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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
By slim Administrator Feb 26, 2014 rating: 5.12c7b+27IX-27E6 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.
Perhaps one of the best routes I have done at Shelf. Felt worlds easier than Surreal Estate, Sparkle in the Rain, or Ejection Seat. Once you know what to do it was pretty chill. Props for an onsight of this route as its fairly tricky at the crux. Amazing! I can't believe I walked past this thing for the last 4 years and never once stopped to try it....