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West Ridge - part C - Pony Express to Long John
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Horse d'Oeuvre (aka Pony Express P1 to Zip Code) 

YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 140'
Original:  YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: E1 5a [details]
FA: Chip Ruckgaber
Page Views: 3,308
Submitted By: Jeff G. on Oct 23, 2009

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  • Description 

    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. Rappel down the upper pitch of Pony Express to the bolted anchor above Mescaline. One more rap from here to the ground. Single 60m rope required.


    RPs up to a #2 Camalot. Good protection.

    Comments on Horse d'Oeuvre (aka Pony Express P1 to Zip Code) Add Comment
    Show which comments
    By Tony B
    From: Around Boulder, CO
    Oct 24, 2009

    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.
    By s.kimball
    Jan 19, 2010

    Wonderful linkup, not well traveled, not crazy about the rap anchor: 1 bolt and small juniper slung with cord.
    By Greg D
    From: Here
    Dec 9, 2010
    rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

    Excellent route. Not sure about the above comment. The route takes you right to a two bolt anchor with chains.
    By Jeff G.
    From: Fort Collins
    Dec 17, 2010

    Anchor was just updated to two good bolts with long chains.
    By Jay Eggleston
    From: Denver
    Dec 19, 2010
    rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

    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.
    By Aaron Lucas
    Mar 15, 2011

    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.
    By Dave Holliday
    Nov 17, 2013

    In the second edition of Steve Levin's excellent guidebook to the canyon, this is called "Horse d'Oeuvre", first ascent Chip Ruckgaber.
    By Peter nichols
    Nov 5, 2014

    Get on this. Super fun and sustained. Doubles to one. Can be rappelled to the ground with a 70.

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