Route 1

Route Name: Route 1
Rock Formation: South Shanahan Crag
Number of Bolts to be Placed: 16 bolts + 3 anchor bolts (1 extra for 1st anchor at ~35 meters, 2 for second anchor at ~50 meters)
Proposed Grade: possibly mid 5,12

Description of Neighboring/Existing Routes:

The main south face of South Shanahan Crag has 7 existing routes:

1) Leonine (5.10d), 2 pitches, traditional + bolts. The only route left of my proposed line, and the closest to it, Leonine begins about 60 feet uphill and around a corner. Leonine veers rightward throughout its length, and near the top it ends up about 30 feet to the left. *The route line in the Flatirons guidebook (left-most route, photo attached: “Shanahan routes”) is incorrectly drawn too far right.

2) Great Expectations (5.8+), 2 pitches, traditional. This line is about 80 feet downhill from my proposed route.

3) Prune Face (Identity Theft) (5.7), 2 pitches, traditional. This is immediately right of Great Expectations.

4) Better Offer (5.9+), 1 pitch, traditional. This is a few feet downhill from the Prune Face.

5) Beau! (5.7), 1 pitch, traditional. Located a short way downhill from Better Offer.

6) South Face (5.4), 1 pitch, traditional. This moderate classic is 20 feet downhill from Beau!.

7) Vague Jug Line (5.7), 1 pitch, traditional. About 50 feet downhill from South Face.

The City of Boulder OSMP requires a description of existing routes on the same face of the rock formation, including the number of routes, route names, route grade, type [traditional or bolted], and approximate distance between routes, and a photocopy or diagram of the existing route(s).

Approach Description:

The approach starts from Cragmoor. Hike the North Shanahan Trail to the Mesa Trail, then turn left (south) and walk for about 10 minutes until you reach a drainage just beyond an open meadow (with some bouldering). From here, a climber’s path — a faint path on rocks and dirt, then grass — leads up the drainage, then up the hillside on the right to the Shanahan Crags. These are located approximately a quarter-mile from the Mesa Trail. The South Summit is about 5 minutes uphill from the Eastern Crag — the first of the Shanahan Crags one encounters (about 50 minutes total to the south face of South Shanahan Crag). The base of the entire south face is talus and rocks interspersed with dirt.

In the attached photo (“Shanahan approach”) the South Shanahan Crag has route #759, which is the right margin of the south face (not visible in photo). Route #658 on the right is on The Slab.

The City of Boulder OSMP requires a description of the approach, including: approximate distance(s) from the designated trail system, existing “social” or undesignated trails leading to the climb, condition(s) of the trail(s), a description whether there is a durable surface, such as rock, and photographs of the approach.

Descent Description:

The descent from the proposed route is to lower (or rappel) from the top anchor down to the intermediate anchor at ~35 meters *with a 70-meter rope. From here, one more lower (or rappel) will reach the ground *with a 70-meter rope.

Reverse the approach to reach the trailhead.

The City of Boulder OSMP requires a description of the descent, if different from the approach, using the same evaluation criteria. 

Base Area Description: 

The base of the route is a mix of dirt, with some low vegetation, and pure rock. It is be easy to place packs and gear on the rock itself, thus minimizing impact to the staging area (see attached: “Shanahan base”).

The City of Boulder OSMP requires a description of the proposed route, including: existing levels of soil compaction, existence of a durable surface such as rock, existing soil erosion, and photographs of the area at the base of the climb.

Description of Route Evaluation Efforts:

Yes. I rappelled the wall, swung around, and found several nice lines. This is one of the best, with excellent rock quality, a nearly plumb line and consistent climbing split by a rest (location of first anchor).

Has the route been top roped? Is there loose rock?  Is it extremely overhanging?

Yes, I toproped the entire route. There is a little bit of loose rock — a few small, isolated blocks and flakes. Overall, the rock is solid. The bottom third of the wall is very slightly overhanging, then it turns vertical, and finally it’s a bit slabby.

Additional Notes:

The proposed route is a beautiful, independent, 50-meter line up the vertical south face of South Shanahan Crag. It begins just uphill from the low point of a rock ramp on the face’s left side, and climbs just right of a green lichen streak. The route is characterized by solid edges, pockets and flakes that lead to a ledge at about 35 meters. From here, overhanging 5.10 jugs lead to the right of a conspicuous roof and up to a thin slab to the anchor at about 50 meters.

The route feels about mid-5.12 in difficulty.

The City of Boulder OSMP expects for the person(s) proposing the new route to to perform all reconnaissance work that can be reasonably done, short of placing any unapproved hardware.

7 replies
  1. Rui Ferreira
    Rui Ferreira says:

    Nice to see routes being added to this formation and routes that go to the top of the wall. I am in favor of this proposal.

  2. Matt T.
    Matt T. says:

    Visited the crag today, 5/19. The lines look nice and tall. My proclivity to bolts gives a yes to the proposal. Note: the poison ivy is popping.


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