Type: Sport
FA: Bill Gibson and Chris Knuth
Page Views: 2,004 total · 18/month
Shared By: Orphaned on Aug 12, 2009
Admins: Alvaro Arnal, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

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Pistola is a far better climb than its popularity indicates. This seemingly forgotten route is located at the relatively quiet Sno Cone Wall and would surely see far more traffic if it were located at a more popular cliff. As is such, it makes for a nice place to hang away from the crowds and enjoy quality climbing without a stack of rope bags piling up as you work out the moves. Pistola is located right where the trail meets the cliff and begins with a short choss scramble to the first bolt and the real climbing. Boulder through the first four bolts of crimpy terrain and gain an excellent rest. Continue up the dihedral, sidepulling, stemming, and attempting to clip some difficult-to-reach bolts. One last excellent stem rest is above and just before the second (and final) crux. Pull through this and scoot left to some great holds on the arete. Easier climbing leads to the anchors.

I thought this route was a lot of fun and deserving of two stars and perhaps one more star if the poorly (read scary-to-clip) placed bolts were moved more in line with the climbing (Rifle clean-up project, anyone?).


It is located where the trail to the Sno Cone Wall meets the cliff.


11 bolts to a two bolt anchor that currently sports a locking biner on each bolt.


eric larson
aurora, co
eric larson   aurora, co
Nice route.. lots of sidepulls and a fun bouldery start!

Thanks to whomever left draws on the route...especially the few long runners! Aug 22, 2009
Boulder, CO
SCherry   Boulder, CO
I agree this is a great route. With a little more traffic it would fully clean up (there is some loose rock if you climb to either side of the bolt line...which seemed to make the most sense to me).

Not sure what the deal is with the hard to reach bolts? It could sure use a retro-job as some of the bolts are pretty old, too. Aug 24, 2009
If you place long runners on the bolts above the two hard to reach clips and skip the out of the way bolts, it climbs way better. Still you have to clip the bitchy bolts to place the gear for the red point attempts.

I think it was originally intended to climb the shallow, blocky dihedral on the non-existent feet but everyone follows the more logical line in the big corner. Sep 16, 2009
Yes, Evan is correct. The original idea was to follow the shallow dihedral by doing these barn-door moves past those bolts. In retrospect, I think it should be re-bolted to follow the more natural line. There is also a second pitch, a few random bolts, and anchor near the top of cliff. But that pitch was abandoned because it started to snow in November when I was working on the route. Bill Gibson Apr 5, 2012
Carbondale, CO
dbyte   Carbondale, CO
Bill moved some of the bolts during the annual Rifle Cleanup a few weeks ago. As a result, the climbing is now both safer & much more enjoyable. Oct 21, 2012
Update: during the Rifle Clean-up, the entire route has been re-equipped with stainless 1/2" bolts including some fancy steel anchor biners with chains. We re-positioned several of the bolt placements for easier clips. Big thanks to Dave Pegg, Lynn, Rifle Climbers Coalition for the replacement hardware.
Oct 31, 2012
Tried this today, seemed hella stiff.. A couple walking by informed us that some key holds had broken off the boulder problem crux around the 3rd clip, making it "at least a grade or two harder." Anyone got any info on this? Sep 17, 2017
Mr. Stevens
Boulder, CO
Mr. Stevens   Boulder, CO
The 2nd to last bolt is dangerously loose, the hanger spins, and it can’t be tightened. The bolt wiggles in the hole.... Sep 16, 2018 · Temporary Report