Friday, September 16

Rifle Wrap Up

After updating on this past Monday, I charged back out to Rifle, eager to make the best of my last few days (for now) in the canyon. I had yet to check out any of the real test-piece routes in the Bauhaus - a cliff well known for it's wild, steep climbing and extra blocky style. I asked around and it seemed that 'Girl Talk' would be a great introduction to the hard routes at the cliff. This monster route was equipped and cleaned by Rifle guru Andy Raether a few years back. Andy missed a season due to injury and the route was meanwhile opened by Dave Graham - then it saw rapid repeats over the course of a month or so. The route is technically a direct start (and a link-up), but it's popularity has galvanized it as a rifle classic. Originally thought to be one of the hardest routes in the canyon at 14c, many repeats and it's restful nature has settled the grade somewhere around hard 14b.
Low section. DPM photo
The climb features three distinct sections, separated by great rests. The bottom is thin, tricky climbing through a slightly off vertical wall. The middle is steep, gymnastic and thuggy. The finish (shared with 'Huge' 13d) is pumpy and long on beautiful stone. On tuesday I warmed up as usual except my good friend Melissa Love convinced me to rope gun on an obscure and beautiful edging climb called 'Hawaiian Two Foot' 13a. I highly recommend anyone in the area who needs a break from big greasy holds and thuggery should check this out asap! Pleased with on onsight, I tied in below Girl Talk with a hint of beta but apparently not enough... it was a pretty long attempt (thanks Joel!). Next try I sussed a better method for myself - pleased with progress but still feeling like I needed some real linkage to inspire confidence. The following day I returned, sensing some pressure knowing that I was leaving Thursday and the aspect of the wall is such that you really only get two good burns due to the heat and setting sun.
Melissa Love on Hawaiian Two Foot - Joel Love photo
Girl Talk - DPM photo
Another screen grab from DPM
I tied in with little expectation, but also knowing that I could maybe go to the top if I improvised a little and took advantage of the rests. I fired the bottom and rested up well before entering the mid crux - my feet unexpectedly cut on some of the route's worst holds but I reeled it in and finished the section, settling in to a great rest before attaching the top.... ending with success! Very pleased to get it done. I finished my day with a flash on 'The Path' 13c. It rained all night, and into the next morning - I decided to bail - reinforcing my excitement about getting Girl Talk done because as it turns out yesterday the canyon was soaking. I made it back just in time for a quick bouldering session at the BRC before checking out the premier of the Reel Rock Tour and seeing one of my favorite DJs, Wolfgang Gartner at Beta in Denver. KILLER way to end a radical two week stay in Rifle.
Mike Williams at Dead Point Magazine was there to capture my send of Girl Talk on film - look out for an upcoming video on Rifle crushers and life in the Canyon featured on the DPM website. In the meantime, Maxim Ropes has released another awesome video that Andy Mann and I put together on my new route in Washington that I did this summer, New World Order! have a look.

... and if that wasn't enough... I did an awesome interview with climbing legend Scott Milton on my 5 Questions page - have a look here..

Now I'm off to enjoy a few days in sunny San Francisco! Cheers