As some of you know I'm going west this summer. Was planning on doing June in rifle July in tensleep and wild iris and August in Squamish (September tbd). I heard rifle is super wet from mountain project and am debating going directly to Wyoming in June. I won't have a partner for most of June. Any thoughts?
Post by jetjackson on May 23, 2016 14:48:10 GMT -7
Rain everywhere, I've been training for Horseshoe Canyon Ranch for this long weekend, and it's looking more and more likely that we are going to have to switch that out for a combination of HP40 and Foster Falls... we've only got 4 days, and FF is 12 hours drive away.
If there is anywhere in the world where it only rains on work days... I'll move there.
You should come down to TX and climb limestone with us in 90 degrees at 85% humidity.
Rifle: I don't have 1st hand info, but word on the Facebook group is that while a lot of things are seepy right now, there is plenty of dry climbing to be found. This is pretty common in spring there- it often works out that about half of the canyon is "open" (i.e. dry) in May. Unless your heart is dead-set on a specific route, you'll find plenty of good stuff to climb on. The Anti-Phil doesn't seep, and that is one of the best walls there, so that alone would keep you occupied for a while. And if you have all of June to climb there, things will continue to dry out as your trip goes on. I would be surprised if the canyon wasn't mostly dry by mid-June. So, don't let seepage concerns scare you off of Rifle; you can work around it and it should not be a trip-limiting factor. Partners will be easy to find.
Thanks for that link JCM, I was totally oblivious as to the road conditions up there. Typical midwesterner for you Looks like I'll start in Rifle. Has anyone done Easy Skankin, Philibuster, or anything else that's more finger strength based or bouldery, rather than steep and pumpy in the 12a-13a range?
The Wasteland is great for short/powerful. Really nice almost-tufa rock. Never Believe (12d) is V6 to 5.11. The Beast (13a) is a little more PE oriented, also excellent. Various other great boulder routes. Unfortunately, it is for-sure soaked in spring. Usually dries out sometime in June, so get on that stuff toward the end of the trip.
Just right of the Wasteland is the Nappy Dugout. Still short and bouldery, but the rock isn't the lovely water streaked euro-rock. Some routes worth getting on, though. And it doesn't seep. Kingfisher (12d) is quite good, short-ish, powerful, not too steep, and very crimpy.
As Mark mentions, the cave portion of the Ruckman Cave is short and bouldery. Standout routes include Pinchfest (12b) and In You Face (12d). Both are about 6-7 bolts long and feature 5.11 climbing to a boulder problem near the last bolt. Return to Sender (12a) is nearby and is also excellent. The other short routes in the cave are not as good, but maybe still worth doing. Note that the left and right sides of the wall, outside of the short steep cave, feature long slightly overhanging endurance routes like Loose Cannon (12b), Extended Family (12d), and Beer Run (13a). All are highly recommended but do not suit your criteria. None of these seep.
The Winchester Cave is short, steep, and powerful, and has the prettiest rock in Rifle. Quickdraws (low end 12c) is extremely highly recommended. 30 feet of fun bouldery climbing culminates in a big jump to a huge shelf, then techy 5.11 to the top. Maybe seepy? Not sure. Left of the cave is Ricochet, a long 12a vert-tech odyssey.
The Skull Cave is short, bouldery, and crazy steep, but is a total pile. Avoid. Still kind of fun though.
Hand Me the Canteen Boy is one of the best short/bouldery 12d's I've done. Easy for a few bolts, steep thuggy 2 bolt boulder problem, ok rest (left kneebar), then vert/crimp boulder problem. Might be seepy.
The Anti-Phil wall is rad (fantastic rock)but it is only "not steep" by Rifle standards. At Smith it would be the steep wall. Also not your typical vertical edge and crimp endeavor. The climbing there is a bit odd, with slopey holds facing in funny directions, but very interesting. Typically quite pumpy. Definitely climb there, but don't expect it to be Tensleep style vertical crimp climbing.
There is a new zone left of the Bauhaus called the Zone of Silence. It features truly vertical, crimpy routes. It is not in the 2013 guidebook- too new. I haven't been on it, but everyone says Effigy for a Silent King (13a) is excellent.
Various other good vert-ish routes are scattered around the canyon. Firearms (12a) at the Ruckman is quite good.
Lastly make sure to get on some of the steep jug haul routes. When in Rome...
Thanks for all the recommendations. Never Believe was way up on my list so I will definitely check it out. You're right that I should do some in traditional Rifle style - maybe just bump down a few letters