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Cactus Cliff
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The French Are Here 

YDS: 5.12c French: 7b+ Ewbanks: 27 UIAA: IX- British: E6 6b

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch, 70'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.12c French: 7b+ Ewbanks: 27 UIAA: IX- British: E6 6b [details]
FA: Bob D'Antonio and Richard Aschert, 1986
Page Views: 3,702
Submitted By: Richard M. Wright on Sep 25, 2001
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Lower bulge.


See Gravitations. The French Are Here tackles the bulge to the right of Gravitations via pockets and a gaston corner for one hand. The bulge is actually pulled on the left side. Big reaches on good hands lead into the gaston/corner. Pull around and over the bulge to very continuous 5.11d face climbing on greyish-colored stone. I thought that The French Are Here was a very nice line with a relentless series of upper 5.11 face moves following the bulge; I have yet to do it one push, and while I don't know how others experience this route, for me the difficulties arise mostly in the relentless forearm pump. The reaches and big muscle moves are all reasonable if you can detox the pump. Unlike some reach-dependent routes, on The French, the reach is all ape index, toe to tips distance confers little advantage while a peculiar genetic ancestry can be quite useful. This is an excellent line and very much worth solving.


Eight to ten draws and a rope.

Photos of The French Are Here Slideshow Add Photo
Juancho with the OS.
Juancho with the OS.
Starting the upper face.
Starting the upper face.
Juancho just beginning the OS.
Juancho just beginning the OS.
Comments on The French Are Here Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Feb 26, 2014
By Mark Eller
Nov 6, 2001

I agree with Richard that this is an excellent route, but by my reckoning, it's extremely cruxy. If you get by the big lockoff from a nasty two-finger pocket, and a few more 5.12 moves that follow, there should be no problem getting to the anchors. The first few clips are easy. A good route for low-endurance bouldering fiends.

By richard magill
Oct 2, 2002


By Dana Bartlett
From: CT
Nov 18, 2003
rating: 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- E6 6b

Just a great climb!!!

By Joe Collins
Mar 22, 2004

Awesome. I found the crux to be the section right after the bulge, moving past the third bolt.The bulge is a hard pull, but no harder than 12a in of itself. Pretty good whipper potential if you blow the end of the crux sequence getting to the 4th bolt.

By Mike Anderson
From: Dayton, OH
Mar 16, 2005

This is surely one of the best on Cactus Cliff, if not all of Shelf. It's certainly the best of the "harder" routes at Cactus that I have been on. I also found the route to be very cruxy. I passed the crux with a long reach off an extremely powerful undercling. There are a few more hard moves past this, then it eases considerably.

This route was bolted back in the 80's, so don't expect a bolt every 4 feet like the other Cactus Cliff routes.

By Kaelen Willaims
May 31, 2008
rating: 5.12b/c 7b+ 27 IX- E6 6b

Owww!!! My tips were in a world of pain! The upper part is sharp. Felt easy for .12c.

By Seth Finkelstein
From: Boulder, CO
Jan 12, 2010

Awesome line. The third bolt is looking a little suspect; the left side of the bolt hole seems to be deteriorating in the standard Shelf manner. Cuidado.

By Brandon Schirm
From: colorado springs, co
Mar 1, 2010

The third bolt needs replaced, it is bent and someone tried to reinforce the bolt with glue. I will try to catch up with Bob D. and ask him if I can replace it.

By ZachS00
From: Denver, CO
Dec 15, 2011

Anyone know if that third bolt has been replaced?

Edit: It hasn't yet. The third bolt looks like it was placed in at an angle, not bent. I also didn't see evidence of glue or any bolt deterioration.

From: Boulder, Colorado
Nov 25, 2012

Bolts are bomber. Soft for the grade.

By Derek Lawrence
From: Bailey
Feb 20, 2013

Replaced the third bolt 2/16/13. As mentioned above, the bolt was not bent but was drilled at an angle. The rock around the bolt, however, was breaking up. See photo for before/after. Thanks to ASCA for the hardware!

Before/after of crux bolt.
Before/after of crux bolt.

By Derek Lawrence
From: Bailey
Jan 13, 2014

5th bolt replaced yesterday with ASCA hardware. The hangers on the remaining bolts and anchors were swapped with modern hardware provided by Bruno Hache. Big thanks to ASCA and Bruno!!!!

By Tzilla Rapdrilla
Jan 14, 2014

You guys rock!!

By slim
Feb 26, 2014
rating: 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- E6 6b

Fantastic route. The climbing is super fun. I've seen probably a dozen people do it, and it seemed like everybody found a different way to get through the crux. If it seems like you are deadending, take a step back and try some other things. You will be pleasantly surprised.