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Rifle Mountain Park is one of America’s best sport-climbing areas, especially for harder grades. The canyon’s limestone cliffs have more than 500 established rock climbs, including some of the most difficult in America. Climbers come from all over the world to challenge themselves on the steep, gymnastic routes. But the canyon is much more than just a crucible for the sport’s elite. Rifle rock climbing also features plenty of easier fare, suitable for novices and intermediates. Looking for a dense concentration of 5.13 and 5.14 lines? Check. Or is 5.10 your limit? Check — you’ll find good routes at that level, too. No matter what grade you climb, you’ll appreciate the unique style of movement produced by the blocky limestone, with sidepulls, slopers, laybacks, and kneebars. Combine this spread of great sport climbs with easy access and amazing camping and you have one of the most convenient climbing destinations anywhere.
Rifle: A Climber’s Guide, now in its 4th edition, celebrates the climbs, climbers, natural beauty, and vibrant scene of Rifle. Learn about the flora and fauna, as well as the cast of characters responsible for the routes. Learn how to kneebar, and how to have fun falling off your project 100 times! And while you’re at it, enjoy the great photography from some of the country’s best-known shooters.
$1 from the sale of each book goes to the Rifle Climbers’ Coalition, a volunteer group that maintains Rifle bolts and anchors.
Darek Krol sadly passed away in December 2020, at the age of 57, just days after handing off completed drafts of this guide. A native of Poland, he immigrated to Boulder, CO in 1997. He established over 30 routes in the canyon (and ticked 400 overall), and as the de-facto chief climbing steward of the area became known as “mayor of Rifle.”
Beyond climbing, Darek was a wonderful human being to be around. He made everyone feel known and important, and Rifle feels a little bit colder without his presence. Darek is survived by his “Noble Wife,” Anita, and their daughter, Nina.
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