I have been living in Boulder, Colorado now for 3 months and throughout this time I have been looking for a project to really get me super psyched. After getting on several other 13+’s in the Boulder area I finally found a route that is exactly what I was looking for. My last trip to Shelf Road I focused on sending some of the hard classic 12‘s. This time, I focused all of my energy on Carnage 5.13d. Carnage is a really strikingly beautiful line up an amazing overhanging arete. It was first bolted by Mark Rolofson and sat as an open project for a while until Mark Anderson finally sent it in 2010. Since then it has maybe seen one or two ascents? This was surprising, because it is on one of the most popular cliffs and a super obvious line. For this reason I decided to get on it and see if it was possible.
The first six bolts went really smoothly until you turn around the corner of the arete and the crux hits you right in the face. A really devious v5/6 section on small little crimps and a super small pebble leads to a quick shake out before the real climbing starts. A super thin and technical v10 boulder problem leads to a committing 5.12+ bulge to the anchors. This line immediately captured my attention, because the crux involves a really cryptic set of moves through non-existent slopy crimps on the overhanging left side and awkward small underclings on the slabby right side. This provides powerful moves on the left and super thin moves on the right that spit you off in a heartbeat. After three attempts I had every move free except for one of the crux moves. Every time I entered the crux, a small left foot hold kept popping. With the last light hitting the top of the route I gave it one more attempt and cleaned it with no send. My trip was over and I left with a sense of longing to go back and figure out the move, but until next weekend I will have to wait.