Later, after moving to Boulder across the state, he remembered the limestone walls he’d seen as a teenager. New routes are bolted through a permitting process, that includes the Rifle Climbers Coalition. Down stream from the Wasteland. Here they are in the nutshell: 1. The first route Tarrant attempted was a towering blue streak that eventually became The Eighth Day (5.13a). After a crux start, continue up about 11 bolts of sustained technical climbing along the prominent gray streak. Find It: Start on a small hill right of the Sapper Cave and left of the Project Wall, about 1.2 miles up the canyon from the Rifle Mountain Park entrance station. Rifle Mountain Park, located 16 miles (26 km) north of Rifle, is maintained by the City of Rifle. The first sport climb ever redpointed at Rifle, Colorado, was not a bulging wall of seeping pockets or a blocky overhang overcome with kneebars—it was a vertical gray streak of funky laybacks and edges called Rumor Has It, which climbers today seem to either love or hate. Find climbing areas and routes in The Wasteland and discover photos, user reviews, and detailed route info like climbing type and grade ... Western Slope: Rifle Mountain Park: The Wasteland. Uncover Colorado - Vacations, Travel & Tourism | Sitemap | Privacy Policy | Disclaimer, Rifle Mountain Park, CO. Photo: Now it has a lower anchor, but it’s still a sustained, 30-meter pitch of funky laybacks and side pulls. The Beta. It seemed to be the perfect name for one of the first routes in a place with such great potential.”. Not into climbing? Constant traffic on some of the older routes, especially at the Ruckman … Tarrant said, “I had an eye for the streaks in the canyon. “Rumor Has It was the name of a band that was playing in Rifle when we put the route up. Rifle Mountain Park is the property of the city of Rifle. Few sport-climbing areas are surrounded by as much myth, mystique and ill-repute as Rifle Mountain Park in Rifle, Colorado. There had been access issues at the foot of the roadside climb, and Tarrant hadn’t been in any particular hurry to redpoint. Walk into The Wasteland and go another 50 yards down the cliff until you reach the crappy looking cave. This riparian mountain canyon 200 miles west of Boulder has undergone numerous evolutionary phases over the last decade, yet it still maintains its allure and is fairly crowded on most weekends from May through September. Wright established more early routes at Rifle with the late Alan Nelson. Tarrant and Wright quickly bolted, cleaned, and climbed the new route, and though drills were already whirring by then on the other side of Rifle Creek and downstream at the Wasteland, Rumor Has It, with its relatively modest rating, likely was the first route redpointed. While seemingly a total pile upon first glance, this enormous cave is actually very solid -- riddled with cracks, pockets and large blocky pinches that make the super-overhanging routes viable in the 5.12-5.13+ grade range. It consists of 250 bolted climbing routes and also offers primitive camp sites and hiking trails. Ever since 1991, when he lost out on the first ascent of The Eighth Day, that glow-in-the-dark streak that first caught his eye, Tarrant has never returned to Rifle to climb. He punted clipping the chains once, like a noob. Rock Climbing– When the park opened climbers were free to attach their own pitons, but over the years the excess amo… “I was naive, thinking no one would ever go to Rifle to climb,” he recalls ruefully. Simply put, Rifle Mountain Park offers the best limestone sport climbing in North America, especially at the 5.12 and up grades. In the winter, water seeps into Rifle Mountain Park, freezing and forming natural ice walls perfect for ice climbing. “The obviousness of this line, its length, relative moderateness, and the access it gave to the other lines on the wall were the initial appeal,” Tarrant said. Rifle Mountain Park also offers hiking trails, horseshoe pits and a group area. But after drilling Rifle’s first bolts, toproping the first modern climb in the canyon, and establishing Rumor Has It and the classic Ricochet (5.12a) across the creek, Tarrant grew unhappy with the crowds in the peaceful canyon of his childhood. Wintertime provides scattered ice climbing opportunities, but the routes vary in difficulty depending on conditions. Entry Pass - Buy an entry pass to the Rifle Mountain Park (daily or season). “When sport climbing hit in the mid-1980s, I thought Rifle would be just perfect, especially since all the hard routes in Europe were being done on that strange rock called limestone,” he recalls. Season: Spring through fall. Guidebook:Rifle Mountain Park and Western Colorado Rock Climbs (Wolverine Publishing, 2008), © 2020 Pocket Outdoor Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. “I saw no rush to get things done in an obscure place with so-so stone. Camping– Primitive campsites are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Description: Home to one of Rifles hardest routes (lung fish 14a). The park boasts over 250 bolted climbing routes. Alex McIntyre smashing this little BP on a rope on a hot sendtember day. However, it’s a very popular area with rock climbers, so the hiking is minimal. When conditions are favorable, the park's natural ice formations are some of the most accessible in the state. It is popular with rock climbers . Find It: Start on a small hill right of the Sapper Cave and left of the Project Wall, about 1.2 miles up the canyon from the They can be reserved at 202 Railroad Ave in Rifle. The rock is varied and colorful, with an abundance of interesting features and holds, ranging from sinker … Although some climbers dislike the route’s slick footholds, atypical-for-Rifle vertical terrain, and somewhat dangerous crux between the first and second bolts, others consider Rumor Has It the best 5.11 in the canyon: a four-star prize. Rifle Mountain is a haven for rock climbers, featuring some of the best free and technical climbing available in the United States. Most of the harder routes are 30 meter rope-stretchers, tending to offer hard cave climbing down low followed by sustained headwall climbing up high. Music: MF DOOM and RZA - Books of War. And on October 21, 1921, a US Patent signed by Warren G. Harding made Rifle Mountain Park. Approach: Park in the major parking lot after you cross the first bridge. The early history of this American sport climbing mecca is murky—several teams of climbers began exploring separate sectors of Rifle’s two-mile limestone canyon around … Tarrant went to high school in the nearby town of Rifle and fished and camped in Rifle Mountain Park. The Arsenal is a thug's paradise, and with its park-at-the-base of-the-routes approach represents the finest in convenience sport climbing. The routes on the left are dirty looking but are of pretty good quality. Of course, The Eighth Day was the most obvious; it actually glowed in the dark when my brother and I drove in on a rainy spring night in ‘87.” But after Tarrant successfully toproped and bolted this 175-foot line in 1989, another climber grabbed the first ascent. Rifle Mountain Park is located at 13885 County Road 217, at the end of Highway 325, north of the Rifle Falls Fish Hatchery. The Wicked Cave is home to many of Rifle's longest, hardest routes and is an impressive spectacle in and of itself. The route gets morning shade. Originally, the climb extended nearly 150 feet to the canyon rim. Rifle is often called the prototypical sport-climbing “scene,” replete with perma-draws, bro-brahs, radsters, spray lords, sandbags, grade-boasting, grade-debating, down-grading and more beta-beta-beta than a Greek fraternity. Rifle Mountain Park is a breathtaking canyon of limestone cliffs known for its world class rock and ice climbing opportunities. The Wasteland Click on "Routes" to subscribe to a RSS feed of all new routes added to this category. Not this time! Visitors from all over the globe visit the park for its rock climbing. By ‘89, I saw that I had been wrong, and the rest is history.”, That year, while working on The Eighth Day, Tarrant and Richard Wright installed another anchor above a spectacular gray streak about a hundred yards upstream. The home of Rifle Mountain Park - home of the some of best hard sport limestone climbing in America. The cave proper, while way too chossy to climb, forms an immense roofy bowl that is easily 70+ feet from the back to the lip and often runs with water or drips with giant icicles. Climbing activities are allowed under the condition that climbers respect park regulations. Climbing in Rifle Mountain Park is best done in the summer and fall. The early history of this American sport climbing mecca is murky—several teams of climbers began exploring separate sectors of Rifle’s two-mile limestone canyon around the same time in the late 1980s—but there’s no question that Mark Tarrant was the first to recognize the area’s sport potential. The climbing at Rifle varies from slightly overhanging to very overhanging, and the routes are generally long, complex endurance-fests on large, flat holds, pockets, crimps and funky pinches.