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West Ridge - part D - Xanadu to Pony Express
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Kubla Khan 

YDS: 5.11c French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII- British: E4 6a

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 100'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.11b/c French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- British: E4 6a [details]
FA: Alec Sharp, BITD
Page Views: 401
Submitted By: david goldstein on Jul 21, 2003
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You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (6)
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Climbing reopened after flood MORE INFO >>>


This is a pretty good pitch, maybe 1.5 stars that is diminished by being squeezed so tightly between Xanadu and Tanqueray. The pro is actually decent except for the first 15' when the climbing is fairly moderate. The seldom traveled crux involves making use of four separate faces. Low traffic indicator: an essential crux hold was completely obscured by the grass growing out of it.

This climb is the left of two parallel, hanging, right-facing corners just to the right of Xanadu. This corner is so narrow that if you fall off you will probably end up on Tanqueray.

Start below intermittent cracks which run up to the Tanqueray corner, about 20' right of Xanadu's start. Climb cracks and face for about 25' (5.9s) to the base of the Tanqueray corner. (Note to attentive CB readers: I called this section 5.10 in the Tanqueray write up; sue me.) From the start of Tanqueray, traverse left into the KK corner. Take the corner to the top. The crux is about 10' up where the cracks in the corner bottom out and seemed to me a harder and less scary version of the Windy crux exit moves.

Probably best to avoid this route, or Xanadu, when they are enfolded with sunny spots of greenery. As for Alph, the sacred river, the less said the better.

Detailed Beta:

The crux involves using a flake on the right edge of the right wall for both gear (#7 Rock) and a finger lock (next time I'll tape my right pinkie). A good rest can be had by stepping left at the bottom of the crux. By the time you complete the crux, your foot is on the flake. If you blew the last move of the crux, you would fall onto the Tanqueray slab with unpredictable consequences.


Pretty much std Eldo rack. Suprisingly, this climb needs only a couple of RPs. Cams to 3" w/ doubles in the thin finger sizes (green & yellow Alien). Even though pro is close, a fall at the end of the crux will result in a possibly serious fall onto the Tanqueray slab.

Probably fair to call this pitch S-. [I took another look at this route and decided it is not S. With a competent belay, a fall from the crux should not result in hitting the Taqueray slab.]

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By Wayne Crill
From: an Altered State
Feb 25, 2008
rating: 5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- E4 6a PG13

I think this is a quite good pitch. I am definitely biased as I enjoy and have great respect for Sharp's routes. Nevertheless, I say easily two stars even though it is a bit of a one move wonder (felt more like a three move wonder technically). Protection-severity wise it seems pretty standard ELDO to me, not 's'. I suppose PG13 for the potential slab smack at the crux. However, FYI my partner fell at the crux and hitting the slab was not a concern. Edit: I should say that hitting the slab was in fact a serious concern, however it turned out to not be an issue. if you fell a move or two higher after moving up and left back into the corner then I supose it could be an issue.