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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 5.10c 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 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 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, 70 ft
FA: Duncan Ferguson, Jim Erickson, 1971
Page Views: 3,722 total · 20/month
Shared By: Ivan Rezucha on Feb 15, 2003
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route


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Access Issue: Seasonal Closures Details

Description

Two stars for position and intimidation. Lightning Bolt Crack is listed in Rossiter as a variation to Mail Ridge. Supposedly it looks like a lightning bolt from some angles, but the crack you climb is pretty much straight up. It is visible from the base of Mescaline up right at the top of the cliff. It is the left facing wall at the top of the Mail Ridge buttress. The top pitch and crux of Handcracker Direct is around the corner to the right. Just left of Lightning Bolt Crack is a V-chimney, the top pitch of Mail Ridge.

Approach via Dead Letter Department (5.8--this would be a good combination at that grade), Mescaline, or various other climbs in the area. You can also do this after descending the initial gully after doing Hand Cracker Direct. Belay below the crack below a rotten red band.

Climb carefully through the red band to the base of the crack. The crack is overhanging here, but there is a big loose, thin flake you can stand on. Be careful! From the top of the flake layback off jams a few moves to get established in the crack. Above this there are a few footholds on the arete to the right, but they quickly run out as the crack widens and flares. But the good jams continue, at least for your left hand. A few more moves bring you to a Thank God bucket and horizontal crack. That's the end of the crux section. From this point, using the arete on the right for a few moves seems easiest, then back to the crack to pull up into a very nice belay alcove. This is the same belay spot as for the top of the Handcracker Direct crux pitch.

Easier climbing at about 5.5 leads up a corner/crack system to the top. Descend to the north, down a gully, and then walk off, carefully, to the north, above the Mescaline wall. The last 20 feet or so of the descent are technical, getting around a chockstone.

Protection

Doubles of #1 (red), #2 (gold) Camalots, #3 (blue) Camalot. To sew it up bring more. Plus a light standard rack.

Photos

George Bell
Boulder, CO
George Bell   Boulder, CO
There is a variation at the top of this route that I have done. At the top of the Lightning Bolt Crack, you can move left and exit left via a short diagonal crack that breaches an overhang. I believe this crack starts near the top of the V-Slot of the Mail Ridge route. The diagonal crack is short but awkward, 5.9+. After a few moves you can easily move on to the top. Some confused souls (namely, us) climbed this diagonal crack mistakenly believing it was the crux pitch of Handcracker Direct! Feb 18, 2003
slevin  
The variation George Bell describes, a handcrack exit out the alcove above the Mail Ridge V-slot, was first done in 1980 by Jim Erickson, who rated it 5.10a and didn't name it. Dec 26, 2006
Jay Eggleston
Denver
 
Jay Eggleston   Denver
 
You don't need a #3 Camalot for the actual Lightning Bolt Crack, it is all #1s and #2s. A #3 is however,useful for the easier section above the HandCracker belay. Feb 18, 2011

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