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West Ridge - part D - Xanadu to Pony Express
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Zip Code 

Iron Pony 

YDS: 5.11d French: 7a Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII British: E5 6a

Type:  Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 150'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.11d French: 7a Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII British: E5 6a [details]
FA: Dan Hare & Mike Engle - 1989
Page Views: 1,352
Submitted By: Josh Janes on Jun 10, 2004
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You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (10)
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Iron Pony. Rad.
Climbing reopened after flood MORE INFO >>>


Iron Pony is decent climbing up the arete left of the Pony Express dihedral.

Take p1 of Pony Express until it enters the dihedral then hand traverse left for 10 feet on big lichen-covered flakes. Stand up on these flakes, clip a bolt, and step up onto the face and arete. Continue up past 5 more bolts.

You spend a lot of time on the right side of the arete, and the location of the bolts (on the left side) can make for tough clips. Sustained and difficult, perhaps a sandbag at 11d.


Some finger-size cams and wires. 6 bolts.

Photos of Iron Pony Slideshow Add Photo
Making the tenuous third clip on Iron Pony. Photo: Lisa Apprill.
Making the tenuous third clip on Iron Pony. Photo:...
Just past the first bolt on Iron Pony. Photo: Lisa Apprill.
Just past the first bolt on Iron Pony. Photo: Lisa...
Mid-crux on Iron Pony. There's not much in the way of footholds here. Photo: Lisa Apprill.
Mid-crux on Iron Pony. There's not much in the way...
Comments on Iron Pony Add Comment
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By Bob Rotert
Dec 22, 2006
rating: 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII E4 6a

Great route and after getting to the second bolt you do climb quite a bit on the right side of the arete. Essentially doing part of the crux of Pony Express with added hard climbing on up the arete. I thought clipping, I think, the third bolt was a bit cruxy. Fun Arete climbing!!

By Hank Caylor
From: Golden, CO
Dec 22, 2006

Bobby, maybe it's just my old age, or I didn't figure it out first try. But I thought this thing was kinda 12a. Very good climb though.

By Bob Rotert
Dec 22, 2006
rating: 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII E4 6a

Hank, your age probably isn't the factor. Now not seeing the moves right off might be a possibility. \;o) Damnit, I can't read or even place RPs without glasses anymore!! Makes it hard to find those micro edges quick....

I wouldn't argue with anyone's assessment of 12a for this one. Hearing you feel this is 12a sure makes an old guy like me feel good, since I didn't think I could climb 12a anymore. I was just going along with the original rating, so I wouldn't look bad. It looks like Josh also thought it was a sandbag for 11+. Good to see your response here. Cheers.

By Scott Bennett
Feb 12, 2010
rating: 5.11d 7a 24 VIII E5 6a

I really enjoyed this climb, I stayed on the left side of the arete the whole time and it seemed like solid 11d. I guess at the crux you are grabbing the left side of the big jug on Pony Express, so it wouldn't be hard to escape into that route, but it flows pretty well to stay left.

I do agree that the third bolt is hard to clip, but only because of the insecure climbing through there, the bolts are well-placed.

Recommended link: the first (crux) half of Zip Code into Iron Pony for a good long multi-crux pitch.