Shelf Road

Tuesday I took my first trip to Shelf Road, a sport climbing area about an hour west of Colorado Springs. It will be the first of many. I am excited about doing more trad climbing in Colorado and around the west, but I definitely love sport climbing. Matt Lloyd has been giving me the deluxe tour of Colorado climbing, and it’s been great!

I am definitely missing climbing in Red River Gorge, Kentucky: the overhanging, juggy, sandpaper pockets; the easy approaches; Miguel’s Pizza. But I have to say, I love having a view. I feel locked into a tunnel of deciduous trees; you can’t see more than a few feet from you. There’s something relaxing about open spaces. I love being on the peaks of mountains or looking out into the emptiness of the ocean.  Shelf Road provides some great sport climbing (even the cracks are bolted, which is weird to me) with some amazing views.

We climbed at an area called Cactus Cliffs. Matt had been talking about a route up a blank face that you could see from across the valley, Lats Don’t Have Feelings. It’s a very aesthetic and crimpy 5.11d, which is fitting to my new found style. (Somehow my style has switched recently from powerful and overhanging to crimpy and technical, which is great for Colorado. I’m not sure when this transition happened, but I am enjoying it.)

I am excited about discovering more of Colorado’s climbing, and shooting with some great climbers. Shelf Road will definitely offer me some great times in the future.

Matt working through the crux of a fun 5.12a

Matt makes some great faces when he’s “trying hard”