October 20-22, 2017

Bringing you the finest dirtbagging-grassroots-climber-gathering in Southern Colorado!

This October 20-22, head on down to the best limestone sport cragging Colorado has to offer, and with the American Alpine Club and CAMP USA, be treated to a weekend of clinics, contests, beer, parties, slideshows, films, giveaways, stewardship and fun.

For 2017 we have an incredible weekend in store: up your game with stellar clinics taught by professional climbers and local mountain guides--presented in part by Pikes Peak Alpine School; local food and beer will abound; and a crag stewardship project on Sunday morning will give you a quick opportunity to roll up your sleeves and give back a bit to help keep our climbing areas clean and well maintained. We’ll also have a special slideshow from professional badass Josh Wharton as well as a showing of the film, Alpinists At Large. Spend time with friends, drink lots of free beer, eat tons of wonderful food, win top end gear at our raffles and silent auctions, do some fabulous bolt clipping in the sun, and give some love to your crag, that’s the Shelf Road Craggin’ Classic in a nutshell. This event will sell out, register today!


*Online ticket sales for the Shelf Road Craggin' Classic have now closed. Tickets and clinics may still be available on a walk-in basis, first come first served, however space is not guaranteed.

Includes: Event Camping & Event entrance Friday, Saturday, and Sunday including access to all entertainment (some limited seating may apply); AAC trucker hat and event cup; beer for those 21+; and a Sunday volunteer breakfast. Event ticket price does not include clinics or additional food.

Up your game with an array of climbing clinics taught by professional climbing athletes and local guides. All clinics run Saturday, October 21st from 9:00am to 4:00pm. See below for clinic descriptions and details.

Being hungry sucks and why bother cooking? For $20 enjoy catered dinner on Friday and Saturday night, and Early Bird breakfast Sunday morning.

*All current AAC members will receive a 10% discount upon checkout. Membership will be verified.



  • 3:00 PM – 7:30 PM: Participant Arrival and Registration
    Located at Vendor Village area, at the base of The Bank road (Corrals area).
  • 7:00 PM: Weekend Kick-Off Party & Evening Entertainment
    The purchase of raffle tickets helps to fund the Live Your Dream grant program, sending climbers like you all over the world! Buy tickets and win cool stuff!! The raffle will happen before, between, and after the slideshows.

    Location: Vendor Village area under the big tent. Enjoy food from local Canon City businesses at heavily discounted prices and free beer from Soulcraft Brewing.

  • 7:00 PM: "When Sh*t Hits the Fan--High Angles and Helicopters in Yosemite," a slideshow presentation by YOSAR expert Keith Lober
    Keith Lober, former Chief of the Emergency Medical Services for Yosemite National Park will describe his experiences during twenty years on the front lines with Yosemite National Park’s world renowned technical rescue team. He will present slides, video, and 911 recordings to take you on life and death missions in locations where the scenery alone is dramatic. Lober has been awarded four of the prestigious “Department of the Interior Valor Awards” for operations in Yosemite National Park and at the time of his retirement was the single most decorated National Park Service Ranger.

  • 8:30 PM: "European Alps Climbing: Crushing Moderate Grades & 5 Star Views," a slideshow presentation by Jayson Simons-Jones, IFMGA Mountain Guide
    While camping in the high desert amongst single pitch climbs and cactus, come get excited and inspired for high mountain climbing with this visually stunning journey through some of the Alps most picturesque routes! From the exposed alpine granite ridges and tumbling glaciers of Mont Blanc to the lesser known beautiful landscapes of the Swiss & Italian Alps, this photographic journey from behind the lens of a professional guide will ensure you‘ll be stoked to wake up and sport crag in the sun and limestone cliffs of Shelf Road instead of suffering in the cold, damp, wet, and altitude of the endless crowds on the classics of the Alps! Let’s go!


  • 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM: Climbing Clinics with Pros and Local Guides
    Learning from those that are masters at their craft can seriously benefit your climbing. Sign up for a climbing clinic taught by the professional climbing athletes and local climbing guides and up your game. Everyone has something to learn. Climbers of all abilities are welcome, though basic climbing knowledge and proficiency is expected. Presented in part by Pikes Peak Alpine School.

    Please show up 15-20 minutes early, ready to go. 
    You will need to fill out a clinic specific waiver. See below for clinic descriptions and details.
  • 5:00 PM: Dirtbag Climber Throwdown Extravaganza Party
    Gather the crew and howl at the moon! Beer starts flowing and sign up for Slackline Competition! Enjoy our Beer Garden with local brews, Local Food, Vendor Village, Silent Auction and raffle, climbing games, and general Shenanigans at Vendor Village area! It's the climber party to end all climber parties. Light the fires. Dress up. Drink beers. Act weird.
  • 7:30 PM: Alpinists At Large, film screening
    In 1981 Jack Tackle, Jim Donini, Kim Schmitz, Jim Kanzler, and Greg Thomsen traveled to the newly opened mountains of central China to attempt the South Face of then unclimbed Mt Siguniang. Retreating from the mountain in defeat, the team engaged in outrageous hijinks that, until recently, were too embarrassing to share publicly. This film gathers the four surviving members to learn about their experiences in China in 1981 and highlight their hilarious account with animated images from the expedition. Funny and hugely entertaining!

  • 8:00 PM: Raffle!

  • 8:30 pm: Josh Wharton Slideshow presented by Black Diamond
    Let's examine the accomplishments of New-Hampshire-native-turned-Estes-Park-Local, utterly badass alpinist, Josh Wharton. Here is a sampling: 3-time consecutive winner of the Ouray Mixed Climbing Competition, First Ascent of The Flame in Pakistan, First Ascent of the Azeem Ridge in Pakistan, Free Solo of The Original Route on La Esphinge in Peru, First Ascent of The Wave Effect in Patagonia, 2nd Ascent of The North Pillar of North Twin in Canada, 300 plus 5.13 redpoints, plenty of 5.14, V11, M11 redpoints, 2nd one day Free Ascent of the Hallucinogen Wall in the Black Canyon, First Free Ascent of the Dunn-Westbay on Longs Peak, First Ascent of The Black Sheep in the Black Canyon.. get the picture? Let's hear what this guy has to say about.. anything. Seriously.

  • 9:00 PM: Nighttime Shenanigans (a.k.a. the Party Continues!)
    Keep on keepin' on as we continue the party into the wee hours with shenanigans including a slackline rodeo, fire rings, and the third annual Halloween Costume Contest! Strut your stuff to warm up for the holiday!


  • 8:30 AM - 10:00 AM: Early Bird Breakfast
    Coffee and Early Bird breakfast at the tent for stewardship project volunteers and food pass holders!
  • 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM: Stewardship Project hosted by the Pikes Peak Climbers Alliance
    Give back to Shelf! The Pikes Peak Climbers Alliance is leading a local stewardship and conservation project targeting high-use areas at Shelf Road. Registration required, and registration opportunities will be available at the PPCA booth at Vendor Village all weekend long! Get involved. Give!


presented in part by Pikes Peak Alpine School

Learning from those that are masters at their craft can seriously benefit your climbing. Take your climbing to a new level by signing up for a climbing clinic taught by professional climbers and local guides! Climbers of all abilities are welcome, though basic climbing knowledge and proficiency is expected.

Clinics for the Shelf Road Craggin’ Classic will be held on Saturday, October 21st from 9:00am to 4:00pm, weather permitting. Please show up 15-20 minutes early at the white tent. Clinics will begin promptly at 9:00am.

Personal Equipment Needed: Personal climbing equipment including shoes, harness, chalk, helmet, personal anchor and belay/rappel equipment, hiking shoes, lunch/calories, hydration, and appropriate clothing for climbing.

  • HUGE DAYS WITH A LIGHT RACK with Max Tepfer, presented by CAMP USA
    There are few things more fascinating or fulfilling than proficiently negotiating technical terrain on huge rock routes. Here, proficiency is the key … when everything we know and all the training we do comes together to create a very particular kind of accomplishment. This clinic is designed to explore the strategies and tactics involved in trying to improve our efficiency on big multi-pitch rock routes so we can ultimately move faster and climb higher. We will be studying the skills, the gear, and our objectives in order to distill this vast subject matter down to a digestible set of strategies and tactics that we can exercise in our regular climbing and training routines. The CAMP athletes teaching these clinics are absolute experts on the subject with bold first ascents around the world and numerous speed records across the United States from the Naked Edge in Eldorado Canyon to the Nose on El Capitan. See the clinic curriculum for more details

  • PURSUING PROGRESSION with Josh Wharton, presented by Black Diamond
    It’s what what most of us crave our in climbing. Whether it's improving your movement skills, learning new tips and tactics for redpointing, or just figuring out how to keep everything as light as possible for your next long route, there are a myriad of ways to grow, learn, and improve as a climber. Yet each climbers’ strengths and weaknesses are different, as well as their goals. During this clinic I will try to cover the basics of climbing movement, and address areas where each climber could improve. I'll also field questions about anything and everything climbing; from how to set up a toprope, all the way to packing for a big Himalayan alpine route, and everything else in between. My hope for this clinic is that everyone has fun, climbs a lot, and learns at least one thing that will make an immediate improvement in their climbing. This clinic is presented with support from Pikes Peak Alpine School.

    • About Josh: Josh grew up in the woods of southern New Hampshire; exploring, fishing and riding his bike. In high school, partly through the guidance of his father, Josh found climbing, and things have never been the same. Although people probably know him best for his alpine climbing adventures in Canada, Patagonia and Pakistan, he loves climbing in all its various forms, be it obsessing on a boulder’s micro beta or questing into a Himalayan alpine wall. Josh particularly enjoys objectives that require him to truly work hard, and push himself to new levels. Josh makes his home in the small mountain town of Estes Park, Colorado, with his wife Erinn and daughter Hera. For a list of some his accomplishments, see the description in the event schedule above, he's giving a slideshow on Saturday night!

  • THE ART OF THE PROJECT with Ben Rueck, presented by CAMP USA
    The Art of the Project is an intensive clinic designed to help climbers break into new levels of difficulty within a single pitch environment. To develop the curriculum, we worked with CAMP athlete Ben Rueck who credits his growth as a climber to learning and understanding the art of project. The curriculum is designed to put a structure behind projecting that can be used to dissect and accomplish our objectives. The clinic covers the emotional, mental, and physical parts of the process from the perspective of athletes who have had to use these very tools to push their climbing to new levels. This clinic is presented with support from Pikes Peak Alpine School.

    • Here is a short introduction from the author and instructor:
      "Two years and over 50 falls had gone into trying to send Gutless Wonder (5.14b), my first climb at that grade.  I can only estimate the falls because after thirty of them, I’d just quit counting.  I wanted to walk away from the 50 degree lime stone wall and sweep the idea of red-pointing this Colorado test piece under the rug.  But I couldn’t and I wouldn’t.  There was an indescribable pull that forced me to grow as a climber and as a person –– as well as plant the seed for this clinic.  It all started with a simple shift in my mental framework, ‘It is not so much the Why, but the How that matters.’

      Easy phrase to speak aloud, but it took ten years for me to grasp and understand …

      I needed to stop asking why I could not climb the sequence and I needed to start asking how I could climb the sequence. Suddenly a map opened before me and I could understand the things that needed to happen if I was going to succeed. That map is what I have tried to put structure behind for clinic attendees."

  • ONSIGHTING TECHNIQUES with Rob Pizem, presented by Arc'Teryx
    To many, onsight climbing represents the pinnacle of climbing mastery. An onsight ascent is one in which you lead a climb successfully without prior rehearsal on the route, or specific information about the climbing. Join Arc'Teryx athlete Rob Pizem for a clinic specially designed to improve your game as he addresses the ins and outs of onsighting--what it involves mentally and physically, how to plan your onsight attempt, and how to give yourself the best chance to successfully onsight a route. On an onsight, you won't know anything beyond what you can presume from the ground. Obviously, there are numerous techniques to aid in making this type of climbing endeavor successful. Let Rob shed some light to this world. In addition, you'll learn tips and tricks on how to identify your strengths and weaknesses so you can onsight effectively.

    • About Rob: When Rob was introduced to rock climbing at 18, he realized that all the other sports he'd been putting time into were really just there to get him ready for the most challenging and rewarding one on the planet. In the following years, climbing consumed him. During his 20+ years of playing on the rocks, Rob has traveled the world and established first free ascents from boulders to big walls. His passion continues to be new routing, but also teaching the next generation of climbers' safe and good habits, be it climbing related or training. Learn more about Rob here.

  • WARRIORS WAY: FALLING AND COMMITMENT with Adam Mitchell, presented by Rock About
    Being effective in climbing requires us to understand the consequences of our decisions and actions. In climbing the main consequence is falling. By understanding how to fall we diminish the chance of injury and allow us to focus attention effectively on climbing. You’ll learn how to fall safely through progressive falling practice, give a dynamic (cushioned) belay, distinguish between no- and yes-fall zones, deal with fear of falling, and more!

    In addition, participants will gain movement tips and tricks from professional athlete/guide Marcus Garcia. Do you ever wish you knew how to move across the wall with more grace and less raw power? Or reduce the pump factor in your climbing? This clinic will break down the micro movement that are needed to help you increase your efficiency. You can then learn the techniques to make corrections to help you gain success on your next project or outing."

    • About Adam: Adam has been climbing since the early 2000’s and fell knee deep in love with the sport. It wasn’t long before he took his skills to train others through guiding. He has many first ascents in New Mexico, Texas and Mexico and has traveled all over the western US seeking out big climbs. He really loves being high in the mountains despite growing up in a very flat East Texas. Adam is very involved in the local climbing community being the Texas Chair for the AAC, on local climbing committee’s and very active in bolt maintenance. He feels climbing can be safe even while taking risks inherent in the sport. Mostly, he enjoys seeing the light click when people learn something new or try a new skill that pushes their climbing to the next level. Adam has a BA from ST. Edward’s University, is AMGA SPI (working toward Rock Guide) certified. He is also owner/operator of Rock-About, a guide service in Austin Texas.

    • About Marcus: Marcus has over 25 years of all-around climbing, and has established over 200 new routes, including everything from traditional, sport, Clean aid first ascents and mixed climbing to big walls and desert towers. However, his biggest accomplishment and legacy is not how hard he can push himself, but what he passes on to the next generation of climbers as a coach and mentor. As lead coach for youth Team USA Ice Climbing, Marcus is helping develop the next generation of Olympic Caliber athletes.

  • BIG WALL SYSTEMS with Jason Antin, presented by Denver Mountain Guiding
    Do you have a goal of climbing El Capitan, walls in Zion, or other big walls? Learn some of the basics of hauling systems, logistics, necessary gear, ways to move more people faster and how not to epic in this brand new clinic with Denver Mountain Guiding.

  • THE ART OF BAILING, presented by Pikes Peak Alpine School
    You’re high off the ground and it starts to rain, snow, or just get dark. It's time to bail. If you push yourself you'll eventually find yourself in dire straits where you need to get down, whether from a big alpine climb or a single pitch sport route and being able to do so with a minimum of gear is key in protecting yourself and your pocketbook. Learn helpful knots, hitches and other rope tricks to help get you back home safely. This clinic will focus on trad and multipitch terrain, therefore some previous experience in that terrain is helpful.

  • THE ART OF THE TRANSITION, presented by Pikes Peak Alpine School
    How to quickly and safely keep your team moving up the wall and execute big trad routes or serious sport days quickly and efficiently! PPAS guides will take you through planning, rope management, leading, changeovers and gear considerations to keep you climbing smoothly, both up and down!

  • ALPINE ANCHORS AND EFFICIENT ROPEWORK with IFMGA guide Jayson Simons-Jones, presented by Pikes Peak Alpine School
    This is a clinic for folks looking to gain efficiency in technical systems for use in helping to move fast on long alpine objectives of any difficulty. Most people, in a desire for increased speed in the mountains, forego safety to reach this goal. This clinic aims to teach efficiency in some of the main areas that most people spend time unnecessarily with, on long alpine climbs in regards to rope work; and anchor systems, without sacrificing safety. 

    • PREREQUISITES: This clinic is appropriate for climbers with some trad climbing experience in regards to gear placement and anchor building, as well as experience climbing long, technical alpine routes of any difficulty. If participants have prior experience with the clinic topics, the clinic can be more hands-on.  If not, the clinic still has informational value for those that might not yet be ready to practice in 5th class terrain.

    • ADDITIONAL EQUIPMENT NEEDED: In addition to the list above, please bring a light trad rack and 40-60M rope if you have one, a mechanical assisted braking device, a tube style belay device with plaquette function like an ATC Guide or Reverso, 4 extra HMS style locking carabiners.

  • TOP-MANAGED BELAYING with Ian Havlick and IFMGA guide Steve Banks, presented by Irwin Guides
    This clinic is twofold: it will tackle situations when you are able to access the top anchor or top of the climb, and would like to top rope from above. It will also cover multipitch situations where you’re belaying from above. Learn how to lower your partner safely, belay them back up to you, and other tips and tricks. In addition, learn how to make anchors out of the terrain around you and be confident when communication is not always clear. This type of rope system is a go-to when it is safer to belay from above.

  • KNOWING THE ROPES, presented by the American Alpine Club
    AAC Education has been taking controversial climbing topics head on for the last 6 years. The most controversial topics in climbing tend to generate fervor because misinformation, dogma, and rigid problem-solving often characterize what we think we know about some of the most foundational skills in American climbing. These knowledge gaps often lead to accidents, but it’s not always the novice climber that gets hurt. Intermediate and advanced climbers also fall victim to knowledge gaps.

    The Know the Ropes sampler is a clinic for any climber that wants to get off the Mountain Project forum and have a real hands-on myth-busting, set-the-record-straight, interactive educational session on the following topics: Belaying in single pitch and multipitch; Rappelling; Cleaning an anchor in a single pitch setting; Anchor building.

    • PREREQUISITES: This clinic is appropriate for any climber at any phase in their climbing.  If participants have prior experience with the clinic topics, the clinic can be more hands-on.  If not, the clinic still has informational value for those that might not yet be ready to practice in 5th class terrain.

    • EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Personal climbing equipment (helmet, harness, climbing shoes, belay hardware, any anchor building equipment). Personal Items such as food, water, sunscreen, bugspray, camera, note taking tools. Appropriate apparel and footwear (clinics may require a short hike and will be conducted outdoors).

  • IMPROVISED SELF-RESCUE, presented by the American Alpine Club
    Self-Rescue curricula rarely focus on the scenarios that actually routinely happen. Our clinic will spend less time focusing on unlikely scenarios like incapacitated climbers or leader-rescue and more time focusing on the awkward scenarios that every climber eventually experiences: Rope gets stuck when you try to pull it; Rope Drag is so severe the leader can’t move; I dropped my belay device; My rope doesn’t make it to the next rap station.

    • PREREQUISITES: This clinic has value for any climber at any phase in their climbing.  If participants to do not have traditional lead climbing experience or multi pitch climbing experience, the hands-on portions of the clinics will likely be limited to ground school.

    • EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Specific rescue tools (2 5mm nylon prussic loops or Sterling Hollowblocks, 2 48" slings, 2 7mm nylon cordellette, a mechanical assisted braking device, a tube style belay device with plaquette function like an ATC Guide or Reverso, 4 extra HMS style locking carabiners). Personal climbing equipment (helmet, harness, climbing shoes, belay hardware, lead climbing and anchor building tools). Personal Items such as food, water, sunscreen, bugspray, camera, note taking tools, etc. Appropriate apparel and footwear (clinics may require a short hike and will be conducted outdoors).


Walk-in camping is included with your event ticket and is located at the base of The Bank road in a large flat area that includes cactus and other desert plants. There is plenty of tent space, however, please consider wearing close-toed shoes, bring a ground cover, and be mindful of freely wandering dogs/children/etc. 

Off-site camping is first come, first served at nearby Sand Gulch CG and The Bank CG ($7). Additionally, there are lodging options including hotels and a KOA campground in nearby Canon City.

There will be a designated area for van/vehicle camping, however, space is limited. If you have the choice, plan to tent camp.

Local catered food will be available on both Friday and Saturday night. Unless you purchase a Weekend Food Pass ($20) when you register, food is not included. Please come prepared to cook meals on your own or purchase a availabe catered food separately. Potable water will be available, but bringing extra is super wise.

    From the North: Take I-25 South through Colorado Springs, to the Tejon/Nevada exit for Highway 115. Go straight through the stoplight (Tejon St) and turn right at the second light, Nevada Ave, which is the same as Highway 115. Follow 115 south to the town of Penrose, about 30 miles. Just south of Penrose is the junction with Highway 50- take this West toward Canon City, another 6 miles. 

    Once you come into Canon City, look for the Wal-Mart on your right. Turn right (north) at Dozier Ave, just after the Wal-Mart. Dozier winds around to the west and changes names to Central Ave. At the first stop sign, turn right (north) onto Field Ave, also called Co Rd 9 or Shelf Rd on various maps. Field heads north for another 9 miles. Just before the pavement ends, you’ll see a brown sign marked Sand Gulch, and another one marked The Bank, both with turns to the left. Take the second left toward The Bank, and look for Craggin Classic signs and/or volunteers! 

    From the South: Take I-25 North to Highway 50 toward Canon City, and follow the above directions from there.


    • There may be limited or no cell service at Shelf depending on your carrier.
    • NO FIRES are allowed at the free camping area- only at the designated campground sites and the fire ring on Saturday night near the main tent. Cooking stoves are ok.
    • Shelf Road is a high desert climate- temperatures can be near freezing at night this time of year, but warm during the day. Please plan and pack accordingly.
    • Dogs are discouraged at Shelf, but not forbidden. The BLM requires that all dogs are leashed at all times.
    • There are pit toilets at each of the campgrounds, and both porta pottys and trash/recycling receptacles will be on site.
    • We encourage you to carpool to save the environment and limited parking space!!!

    Questions ?
    If you have any questions regarding the Shelf Road Craggin' Classic, please Event Coordinator Jes Meiris at [email protected] or (503) 781-8906

    The 2017 Shelf Road Craggin' Classic is presented by:


    Banner photo: AAC member Michael Lim