RIFLE ROCK CLIMBING: A CLIMBER'S PARADISE AWAITS

Nestled amidst the stunning peaks of the Rocky Mountains, Rifle, Colorado, is a haven for rock climbers seeking world-renowned Rifle rock climbing challenges and breathtaking scenery. Rifle Mountain Park boasts a network of over 5,000 established routes, catering to climbers of all experience levels. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran yearning to test your skills on legendary routes or a curious beginner eager to experience the thrill of the climb, Rifle offers an unparalleled climbing experience.

Unveiling the Crags: A Climber's Playground in Rifle

Rifle Mountain Park’s immense size and diverse cliff formations provide a climber’s paradise. Here’s a glimpse of what Rifle Rock Climbing has to offer:

Steep Technical Glory

Rifle is famous for its concentration of challenging sport climbing routes. Steep walls, technical sequences, and demanding climbs like “The Naked Edge” and “Bachar Spire” have pushed climbers to their limits for decades.

Moderate Adventures

While Rifle rock climbing is known for its difficulty, it also offers a variety of moderate climbs perfect for honing your skills or introducing yourself to the sport. Areas like Rotary Park provide excellent single-pitch routes for beginners and intermediate climbers.

Endless Exploration

With a vast expanse of unexplored walls and new route development opportunities, Rifle beckons adventurous climbers to forge their own path.

Rifle Rock Climbing

Beyond the Rock: Essential Information for Your Climbing Adventure

Climbing Seasons

The ideal season for Rifle rock climbing typically runs from spring through fall, when temperatures offer comfortable conditions for outdoor climbing.

Safety First

Rock climbing is inherently risky and demands a high level of preparedness. Proper training, appropriate gear, and the use of certified guides are essential for a safe and enjoyable experience.

Gear Up

For a successful Rifle Rock Climbing Adventure, you’ll need essential equipment like a harness, helmet, belay device, carabiners, and climbing shoes. A detailed gear list is available below.

Guided Ascents: Elevate Your Climbing Experience in Rifle

Consider partnering with a certified guide to take your Rifle climbing experience to the next level. Our experienced guides can offer:

  • Safety and Confidence: Ascend with peace of mind, knowing you have expert guidance on route selection, risk management, and proper climbing techniques.
  • Unlocking Your Potential: Push your limits and tackle more challenging climbs under the watchful eye of a guide.
  • Insider Knowledge: Discover hidden gems, navigate the complexities of Rifle’s vast terrain, and gain a deeper appreciation for this unique climbing environment.

PERSONAL GEAR YOU NEED TO BRING:

• Climbing harness with belay/rappel and gear loops.

• Climbing helmet.

• Belay device.

• Two locking carabiners.

• Crampons for technical climbing. (Step in, not strap on)

• Technical ice tools, with hammers. An adze on a tool creates a significant risk to you. If you don’t have a hammer, you may cover the adze with tape and foam so it can’t cut your face if it pops out.

• Ice Tool tethers. This is a long elasticized leash that prevents you from dropping an ice tool. (optional)

• Climbing boots. These must be mountaineering boots. Leather hiking boots won’t work. Good quality climbing boots can be rented from Ouray Mountain Sports. Contact them directly to reserve at (970) 325-4284.

• Hooded shell jacket. A waterproof/breathable (hard shell) jacket is desirable when climbing water ice. If you use a soft shell jacket make sure it is freshly washed and dried as the drying helps to restore the water repellent finish. If we climb in a soft shell we often carry a light waterproof/non-breathable shell such as the Alpine Houdini jacket made by Patagonia.

• Technical climbing pants. Soft or hard shell. Should fit closely around the tops of your boots.

• Gaitors. Nice if your pants are baggy and/or don’t have integrated gaitors to keep the snow out. (optional)

• Synthetic long underwear top and bottoms. Two different weights for different temperature conditions.

• Synthetic mid-weight top. Slightly heavier than the above layer. The Patagonia R1 Hoody is a popular example.

• Warm fleece or sweater top.

• Warm insulating down or synthetic parka that can be worn over all other layers.

• A warm hat which can be worn under your helmet.

• Neck gaiter. Optional, but recommended.

• Two to three pairs of good fitting, non-bulky, warm climbing gloves and mittens. Gloves/mittens usually get wet or damp when ice climbing and it is nice to have a back-up pair with you at all times. Personally we bring two pairs of gloves and one pair of mittens for a day of winter climbing. One thin pair of gloves that are protective but not very warm; these get the most use. One medium pair of gloves that are warmer, but we can still climb with. And one pair of mittens for belaying and for extra cold days. Ski gloves usually have too much material in the palms for climbing.

• Thin synthetic or wool liner gloves. (optional)

• Wool socks to wear in climbing boots. A second thin pair of liner socks is optional for those who tend to get cold feet.

• Sunglasses.

• Sunscreen.

• A 30-40 liter backpack to carry extra clothes, water and food for the day.

• Small headlamp.

• A small personal first aid kit containing bandages and a blister kit.

• Water bottle and/or thermos: You should have one to two quart/liter capacity.

• Lunch/snack food. When climbing in the Ice Park, it is possible to go into town for lunch.

• Camera!

• Bathing suit for hot springs.

IMPORTANT:

Let us know what you DO NOT have. We may have it.

EQUIPMENT WE PROVIDE:

Ropes, protection, slings and other team technical equipment.

PERSONAL GEAR YOU NEED TO BRING:

• Climbing harness with belay/rappel and gear loops.

• Climbing helmet.

• Belay device.

• Two locking carabiners.

• Crampons for technical climbing. (Step in, not strap on)

• Technical ice tools, with hammers. An adze on a tool creates a significant risk to you. If you don’t have a hammer, you may cover the adze with tape and foam so it can’t cut your face if it pops out.

• Ice Tool tethers. This is a long elasticized leash that prevents you from dropping an ice tool. (optional)

• Climbing boots. These must be mountaineering boots. Leather hiking boots won’t work. Good quality climbing boots can be rented from Ouray Mountain Sports. Contact them directly to reserve at (970) 325-4284.

• Hooded shell jacket. A waterproof/breathable (hard shell) jacket is desirable when climbing water ice. If you use a soft shell jacket make sure it is freshly washed and dried as the drying helps to restore the water repellent finish. If we climb in a soft shell we often carry a light waterproof/non-breathable shell such as the Alpine Houdini jacket made by Patagonia.

• Technical climbing pants. Soft or hard shell. Should fit closely around the tops of your boots.

• Gaitors. Nice if your pants are baggy and/or don’t have integrated gaitors to keep the snow out. (optional)

• Synthetic long underwear top and bottoms. Two different weights for different temperature conditions.

• Synthetic mid-weight top. Slightly heavier than the above layer. The Patagonia R1 Hoody is a popular example.

• Warm fleece or sweater top.

• Warm insulating down or synthetic parka that can be worn over all other layers.

• A warm hat which can be worn under your helmet.

• Neck gaiter. Optional, but recommended.

• Two to three pairs of good fitting, non-bulky, warm climbing gloves and mittens. Gloves/mittens usually get wet or damp when ice climbing and it is nice to have a back-up pair with you at all times. Personally we bring two pairs of gloves and one pair of mittens for a day of winter climbing. One thin pair of gloves that are protective but not very warm; these get the most use. One medium pair of gloves that are warmer, but we can still climb with. And one pair of mittens for belaying and for extra cold days. Ski gloves usually have too much material in the palms for climbing.

• Thin synthetic or wool liner gloves. (optional)

• Wool socks to wear in climbing boots. A second thin pair of liner socks is optional for those who tend to get cold feet.

• Sunglasses.

• Sunscreen.

• A 30-40 liter backpack to carry extra clothes, water and food for the day.

• Small headlamp.

• A small personal first aid kit containing bandages and a blister kit.

• Water bottle and/or thermos: You should have one to two quart/liter capacity.

• Lunch/snack food. When climbing in the Ice Park, it is possible to go into town for lunch.

• Camera!

• Bathing suit for hot springs.

IMPORTANT:

Let us know what you DO NOT have. We may have it.

EQUIPMENT WE PROVIDE:

Ropes, protection, slings and other team technical equipment.

The Ice Clinic Workout:

Pull-ups, 5-15 reps, 30 seconds rest. Then:

Strict sit-ups. 10-15 reps, 30 seconds rest. Then:

Isometric Ice-Tool Hangs. 15-20 second one-armed hang off each tool. It helps to wear the gloves you’ll wear climbing. If you can’t do this one-armed, then do it with both arms, but shift more weight to one side at a time for the required time for each side. 30 seconds rest. Then:

Push ups, 10-15 reps, 30 seconds rest. Then:

Repeat circuit three times with a 3 minute rest between laps of the circuit for one workout. Do this workout twice in the first week.

Repeat circuit four times with a 3 minute rest between circuits for one workout. Do it twice a week the second and third week. In week 3 reduce rest between circuits to 2 minutes

Repeat five times the fourth and fifth week. In week four take 2 minutes rest/circuit. In week five take a 1 minute break between laps of the circuit

The sixth week do the workout only once. Do four laps of the circuit with two minutes rest between laps to allow for recovery and super-compensation.

Why pull-ups and push-ups? Because these simple exercise works all the main muscles-groups involved in swinging, and holding onto, an ice tool. If you can’t do five pull-ups, you may want to contact us about a customized strength training plan.

IInterested in a more structured approach to training?

• Read Steve House’s and Scott Johnston’s Book: Training for the New Alpinism

• Check Out Uphill Athlete’s training and coaching options

Ready to Scale New Heights? Let's Climb in Rifle!

Rifle Mountain Park beckons with its world-class climbing, captivating scenery, and endless possibilities for exploration. Contact us today to discuss your climbing goals and plan your unforgettable Rifle rock climbing adventure.