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The North Gym

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
"40-Year-Old Virgin" (Name Unknown) S 
"Black Crack" (Name Unknown) T,S 
"Pacman Gomez" (Unnamed) S 
"Tommy" (Unnamed) S 
Apogee Pending S 
Earth Mama's Natural Night Camo S 
Flamingo Lane S 
Full Retard S 
Here We Go Again... Again. S 
Lead Farmer S 
Logan's Run S 
Long Black Veil S 
Observe God's Mistake S 
Pimp's Main Prophet S 
Power Milk & Bagels S 
Power Thirteen S 
Rum- Tum- Tuggernaughts S 
Scorcher VI: Global Meltdown S 
Spitting Image S 
Teenage Prostitutes S 
That's What She Said S 
Unknown 1 S 
Unknown 3 S 
Who Left the Fridge Open? S 

The North Gym  

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 7,100'
Location: 38.6395, -105.215 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 22,786
Administrators: Ben Mottinger, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Monomaniac on Mar 15, 2011
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Teenage Prostitutes Area (the northern half of The...


"The North Gym" is a generic name for the section of cliff that extends from the north end of The Gym to the south/east end of The North End. The cliffline faces more or less east, but the southern end (aka "The Arcade") faces slightly south and is less vegetated, so it tends to be much warmer than the mid-section ("Teenage Prostitutes Area") that sees little sun, making this cliff a great destination for those days in which you want morning sun but evening shade. There are currently only a handful of routes here, but they are all high quality, with several among the best of their respective grades at Shelf. The unique features found on this cliffline provide the potential for many more memorable routes should someone find the desire to put them up. There are few moderates (though Power Milk & Bagels is surely among the best 5.10's at Shelf), but many great lines in the 5.11/12 range, including one of Shelf's best 12a's, Who Left The Fridge Open?, and currently Shelf's hardest route, Apogee Pending.

This was one of the very first cliffs at Shelf to be developed. The route Teenage Prostitutes was established in October 1985 by Neil Canon, Bob Robertson & Rich Aschert. The ascent was done ground-up and included the use of at least one piton (and a star-drive), which is still in-situ to this day. For whatever reason, only five or so more routes were put in before local activists turned their attention to other cliffs. Another five routes were installed by unknown parties in the ensuing 20 or so years, before the 2011 surge in development.

Many of the routes here have high first bolts. A stick clip is highly recommended.

Routes L --> R: 

"The Arcade":
1. "Tommy" (Unnamed), 5.11, 5 red bolts, 2 RBA.
2. "Pacman Gomez" (Unnamed), 5.11, 6 red bolts, 2 RBA.
3. Power Milk & Bagels, 5.10-, 8 red bolts, 2 RBA.

Short Break

4. Closed Project, ?, ~7 bolts, no anchor.

Short Break

"Tropical Wall":
5. Observe God's Mistake, 5.10, 6 bolts, 2 BA (shared with next route).
6. Lead Farmer, Direct start to OGM, 5.12, 4 bolts, plus last 2 bolts of OGM, Shared 2 BA.
7. Closed Project, ?, ~5 bolts, 2BA.
8. Rum-Tum-Tuggernaughts, 5.11-, 7 bolts, 2 BA.
9. Here We Go Again... Again., 5.12, 5 bolts, 2 BA.
10. Earth Mama's Natural Night Camo, 5.10, 5 bolts, 2 BA.
11. Full Retard, extension to "Earth Mama's" through steep bulge, 5.13-, 2 bolts, no anchor.
12. Scorcher VI: Global Meltdown, 5.11-, 5 bolts 2 BA.
13. Who Left the Fridge Open?, 5.12-, 6 bolts, 2 BA.

Long Break


Approach Trail

"Teenage Prostitutes Area":
14. Unknown 1, 5.11-, ~9 bolts, 2 BA.
15. That's What She Said, 5.12+, 5 bolts, 2 BA (shared with previous route).
16. Power Thirteen, 5.13-, 6 bolts, 2 BA (shared with previous route).
17. Apogee Pending, 5.14-, 6 bolts, 2 BA.
18. Long Black Veil, 5.12, 6 bolts, 2 BA.
19. Flamingo Lane, 5.10+, 4 bolts, 2 BA.
20. Logan's Run, 5.12-, 4 bolts, 2 BA.

Short Break

21. "40-Year-Old Virgin" (Name Unknown), 5.11, 4 bolts, 2 BA.
22. "Black Crack" (Name Unknown), 5.9, 6 bolts, 2 BA, higher 2 BA.
23. Teenage Prostitutes, 5.12-, 8 bolts, piton, 2 BA.
24. Pimp's Main Prophet, 5.13, 5 bolts, 2 BA.

Short Break

"The Cirque":
25. Unknown #2, ?, 2 bolts + gear?, 3BA with long chains
26. Unknown 3, 5.10-, 5 bolts, 2BA shared with next route.
27. Spitting Image, 5.13-, 5 bolts, 2BA shared with previous route.

Long Break

28. Unknown #4 Rt Face of High Dihedral, ?, ? bolts, anchor?

Getting There 

Despite its obscure location, this cliff ironically has one of the shortest approaches at Shelf, due to the re-routing of the Cactus/Spiney/Gym approach.

Drive ~1.4 miles north from the (now-gated) Cactus Cliff Access Road, to a small pullout (also 0.8 miles south from the river crossing at The North End P-lot). At this pull-out, you should be more or less directly below the obvious, overhanging dihedral of "Apogee Pending". Drop off all your gear & passengers, then drive North 0.8 miles to The North End Parking (pull out on the left/west side of the road, just before the river crossing), park here, and shuffle back down the road to the drop-off point.

A steep trail heads south up the road cut, and continues south for another 30 yards or so, then begins to switch-back up the hill towards "Apogee Pending". Follow cairns, up a gully with loose red stones, past some cactus, then weaving through scattered pinon pines to the cliff base. The approach time is ~5 minutes from the road. Once at the cliff-base trail, head left for "The Arcade", and right for "Teenage Prostitutes Area" and beyond.

Alternatively, approach as for The Gym, but continue north along the cliffline for another 5 minutes or so past The Green Bonus & Bone 'n' Vein to arrive at the south end of "The Arcade". There is not much of a trail along this section of cliff, so travel with packs may be difficult.

Climbing Season

Weather station 6.3 miles from here

24 Total Routes

['4 Stars',3],['3 Stars',10],['2 Stars',9],['1 Star',2],['Bomb',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for The North Gym:
Earth Mama's Natural Night Camo   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   
Scorcher VI: Global Meltdown   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   
Rum-Tum-Tuggernaughts   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   
Who Left the Fridge Open?   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   
Apogee Pending   5.14a 8b+ 32 X+ 32 E8 7a     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   
Browse More Classics in The North Gym

Featured Route For The North Gym
Pimp's Main Prophet, high above Four Mile Creek Ca...

Pimp's Main Prophet 5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c  CO : Shelf Road : The North Gym
This clean white bulge is one of the most continuously steep lines at Shelf, requiring big, athletic moves on relatively huge holds. A short band of choss before the business detracts somewhat, and the rock on the rest of the line is not quite as clean as it could be. However, the movement and position is superior to other routes of the grade at Shelf, lacking the tweaky and painful holds found elsewhere.Stick clip the first bolt, then cruise the easy slab to a stance at the break. Alert your...[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

Photos of The North Gym Slideshow Add Photo
Unknown #4, at the far north end of the Teenage Pr...
Unknown #4, at the far north end of the Teenage Pr...
Another view of The Tropical Wall:  1. Observe God...
Another view of The Tropical Wall: 1. Observe God...
The original Teenage Prostitutes Area.  Routes sho...
The original Teenage Prostitutes Area. Routes sho...
The Tropical Wall.  Routes shown:  1. Observe God'...
The Tropical Wall. Routes shown: 1. Observe God'...
View to The Gym and beyond from the south end of T...
View to The Gym and beyond from the south end of T...
Topo of the Cirque.  1. Unknown #2 (Gear Req'd). 2...
Topo of the Cirque. 1. Unknown #2 (Gear Req'd). 2...

Comments on The North Gym Add Comment
Show which comments
By Mike Anderson
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Mar 15, 2011
I'm laughing my ass off at the route names on this wall. Well played, sir.
By Monomaniac
From: Morrison, CO
Mar 15, 2011
Man, the best ones are still projects....
By Jason Halladay
From: Los Alamos, NM
Mar 16, 2011
Get back there and send those other projects, Mark...I look forward to more great names. Huge congrats on Apogee Pending.
By Skyler B
Mar 17, 2015
Any word on the "closed projects" mentioned in the description?
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