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This route represents the first foray onto the wall and is also the route for which the wall is named -- Phillip Benningfield broke his wrist after a 1/4" bolt pulled on him during a ground-up bolting excursion in 1991.
This route has passed through many different evolutionary phases. It originally ended about 20 meters up at a flat jug and clocked in around 13a/b. A couple of years later the anchors were moved to the top of the wall, adding another crux and some of the best climbing on the route -- exposed, slopey moves on brilliant, tan stone.
The opening sequence, a slippery V5/6 boulder problem getting over the small roof, has long suffered from the addition of a drilled edge out left. The edge was filled in with glue, dug out, smeared with vaseline, cleaned up, etc. The edge is still there -- if you choose to use it the route is 13b. If you ignore it and climb the perfectly viable sequence out right, the route is 13b/c.
The choice is yours.
This route is the centerpiece of the wall and climbs the inviting black streak which runs all the way to the top of the cliff. With multiple cruxes and plenty of sustained climbing in between, this endurance fest on stonker rock gets my vote as one of Colorado's best.
Many, many quickdraws and a 60 meter rope.
By Mike Anderson
From: Colorado Springs, CO
May 31, 2005
I agree...this is a great route. Since this was my first "hard" route at Rifle, I'm afraid it will all be downhill from here. I used the natural sequence over the roof which I think is much more fun...the moves are intersting (not just dynos) and the holds have really good texture (must not be too popular).
Be ready to log some serious air time at the top!
Any truth to the rumor that you can sit down on the ledge half way up?
By Blake Cash
From: Chattanooga, TN
May 22, 2010
rating: 5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c
Brilliant route. One of my favorite routes in the canyon, no kneebarring, funk or intense beta needed...just straight rock climbing.
Harder than a few of the c's in the canyon, for sure.