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The name says it all. Dark rock, in the shade, and a good choice for pulling limestone pockets on a hot day. This excellent crag offers a somewhat unique experience from other crags in the main Shelf area. This is one of the "old school" crags at Shelf, with bolting & grading more in line with the original lines at The Bank, Sand Gulch & The Gallery. If you're used to Cactus Cliff style bolting, be prepared for spaced-out bolts, and be prepared to supplement some routes with gear.
There are two ways to approach the Dark Side, depending on the routes you're headed for. Park at the newly expanded parking lot just past The Bank campground for both approaches.
60 Total Routes
Browse More Classics in The Dark Side
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for The Dark Side:
Lumina 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport, 1 pitch
Fight or Flight 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Trad, 1 pitch, 60'
27 Tons 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport, 1 pitch, 85'
Teenage Wristband 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport, 1 pitch, 80'
Edge Of Fright 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport, 1 pitch, 60'
Corner Pockets 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport, 1 pitch, 70'
Porkus Procurement 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Sport, 1 pitch
Dark Side Roofs 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport, 1 pitch, 65'
Enchanted Porkfist 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport, 1 pitch
Muted by Reality 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport, 1 pitch
The Crack's On Top 5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport, 1 pitch
Crown of Thorns aka Box Lunch aka Lou Raven's Rest 5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport, 1 pitch, 80'
Suspender Man 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Sport, 1 pitch
The Welcoming 5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII 25 E4 6a Sport, 1 pitch, 65'
Call From Overseas 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport, 1 pitch
El Guapo 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport, 1 pitch, 70'
The Plum 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport, 1 pitch, 80'
Levels of the Game 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport, 1 pitch, 50'
Blank Frank 5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a Sport, 1 pitch
The Audition 5.12b/c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b Sport, 1 pitch, 70'
Featured Route For The Dark Side
Blank Frank 5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a CO : Shelf Road : The Dark Side
The Dark Side is the "technicians choice" of Shelf. Vertical to barely slabbing (don't judge these routes' steepness by how they look from the trail), these routes inspire the ballet dancer in all who attempt the climbs here!Blank Frank is a great dance up one of the best faces in the Dark Side. A few moves up less then perfect rock soon gain the long, very sustained crux on small crimps and side-pulls to a great rest ledge below the final roof-bulge. A devious sequence on monos and underclings ...[more] Browse More Classics in CO
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