Access Issue: Seasonal Closures Details

Description

This section is the middle of the West Ridge and may be considered by some to be the heart. In some ways, it does feel meatier than other sections. It is arbitrarily defined by the well-known Pony Express and Long John Wall. The name for this section is abbreviated to help fit screens.

This section has some of the best rock along the ridge, but still it has significant loose sections, especially up and right from Pony Express/Mescaline.

Interestingly, this section of the ridge seems to have some seen of the earlier forays in 1965 by P. Ament on Rhombohedral, The Mail Ridge, & Sooberb.

Some of the entrees here include: the beefy Mesca-Line, 5.7; Ignominity, 5.9; the filling P1 of Pony Express, 5.9; the hearty Variation to Mail Ridge, 5.10; Sooberb, 5.10c; the robust Muscle and Hate, 5.11a; the classic Practice Climb 101 to Sidewall (i.e. Practice Wall, 5.11a s); the hungrier-sized Pony Express, 5.11c; the demanding Iron Horse, 5.11c s; the test-piece The Reckoning, 5.12d; among others. There are plenty of other, more-obscure moderate lines here if the popular classics are occupied, so a open mind is helpful on busy weekends here.

It can get quite warm in this section on hot days. Shade will be hard to find when the sun shines here. Don't forget sunscreen for the melanin-challenged!

Best to bring your rack here, for without it, there are slim pickings, maybe one? sport route Barrel of Monkeys, 5.11++.

It's probably wiser to figure out your descent options before heading up above the first pitches here. Most will involve rappelling.

Approach is best via stream crossing at the Milton Boulder or the standard approach from the east end of the park, hiking along the trail parallel to the creek below Redgarden Wall, over the slick, 3rd-class ramp, and then up the west side of the West Ridge.

This section tends to be some of the more popular along the West Ridge.

Getting There

Approach is dependent upon the depth of the creek, the parking available, and your desires for the day. You can approach this section of the ridge by parking at the Milton Boulder, wade the stream or boulder hop (Aug-ish to May-ish) to the base of the ridge and ascend. Or, you can approach by parking at the E end of the park, cross the bridge, hike on the trail paralleling the creek, and traverse the slippery 3rd class ramp around to the base of the West Ridge. Note, this last traverse is intimidating for small kids and particularly green partners. Then, you hike along the trail at the base of the W face of the West Ridge to your desired route.

Enjoy!

62 Total Climbs

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Location: West Ridge - part C - Pony Express to Long John Change
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Classic Climbing Routes at West Ridge - part C - Pony Express to Long John

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 353
Mesca-Line
Trad
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 52
Sooberb Lite
Trad 3 pitches
5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c
 205
Sister Morphine
Trad, TR
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 103
Ignominity
Trad 3 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 64
Horse d'Oeuvre (aka Pony Express…
Trad
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 436
Handcracker Direct
Trad 5 pitches
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 44
variation to Mail Ridge
Trad, TR
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 65
Sooberb
Trad 3 pitches
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 22
Mail Ridge Tower Link-Up
Trad 4 pitches
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 63
Practice Wall
Trad 2 pitches
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c R
 35
The Side Wall
Trad 2 pitches
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
 136
Iron Horse
Trad 2 pitches
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 156
Pony Express
Trad 2 pitches
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
 6
False Prophet
Trad
5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b
 9
Reckoning
Trad, Sport 2 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Mesca-Line
 353
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad
Sooberb Lite
 52
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 3 pitches
Sister Morphine
 205
5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c Trad, TR
Ignominity
 103
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad 3 pitches
Horse d'Oeuvre (aka Pony Ex…
 64
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
Handcracker Direct
 436
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad 5 pitches
variation to Mail Ridge
 44
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Trad, TR
Sooberb
 65
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Trad 3 pitches
Mail Ridge Tower Link-Up
 22
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Trad 4 pitches
Practice Wall
 63
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Trad 2 pitches
The Side Wall
 35
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c R Trad 2 pitches
Iron Horse
 136
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Trad 2 pitches
Pony Express
 156
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Trad 2 pitches
False Prophet
 6
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a Trad
Reckoning
 9
5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b Trad, Sport 2 pitches
More Classic Climbs in West Ridge - part C - Pony Express to Long John »

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Dwight Jugornot
Arvada, Co.
Dwight Jugornot   Arvada, Co.
The area above Pony Express to Sister Morphine is loaded with loose rock.
I know of more than one teetering 200 pounder. Freeze/thaw cycles or climbers walking off higher routes can and do send death blocks down periodically. This is a popular place to hang out. Wear helmets, and keep kids and dogs well away from the base. Nov 6, 2016