Climbers in Colorado seemingly botched an opportunity for access to more routes in Rifle.
Some of the finest — and hardest — limestone routes in North America
are located in Rifle Mountain Park, which features 200 bolted sport
routes, few rated below 5.10, with average grades more like 5.12. But a
move submitted to the Colorado Division of Wildlife this past fall by
the Rifle Climbers Coalition (RCC), with backing from the Access Fund,
to expand routes in the area has just been rejected unanimously by a
14-member panel of the state wildlife commission.
The RCC and the Access Fund commissioned a biological survey of Rifle
Falls last summer and in January presented their vision of what
climbing might look like in the Rifle Falls area. The commission,
however, rejected the petition on multiple grounds: