Well, Rifle was terrific.
Check your ego at the door and prepare to be humbled. That's the approach that works best. If you send - woohoo. If you fail - good training! :)
Highlights of my two week trip are as follows (I've gone with the euro grades as, after all, this is sport climbing):
Spray-A-Thon 8a+ - 5th shot (super steep with one tough crux. My first grade 30 on foreign soil.)
The Anti-Phil 8a - 4th shot (gently overhanging with brutal campus-snatching around a low roof)
The Beast 7c+ - 4th shot (slipperiest rock on the planet?)
Pump-O-Rama 7c+ - 2nd shot (just like Mt Coolum in Australia. Technical kneebars not an issue :)
Beer Run 7c+ - 3rd shot (my fave in Rifle, varied and amazing)
The Blocky Horror Show 7c - 3rd shot (stepped roofs, then hugging headwall)
Hang Em High 7b+ - onsight ("proud onsight dude!" pumped off my dial)
Pretty Hate Machine 7b+ - 2nd shot (slippery steep route)
Easy Skankin 7b - onsight (best sport 12b in USA they reckon!)
And here's some pics of me doing Spray-A-Thon on my final day. Big pressure!
Getting set up for the dyno. Off the right hand undercling, you jump for that hole. Very cool move.
Clipping in the crack section.
Double kneebars (sort-of) before the first bulge. I figured out some great beta for this bulge that even the locals now use. Energy conservation is all about using momentum!
The crux move! Might not look much, but you're reaching left hand for a hold known as the "pencil". But I reckon a pencil would be a better edge.
So thanks Rifle, you were great. I love you.
All pics © Jason Huston 2010