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Routes in West Ridge - part C - Pony Express to Long John

Barrel of Monkeys S 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
Bloke On The Side T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a R
Bridget the Midget T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13
Byway T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a R
Chick on the Side T 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Conversions T,TR 5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b X
Court Jester T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c PG13
Crazy Stairs T 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
Curving Dihedral T 5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Dandi-Line T,TR 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Dead Letter Department T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Drug Abuse T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Erickson's Finish T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
False Prophet T 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
Fever, The T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R
Going Postal T 5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Good Ship Venus T 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c PG13
Handcracker Direct T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Hanging Chad T 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c PG13
Heat Wave T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Horse d'Oeuvre (aka Pony Express P1 to Zip Code) T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Human Factor, The T 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a R
Hyperspace Roundup T,S 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b PG13
Ignominity T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Ignore Me T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b R
Iron Horse T 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Knife, The T 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13
Lightning Bolt Crack T 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Lost in the Netherlands T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Mail Ridge Tower Link-Up T 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Mail Ridge, The T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Mesca-Line T 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Muscle and Hate T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b PG13
Pluto T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Pony Express T 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Pony Express, Briggs' Variation T 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
Practice Climb 101 T 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b R
Practice Wall T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Prison Sex T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13
Pygmy Pony T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a PG13
Quick Silver T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a PG13
Quicksand T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b R
Quiet Desperation T 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a R
Reckoning T,S 5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b
Rhombohedral T 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13
Rope to Ruin T 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Seemingly Innocent T 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13
Side Wall, The T 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c R
Sister Morphine T,TR 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c
Sooberb T 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Sooberb Lite T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Sundial T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Sword Of Damocles T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Thin Ice T,TR 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a X
Think Quickly T 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a R
Unbroken Chain T 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a R
Warp Drive Overload S 5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a
Who's Holding T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13
Wind Tunnel T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R
Zeros and Ones T 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a PG13
variation to Mail Ridge T,TR 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Type: Trad, TR Fixed Hardware (2)
FA: Harrison & Brooks - 1981
Page Views: 4,218 total, 22/month
Shared By: Josh Janes on Jan 8, 2002
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route


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Seasonal Closures Details

Description

This is in the Pony Express area. When facing Mesca-Line, this route is immediately right of the dihedral that is just right of Mesca-Line (the dihedral is Dandi-Line). It follows a thin crack with some grass sticking out of it (but the climb is very clean) to a tree.

Begin by ascending the ledge system to a pedestal. Climb the pedestal either on the left, right, or up the face of it. I found that the left is not good due to rope drag problems and the right is much better, but you have to navigate around a tree. Going up the face (which I did) was by far more fun, but it is unprotected. Once atop the pedestal, step to the face and climb the thin crack to the summit. I didn't find a discernable crux, and it felt easier than some other 9s on the West Ridge. It is a very enjoyable climb.

Protection

The pro looks sparse from the ground but you can sew it up. Bring a set of stoppers and mostly small stuff.

Photos

William Thiry
Lakewood, CO
  5.9
William Thiry   Lakewood, CO
  5.9
The 5.8 opinions here could be misleading, because two moves above the pillar are definitely 5.9. The rest of the climb is 5.8 or easier. Sep 28, 2014
AOSR
Wherever we park!
  5.8
AOSR   Wherever we park!
  5.8
Good warm up for Pony Express or Iron Horse. Definitely not a 9 by Eldo standards. If only it were a bit longer, I think it would get an additional star. Mar 26, 2011
Cale Farnham  
 
I felt this was a decent starter route in and around the Pony Express area! Super clean and great moves up the seam!! Great views!! Sep 7, 2009
jcntrl
Smoulder, CO
  5.9-
jcntrl   Smoulder, CO
  5.9-
Whether or not the anchor was "legally" installed, it is good to have it there. The tree that is at the top of SM isn't going to last forever, especially if people are consistently using it to rap/anchor off of. Granted, the anchors for Mesca-Line are in a good place and not inconvenient to scramble to from here, nevertheless this does allow more options.

I thought the crux moves were a bit hard for an 8, but relatively easy for a 9, so I vote 9-. Small gear, but small falls if you take the opportunities to protect. Committing, rewarding moves throughout the climb. I enjoyed it and will climb it again. Jun 26, 2009
Ron Olsen
Boulder, CO
  5.9
Ron Olsen   Boulder, CO
  5.9
Interesting, Dave. I didn't see a rap anchor for Sister Morphine in any recent FHRC applications. I wonder if this anchor was officially approved by the park. I don't think Eldorado Canyon State Park would approve cutting down a tree either... Mar 18, 2009
Adub
 
Adub  
 
Great route!
Knocked down some loose pebble at the top by the anchors. Belayer beware. Dec 7, 2008
Matt Richardson
Longmont, CO
  5.9
Matt Richardson   Longmont, CO  
  5.9
This must play to Ivan's strengths. Yeah, the 9 section is probably about 10' on a 80-90' route, but it's still 9. I'd be hard pressed to find an 8 easier. And I think that Ron is spot on regarding his assessment of the gear - the crux protects well, but I would by no means suggest that you can sew this route up (the guy that led this before me also said you can sew this up, but had only about 4 pieces for the whole route; I used a similar number of pieces, but felt comfortable). The whole discussion about the grade just seems to echo Crusher's comment on Positively Fourth Street - people just differ in their climbing strengths. Apr 28, 2008
Edward Jenner
  5.8
Edward Jenner  
  5.8
1-2 starts, devinitely worth doing - I had a lot of fun and would definitely consider this for a warmup in the area, perhaps over Mesca Line which I find somewhat tricky for a 7.

The climbing is easy and postitive as you go higher, but gear is perhaps non-trivial for a budding 8 leader (who should be able to cope with this no problem) with soe questionable rock (nothing unusual for Eldo).

Apr 17, 2005
Jason Shatek
  5.8
Jason Shatek  
  5.8
Led this one yesterday. I thought this one was more like 5.8. It was pretty easy with good gear. The crux comes right off the pedistal with adequate protection the whole way. FYI, bring bigger gear to protect before getting on top of the pedistal. I made the mistake of leaving my big gear in my bag. I had to run this section out but the climbing is very easy. Mar 7, 2005
David Hous
Boulder, Colorado
  5.8
David Hous   Boulder, Colorado
  5.8
I'd have to call this 5.8 as well. The area was crowded today so we left a sling and rings on the small tree at the top. Jan 10, 2004
Ivan - it's hard to believe that you consider this climb vey easy...even easier than 5.8? The crux of the cilmb is clearly soon after leaving the pedestal and it comes with tenuous moves with thin feet. Sure it's only one move to a money hold, but it's a relative "hard one" (thus 5.9), and you know it only takes one move to throw you off! The rest of the climb is easy. Mar 9, 2003
Shane Zentner
Colorado
Shane Zentner   Colorado
Sister Morphine is short and sweet. Small gear is all one needs to protect it. Positive holds, steep, and fun. Look for small gear placements to protect the step from the pedestal onto the face. My belayer and I scrambled to the bolt anchors on Mesca Line and rapped down. Jan 28, 2003
Ivan Rezucha
Fort Collins, CO
  5.8
Ivan Rezucha   Fort Collins, CO
  5.8
There's nothing wrong with the bigger brass nuts. I'd trust a good brass nut better than a fixed pin or an old bolt for example. Nov 11, 2002
Ron Olsen
Boulder, CO
  5.9
Ron Olsen   Boulder, CO
  5.9
I was able to protect the move off the pillar with a brass nut and a Lowe Ball nut; I wouldn't call it great gear. The pro on the rest of the climb is OK, and the climbing is better than it looks from the ground. Nov 11, 2002
Ivan Rezucha
Fort Collins, CO
  5.8
Ivan Rezucha   Fort Collins, CO
  5.8
This is a very nice route with great gear. It is also very easy. I can think of a bunch of 8's that are harder. This would be a good first 5.9 lead. It is steep, but not strenuous, and the holds are very positive, with good gear at every move.

Rather than scrambling to the base of the pillar, you can start directly below at a thin crack at about the same grade, 5.8 or 5.9.

To get off with a 60m rope, you can climb left, up, and down to the bolts on Mescaline. Put in gear so the rope doesn't rub on the small trees. Make sure your belayer is tied in (!) and lower off. You might not make it to the ground. As your belayer starts climbing up, you can downclimb the last few feet. Nov 10, 2002