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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) T 
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Sister Morphine T,TR 
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Sooberb Lite T 
Sundial T 
Sword Of Damocles T 
Thin Ice T,TR 
Think Quickly T 
Unbroken Chain T 
variation to Mail Ridge T,TR 
Warp Drive Overload S 
Who's Holding T 
Wind Tunnel T 
Zeros and Ones T 

Iron Horse 

YDS: 5.11 French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E4 5c

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches
Original:  YDS: 5.11 French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E4 5c [details]
FA: Dan Hare, Jim and Dan Michael
Fixed Hardware: 3 Lead Bolts [details]
Page Views: 4,992
Submitted By: James Balasalle on Oct 19, 2001

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (124)
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Another good photo by Ben.

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  • Description 

    This is the double seams just right of the first pitch of Pony Express. This route is listed as S/VS or something in the Rossiter book, but it's actually very protectable at the cruxes, and you're not in any danger of grounding/ledging out anywhere on the route. It is a nice, if not very sustained line. It is probably easier than the 11+ given by Rossiter, especially if you're tall.

    Per Dave Holliday: P2 has 3 bolts.


    A couple of nuts (#4 or 5 stopper goes in at the crux) and a small Friend are sufficient.

    Per Dave Holliday: P2 has 3 bolts.

    Photos of Iron Horse Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: Starting the crux.
    Starting the crux.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Routes in the Pony Express area.  Iron Horse climb...
    BETA PHOTO: Routes in the Pony Express area. Iron Horse climb...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Starting the crux sequence. There are some decent ...
    Starting the crux sequence. There are some decent ...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Stepping off the stance to start the crux sequence...
    Stepping off the stance to start the crux sequence...
    Rock Climbing Photo: You can climb the small ceiling directly, being ca...
    You can climb the small ceiling directly, being ca...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Paul's trying to move left onto the stance above t...
    Paul's trying to move left onto the stance above t...

    Comments on Iron Horse Add Comment
    Show which comments
    Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Feb 24, 2017
    By david goldstein
    Aug 7, 2002

    I think this pitch deserves an S. The crux is safely protected, but the last 20' (about 5.9) have no pro unless you detour over to Pony Express.
    By adam brink
    From: Boulder, CO
    Mar 7, 2003

    With RPs and small tri-cams this is a well protected route. To top that, the moves are beautiful and the position excellent. An Eldo classic for sure.
    By Kirk Woerner
    Sep 8, 2003

    I agree with David. The top of this pitch may be [relatively] easy (One 5.9 move) but gear is way below you and pretty thin to boot. [Definitely] should have an S rating.
    By Joe Collins
    Nov 10, 2003
    rating: 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c

    One of Eldo's best thin crack pitches. Yep, this is called "Iron Horse" in the guidebook. A little contrived since you can chicken out onto Pony Express in a number of places. I guess you can give it an 'S' for the run to the anchors, but if you get through the crux, it really isn't much to worry about (maybe scarier for shorter climbers?).
    By Shane DeMars
    From: Boulder, CO
    Jun 15, 2004
    rating: 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a

    What a great route! It protected well enough, but may still merit the S. There are some creative placements for small cams but wires seemed to be the ticket at the crux. I got by with just my small nuts (as usual) and no RPs. The short crux made it seem like an easier eldo 11c. Overall a wonderful route well worth leading.S
    By Tony B
    From: Around Boulder, CO
    Feb 2, 2006
    rating: 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c

    Not really crack climbing, not really 11d, and not very R.
    Also not that great of a climb. It is fun, but not a classic. The second runout up top is just one committing move onto a high foot. 5.9 or maybe 5.10a, but not as hard as most 5.9+ moves (wink).
    By Adub
    Dec 7, 2008

    This route is a blast.... However, I don't think it's an 11+....
    By Clint Locks
    From: Boulder
    Mar 6, 2010
    rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c R

    Not quite up to "classic" standard, but really fun, my vote is 11b, not much pro (and at points you'd have to choose between pro and plugging up a finger jam--bring small stoppers/RPs), potential ground-fall or ledge-fall in some places.
    By Rainbowweinstock Weinstock
    From: Boulder, CO
    Feb 15, 2011
    rating: 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c PG13

    Beautiful crux. After doing it many times on TR and sussing out all the gear, I found that there are quite a few solid placements for the lead. One piece of note is that after the crux, before the 5.9 slab, you can get a very bomber #0.5 Camalot on the left side of the rest ledge. The piece is placed straight down into the ledge, so it is a bit odd, but it should hold a fall if you blow it getting to the anchors (which really isn't that big of deal after dealing with the rest of the route).
    By Martin Harris
    Nov 25, 2011
    rating: 5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a PG13

    I just top roped ,but it seams if you plugged gear at the crux, you would loose your finger locks witch were already thin to say the least. But either way, so killer and desperate for me.
    By Guy H.
    From: Fort Collins CO
    Nov 25, 2011
    rating: 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a PG13

    You can get a couple #5/6 offsets/RPs before you commit, and they don't take up the finger locks. I have never stopped to placed small cams in the upper finger locks, though. It is probably better to just continue climbing and not fall at that point.
    By WadeM
    From: Golden, Co
    Apr 12, 2014

    Fun route. The crux is very well protected as I cut twice and fell onto my nut. Runout up top is not trival. If you can make it through the lower crux, you'll be fine on the runout. If in doubt, TR it first.
    By Drew Thayer
    From: Denver, CO
    Apr 26, 2015
    rating: 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a

    This is a fun route, the crux is really interesting, and it protects adequately, not R rated. Solid cams get you to a stance below the crux, where you can place two small nuts (both bomber) that leave ample room for fingers. Then you just have to decide to gun it. The top is unprotected, but it's just the cherry on top after cranking through the crux. Recommended!
    By Dave Holliday
    Apr 27, 2015

    Rick: this is a two-pitch route; only the first pitch has been described by the person who posted the route. There are indeed three bolts on the second pitch.
    By Jacqueline Niles
    Feb 24, 2017

    Super stellar first pitch! A short, sequential, and technical crux. If you're comfortable on 10 terrain, I'd say this pitch protects quite well.... Go get it. :)

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