|West Ridge - part E - top to Xanadu
Locate the West Ridge North Buttress area favorites, Chockstone and Purple Haze. If you don't know where these are, go ask the line of top-ropers or cued up lead parties because they are on them. (You can also refer to the on-line directions to those routes.)
On the right-hand side (facing SouthEast) of the Chockstone Buttress there is a huge, right-facing dihedral formed by the intersection of the buttress and the main wall. This is about 50' to the Right of Chockstone. Through the left side of this dihedral is a ~2-3.5" crack leaning hard ot the right which goes up 50' or so to a broken roof. A few moves are stemming, a few feel more like a chimney, but the necesary technique is predominantly jamming. Ride the crack up to the roof them work delicately up and left to past the overhang to the ledge. Belay on fixed anchors several yards back, as per Purple Haze.
There are few opportunities in Eldo to climb on sustained handracks, so this one is fun by that right. The crack is seriously abrasive, however, so if you are not a master-jammer, TAPE UP!
The protection is predominantly 1.5-3" cams, and is generally good. Take doubles if you want to sew this up, and maybe a few larger or smaller pieces.
At the top of the route, tread lightly and be careful where you place, because the rock is questionable. I have done this route 4 times, and it felt fine... but I've been careful, so I can't promise that reckless abandon or pumped-panic won't produce a disaster.
From: Fort Collins, CO
Sep 28, 2004
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Clean Dan and I did the first ascent of this route so long ago, that I didn't remember it until my friend John Baldwin reminded me that we had done it. This is just a little tribute to my friend Dan, who left us early, probably because he was fighting demons, just as I have. I didn't know it at the time, and I think Dan made the route name suggestion, but I believe both of us survived some punches. The difference is I got a handle on the hits I got, and Dan didn't. I am really sad to lose this spirit to this world. I wish I had been in contact with Dan more over the years. Take care of your friends.
From: Boulder, CO
Jan 20, 2008
Fun route. Hands and thin hands with just the left foot in the crack to start. Opens a little to a fist then off-width or move right up into the roof. Don't fall here and find somewhere to get a piece among the detached blocks. Pulling through the roof is not hard and really fun. Link with "p2" of Purple Haze or Friends in High Places and end up at the tree. 1 pitch with a 60. Rap or lower.
Could garner an R on lead since the roof portion is mainly detached blocks and you would be 10' above the last piece in the crack. Might get a #4 or #5 where it flares to OW though.
From: Boulder, CO
Jun 13, 2008
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a PG13
A #4 C4 does not fit :-(
|By Phil Lauffen|
From: The Bubble
Mar 8, 2009
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Wow-- this climb packs a punch. I ended up doing a strenuous lieback for a short time. This was a bad idea. pulling over the roof is easy and you can get good no hands rests in right below it. While I did not lead it, it looked like you could get pretty good gear in and I watched someone lead the roof and they had plenty of good cam placements.
Edit to add: I also thought this was a little sandbagged, though my crack technique is obviously mediocre.
|By Joe Huggins|
From: Grand Junction
Mar 24, 2009
Dave Hague said he had a first ascent waiting for me on the West Ridge; so we walked up there and I started getting my butt kicked. 10a was hard for me in those days. Along come Joel and Clean Dan, at which point Dave invites them to have a shot; while I sputter-"but, but". So Joel shows us how it's done; and I suppose I've forgiven Dave for giving away my glory....
|By Mark Cushman|
From: Cumming, GA
Apr 7, 2010
I second Tony's comment to TAPE UP! I don't usually tape in Eldo, but I would if I were to do this climb again. The inside of this crack is very rough. It was a fun climb and easy to TR from the Friends in High Places anchors.
|By Paul Hunnicutt|
From: Boulder, CO
Mar 13, 2011
rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13
+3 on the tape.
From: Black Hawk, CO
Sep 11, 2012
Unusual to find pure crack climbing like this at Eldo. Crack is a bit rough, tape would be good, but I didn't tape and no problem if you place your hands carefully. I indeed got a bomber #4 Camalot at the top of the crack where it widens climbing up into the pod under the overhang. Then really fun moves to turn and pop over the roof.