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West Ridge - part D - Xanadu to Pony Express
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Bit by Bit 

YDS: 5.11c/d French: 7a Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII British: E4 6a

   
Type:  Trad, Sport, 2 pitches, 160'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.11c/d French: 7a Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII British: E4 6a [details]
FA: Dougald MacDonald, Mark Hammond
New Route: Yes
Fixed Hardware: 4 Belay Bolts [details]
Page Views: 918
Submitted By: Dougald MacDonald on Jan 1, 2004
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This might be Steve Levin on an ascent on Sat. Oct...
Climbing reopened after flood MORE INFO >>>

Description 

This is a fun, challenging route that takes the hanging arete to the right of Inverted Vee (just right of the Parallels/Foxtrot area of the W. Ridge.) Similar to Aerospace but it's a bit harder and uses the arete more. Great rock. Mark Hammond got the first redpoint.

Either belay on the ground or scramble 25 feet to a good ledge and belay. NOTE: If you belay on the ground, the leader must rappel! You cannot lower from the top with a 60-meter rope if you belay on the ground! A doubled 60-meter rope just reaches the good ledge.

Climb the first 40 feet of Inverted Vee (awkward 5.8), protected with wires and hand-sized cams. From a wide stem, clip the first bolt on the face to the right. From the second bolt, move right to the arete and climb past two more bolts with very tenuous moves and clips. The moves are definitely harder than the clips, but it's all hard, thin, and [balancy]. The major difficulties end at a big stance. Continue up the arete past two more bolts, then move around to the right. Stem rests are possible on the chimney wall to the right, but the chockstones can (and probably should) be avoided. Anyway, the climb moves back left on a narrow, hanging slab past one more hard move at the last bolt. You'll find the anchor over the huge roof.

Remember: You MUST have a 60-meter rope to get down from this anchor (or two ropes), and your belayer must be at the ledge if you lower off!

Pitch 2: Climb the short arete and face up and right from the anchor. (You may want to move the belay up for a more comfortable stance.) Fun and somewhat spicy 5.8 or 5.9. RPs necessary. Probably R-rated.To descend, scramble down to climber's left (descender's right) to find a big tree with slings around it. A short rap with a swing to the right gets you back to the bolted anchor. Most people will do just the first pitch.


Protection 

Small rack of wires and hand-sized cams for the start. 8 bolts. RPs if you do second pitch.



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By Steve Levin
From: Boulder, CO
Nov 1, 2004

This is a really good route. I climbed the face directly following the bolts, rather than moving right to the arete as described above. Kudos to Dougald and Mark for putting this route up- it must have been quite an effort rigging the ropes from above.

By Steve Annecone
From: boulder
Apr 24, 2007
rating: 5.11d 7a 24 VIII E5 6a

Did this last weekend and thought it was excellent! Great exposure, intricate slab climbing in spots, and an exciting finish. The crux may be clipping the 4th bolt from an insecure stance on the arete. Felt like 5.11d to go straight up the arete, slightly right of the bolts, which is the way I went and seems to be the most compelling line. Watch out for the loose blocks up high right of the last bolt, just before the anchor.

By Jimmy Farrell
From: Lexington, KY
Mar 16, 2012

Like Steve, I was also compelled to climb the face directly following the bolts. Honestly, I couldn't figure out a way to traverse out to the arete. This climb is an extremely technical, beautiful face that makes me remember why I love Eldo so much.