bunch of 5.7s, to a couple of 5.9s, a 5.10, and even a 5.12a and 5.13a sport routes. Mountain Project lists 12 routes of varying pedigree (1.5-3 stars) and styles (trad, top rope, and sport). Most are a combination of top ropes and trad. The vast majority are in the 5.7 level, so is a good spot for beginners.

Rod on he approach

Rod on he approach

The approach is short, but fairly steep. It took less than 10 minutes, if that, to get to the base of the climbs, though.

The rock is not the granite of Clear Creek, nor the Basalt of Table Mountain; it is a type of hardened sandstone, which makes it a little grippier. You could tell from the chalked up ledges 20′ and below that boulderers used the sandstone rails for traverse work, and that day we did see a boulderer doing just that.

Rod on Z is First...

Rod on Z is First…

The first time I went with my brother, and I led Z is Last, But This is First. It’s a 5.7+, which I thought could be graded higher for 2 cruxes: a roof, and then a thin face traverse. This can be led, but some may find it a tad runout, although I found it protected in just the right spots.

The high first bolt took some gumption to clip in, and the 2nd clip took a wide stretch for me to clip in,  and gave just enough pro to rise and clip the 3rd just over the roof. I clipped the 3rd, lowered and shook out before overcoming the roof.  Part of the roof was a mini chimney for a brief amount of thrutching!

Climb, The History of Rock Climbing in Colorado

The traverse then goes right up a flat face and then up the arete to the chains. It’s airy and exposed – and great! It definitely puts the “+” in the 5.7+!

The other 5.7s I did with Rod, and later with Katie (like Juggmo)  were more true to the grade, with solid feet and and hands.

Sawyer in the cave below the Nautilus Cave Pitch

Sawyer in the cave below the Nautilus Cave Pitch (photo: Katie Grimes)

There are a couple fairly easy access areas to the top ropes: one at the ramp just to the right of the Nautilus Cave route, and one about 20 yards to the left of Z is Last, But this is First.  Just walk around a bit, and find a likely opening between the rocks – that’s what I did. If you feel the need for pro, then bring a light trad rack of .75 to 3 should suffice.

Some of the anchors are set at precarious perches, so bringing a short length of rope to sling a boulder before setting the top rope anchors may be a good piece of advice. The more daring would probably find that they are not that big of a deal, as most have solid stances to clip in – just exposed next to the drop is all.

Katie working the Nautilus Cave Pitch

Katie working the Nautilus Cave Pitch

I think one of the best top rope routes is The Nautilus Cave Pitch. It goes at 5.10, and I think it’s true to the grade. It’s juggy, a little reachy and a tad overhung. There’s a high reach crux section about 3/4s of the way up, which I actually had to do a mini-dyno to reach, before topping out.

It also has a high area just to the right which is great for taking photos of people climbing, framed against a blue Colorado sky:

Author on the Nautilus Cave Pitch

Author on the Nautilus Cave Pitch

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It’s interesting doing climbs that I have done in the past. I always wonder if I will find the route easier, or harder than I thought it was before. I remember thinking , much like Free Willie in Boulder Canyon,  that this route was super-hard.

 

Rock Climbing Colorado

Repeating it this time, I found it to be much easier, juggier, and grippier than I remembered it to be. For some reason last time I felt it was a tad glossed out, but this time, though some gloss in comparison to other routes around here, was still plenty grippy to climb.

Katie on route!

Katie on the White Crack route

The White Crack route I thought was easier than the 5.9 rating it is rated at in Mountain Project. I thought it had plenty of juggalicious climbing. The one crux was swinging around the arete, but I didn’t think that posed much of an issue.

Katie on White Crack Route

Katie on White Crack Route

All in all, I thought it was a good couple days of sunny climbing!

Descending from Z is First...

Descending from Z is First… (photo: Rod Singson)

 

Morrison Routes

Morrison Routes

Katie on the Nautilus Cave Route

Katie on the Nautilus Cave Route

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Animal World, Boulder Canyon, Revisited

Free Willie at Animal World

Free Willie at Animal World, Boulder Canyon

I think it’s been a couple years since I last climbed at Animal World. I had a couple friends wanting to check out Boulder Canyon. Since I had recently climbed at the Sport Park, I was more interested in revisiting Animal World.

The thing I find interesting about revisiting an area that I’ve climbed before years earlier is to see how I feel about certain climbs that I have attempted before. I like to see if I am as gripped, or if I find it the same level of difficulty, or alternatively more or less difficult.

The best is finding that you climb it better than before. It means you’ve improved and haven’t declined in ability.

There was a particular climb I had in mind, called Free Willie, an 5.11a that I found a couple of years ago when I first visited Animal World to be particularly grueling. I didn’t lead it at the time, just followed after Mark’s lead, unclipping the ‘biners as I progressed up. I remember how I had trouble on the final hand traverse, especially with unclipping – hanging on one hand a la Cliffhanger, while clipping with the freehand:

Cliffhanger

Cliffhanger, but with no headset, or helicopter in the background…

But this time I wanted to lead it.

I went up with Katie, Dan and Katie’s son Sawyer. Since it’s been a couple of years I, of course, got a tad lost and overshot the turn to the crag. Luckily I saw the tops of the bolted routes, with climbers rising from below. I recognized the upper bulge portion of Animation aka Jaycene’s Dance, a 3 star 5.8 warmup route I led last time I was here.

We went down.

Since the front portion of the Animal World crag had every route taken up, I led everyone around the corner to see what was within our abilities to climb.

Sawyer on "Is it ready yet...Moe"

Sawyer on “Is it ready yet…Moe”

Lazy Day

We decided to warmup on Lazy Day, a 2 star 5.9+.  I think I’ve written before that most times I’d much rather climb a 5.10a, than a 5.9+. The “plus” (+) is typically a heinous crux move that can be a grade or 2 harder than the rating. I think I found it as I rose above the 3rd bolt. I found it particularly daunting as the holds petered out.

Dan, a much taller climber, managed that section without the difficulty that I had. I thought the 2 stars was not justified, I would have given it a 1 or 1.5 stars – not spectacular, but a decent warmup.

I felt a bit gratified when I saw some other climbers stopped out at that bolt though, lowering rather than finishing it off. Maybe I have improved?

Is it Ready Yet…Moe

We decided to move left to: Is It Ready Yet…Moe, another 2 star 5.9+. This one I enjoyed quite a bit more than Lazy Day.  It had a bit of everything: some crack, an arete, small chimney, and a swing to the left to find the final bolt leading to the chains.

Animal World favorite: Free Willie!

And then came time to Free Willie!

The climb felt more juggy than I remembered, and I used the sort of upside down triangular step to the left at the 4th bolt to dyno up to a jug.

 

The Free Willie” name is thought by some on Mountain Project to come from after the hand traverse to get onto the small ledge only wide enough if you flop onto it on your side. The sort of move a beached whale would make.

After the hand traverse where I saw a big white chalked “X” at the midpoint, and panicked adjusted to grab the hold just to the right of it. I then proceeded to beach myself on my side, thrutching my length inch by excruciating inch.

Look closely, and you can see my leg and arm outstretched as I flail on the ledge.

Look closely, and you can see my leg and arm outstretched as I flail on the ledge.

My left foot was wedged in a crevice behind me, my right leg trapped beneath me, useless, hands patting the face at…nothing.

At a certain point my core keeping me in place gave out, and I could feel myself tipping backwards. I managed to arrest the fall a bit by grasping the ledge. It was one of those freeze-frame moments where I found myself hanging by my fingers, the rope hanging by the bolt to my left, realizing that I would take a small swing to the left. I tried to do a pullup to mantel, but I could feel my pumped out forearms didn’t have the strength – and I dropped

I yelled, ‘Oh my god! Oh my f%$king god!’ I could hear a bunch of climbers laughing at me from below.

After a shakeout rest,  I went back at it – moved a bit more right on the ledge before manteling up and over.

Katie on Free Willie

Katie on Free Willie

You know, sometimes you thrutch, and sometimes you thrutch. This time I thrutched. But it felt great to attempt a 5.11 lead, with such a varied route.

Next time I will get it clean. 😉

 

 

 

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Recovery Wall, October 2016

Spent a pleasant day climbing old and new routes at the Recovery Wall, Devil’s Head, South Platte.

Here are some pics:

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Shelf Road, Labor Day Weekend 2016

Shelf Road is considered a “Winter crag,” although I’ve even climbed it on a mid-summer weekend in the heat of early August.

Shelf Road

Shelf Road

shelf005

While I’ve heard some say that Rifle Mountain Park

…offers the best limestone sport climbing in North America…

I would answer – hold that thought, have you ever been to Shelf?

Shelf was my first and best experience on climbing on limestone I’ve ever had. And since I’ve climbed at both Rifle and Shelf, <jest>I am a bonafide expert on limestone climbing</jest>.

Rough Surface

Rough Surface

While I liked climbing at Rifle, I love climbing at Shelf. Shelf trades in the flat planes and knee-bar angles of Rifle for bullet hard, sharp, pocketed climbing . Climbing on one feature rich route I said, ‘It’s like I’m climbing on coral!’ And since much of land limestone was once ancient coral beds, it makes sense. It can be so sharp and featured, but alternatively I’ve encountered smooth face climbing, with double and mono pockets, thin crimps – practically any surface you can think of can be found on a route at Shelf.

Photo: Rod SIngson

Photo: Rod SIngson

Shelf is comprised of limestone walls that line an arroyo (at least, I’ve never seen a creek running…) There are several climbing walls in the area with 935 routes covered in Mountain Project – which doesn’t even account for the new routes on new crags being set every year.

While I’ve explored Cactus Cliff and the Sand Gulch area, I find myself returning to the Bank area of Shelf Road. Frankly, because of the large number of routes I find that I like to concentrate on a single area to get a feel for it before moving on to a new one. And at 175 routes, the Bank offers plenty for the 2-3 times I go per year.

This time I was meeting my friend Emily Loewer Zampedri, who sent me the following text on July 7th:

I’m legitimately sad I can’t rock climb for several more weeks. All I want right now is to hit shelf road…You down to plan a weekend in September to go down there?

She had broken her collarbone in a mountain bike jumping accident gone wrong, which sidelined her climbing.

Over 2 months away. Labor Day. The cooling temps of September. Grippy limestone – hellyeah!

My brother Rod and I came early on a Thursday, to nab a campsite prior to the Labor Day climbing hordes (that never came).  In fact we were hard pressed to find another group of climbers within sight of the routes we were climbing.

We warmed up on Ma Barker, a route I renamed “Gunning for Bonsai,” because of the lone bonsai-esque pine at the top of the route:

Gunning for Bonsai

Gunning for Bonsai

It’s a 5.7 if you go to the left of the face to the featured side, but it is possible on the 2nd half to stay on the face for a 5.10ish crimpfest.

Emily on Gunning for Bonsai

Emily on Ma Barker/Gunning for Bonsai (Photo: Caleb Zampedri)

Caleb gunning for bonsai

Caleb gunning for the bonsai

Emily hanging out

Emily’s collarbone test is a…GO!

Rod gunning for the bonsai

Rod gunning for the bonsai

Rod contemplates the ephemerality of life as represented by the fragile existence of the wild bonsai...

Rod contemplates the ephemerality of life as represented by the fragile existence of the wild bonsai…

We basically made our way right, starting with a 5.7, going to the 5.8+ Jesse James, and the 5.9+ Baby Face Nelson.

Piggy Bank sign

Piggy Bank sign

Unfortunately, we saw some graffiti at the bottom of the route. At least it was written in chalk, but recorded here to hopefully publicly shame these asshats. I didn’t have anything to remove these marks without damaging the rock, so this may have to wait before removal.

Translation: Asshats were here

Translation: Asshats were here

heartless asshats

heartless asshats

Acorns?

Acorns?

After an afternoon rest, we went back that evening to do night time climb. I picked out what looked to me as an easier climb: Pretty Boy Floyd, 5.7:

5.7-Not!

5.7-Not!

Now, I’ve heard it said to take grades with a grain of salt, and often, when people ask me the difficulty of a route I tell them “It was five dot fun!”

But, you kind of like to have some consistency to ratings – after all, why have them at all? And I understand that people have different strengths, body types, heights and ape-index (arm length to heght ratio), but after fighting/struggling/thrutching my way up this, I think Pretty Boy Floyd should come with a warning label: May be tough for the grade.

Night climbing

Night climbing fun

roddark002

roddark001

Let me put it this way: this route put the “plus” in the 5.7+. I didn’t find a plethora of mad jugs, and the crack was unforgiving.

But hey, maybe I just did it wrong! Or suck…or whatever. Shelf is one of those places, like Eldo, that has some areas bolted in ye olden days, when the ratings only went as high as 5.10, so you will encounter lower-graded routes you might want to grade a couple steps (or more) higher.

See the climber? (in green)

See the climber? (in green)

Caleb Zampedri

Caleb Zampedri contemplates the route

All-in-all, it’s hard to beat climbing for a long weekend at Shelf. Grippy, featured rock, over 900 sport routes, blue skies and nice camp sites within walking distance of the crags – what’s not to like?

Shelf calls to me, and I keep coming back…

Call it a day (Photo: Rod Singson)

Call it a day (Photo: Rod Singson)

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