|West Ridge - part D - Xanadu to Pony Express
Per Frances Fierst: This route is in the corner, just shy of Positively 4th Street. Head up past the popular Pony Express area. Climb the right-facing dihedral just before Positively 4th Street. Scramble a few feet up the boulders to belay at the base of the climb.
P1. The pitch is rated 5.8, but it feels pretty easy at the grade. Rests and stems are abundant, as well as positive holds to hang on while placing gear. The climbing was fun, airy, and being high on the West Ridge provides great views. As with all Eldo climbs, check that the rock is stable before yarding on it. Overall, a nice pitch for the grade. Not incredibly classic but a great, well-protected route if you are working up through the grades.
From P1, there are two descent options. One is to look to your left after you reach the first ledge with a small bush. There is a tree with rap slings just to your left. A 60m rope will get you to the ground. Otherwise you can proceed another 40 or so feet up to the major ledge system. Bring up your partner and scramble down towards the north. This drops you right on the West Ridge trail up hill from the start of the climb.
P2, Per Tony B: A medium-sized pine with no low branches makes a good belay to bring up the second and to start on the routes above, P2 of either Highway 61, Working Class Hero, or The Detour. Working Class Hero climbs the easiest line up about 70 feet of jumbled low angle rock to the next buttress just up and right from the belay trees.
P3, Per Tony B: Above the previous pitch above a horizontal rotten band lies a broad stack of huge, vertical flakes, about 50-60 feet tall and more than twice as wide. There are multiple dihedrals and cracks formed there. This section of rock is the upper Construction Zone; the routes (left to right) Three Lane Highway, Bottlenecks, Cruising Lane, P3 of Highway 61 (the massive, clean, right-facing dihedral, which is one of the best of the group), and just right of that, P3 of Working Class Hero, and then lastly, Road Narrows are all on this buttress. This pitch climbs the final crack and dihedral system, with a few pods that slow down the leader a bit despite its easy grade this climb is P3 (5.8). If you care to start off one move as for P3 but step to the right another 2 meters out over space, you will find yourself looking at an RP crack through a small overhang to and arete and crack system called 'Road Narrows ' the gem of the group, one with excellent movement.
Pitch 3 is a reasonable lead to be done on a light rack. It uses crack and dihedral technique to reach the top of the Upper Construction Zone buttress.
To descend from pitch 3: From the top of the vertical rock, you scramble up and left (W/NW) to a large pine tree, at which there is a solid fixed rap station. This station is presently 2 independent tied slings around a solid tree and a single leaver biner. It needs a quick link or two added or to replace the single biner present. Rap from this to the base of the Upper Construction Zone, then walk off in reverse of the description as for approach #3.
Eds. Note: This was originally submitted as distinct entries, but in this somewhat obscure area, these are the same route and/or minor variations of the route.
Standard Eldo rack, good gear. Per Frances Fierst: P1 ...[include] a #3 and #3.5 Camalot. Doubles in hand sizes are nice. The [pitch] takes lots of big stoppers.
|By Steve Levin|
From: Boulder, CO
Jan 12, 2007
This is actually a 3-pitch climb, finishing on a higher tier of rock near Highway 61.
|By Steve Levin|
From: Boulder, CO
Dec 9, 2007
This is pitch three of "Working Class Hero", FA Carl Harrison, Jim Stuberg, Chip Ruckgaber*, Sandy East, 1980. [Ref: Boulder New Climbs '81, p27, Alec Sharp] (*Credited in the Falcon guide, but not in Sharp.) Eds. this was submitted on a route which now is P3 of Working Class Hero.
|By Jay Eggleston|
Dec 19, 2010
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c
The first and last pitches are actually pretty good. Do all three pitches for full value. The last pitch is 5.8.
|By Dave Holliday|
Jan 14, 2011
Fun route with some suspect rock. I'm not sure what Tony is getting at with his description, but here's one that describes the route in question.
1. Start in the right-facing corner to the right of Positively Fourth Street. Follow it to the Handcracker Direct walkoff. I belayed at two small trees. The gear is good on this pitch but there is a bit of loose rock and such (standard Eldo fare for the less-traveled routes).
2. Climb a groove a few feet to the right of said trees to a large ledge. There is a bit of dubious rock.
3. Locate the prominent hand and fist crack (last pitch of Highway 61). The third pitch of this route is the corner to its right.
One can walk (or scramble) off the top of each pitch of this route. From the top, head south to the Handcracker Direct walkoff.
|By Luke Clarke|
Nov 18, 2012
Dave's description is spot on and tracks with the one on page 288 of the now mandatory Steve Levin guidebook. This climb has a bit of a taste of adventure for this area of Eldo. Gear is good and the rock... well it's Eldo. P1 and P3 are good fun.