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West Ridge - part D - Xanadu to Pony Express
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Milk Dreams 

YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 200'
Original:  YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a [details]
FA: Mark Hammond, Dougald MacDonald
New Route: Yes
Page Views: 147
Submitted By: Dougald MacDonald on Apr 9, 2003

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (10)
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BETA PHOTO: Dave Holliday leading through the final moves of M...

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  • Description 

    This is a reposting. After the first ascent, we went back and climbed it differently, and it is a much better route now. We started in a different spot, cleaned two large loose flakes, and did a completely new second pitch that is excellent.

    Milk Dreams climbs the vague prow in the middle of the "Broken Area" of the upper West Ridge, halfway between the Cirque of Cracks (Hand Crack, Pool of Blood, etc.) and the Parallels area. It's the only good-looking section of rock in this area. Climb a broken crack to the base of the prow (about 15 feet below a large tree), step left into a nasty left-facing corner, place good pro about 15 feet up this corner, and hand-traverse right, onto the prow, on cool horns. If you sling all of your pro to this point, the rope runs straight. The rock and the climbing to this point are rather poor, but both now improve dramatically. Face climb straight up the prow (5.7) with adequate pro (maybe s-minus) to a good belay ledge at about 90 feet.

    Pitch 2 climbs straight above the belay along a blocky crack to enter a clean right-facing corner that is longer and harder than it looks! Thin, interesting moves with good pro (5.10a) lead to a sort of alcove. At the top of this, exit left on a hand crack, move up on blocks, and finish on a fun thin-hands crack in a corner. Rappel 200 feet from a tree with a sling. The first pitch is 0 stars, the second pitch is 2 stars, so I guess the route is 1 star.

    The original second pitch climbed straight up a thin crack on the prow above the belay ledge (5.9+ s), then was forced into easy cracks and corners on the left before joining the hand crack at the end. Call this the Milquetoast Variation.


    Standard Eldo rack. Two ropes for descent.

    Photos of Milk Dreams Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: Dreamin' of Milk.
    Dreamin' of Milk.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Red line shows the route from the traverse at the ...
    BETA PHOTO: Red line shows the route from the traverse at the ...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Below the thin hands crack near the top of the sec...
    Below the thin hands crack near the top of the sec...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 1 begins in this unattractive crack. The roc...
    Pitch 1 begins in this unattractive crack. The roc...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Lenny Miller above the crux on P2.
    Lenny Miller above the crux on P2.

    Comments on Milk Dreams Add Comment
    Show which comments
    By Luke Clarke
    From: Golden
    Dec 13, 2009

    For the record, I inadvertently deleted a comment from my original post that Tony and Dave Holliday responded to. I am reposting now to keep the record clear and so their comments make sense.
    It is possible to rap this route with one rope, as Lenny Miller and I did. I don't recommend it because it requires rapping from the anchor atop P1, a solid horn that sits above a large table top block balanced on a smaller rock.
    Tony asks about trundling. I think it's a good idea, with all the proper precautions, including a ground crew to keep the path below clear of traffic. The death block's first impact would likely be the path below.
    By Tony B
    From: Around Boulder, CO
    May 25, 2010
    rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

    An OK route that starts off blah, but it is redeemed higher up.
    You can rap on a single 70m to a ramp system on the left of the route and 3rd class climb to the base.
    By tooTALLtim
    From: Boulder, CO
    May 7, 2012
    rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

    With some cleaning, this would be a stellar route.

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