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Never Believe

5.12d, Sport,  Avg: 3.6 from 79 votes
FA: Phillip Benningfield, Pete Zoller
Colorado > Rifle > Rifle Mtn Park > Wasteland


This was Rifle's first sport route for a reason -- it follows a compelling line on a brilliant wall and starts on a streaked limestone pillar reminscent of the finest stone in Europe.

It is the 8th route from the left in the Wasteland, sitting just between Vision Thing to the left and The Beast to the right. Think of it as the leftmost route on the grey, central section of the wall.

Start on the pillar and climb up to a bolt high and right. Bust to a horizontal slot, clip, then climb past a bouldery crux to an overwhelmingly sharp finger lock. Sustained climbing up the brilliant blue/grey stone leads to cold-shut anchors under the roof.


Seven quickdraws -- five for the route and two for the anchor.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Ashley Gann on Never Believe.
[Hide Photo] Ashley Gann on Never Believe.
Working the lower moves.
[Hide Photo] Working the lower moves.
Clipping the second.
[Hide Photo] Clipping the second.
2nd bolt.
[Hide Photo] 2nd bolt.

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

Richard M. Wright
Lakewood, CO
[Hide Comment] Come on Matt. Never Believe is surely as brilliant as you say, but that certainly does not make it the first sport route in the park. Nov 8, 2001
Richard M. Wright
Lakewood, CO
[Hide Comment] Not razzing you, Matt!!! This is just a nit of history. However, Rumor Has It was the first rock climb in the park. Interestingly, Mark Tarrant (FA on RHI) grew up in Rifle and he and an old buddy had put TR anchors on the grey streak called "MC 900 ft Jesus" in 1985. They had run the sequence with a 150 ft TR and pretty much put it away at the time. It was at least six years before he got back to bolt it up, but by then numerous lines had gone in. RHI looked more likely to go down on red point immediately, so it was bolted in advance of the streak. The Ruckman Cave went in quickly on the heels of RHI, revealing the real potential of the canyon far more than the vertical RHI. Nov 8, 2001
[Hide Comment] Any truth to the rumor that Kor led Fluff Boy on knifeblades, baby angles and a hip belay? Nov 9, 2001
[Hide Comment] I'm glad this discussion of Rifle history came up. Shannon Wade and I bolted two routes in Rifle the same day Mark Tarrant and Richard Wright were bolting Rumor Has It. I found out about Rifle from Phillip Benningfield who had been a part of the bolting and redpointing of Never Believe. That route would unquestionably be the first lead and the first sport climb in Rifle. While a lot of this is semantics, let's give the proper credit to Never Believe as the first route in Rifle. - Fred Kn Jul 15, 2002
Richard M. Wright
Lakewood, CO
[Hide Comment] The day that Mark and I got RHI in there was no one else in the canyon. No one else was camping upstream, and we spent the day in recon, cleaning, and bolting. We picked our way very slowly through the canyon, saw no other people and not so much as a hint of any route activity. In the late afternoon we again picked our way very carefully down the canyon and still found no evidence of other climbers, campers, or route activity. Another ten days passed before we got back to the canyon, and then we were both suspicious that someone else was around, but we saw no climbers and spoke with no one. We both climbed RHI again, and someone may have seen us climbing it, and then headed over to the grey streak. The point seems moot, however, since Mark had placed the anchors and run a TR on the grey streak nearly two years prior to RHI. Jul 18, 2002
Peggy Sayer
[Hide Comment] Fun route. There is some heel hook beta between bolts 2 and 3 for those that don't have mad underclinging power. It does requite a bit of hip flexibility. Jun 22, 2005
[Hide Comment] Interesting, a heel hook eh? It took me a few tries to figure out the undercling and a few more goes after that to link.

I'm probably one of the few people that has pitched off the top "buckets" on redpoint. After I managed to send, Karn came by and told me it was 12b/c...heh

Cool info on the histoire.... Mar 21, 2007
Hank Caylor
Livin' in the Junk!
[Hide Comment] Whatever, this route got me was a bet. I won. I was young and needed the money. Sep 2, 2009
Boulder, CO
[Hide Comment] "Whatever, this route got me was a bet. I won. I was young and needed the money."

And that's yet another reason why you're so many people's hero, Hank!

CL Sep 24, 2009
[Hide Comment] Isn't that the case for every route you do, Hank? Sep 24, 2009
Jon Zucco
Denver, CO
[Hide Comment] This route deserves more pictures and nice work, Hank! Nov 10, 2012