This is a seriously fun, bolted crack that goes at 5.11b between Cactus Cliff Addict and Ain't Nothing But a Hang Dog. Start just to the left of the boulders in the corner and follow the obvious hand and finger crack past seven bolts. Do not confuse this route with Cactus Cliff Addict which climbs directly up the corner and then moves out onto the face right of I Claudius.
If you want to go limestone crack climbing at Shelf, this is your route. It offers everything from fingers to hands and definitely merits three stars. I climbed to the first bolt with my left hand in the crack and was able to clip and down climb to the right. It is thin to clip and you don't want to fall. If it doesn't feel right, do as Bryson suggests and stick clip. Save your arms for the moves over the little roof. RT's book suggests 11a and this site 11b.Whichever it is, you will be smiling at the anchors.
I felt that the 5.11 rating was justified, but I'm not a great crack climber by any stretch of the imagination. As far as the above "stick clip" comments goes, I lead this last weekend and felt very solid clipping the first bolt. I had a bomber right hand on the flake out right of the bolt. I don't believe this is off route as clipping the bolt from this stance is easiliy within reach. Look for the no hands rest (knee bar) just under the little overhang!!! Great climb!!!
I haven't done this climb, but why are there bolts next to a crack? Any self-respecting (and perhaps tub-thumpin') trad climber would call this lame...
By SirVato From: Boulder Jun 5, 2006 rating: 5.10d6b+21VII+21E3 5b
Sweet route!! I had a good right hand for clipping the first bolt as well. If you blow it, the landing will be shitty though. Did anyone else notice the runout between bolts 3&4 ?? Seemed like a looong way between those. If you're comfy on cracks it won't be an issue but if cracks are not your thing you may want to keep your cool up there. IMO the jams through that section are straight forward and fairly easy so it's not too big a deal.
Regarding the comment about bolted cracks: I would usually agree w/ the sentiment that a bolted crack is pretty lame. However, when was the last time you took a rack to Shelf Road??
I'm glad I got a chance to get on this, bolted or not it's a great line worth doing. I don't know if it's 11. . . I can't onsight 11 cracks for the life of me yet but, I got this one fairly easily.
By Jason Halladay Administrator From: Los Alamos, NM Jan 27, 2008 rating: 5.10d6b+21VII+21E3 5b
Bolted crack! It's Shelf and it's fun. I did find a red OP link cam placement in the crack between bolts 3 and 4 to be nice for the head. (No, I don't take a rack to Shelf but I do carry a couple of link cams pretty much everywhere for their versatility in cases just like this one.)
By Jon Zucco From: Denver, CO Feb 8, 2009 rating: 5.10d6b+21VII+21E3 5b
Bolted crack: ahhhh. I'm sure if the rock weren't freezing cold this route would've been less numbing and more amazing. I'd say 10d/11a.
By Joe Stern Feb 16, 2009 rating: 5.11a6c22VII+22E3 5c
Super fun climb - I find it a pleasant convenience to be able to hop on such a route with the standard Shelf rack. I'm predominantly a crack climber and I agree with the folks who consider the 5.11 realm a bit high for the jamming section - probably more like Valley 5.9 handcrack. The roof part sure feels easy 11ish, though. Different styles, different cruxes - typical of a varied climb. As for the first bolt, it seemed pretty casual to me - just focus a little headspace on the slightly polished feet. Fantastic, varied, convenient route!
By Chris I From: Fresno, CA May 30, 2010 rating: 5.11a6c22VII+22E3 5c
I guess I need to work on my crack technique, because I found this to be a strenuous 5.11. Without a doubt worth doing, but for those of us who primarily sport climb, the 10d consensus here will throw you off, IMHO. And if you're a solid 11 climber, the first clip is a breeze.
By Top Rope Hero From: Was Estes Park, now homeless Oct 25, 2010 rating: 5.11a6c22VII+22E3 5c
5.10!?! You people are high.
OK, fine...the CRACK sections of I Claudius are fairly sinch, once you develop some decent technique. (Last spring, I had nothing. After having spent two Octobers now in Yosemite? Cinch.) But the rating for this climb comes at the expense of the one or two acrobatic, face climbing, lieback moves that gain the bulge, NOOOOT for any of the crack moves, which happen to be 99% of the route. (So, spare us the tedious comparisons to other crack climbs/areas.)
And those moves ain't no 5.10 moves. Maybe not 11b, not at Shelf, anyway. But certainly harder than 5.10.
Hey Slade - Did this on gear a couple of months ago. The start is pretty spicy (recommend a good spotter) but well worth the effort. I found myself "re-experiencing" a lot of the routes in the area when approaced with a gear mentality (but I must admit I am glad I wired them on sport first...definitely some funky placements and mild runouts.)