Shelf Road is a sport climbing mecca located only hours from Denver. Limestone walls provide amazing climbs on both sides of the cannon. Our camp ground overlooked some of the climbs and was a very short walk to the venue. Once down into the “darkside” area we found hundreds of climbing routes heading up the walls. Shelf Road Climbing climbing review and photos:
Our first climb started out with Barry easily running up a class 5.10a climb. Climbs are rated on a scale on 1-5 per the international ratings. Dave went next and made the climb look easy then it was my turn. I have climbed some 5.9 before but this was the hardest rated climb yet. Once on the rock I seemed to be able to move with easy, thanks to some great coaching from the guys. I rang the bell at the top and made my way down. Brenden followed and took down all the gear on his way up the climb. Its fun heading out with climbers that make it look real easy. I learned a ton just from watching the guys.
After a few climbs we opted to head down the way for an easier 5.8 rated climb. Well the ratings sure fooled us on this one. Dave went first and made it half way before turning back, Brenden followed but wasn’t able to reach the top. Each time the guys got higher and higher before Brenden finally reached the top. At this point I had decided I didn’t think I could handle the climb but Dave some how convinced me it was easier then the previous climbs.
So off I went up the rock wall, my arms started to feel like jello about half way up. It was hard just lifting them above my head, but I pushed on and didn’t want the rock to win the battle. At times I fell off, thankfully Brenden had the rope secure and I was always in place. This eventually allowed me to rest my hand and feet and basically just dangle from the rope and harness. I’m still getting used to this feeling, and I’m sure I can save a lot of energy by letting go..
After what seemed like twenty minutes I made it to the top!! So pumped what a great day.. Upon returning to the camp site a dog attacked sage, Kelly’s dog I’m watching for a couple weeks. I was so pissed off, this happens with dogs but sort of put a damper on my mood. My little baby girl had a few puncture wounds to her face, hopefully Kelly doesn’t read this blog..