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YDS: 5.12a French: 7a+ Ewbanks: 25 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 25 British: E5 6a

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch
Original:  YDS: 5.12a French: 7a+ Ewbanks: 25 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 25 British: E5 6a [details]
FA: Bill Gibson and Chris Knuth
Page Views: 1,760
Submitted By: Orphaned on Aug 12, 2009

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (53)
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Pistola, 12a, Rifle.


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.

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By eric larson
From: aurora, co
Aug 22, 2009
rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a

Nice route.. lots of sidepulls and a fun bouldery start!

Thanks to whomever left draws on the route...especially the few long runners!
By SCherry
From: Boulder, CO
Aug 24, 2009

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.
By Evan Winn
Sep 16, 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.
By bagwag Gibson
Apr 5, 2012

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
By dbyte
From: Carbondale, CO
Oct 21, 2012
rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a

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.
By bagwag Gibson
Oct 31, 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.
Rock Climbing Photo: One of the crew installing new bolts.
One of the crew installing new bolts.
By Bibi Garcia Diehl
Sep 17, 2017

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?

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