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West Ridge - part D - Xanadu to Pony Express
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Barbie Doll Arete, The T 
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Formula, The T 
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Hand Crack (aka White Lightning) T 
Hang Ten T,TR 
Highway 61 T 
Inverted Vee T 
Iron Pony T 
Kashmir T,TR 
Kubla Khan T 
Lady Fingers T 
Lunar Avenue T 
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Masterbator's Edge, The T 
Milk and Honey T 
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Positively Fourth Street T,TR 
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Tampon T,TR 
Tango T 
Tanqueray T 
Terminal Velocity T 
Texas Two-Step T 
Three Lane Highway T 
Toprope Right of Formula TR 
Trip Itch T 
Tryptich T 
Whatever T 
Willow World T 
Working Class Hero T 
X T 
Xanadu T 
Zap Snack T 
Zip Code T 

Iron Pony 

YDS: 5.11d French: 7a Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII ZA: 25 British: E5 6a

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 150'
Original:  YDS: 5.11d French: 7a Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII ZA: 25 British: E5 6a [details]
FA: Dan Hare & Mike Engle, 1989
Fixed Hardware: 6 Lead Bolts, 1 Anchor Bolt [details]
Page Views: 1,894
Submitted By: Josh Janes on Jun 10, 2004

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (15)
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Iron Pony. Rad.

2016 Closure on Shirt Tail Peak Effective March 11,2016 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
Rock Climbing Photo: Making the tenuous third clip on Iron Pony. Photo:...
Making the tenuous third clip on Iron Pony. Photo:...
Rock Climbing Photo: Just past the first bolt on Iron Pony. Photo: Lisa...
Just past the first bolt on Iron Pony. Photo: Lisa...
Rock Climbing Photo: Mid-crux on Iron Pony. There's not much in the way...
Mid-crux on Iron Pony. There's not much in the way...

Comments on Iron Pony Add Comment
Show which comments
By Bob Rotert
Dec 22, 2006
rating: 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a

Great route and after getting to the second bolt you do climba 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 24 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 25 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.

By Lisa Montgomery
From: Golden, CO
Jan 22, 2016
rating: 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a

I thought this was a totally cool route with great position on the arete and cryptic moves. Josh mentions it in the description, but I'll reiterate that you take the juggy hand traverse left from Pony Express (do not continue up the right-facing corner). Place a finger-sized piece at the end of the traverse as you start to move up toward the first bolt. There's a sizable runout between 1st and 2nd bolts, but it's easy climbing. I found the crux to be clipping the 3rd bolt, so having the draws prehung would increase your odds of sending. This is easy to do by climbing Zip Code and then hanging the draws on rappel.

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