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Pony Express 

YDS: 5.11d French: 7a Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII ZA: 25 British: E5 6a

   
Type:  Trad, 6 pitches, 450'
Original:  YDS: 5.11d French: 7a Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII ZA: 25 British: E5 6a [details]
FA: Bobby Model, Dan Miller and Mike Snyder
Page Views: 326
Submitted By: Mike Snyder on Oct 12, 2014

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BETA PHOTO: Pony Express, 5.11+, Grade III, 6 pitches, 450 fee...

Location 

Walk West on the Hayden Arch Bridge Road until you pass through the tunnel. Turn left immediately and hop down the boulders to the smooth flat boulders in the river. Cross the river at the constriction. Make your way over to the right side of this tall wall.

Protection 

Standard rack including nuts and cams. Doubles on finger size pieces is helpful. chain anchor/belay stations.

Description 

One of the few well protected multi-pitch climbs in the canyon having chain rap/belay stations all the way up and several challenging pitches. This climb was envisioned by Bobby Model around 2006. The first pitch is a relic from an earlier era that no one seems to know who pioneered. It had no anchor or logical finish. Bobby used this intro pitch to reach the outstanding 2nd pitch leaning finger crack, which was the goal and the obvious impetus for creating the entire climb. The short wandering 3rd and 4th pitches are cool especially the short hand crack on the 4th pitch. They may be combined into one long S-curve, using some extendable slings. An accident in South Africa in 2006 left Bobby in a coma and he eventually passed on in 2009 leaving this line unfinished. The 5th and 6th pitches were added in 2014 by Mike Snyder following Bobbys original intended path.

Pitch 1: Begin at a flat grassy area and follow a crack system up to an SMC bolt with an old red sling. Pass a new bolt and climb to a small tree, sling that and continue up into a V groove to find the chain anchors. 5.8, 100 feet
Pitch 2: Lead out leftward passing two bolts and a fixed nut to access the steep finger crack. Place 1/2" sized cams while burling through this to reach the lip and a rest. Continue on, following the left slanting crack and tricky gear placements. The chains are in an alcove at a decent ledge. 5.11+, 80 feet
Pitch 3: Wander up and to the right following grooves to a two bolt anchor. 5.9, 40 feet
Pitch 4: Continue climbing up and to the right to reach the cool hand crack. Climb this 25' feature and find a chain anchor. Pitch 3 and 4 may be combined with some longer slings to straighten out rope drag. 5.8, 40 feet
Pitch 5: Step left and scramble up a blocky section to reach a two bolt crux section before the crack opens back up to accept gear again. Follow the crack up and left ward placing small gear in various pods. There is a bolt protecting a mantle before the next chain anchor. 5.10a, 80'
Pitch 6: Follow the crack system up and left to the summit. Some tricky moves and again small gear protect the climbing well. 5.10+, 80'

Rappel the entire route using an alternate rap station toward the bottom to reach the ground. Alternatively you can walk off, although there is some hair-raising exposure traversing the summit ridge. Easy but exciting!

Location 

Walk West on the Hayden Arch Bridge Road until you pass through the tunnel. Turn left immediately and hop down the boulders to the smooth flat boulders in the river. Cross the river at the constriction. Make your way over to the right side of this tall wall.

Protection 

Standard rack including nuts and cams. Doubles on finger size pieces is helpful. chain anchor/belay stations.


Comments on Pony Express Add Comment
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By Mees
From: Iowa
Nov 12, 2014

cool beans, nice story!
By trisgo
From: Omaha, NE (at the moment)
Mar 9, 2016

A friend and I were looking to practice some big wall skills (portaledge, hauling, clean aid, ect). Would anyone care if we set up on this route for a day or two? If not, is there anywhere to park overnight near the approach?
By Mees
From: Iowa
Mar 9, 2016

I would doubt you'd have too much traffic on this route to contend with, especially if you are there mid week. It's a public climbing area on BLM land I think, so you have as much right to climb it as anyone does. That said, I'm not sure how law enforcement views over nights in the canyon, as it's not something that happens very often there. Since you will be parking near a very busy highway (US HWY 14/16/20), LEO will likely notice the car, especially if it's there multiple nights, not sure if they would have you towed or not? The chances of it being vandalized are low but I wouldn't be surprised as it's not a back woods out of the way parking spot.

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