Type: Sport
FA: Pete Zoller, Phillip Benningfield
Page Views: 9,826 total · 46/month
Shared By: Pinklebear on Sep 12, 2001
Admins: Alvaro Arnal, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

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This venerable classic is many people's first 13a at Rifle, despite the fact that climbers have been bickering over the 12d vs 13a grade for the last decade. Were it in Europe it would be 7c+, which is 13a, so give yourself a pat on the back if you redpoint this slippery beast.

This route is just right of Never Believe and climbs directly up the center of the blue-grey panel of water-sculpted rock in the middle of the Wasteland. It can be recognized by a high first bolt (generally stick clipped) and a series of perfect two and three finger pockets at the opening sequence. Constant traffic on this route has turned the footholds black -- almost to the point that you feel like you're smearing on marble. Nevertheless, the climbing on this line is great -- sustained, powerful and aesthetic.

A genuine 13a advent, "The Beast with Two Backs," continues past the anchors out the big roof via long moves to good holds. Bring four or five more draws for this, and maybe a toothbrush, as it sees little traffic.


Six quickdraws plus two for the anchor.


This is a full-on 5.13a. Jul 28, 2004
Kipp Schorr
Kipp Schorr  
This thing is sick ! Fav route at Rifle so far. Quick link at the second crux (5th bolt) should be replaced soon! I'll get in on the next trip back if not done yet. Cheers. Sep 22, 2004
I think the first anchors should come out, and the route should finish at the "Beast With Two Backs" anchors. May 14, 2007
Joe Collins
Joe Collins  
Leave the anchor as is. The Beast has existed for far too long as a route that ends at the roof to change things now. Jun 29, 2007
tcamillieri   Denver
If the first anchors ever come out, the top anchors should be moved. If you clip bolts above the lip, your rope burns severely on the lip. When I first got up there, there were no draws on the bolts, there are draws on there now, but beware. Two or three burns clipping the anchor I can almost gurantee will ruin your rope. Dec 12, 2008
Michael Schneiter
Glenwood Springs, CO
Michael Schneiter   Glenwood Springs, CO
All of the 3/8" x 2-1/4" hardware (8 bolts total) were replaced on this route and fat steel lowering biners were added during the Rifle Cleanup 2010. Hardware courtesy of the ASCA. Aug 29, 2010
Of note is that the beginning is arguably harder than the original ascent, since a big undercling broke off (while someone hung from hooks trying to reinforce it with glue). May 28, 2011
Ken Cangi
Eldorado Springs, CO
Ken Cangi   Eldorado Springs, CO
I agree with Joe. Moving the anchors up would also negate every ascent of the original line. Leave them as is. Mar 6, 2017
Max Caudle  
Just so everyone is aware, a year ago one of the anchor bolts was removed (accidentally as the story goes). The original No Backs version ended in the obvious slabby part right before the roof - on white stone. Literally everyone at the base will know where it ends, so if there's any confusion, just start yelling for beta. On an unrelated note, I personally think this route is harder than others of the grade in Rifle. I actually wasn't even aware that people called it soft. Jun 17, 2018
Jon Frisby
Colorado Springs, CO
Jon Frisby   Colorado Springs, CO
The anchors actually fell out. Dylan Connole did 2 backs last year, one of the bolts slid out, and he put it back in. Came back the next day, and it was sitting on the ground. I talked to Darek Krol from the coalition recently, and it's high on the rebolt list. Oct 5, 2018