Rifle's Hardest Route Goes Up


UPDATED: 8/25/11 - Joe Kinder responded to Matty Hong's send of Bad Girls Club in Rifle on his blog, saying, "The news today was awesome. I am very proud of Matty and appreciate him showing such respect... It makes the whole story end with such a sweet and honest feeling. Matty is a great example of his generation."

He also described his experience with his then-project: "I tried the project maybe six times, primarily to get the bolts in order and to clean. I really just fell in love with the line."

Read more at joekindkid.com.

8/22/11 - Rifle may have seen its hardest route go down this past weekend. Matty Hong, 19, finally put away Bad Girls Club on Sunday, a project that Joe Kinder opened in the fall of 2010. The proposed grade is 5.14d, which would mark Rifle's most difficult line.

Sitting in the Wicked Cave (which hosted Rifle's first 5.14, Slice of Life, until it was downgraded to 5.13d), Kinder calledBad Girls Club "probably 5.14d or 5.15a" and "a monster route. It's one of those walls where people are like, 'There's no holds there!' And I'm like, 'Forget that, there are holds, just watch!'" Hong reportedly agreed with Kinder's grade assessment and suggested 5.14d.

Bad Girls Club follows a line to the left of The Crew (5.14c), which Hong also sent a couple years ago. Hong's father, Steve Hong, has one of his own first ascents just down the road: Planet X (5.14b).

Other climbers have tried the 100-foot route, including Jon Cardwell and Keller Rinaudo, but none had been able to link the multiple boulder problems to the finish. Last year, Matty completed Esperanza (V14) in Hueco Tanks, Texas.

Date of ascent: August 21, 2011