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Cactus Cliff
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Gravitations 

YDS: 5.11d French: 7a Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII British: E5 6a

   
Type:  Sport, 1 pitch, 70'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.11d French: 7a Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII British: E5 6a [details]
FA: Richard Aschert, Dave Dangle, Bob D'Antonio, 1986
Page Views: 3,455
Submitted By: Richard M. Wright on Sep 25, 2001
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You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (61)
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High up with one clip to go before the anchors on ...

Description 

Approximately 60 feet right of Lats is a classic Shelf burl-fest that ascends a smooth, bulging wall, The French Are Here. Starting ten feet left and behind a tree is the line, Gravitations, that ascends the same wall and runs to the same anchor. This is an interesting line chock full of pockets, edges, and a discontinuous seam. It also provides the easy way to get a top-rope on The French which ticks in with a 5.12c sequence pulling through the bulge. However, Gravitations is also a fine line in its own right being solid, continuous, and interesting. It is a bit more run out than The French, but this is largely near the anchor. I thought this was a good route and worth the struggle.


Protection 

7 bolts.



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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Mar 5, 2013
By Peter Beal
From: Boulder Colorado
Oct 4, 2001

Maybe the best line for its grade at Shelf, definitely worth three stars

By Dougald MacDonald
May 23, 2002

I agree: This is the best route of its grade at Cactus and maybe at all of Shelf. The run-outs are intimidating, but a handful of small to medium cams allows you to protect between the well-spaced bolts. Many ways to climb this -- all pumpy as hell!

By Joe Collins
Nov 21, 2002

This was the best pitch I climbed on my only visit to Cactus Cliff. The bolts are definitely a bit spaced for your typical sport route... and its not like its easy between clips: you certainly have to bust some moves well above bolts. I found it interesting that this route was so easy to get on, whereas I pretty much had to take a number to get on the adjacent "Lats don't have feelings."

By david goldstein
Jan 27, 2003

A sustained pitch, with interesting moves, a little variety and more excitement than I'm used to finding on a Shelf route. A 1 and/or 1.5 Friend helps de-spice the most runout section.

Probably the best pitch I've done at Shelf.

By Dougald MacDonald
Jan 28, 2003

It occurs to me that with all the comments bout "spice" and runouts, some do-gooder might get the idea to add a bolt or two to Gravitations. Please, please, please don't! The route is great the way it is.

By TBD
Dec 22, 2003
rating: 5.11d 7a 24 VIII E5 6a

In my opinion, the runouts help make this a 3 star climb. If more closely bolted, it would be just another great Shelf face climb, but much less memorable. It is plenty safe, just a little intimidating. The falls would be clean, the clipping stances are good, and the hardest climbing is all near the bolts. I wish more routes were established as thoughtfully as this one.

Side note, I'm not sure where you would place gear on this route, anything worthwhile anyways.

By Lance Cockwood
Aug 11, 2004
rating: 5.11d 7a 24 VIII E5 6a

Quality from base to summit.

By Tlake
Jul 6, 2006

I agree with MacDonald, definitely established in the old style but the new guide book has it right on... not a ton of protection, but it's right where you want it.

By Monty
From: Golden, CO
Nov 2, 2008
rating: 5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII E4 6a

Didn't find this to be "run out" at all. It's a beautiful route, and if you're a quazi solid 11 climber it should be a must do climb.

By jarthur
From: Westminster, CO
Nov 9, 2008

The bolting style is typical of any route that Doug Reed and Porter Jarrard bolted in NC, New River Gorge, and the Red River Gorge. This should have been named The Example in my opinion because the bolt spacing is perfect. Cool moves and sustained from the 2nd bolt to the last.

By Stich
From: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Nov 28, 2009

Although I have rarely if ever climbed a route of this grade straight through, I found taking a few rests allowed me to piece it together and have a really good time! Don't pass up this route because it's over your head. You may also be surprised.

By Jesse Ryan
Nov 5, 2010

Agree with the quality and preserving this route's nature as is, BUT I know of folks who hobbled away from this line with injuries due to the run-outs.

By Brian Adzima
From: the Paris of Appalachia
Nov 14, 2011

This route is great, unlike other Shelf routes. If this was at Ceuse, it might get climbed.

By Curt MacNeill
From: Boulder, CO
Jan 21, 2012

I thought this route was awesome!! Climbs very different than the super duper uber classic neighbor, Lats Don't Have Feelings. I think it's just as good, and while Lats always has somebody on it, this always seems to be open. I agree that the bolts are spacey which makes it really fun. I disagree that it is totally safe. I think if you blew the clip at the third bolt (even though it's an easy clip), you would come close to hitting the ground or your belayer. Very consistent with the bolting of routes at the Red, although you have to take into account that the Red is WAY more overhung which means safer falls. If 11d is at your limit, this route will definitely give you the willies in your stomach. I always onsight 11d as I did this climb, and I was still a bit spooked in spots given how much rope was out. Thankfully the hardest sections are near the bolts and none of the bolts were hard to clip. Enjoy, be safe and if in doubt get a stronger climber to lead it and set it up for top rope.

P.S. This route would see waaaay more traffic if a few bolts were added, although the bolt spacing certainly gives it character and make it fun. Just saying....

By Ben Hall
From: Boulder, Colorado
Mar 5, 2013
rating: 5.11d 7a 24 VIII E5 6a

Ultra classic!! Excellent route. If you're not focused on the runouts between bolts, it climbs perfectly and is bolted so. Must do!