Mountain Project Logo

Routes in West Ridge - part D - Xanadu to Pony Express

Air Mail T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13
Backslash T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Barbie Doll Arete, The T 5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a R
Bit by Bit T,S 5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII 25 E4 6a
Bottlenecks T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Clean Dan T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b PG13
Coffee Break with Joe T 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c
Cold Turkey T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Coniferous Types T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Crazy Fingers T 5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a PG13
Cruising Lane T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b R
Detour, The T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a R
Doc's Little Brother T,TR 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Dr. Michael Solar T,TR 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Duh Dihedral T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Early Bird Special T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Fine Line T,TR 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Five Fang Overhang T 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R
Fork in the Road T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R
Formula, The T 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Foxtrot T 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a PG13
Funeral March T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Hand Crack (aka White Lightning) T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Hang Ten T,TR 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c
Henry Chinaski T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Highway 61 T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a PG13
Inverted Vee T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R
Iron Pony T 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
Kashmir T,TR 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Kubla Khan T 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Lady Fingers T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Lunar Avenue T 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c R
Lunar Lander T 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c
MRJR (aka MB III) T,TR 5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b R
Masterbator's Edge, The T 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a R
Milk Dreams T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Milk and Honey T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Mirage T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R
Parallels T 5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Pool of Blood T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Positively Fourth Street T,TR 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Rhadamanthus T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a PG13
River Of Darkness T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Road Narrows T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Sign of the Cross T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Snail Mail T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b R
Srinagar T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Tampon T,TR 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R
Tango T 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Tanqueray T 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a R
Terminal Velocity T 5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Texas Two-Step T 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b R
Three Lane Highway T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c X
Tickle, The T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b PG13
Toprope Right of Formula TR 5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b
Trip Itch T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Tryptich T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Whatever T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R
Willow World T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R
Working Class Hero T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
X T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a PG13
Xanadu T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Zap Snack T 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Zip Code T 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c
Type: Trad, 130 ft
FA: Erikson, Woodruff, Hare, 1978
Page Views: 3,564 total, 18/month
Shared By: Tony B on Dec 1, 2001
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route


70 Opinions

Your To-Do List:

Add To-Do

Your Star Rating:


     Clear Rating

Your Difficulty Rating:


-none- Change

Your Ticks:

Add New Tick
    -none-
Seasonal Closures Details

Description

This route is in the popular Pony Express area of the West Ridge of Eldo. Just to the left of the famous routes, Iron Horse and Iron Pony, is a crack through an overhang that continues on and up for about 130' total. The crux is about 40 feet up where a right-facing corner comes into a bulge. The crux is short and sweet stemming and a bit of body English... a 1-move wonder. I don't find the crux move particularly hard, but it can be tricky to figure out and may be harder for shorter folks. I think it is one of Eldo's easier 5.11s for average and tall folks.
Mellow if you get the move right, damn hard if you don't.

Protection

The protection is reasonable at all times, but not necessarily great. at the crux. It will do and is fairly safe. Take some small gear.

There is a bolt near the bush/tree for an anchor.
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
 
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
 
The anchor up top has been changed. Some time this year the single bolt was backed up by a second bolt and 3-foot chains were installed. The gear and bush sling was removed. Dec 19, 2010
lenore sparks
Denver, Colorado
  5.11b
lenore sparks   Denver, Colorado
  5.11b
This climb isn't "hard", but I think its short crux is challenging and hard to redpoint. Sep 22, 2008
Brian Adzima
San Francisco
 
Brian Adzima   San Francisco
 
TR'd Iron Horse afterwards and this felt significantly more difficult. The fall is much cleaner than it looks. May 21, 2008
Aaron Lucas  
 
I agree with Wayne. I thought this was easy for Eldo 11s. The crux was over fast and not really tricky. On the other hand, if I was shorter, I may not think it was easy for 5.11.
The route was lots of fun, with the exception of some potential loose rock. May 12, 2008
Wayne Crill
an Altered State
  5.10+
Wayne Crill   an Altered State
  5.10+
This is a nice route, very enjoyable climbing for the entire route. I always find grading routes a bit difficult, but I think the best way to assess is to compare to standard routes with generally accepted grades at the same crag/area. My opinion is that this route is absolutely no more difficult or challenging than Air Mail (next crack left), in fact I think they are very similar overall. Now, Air Mail is one of the most challenging 5.9+'s I've done and I think most people agree that it's quite stiff at the grade. I wonder if Steve L will change the grade in his upcoming book? Regardless, I would call Zip Code, the softest 5.11 in the park, hence I really think it's most appropriately 5.10+. Feb 12, 2008
Ivan Rezucha
Fort Collins, CO
  5.11b
Ivan Rezucha   Fort Collins, CO
  5.11b
Seems like there are at least several ways to do the crux. My new way differs from the way I posted above. Stem low or high, layback, finger lock and reach, etc. All can work, but all are hard unless you're really tall. I didn't know there was a bolt at the anchor tree. I've always just seen that small tree and thought, "No way", and traversed off left and scrambled down. Nov 20, 2006
Guy H.
Fort Collins CO
 
Guy H.   Fort Collins CO
 
It is possible to rap the line with a single 70m. There is a low fifth class downclimb, so don't rap off the ends of your rope. Oct 13, 2006
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
 
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
 
Went back for this again after 6 years and liked it even more than the first time. Cool climbing, good gear, though provoking (but not difficult) crux. Stem or lieback.
The upper braids of cracks are superb as well, though easy.
Best to have a good handful of gear 0.25-1"

The anchor above the whole thing is a little high and difficult to clip, un-clip, etc... Single bolt + small tree with the end point out of reach to clip for shorter folks. Feb 6, 2006
Joe Collins  
 
I would guess the rating on this would be somewhere between 11- to 11+, depending on your reach. If you are tall you will be able to reach all the way from the fingerlock to the jug while still on the good foothold. Nov 18, 2004
Hard crux to onsight at least for me. I tried to do it as described by Bob Rotert above (sort of layback on the good chalked hold in the crack and then right hand to slopey crap) but it just didn't work. Is the beta to just stem the whole way up or layback? Oct 25, 2004
Ivan Rezucha
Fort Collins, CO
  5.11b
Ivan Rezucha   Fort Collins, CO
  5.11b
Zip Code is technically quite difficult yet it's an easy 11 lead. It's technically difficult for me since my feet don't work well unless I have decent hand holds. Stem onto microdots. Left foot higher onto nothing. Reach through with right hand for jug. Cut loose with both feet, accidentally. It's an easy lead, though. The moderate approach is maybe 5.9, but be careful of thumper flakes and at least one loose hold. Place several or more good small cams at the crux from a big stance. The crux sequence is essentially top roped. Get the jug and hook a good sling over it or (less fun) place a big nut next to it and enjoy the extremely fun upper wall, for which this route deserves 2 stars. From the ground the upper all looked blank with thin gear, but there are big holds and excellent gear all over. As you climb it, keep saying to yourself, "I'm cruising a 5.11" and ignore the fact that the moves are 5.8 tops. You'll feel like a god.

I didn't like the rap/belay anchor at the top of this route in the red band. It's a small bush/tree. And only part of a bush/tree at that. Instead, I belayed maybe 25' lower at a good stance on a slab. Used a #2/gold Camalot in a short vertical slot and a couple of small cams. We then traversed left and up to the usual descent from Handcracker Direct, etc. Sep 23, 2004
After my experience on this route I can see why some would think it is hard and some would think it is easy. My partner gave me the wrong beta and told me to go up high with your right hand for a hold to do the crux. The discrepancy around the ratings I think depends on how you do the crux. I found this approach very difficult and eventually found a good, very positive, intermediate hidden edge lower in the crack/seam. If you miss the good hidden edge in the crack/seam and reach past it and up high to the sloping lay away with your right hand and smear your left foot up high on the diheadral it is very difficult. If you find the hidden intermediate edge and don't reach past it, it is not a hard 5.11. Feb 4, 2002
I actually think the grade is pretty close to right. Being consistent with my comments, I really like this route, technical and interesting down low with a cool distinct crux followed by some run-out jugging up easier terrain ah... Nov 7, 2001
Joe Keyser
Scottsdale, AZ
Joe Keyser   Scottsdale, AZ
I thought the route was pretty damn hard! I [don't], however, get on too many 11s in Eldo... IMO, its [definitely] not as hard as Practice Climb 101, but, still, pulling the dihedral move is tricky... Aug 13, 2001