|West Ridge - part D - Xanadu to Pony Express
Does this route deserve two stars? Well, it depends. Do you really like offwidth?
Not sure and want to find out? ...then this is your route! Stack a fist, [chicken-wing], heel-toe cam, arm-bar, foot stack. Leavitate? Well, no. This climb does not require a comprehensive set of offwidth techniques, but it is a good place to learn of practice many of them. It will also amaze you how good of an aerobic workout you can get while still moving so slowly.
Go up the West Ridge to the Cirque of the Cracks area and find the popular routes Terminal Velocity and Hand Crack. This will be after quite a long uphill, in an area with very little slope. Just to the right (south) of the route Hand Crack, at the right hand side of the same solid buttress, is this 6" wide splitter. This route is unique in [character] and should not be at all hard to identify. Climb easy moves up and into the vertical wall with the small cap/roof for an off width challenge. The route can be safely lead with just a few large pieces, but for comfort, take your arsenal and place at will. If you need OW gear, contact Eric Corkran (snicker).
There are anchors nearby at the top from which to descend.
Large, big, and Huge will be most helpful. The crack is 6" average. Large cams (#4-5 Camalot) and Bigbros or Tubechocks are the best idea. A few standard pieces will go as well.
Chris Plesko climbing Funeral March. Photo by By J...
Fun, fun, fun.
Ross, whishing he never met me.
|By Leo Paik|
From: Westminster, Colorado
Jun 4, 2005
For a non-OW climber, this route can be done with a fair bit of face climbing. As such, 5.9 may be soft. Pro is still big.
|By Jay Eggleston|
Sep 25, 2009
Easier than the off-width on the Grand Giraffe. I was glad to have 2 #6 Camalots and a blue Big Bro. The flake in the crack you can place smaller gear in is loose. This is a good climb if you enjoy a little groveling.
|By Rich Farnham|
Jan 12, 2010
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI E1 5a
The hardest climbing (the first 10-15' of the wide crack) is well protected with #6 Camalots (C4, i.e. #5 old-style), but they get pretty tipped out higher up. The upper half of the climb has a flake in the back that I placed some Aliens behind. It didn't feel particularly loose to me (compared to the one in the back at the start of the climb), but I also wasn't positive that the gear would have held a fall.
Jay's recommedation of 2 #6s and a blue Big Bro worked well for me. A single set of other gear will more than cover the rest.
I found this to be a pretty good climb (if you're into this kind of thing). There aren't a lot of good OW cracks on the Front Range, but I found this to be a good one to get some training laps on. The lead is a little junky, but if you just want some OW training laps this can be easily toproped by climbing Hand Crack (aka White Lightning).
|By James Beissel|
From: Boulder, CO
May 26, 2010
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a
Still some loose stuff on the upper part of this route. If you choose to do the direct finish be very careful.
|By Guy H.|
From: Fort Collins CO
Mar 4, 2013
About 75 pounds of rock came out of the upper section this weekend. It is probably best to cut left to the hand crack finish. Scary!