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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, 400 ft, 4 pitches, Grade II
FA: unknown
Page Views: 2,380 total, 43/month
Shared By: Andy Hansen on May 30, 2013
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

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Seasonal Closures Details

Description

The Mail Ridge Tower Link-Up is a fantastic route linking some superb 5.10 pitches on the West Ridge. Steve Levin gives it 4-stars in his latest guidebook and I can't say that I disagree. While there is some junk thrown in the middle for good measure, the hard climbing is spectacular and is very well protected.

P1: 5.10c, 80'. Begin with Chick On The Side (which lies just below the start to Handcracker Direct). This pitch begins in an obtuse dihedral next to a pine tree. A good landmark is the fixed pin and chalked rail at about 25'. Stems, good locks, and some funk will bring you to the top of the dihedral. Stay true to the dihedral or step right after the crux. Either way, make your way up and belay after 80'. Move the belay left roughly 30'.

P2: 5.10c, 110'. This pitch is the first pitch variation to Mail Ridge. Start up a right-facing corner on good sidepulls and locks. The gear is great here. Fire up through an overhang using some underclinging trickery to a good stance. Follow easier (5.8+, 5.7, respectively) corners to a tree belay. There are rap rings around the tree. It should be noted that while the hard climbing is protected well enough, there are some spots above the crux (gaining the 5.8 corner) that are somewhat dicey. Small cams work well here. Also, on the day of our ascent there was a fixed nut at the crux that protected it very well- I would advocate to leave this in place as it makes protecting the crux that much easier.

P3: 100', 5.5. Climb the scrappy chimney and blocky terrain to the belay at the base of the magnificent looking splitter.

P4: 100', 5.10a. This is the final pitch of Handcracker Direct. Climb the obvious splitter to the top of the formation. This can be broken into 2 pitches (belay at the top of the crack if splitting into two) but is pretty easy to link if long slings are used to alleviate any rope drag. This pitch is fantastic and a very good pitch for the grade in Eldo.

The individual pitches don't necessarily warrant classic status, but putting them all together creates a really great route!

Protection

A double rack of Camalots or equivalent up to #2. A single #3 is sufficient for the last pitch of Handcracker Direct.

Photos

mountainhick
Black Hawk, CO
 
mountainhick   Black Hawk, CO
 
Doh! Sorry Andy, need glasses.

Anyway, the variation with P2+3 of handcracker makes it more continuous than 100' of 5.5.

Enjoy! Nov 1, 2016
Andy Hansen
Longmont, Colorado
 
Andy Hansen   Longmont, Colorado
 
Ahem, scrappy not 'crappy' chimney. Oct 31, 2016
mountainhick
Black Hawk, CO
 
mountainhick   Black Hawk, CO
 
We did this route but stepped right after the 5.10c Mail Ridge variation pitch to do all the Handcracker pitches from P2 on up. Combined Handcracker P2+3, then 4+5 to the top. No crappy 5.5 chimney.

Also, Mail Ridge Variation P1 protected fine for me through the dihedral. If you're good on 5.10c, it shouldn't present any pro problems. I'd maybe call it PG.

Chick On The Side is still the cranky crux for me! Oct 31, 2016
Andy Hansen
Longmont, Colorado
 
Andy Hansen   Longmont, Colorado
 
As of March 6th, 2014, there is still a fixed wire on the 2nd pitch. I would recommend using runners on all gear above the crux as there is a rope eating flake at the top of the 5.8 corner. Still a great route, too! Mar 7, 2014