Type: Trad, 5 pitches
FA: Rossiter, Garber, Hare, Woodruff, Erickson, Wunsch, et al.
Page Views: 46,262 total · 164/month
Shared By: Michael Komarnitsky on Apr 1, 2001
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC

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Description Suggest change

Rossiter calls this route "a near-classic," and for good reason. Consistent pitches, easy routefinding, and solid crack climbing is what this is all about. We had a smile after every pitch!

P1: scramble up to the chimney that is The Mail Ridge, and go slightly right. Start climbing here. Go up the short, left-facing dihedral created by a large, triangular block. Gain the top of said block, and move right into another left-facing dihedral with a slight bulge. Move over, and follow the crack up (crux of pitch) to the nice ledge. Try belaying a little to the left of where you end up on this ledge.

P2: attack the roof, and follow the crack up the right-facing dihedral about 15 feet left of where the previous pitch left you. Follow up through a slot, and belay on an open face before you get to the large flake that continues on your path up the right side of the wall, 5.9.

P3: follow this flake up - and what fun! Super-positive and nice and airy. Use your extra #3 here to protect, as it's a little blank. Rossiter suggests moving left halfway up this flake and continuing on the arete, but I think it's just as fun to follow the flake up and out. Belay anywhere you want on the great break ledge at the end of this flake, 5.7.

P4: the crux pitch starts about 15 feet, 90 degrees to the left of the direction of travel you were maintaining as you finished the flake. It's a steep, slightly meandering hand crack that ends with a small roof, which you surmount by passing to the left and then stepping left once over to a great belay stance. Steep and sustained but with a number of good spots to place pro, this pitch is a blast!, 5.10-.

P5: shoot up and slightly [left (per Iain Macdonald)], following the crack from the belay stance up to the summit and enjoy the view! Maybe this is 5.5.

Pitches 2-3 and 4-5 are easily linked; many people find this better as a 3 pitch climb.

Protection Suggest change

A standard rack up to #3.5 Camalot, plus an extra #2 and #3 Camalot for crux fourth pitch is nice (or else creative use of tri-cams).

Descent Suggest change

From the summit, scramble down the notch. Work north & west, and walk all the way down to the trail, with one 4th class downclimb right above the ground. When in doubt, keep north - it's a good, well-worn path all the way. It is also possible to rappel Pony Express, but there's tons of loose rock and probably climbers below. Don't do it.