Type: Trad, 170 ft, 2 pitches
FA: 1st P: Dick Long, 2nd: Gene Drake, Jim Hicks
Page Views: 7,962 total · 46/month
Shared By: Brian Quiter on Mar 7, 2005
Admins: Aron Quiter, Lurker, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

You & This Route

172 Opinions

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Pony Express is a great way to start the day.

The first pitch (5.8) is worthy of 3 stars, a lieback flake for a ways then it turns into a left-facing open book.

The second pitch only deserves 1 star... continue up from the belay on easy climbing for ~20 feet then use a wide crack in the gully to pull a bulge (5.9). After the crux its 3rd class to the top.

Finding Pony Express is quite simple too. It starts in the middle of a clean face on a very obvious flake - the only one in the vicinity.


Up to 3 inches, there are bolts atop the first pitch, and plenty of huge boulders to sling atop the second.

Walk off to the north.
Oakland CA
caughtinside   Oakland CA
Fun handcrack. Would be a great warmup but it's on the shady side of the Loaf in the am. Brr!!

It's worth toproping the .11b to the left from the bolted anchor if you're so inclined. thin edging fun. Feb 19, 2008
M. Morley
Sacramento, CA
M. Morley   Sacramento, CA  
If just climbing the first pitch, a singe rope is sufficient to get you back down. Somewhere around 80' or so. Feb 28, 2009
San Francisco
tallmark515   San Francisco
More like 5.8 (Supertopo rating)

Crux consists of a few 5.8 lieback moves. Great gear.

I used the anchor out to the right on the face. To spice up the route, bypass the bulge and go out and right directly onto the face (direct to anchor), no gear for ~8 ft or so and maybe a 5.9 move or two. Mar 31, 2009
The first pitch is classic. Aug 24, 2010
Jebus H Bomz
Sacramento, CA
Jebus H Bomz   Sacramento, CA
The second pitch isn't classic by any means, but it is still fun. Your experience probably won't be tainted unless your psyche crumbles at the thought of touching 2 star terrain. A #4 gnu skewl camalot is recommended. Mar 14, 2011
Josh Cameron
Josh Cameron   M.O.A.B.
First pitch starts out at 5.7, has a distinct 5.8 section (perfect for a #1 C4) and finishes with 5.6 liebacking. The second pitch is 5.9. Jul 17, 2011
Floyd Hayes
Floyd Hayes  
Pitch 2 has a committing 5.9 lieback section about 10' long protected by big #4 and #5 BD cams, followed by a rest on a ledge and then another 15' or so of 5.7 crack. Don't underestimate the "5.9 move to 3rd class" described in the SuperTopo guide. Aug 15, 2012
Tapawingo Markey   Reno?
Pitch 2 was an awesome awkward wide crack,a #3 fits just off the deck and a #4 BD fits perfectly about halfway up. Don't let all the haters deter you, it was a fun grovel past the bulge with some fists and chicken winging tossed in the mix. Nov 27, 2012
warning-the large flake on the left near the bottom of the route is very loose. i added a photo showing it. not sure if it was just the top half that wobbles or if it was the entire flake. either way it's huge Nov 4, 2013
Paul Zander
Bern, CH
Paul Zander   Bern, CH
Perfect first 5.8 trad lead for me because the gear is great, and most of it can be placed from rests. To really sew it up bring lots of BD 1 and .75s Dec 23, 2013
Logan Swartz
San Diego, CA
Logan Swartz   San Diego, CA
#4s protect second pitch crux. If you can climb the first pitch you can climb the second. You can pretty much stem through it. Don't really need any off width technique. Oct 19, 2014
Colin Brochard
Colin Brochard   Austin
Good fun, I reckon 5.7-8 is more appropriate given the difficulty of some other 5.9s in the area. Jan 19, 2015
Manny Segovia
Sacramento, California
Manny Segovia   Sacramento, California
I can only think of 1 5.8 crux above the second ledge, the rest of the first pitch(the only one I did) seemed a bit easier. overall an awesome lieback with cool views. Mar 21, 2015
Only did first pitch - classic. Take at least 1 #4 camelot - two would be nicer if you have it. Feb 7, 2018