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Adam Stack called this the hardest of the Project Wall routes and for good reason -- it's one of the longest and most sustained.
Present Tense is two routes right of Living in Fear
, or three routes left of Simply Read
. It starts in the same place as Sometimes Always
(up on the bone-white dirt heap above the parking spots) but trends right above the first bolt along a seam before heading up into a shallow corner capped by a roof and a long blue streak.
Boulder up the grey rock to the first bolt (the glue-in ring on the right). Underclings get you to the second clip. Sustained, perplexing climbing leads right to a hand jam. Bust a crimpy move into a kneebar rest. The next 40 feet, while littered with positive holds, is very sustained. A knee-scum rest below the finishing roof helps you bleed it back. Straight up over the roof into the blue streak is harder (this is how it originally went), but some climbers have gone left onto Sometimes Always
then moved back right on the headwall. Slabby, but interesting climbing takes you to the anchor.
A 60-meter rope just reaches (if you stay into the belayer's side of the rope), so tie a knot in the end and lower slowly.
This is probably one of the most spectacular pitches at Rifle.
15-17 draws and a 60 meter rope (mandatory).
Sep 16, 2012
rating: 5.13d 8b 31 X 32 E8 7a
Easy for the grade, lots of kneebars.
By don welsh
Aug 16, 2015
I recommend leaving your knee pads in the car (in fact, leave them in the road). Rifle is a much better climbing area without kneepads. I did the first ascent of The Present Tense without kneepads or kneebars.
By William Mondragon
Sep 22, 2015
Such a spectacular route, perfectly sustained with very little manufacturing. If you don't go direct over the last roof into the amazing blue rock, you aren't doing Present Tense. I used 17 kneebars in total, 3 of which you can go no hands in. Re-bolted by Darek Krol circa 2014. Thank you, Darek.