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West Ridge - part C - Pony Express to Long John
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Barrel of Monkeys 
Bloke On The Side 
Bridget the Midget 
Chick on the Side 
Court Jester 
Crazy Stairs 
Curving Dihedral 
Dead Letter Department 
Drug Abuse 
Erickson's Finish 
False Prophet 
Fever, The 
Going Postal 
Good Ship Venus 
Handcracker Direct 
Hanging Chad 
Horse d'Oeuvre (aka Pony Express P1 to Zip Code) 
Human Factor, The 
Hyperspace Roundup 
Ignore Me 
Iron Horse 
Knife, The 
Lightning Bolt Crack 
Lost in the Netherlands 
Mail Ridge Tower Link-Up 
Mail Ridge, The 
Muscle and Hate 
Pony Express 
Pony Express, Briggs' Variation 
Practice Climb 101 
Practice Wall 
Prison Sex 
Pygmy Pony 
Quick Silver 
Quiet Desperation 
Seemingly Innocent 
Side Wall, The 
Sister Morphine 
Sooberb Lite 
Thin Ice 
Think Quickly 
Unbroken Chain 
variation to Mail Ridge 
Warp Drive Overload 
Who's Holding 
Wind Tunnel 
Zeros and Ones 


YDS: 5.12d French: 7c Ewbanks: 28 UIAA: IX British: E6 6b

Type:  Trad, Sport, 2 pitches
Consensus:  YDS: 5.12d French: 7c Ewbanks: 28 UIAA: IX British: E6 6b [details]
FA: Mark Tarrant, Richard Wright, 1987
Fixed Hardware: 5 Lead Bolts, 1 Lead Pin, 2 Belay Bolts [details]
Page Views: 2,788
Submitted By: Richard M. Wright on Mar 2, 2002
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M.T. on the FA of Reckoning in 1987. This shot sh...
Climbing reopened after flood MORE INFO >>>


The Reckoning, I've waited a long time to log this route in at cb.com. Mark had scoped this route several years before we went up to put it in. For now, I'll avoid a lot of commentary on the personal significance of The Reckoning to Mark except to say that The Reckoning hit Mark in much the same way that Battle's End hit me, and for a similar reason. It's a bit strange, perhaps, but when you have enough love of climbing it becomes hard to separate climbing from all of the other things that compose one's life. As a result many of us put a lot of personal stuff into our climbs, and so it is with The Reckoning, and how can we not?

The Reckoning begins by climbing the first two pitches of Handcracker Direct. At the top of the second pitch, step right to the tree and set up a belay.

The third pitch is the first variation pitch for The Reckoning and this entails a thin crack (5.12a) protected on small wires. After the crack, chase the arete on the left to a ramp system below the obvious headwall.

P4 fires up the headwall and constitutes the crux pitch. Take some gear for the start and the finish. Three bolts and a pin will get you to the diagonal crack above which is chased out left on small to mid sized camalots. The crux comes in the middle of the face on thin edges and corners; very fingery, very powerful. Finish way out on the left of the crack and belay after a short face at the tree. The easiest descent is to walk off East via the slab. The continuity, position, and complex climbing on The Reckoning add up to as good a line as you will find in Eldo.


Bring a trad rack and rope.

Photos of Reckoning Slideshow Add Photo
The Handcracker/Sooberb area.
The Handcracker/Sooberb area.
Comments on Reckoning Add Comment
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By Mark Tarrant
Apr 1, 2002

Regarding the last pitch, there is now a two bolt anchor before the left angling crack, and two bolts were added lower down under the original first bolt. All the bolts were replaced a couple of years ago (with Park approval), with big, fat, new ones. So, 5 bolts, 1 pin, and a 2-bolt anchor, about 65 feet.

By Anonymous Coward
Mar 8, 2004

Great last pitch. Three solid .12 sections with some .11 before and after. Surprised that this pitch doesn't see more traffic. Small cams or wires useful before the first bolt.

By Michael Haag
Sep 13, 2008

I've looked at the last pitch of Reckoning a few times while climbing the last pitch of HD...while clipping bolts is not my passion or forte (maybe it's not my passion because it's not my forte) REGARDLESS!!! THIS PITCH IS SPECTACULAR CLIMBING!!! I am also surprised it does not see much action. It is a really nice pitch...Thank you Richard, thank you Mark....

By Josh Janes
Nov 3, 2009

Could the last pitch of the Reckoning be approached by scrambling up the east side of the West Ridge from the Redgarden Trail? Or, is there an expedient way to reach the Reckoning without climbing Handcracker?

By Chris Beh
Nov 3, 2009

There is a down climb from the top of the Handcracker pinnacle that comes down a ramp above Positively 4th St. If you walk uphill just past P 4TH St you can scramble onto the bottom of the descent which moves up and right. You could 3rd class to the top of the pinnacle and then rap into the anchor on top of The Reckoning and hang draws on your way down. Or once you reach the top of the ridge you can scramble around the back side and then onto the terrace at the base of the routes. You could probably reach the same place from the West Redgarden trail, but I haven't done it myself.

By slim
Nov 4, 2009

Josh, by the time you horse around with getting to it from the east side, it would probably be just as quick to do all of HC in one pitch. Particularly if you can cross the creek at the Milton Boulder.

By kevin murphy
From: Lafayette, Colorado
Apr 14, 2011

Has anyone out there done the first pitch 12a? First half is obvious enough, but after the small roof, a bit confusing, guides say to step left and chase the arete. The arete looks doable, but contrived. Could be a classic pitch with some cleaning, friable foot holds right of crack. Great position. Awesome second pitch, my new project.

By Pinklebear
Apr 15, 2011

We did do that first pitch, which seemed hideous-hard for 12a if you stay with the crack/seam till it ends and you have to step left around the arete (on sharp-ass crimpers). Truth be told, we got mauled on it on lead, got up it somehow, set up a TR, and figured it out. You need lots of RPs and very small TCUs. I just remember staying in the crack until there wasn't much of it left, then slapping left to the arete and getting bunched up there to make a pretty tenuous step-around. From there, it was a few 5.11-ish face moves and then it eased way off.

You could probably step left earlier, too. Might be worth investigating. The sequence on this "12a" pitch the way we did it didn't feel much easier than any of the cruxes on the 12d pitch!

By kevin murphy
From: Lafayette, Colorado
Apr 15, 2011

It was enjoyable stepping left right after the small roof, enjoyable meaning not that hard. Going straight up the crack looked hard and heady. Some TRing migh be in order.

Thanks, Pinkle.
Thanks, Pinkle.

Jul 19, 2012

The crux pitch is super for the grade..No stopper move, easy on the fingers and just great fun. The best approach cuts off the end of the big switchback just past darkness till dawn and contours over to a notch then follows an easy 3rd class ledge (careful one big lose block)to the base.