New Routes in Rifle

On one of my first trips to Rifle, I remember looking around the canyon thinking that there could be a lot more routes there. I was told there was a bolting ban instituted by the City, and no new routes were allowed, period. Some were snuck in under the radar, but for the most part route development was stagnant.

Fast forward a couple of years to 2004. The city of Rifle realizes they have a great climbing resource on their hands, but they also know it’s mostly an area full of hard routes. They want more routes that “normal” people can climb, climbers just want to be able to create more routes in general. The compromise was to lift the bolting ban, allowing new routes on a permit-based system, and under the conditions that a new wall would be established with several easier climbs, and that for every new hard route, an easier one go up as well.

This has lead to the establishing of the Canine Wall, mostly by the folks at Climbing Magazine. This wall currently holds 7 routes, from 5.8 – 5.11. To the right and left, new walls have been developed by Michael McGee, the G3 wall and Section M, respectively. Combined together, this zone offers some great new climbing at lower grades than you find in most of the canyon.

More information and topos can be found here.

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