Rock Climbing in Rifle Mountain Park
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Rifle Mountain Park is the mecca of hard sport climbing in the United States. With a high concentration of routes in the 5.12-5.14 range, it's a playground for those looking to push the grades. While many argue the best climbs are the hardest, there is also plenty in the 5.11 and under range. With the recent lifting of the bolting ban, more and more moderate routes are going up as a condition of the new agreement is that for every hard route an easier one has to go in as well. A quick look around the canyon and it's easy to see there could be a lot more climbs in the 5.10 and 5.11 range.
The Canine Wall was developed by the staff at Climbing Magazine to create a wall with a focus on easier routes (a stipulation of lifting the bolting ban). Here you'll find fun climbs from 5.8-5.11. To get to this wall, park in the lot that sits across the creek from Feline. The stairs leading up to the wall should be obvious on the other side of the road. Routes are listed from right to left as you head up the trail. CAUTION: SOME ROUTES MAY STILL BE DIRTY AND/OR HAVE LOOSE ROCK. BE AWARE.
Project - Closed
First route you'll pass under.
Might still be kind of dirty.
Jeff's Route, 5.9-
Climb up the nice grey stone with an puzzling crux move getting to the last bolt.
Brown Chicken , 5.9+/10-
Climbs up the corner, exiting up and right at the top.
Master Chief , 5.10b
Start up the steeper grey stone, gaining a nice rest before the sustained dihedral above. 9 bolts.
Climbs the obvious dihedral. 8 bolts.
Stepping Stone, 5.8
The nice easy face at the left end of the Canine Wall. The last bit to the anchor is somewhat dirty, a lower anchor should probably be installed.
The G3 wall has become popular due to quality routes that sit right off the road. This was developed by Michael McGee, who also graciously provided a topo which you can download in pdf form. Park at the Feline lot and walk back down the road about 15 yards or so.
Section M is another new addition courtesy of Michael McGee that sits to the left of the Canine Wall.
Other New Routes
A 5.7 sits at the head of the canyon, upstream of the Ruckman Cave, near where the rock comes back down to the road.
Dave Pegg put up an extension to Head Full of Lead called Don't Point that Gun at Me, 13c.
There is an extension to Crime and Punishment which goes about 5 more bolts to the canyon rim which clocks in at about 11b, so the grade stays the same at 12a.
To the right of Lost and Found is a Dave Pegg route called the Blocky Horror Picture Show, 12d, chalky and reasonably popular.
On the far left side is a Dave Pegg route Sick Little Monkey, 13b, or stop at the first set of anchors under the roof which is Little Monkey, 11d.
Apocalypse has an extension called Where My Pockies At? which makes the route an easy 13c.
Climbing the Gay Science into the Apocalypse extension is an Andy Raether route called The Gayness which is supposedly the canyons easiest 14a and is now therefore very popular.
Hang em high has an extension called Hang em Higher which keeps the grade at 12c.
The route to the right of the 8th day is called Twister, 12a.
Anti Phil Wall
To the right of the Dancing Pickle is a route by Nathaniel Walker called Courtesy Spit, 11a.
In between Bong Thirty and Girly not Burly is a Dave Pegg route called Phillatio, 12d.
To the left of Love and Rockets, starting from the same ledge is a Dave Pegg Route Sigue Sigue Sputnik, 11d/12a.
Andy raether's Stockboy's Revenge, 14c, goes between Tomfoolery and Huge.
Silver Surfer, 11c, is a face climb on the far left side of the Upper Tier, to the left of East Winds Change.
The route just to the left of Merry Maids is a Dave Pegg route called Fat Slags, 5.9-ish. You can stop at the new anchor, or join up with Merry Maids to make it a bit longer.
There is a cool face route just left of Feline which is about 11c, its really good and is starting to receive some chalk.
Dave Pegg's Tomb Raider, 13d, splits off left a couple bolt up Cryptic Egyptian, it is quite popular.
Krulu or Kuru or something is an Andy Raether route which starts on Zulu and finishes on the Crew and is supposedly 14c.
Just right of Salty is an old abandoned project which Dave Pegg has a permit to finish bolting.
Thanks to Andy Wellman for much of this information.
If you know of any new routes that aren't listed here and would like to share, send them to