Type: Trad, 140 ft
FA: Chip Ruckgaber
Page Views: 3,874 total · 34/month
Shared By: Jeff G. on Oct 23, 2009 with updates from Carl Schaefer
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

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Access Issue: Seasonal Closures Details


This is a great combination of Pony Express and Zip Code that keeps the grade to 5.9. It includes a wild traverse to link the two pitches. One of the better and longer 5.9 pitches on the West Ridge.


Climb the first pitch of Pony Express up to the small, right-facing corner near the top of the pitch. Instead of traversing right to the anchors make a wild hand traverse to the LEFT along a big flake. The flake is solid. This will take you into Zip Code just above its crux move. Now finish on the great upper part of Zip Code. There is a fixed anchor at the top of the pitch. If you have a 60m rope, you can rappel down the upper pitch of Pony Express to the bolted anchor above Mesca-Line. One more rap from here to the ground. Or, with a 70m rope you can barely make it back to the base of Zip Code. Watch your ends!


RPs up to a #2 Camalot. It takes good protection.


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Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
Never done that but sounds like a really interesting climb, because Zipcode is so good but otherwise inaccessible to the 5.9 climber. Thanks for pointing out that potential. Oct 24, 2009
Wonderful linkup, not well traveled, not crazy about the rap anchor: 1 bolt and small juniper slung with cord. Jan 19, 2010
Greg D
Greg D   Here
Excellent route. Not sure about the above comment. The route takes you right to a two bolt anchor with chains. Dec 9, 2010
Jeff G.
Jeff G.   Lyons
Anchor was just updated to two good bolts with long chains. Dec 17, 2010
Jay Eggleston
Jay Eggleston   Denver
This is a great linkup! A single rap with a 70m rope will get you down to a nice ledge from where it is an easy downclimb to the ground. Dec 19, 2010
Aaron Lucas  
The traverse flake can break. A section broke when I was on the traverse, but the fall is clean. Good thing I protected the traverse. Mar 15, 2011
In the second edition of Steve Levin's excellent guidebook to the canyon, this is called "Horse d'Oeuvre", first ascent Chip Ruckgaber. Nov 17, 2013
Get on this. Super fun and sustained. Doubles to one. Can be rappelled to the ground with a 70. Nov 5, 2014
Brighton, CO
plantmandan   Brighton, CO
Very fun route. The traverse is exciting.

If you don't have a 70m rope and need to do the 2 rap descent, watch out for people climbing Mesca-Line below. Chances are someone will be on it. Sep 23, 2018