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West Ridge - part D - Xanadu to Pony Express
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Pool of Blood 

YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a

   
Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 80'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: Pat Ament and Carl Diehl, 1975
Page Views: 2,342
Submitted By: Tyler Jones on May 7, 2001

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (82)
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Pulling the first crux

Climbing reopened after flood MORE INFO >>>

Description 

The route is located in an area called Cirque of Cracks. If you follow the West Ridge trail past Positively Fourth Street, it will reach a crest and drop down a little... from here it's only about another 200 feet further. Look for an obvious off-width (Duh Dihedral) and some beautiful cracks on the right (Hand Crack, Terminal Velocity). Pool of Blood follows the large flake about 15 feet left of the off-width. I believe the name should be changed to Rope Drag, but otherwise a great climb.

Start at the obvious large flake. The crack is just about fist jam size, but it's leaning at an awkward angle that can keep you from lying back. Continue to the top of the flake (horn) and traverse right to Duh Dihedral. Finish up Duh Dihedral to the tree with rap slings.

This is a great climb, because it is challenging to figure out and not as easy as it looks, even with the nasty rope drag (remember long runners!)

Protection 

Bring #3 Camalots!! The easiest way to do this would be with at least a couple #3s and a #2 cam (use a #3.5 if you don't have two #3s). Mid sized cams from 0.3 to 1 for the finish. Plenty of single length runners.


Photos of Pool of Blood Slideshow Add Photo
Dave on the route.
Dave on the route.
Paul Giglio at the first flake ledge.  Photo by Erik Corkran.
Paul Giglio at the first flake ledge. Photo by Er...
Tonya at the upper crux.
Tonya at the upper crux.
Guess you can lieback!!
Guess you can lieback!!
Fist crack? No sweat!
Fist crack? No sweat!
Just past the first wide hands section
Just past the first wide hands section
Tonya at the lower crux.
Tonya at the lower crux.
Starting to traverse to the corner
Starting to traverse to the corner
Mark stemming the difficulties.
Mark stemming the difficulties.

Comments on Pool of Blood Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Aug 19, 2013
By Erik Corkran
Jun 28, 2001

Just did this last night. Great climb! Definitely long runners, and more than one #3 Camalot. The Pool of Blood crack is beautiful, but watch for loose junk in Duh Dihedral.
By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
Nov 5, 2001
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

This route can be finished directly from the top of the flake to the tree on some small holds and seams. This is probably 5.11- and there really is no gear, so a TR is advisable. (Bubb, Donson, Bushey Winter Y2K)
By Old Fart aka Dave Bohn
Feb 12, 2002

In Ament's guide "Eldorado" (published "75) there's a picture of Ament on the first ascent leading it with totally natural pro a la the Brits. He carried up chockstones, slung them with webbing and climbed on. Not having the right size at one point, he sent down the rope for a few more rocks and there's a picture of him hauling them up. When Mark Willford (maybe 15 at the time) and I saw the picture, it was his idea to try the same thing; no nuts only chockstones and we did it! He led, (one of his first leads) and I just kept tossing stones up to him! At the time we all had a little pool going as to how long he was going to live. I guess we all lost :)!
By Ernie Port
From: Boulder, Colorado
Jul 4, 2002

This is fun route up two beautiful flakes. The first one more offwidth and much wider and the second one about 2" wide all the way. Both slope up and out. I felt the second flake is the harder of the two, because the adjacent wall to the left is basically blank and the other side of the flake is featureless as well. Its inverted crack climbing to the ledge. Jamarouski! A fun TR after Du Dihedral, well worth the effort.
By SirVato
From: Boulder
Oct 16, 2003

Fun route- although short it was actually quite challenging!! I'm still new to leading 5.9, so when I followed this I had to imagine what the lead was like, and personally I'm glad he did it and not me!! Both sections of the flake are awkward and hard to lay back- but were easy to protect. It is definitely harder than it appears to be from the ground!
By Shane Zentner
From: Colorado
Dec 20, 2004
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

#3 Camalots. The anchor at the top of 'Duh Dihedral' needs to be looked at. The left bolt needs to be tightened, as I recently discovered while hanging from the anchor.
By Danny
Apr 18, 2005
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

This is an exciting 5.9 lead. The gear is bomber, but it is pumpy (at least to me) so you really can't place too much. The 2 crux sections are followed by good rests. Even though this route is fairly short it is well worth doing despite the rope drag. Enjoy!
By Jason Shatek
May 8, 2005
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

I followed this route yesterday. Pretty beefy for a 9, I'd say. This route is all about brute force, there is no delicate foot work to be done. For me, it was more about the upper body pulling you over each of the flakes than anything. I tried to use good foot work, but that didn't seem to work very well :).
By Brian Weinstein
Jun 26, 2005
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

I couldn't place anything larger then 3 inches. There was no real offwidth, just hands to wide hands. Pretty unique line to the area. Well worth doing, if in passing.
By pfwein
May 14, 2006

A #4 Camalot (old size) fits nicely at the first bulge.
By Rob Kepley
From: Westminster,CO
Sep 16, 2006

Piece-o-crap.
By Chris White
From: Boulder
Sep 14, 2008

BLOODY FIST JAMS.
By Lance Lewallen
From: Louisville CO
Feb 8, 2009

This climb is short, but can be deceptively awkward for a beginner leader. The crack behind the flake is slippery, and slightly flaring, Indian Creekish, 5.9 off-hands, so be solid at the grade. Use slings on your 3" Camalots on the wide flake section, or they will walk when you traverse over to the Duh Dihedral.
By Juan Lopez
Jul 5, 2011

Dear community,

I am beginner climber and I left a #3 Cam 20 feet up on the route Pool of Blood. It was impossible for me to remove.

I am new to the community and would like to offer a beer to any friendly climber who can retrieve it.

thank you so much,
Juan Lopez
By Canon
Jul 24, 2011

Hey Juan,

I tried getting your #3 out of there. I even rappelled in to try and unstick it as well. I got nice and bloody in the process. I would think you need a nut tool taped to a nice stout stick, another nut tool, and a third hand. Good luck!
By Timothy
From: Fort Collins, Colorado
May 28, 2012

I thought this climb was great. It would get 4 stars from Wolverine pub. in the Red or New.
By Ben Cassedy
From: Denver, CO
Aug 19, 2013
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

Definitely harder than it looks. I thought it was harder - at least much more strenuous - than White Lightning.

Up to the first ledge I would call thuggish 5.8, then the crux is getting up onto the second ledge. First part was bomber hands, second part was offwidth between hands and fist with a weird-ass move onto the ledge. Both parts took #3 just fine, albeit second part a little wider than the first. Either way, splitter gear.

I put runners on the following pieces: last move of the 5.9 part; once in the traverse to protect your second; another for the first piece in Duh Dihedral. Did that and had zero drag. I hadn't considered runners on the #3s to keep them from walking, but good call on that. That crack is deep.

Disagree with whoever called this pumpy. Three moves to a ledge; another three moves to another ledge. Thuggish is the word you're looking for. Pretty fun route, worth doing.