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Pretty Hate Machine

5.12c, Sport,  Avg: 3.5 from 66 votes
FA: Steve Landin
Colorado > Rifle > Rifle Mtn Park > Arsenal


Super-mega-ultra-classic! It is possibly the best sport route in the universe.

This route is rated 12b in the guides, but I think there is a broad consensus among everyone who climbs it that it is at least a letter grade harder than that.

This line is on the far left side of the Arsenal. It can be easily recognized by the fixed, chain draws.

The first difficulties are encountered early, where you do a series of 12a/b underclinging and sidepulling maneuvers to get past a small roof. The hardest part about the first 20 feet is tricky, slippery footwork.

Next, you enter a long stretch of big reaches on steep stone, all to good holds, but it is very pumpy. After a somewhat energy-sapping clip, you will do a little 12a maneuvering to a jug, where you will set up for the crux.

This involves a tenuous, middle 12 reach off of two slopers to a square-cut, arete-type feature. After standing, this move all the way up, there are jugs. It is wise to recover here, because there remains an 11+ roof above guarding the anchors.

If you send it, humble yourself by remembering that it is still one of the easiest lines in the Arsenal.


9 bolts with fixed chains.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Bad beta!
[Hide Photo] Bad beta!
What a cool line through this roofy section!!  Burly underclinging!  Very very fun!!<br>
Photo by Neil Berget
[Hide Photo] What a cool line through this roofy section!! Burly underclinging! Very very fun!! Photo by Neil Berget
Resting just below the PHM crux.
[Hide Photo] Resting just below the PHM crux.
Near the good rest below the crux.
[Hide Photo] Near the good rest below the crux.
Resting up after the burly opening section.
[Hide Photo] Resting up after the burly opening section.
Pretty Hate Machine.
[Hide Photo] Pretty Hate Machine.

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

richard magill
[Hide Comment] For what it's worth, Dave Pegg's new "Western Sloper" guide also calls this route 12c. Sep 16, 2002
[Hide Comment] The second bolt looked pretty rusty to me, at least in limestone. Sep 11, 2007
Marc H
Longmont, CO
[Hide Comment] I've never even been to Rifle, and I feel like I climbed the route by reading the description. No need to go now I guess. Nov 27, 2007
Adam Peters
Salt Lake City, Utah
[Hide Comment] Marc, that's one of the better excuses I've heard from people that are too scared to go to Rifle and get their ass kicked. Good one! Apr 17, 2008
Michael Schneiter
Glenwood Springs, CO
[Hide Comment] This March, PHM was rebolted (all protection bolts) with glue-in Wave Bolts, supported by the ASCA . Aluminum carabiner pulled and replaced with steel and a steel biner with chain added at first bolt. All of the quicklinks were replaced with new stainless quicklinks.

Here's the story and here's some pics, before and after. Enjoy. Jun 14, 2013
Evan Rhoads
[Hide Comment] This is a very fun climb! I found that multiple tries in a day was detrimental to my skin, therefore needing a couple days rest. If I hadnt become emotionally invested with this climb. I may have chosen another project for the trip. A very fun climb that came down to the sheer wire. Psyched to have done it the last day of the trip in the last little bit of light. In hindsight, I wouldn't change a thing! GET ON IT! Sep 23, 2018