REI Community
West Ridge - part D - Xanadu to Pony Express
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Air Mail T 
Backslash T 
Barbie Doll Arete, The T 
Bit by Bit T,S 
Bottlenecks T 
Clean Dan T 
Coffee Break with Joe T 
Cold Turkey T 
Coniferous Types T 
Crazy Fingers T 
Cruising Lane T 
Detour, The T 
Doc's Little Brother T,TR 
Dr. Michael Solar T,TR 
Duh Dihedral T 
Early Bird Special T 
Fine Line T,TR 
Five Fang Overhang T 
Fork in the Road T 
Formula, The T 
Foxtrot T 
Funeral March T 
Hand Crack (aka White Lightning) T 
Hang Ten T,TR 
Highway 61 T 
Inverted Vee T 
Iron Pony T 
Kashmir T,TR 
Kubla Khan T 
Lady Fingers T 
Lunar Avenue T 
Lunar Lander T 
Masterbator's Edge, The T 
Milk and Honey T 
Milk Dreams T 
Mirage T 
Parallels T 
Pool of Blood T 
Positively Fourth Street T,TR 
Rhadamanthus T 
River Of Darkness T 
Road Narrows T 
Sign of the Cross T 
Snail Mail T 
Srinagar T 
Tampon T,TR 
Tango T 
Tanqueray T 
Terminal Velocity T 
Texas Two-Step T 
Three Lane Highway T 
Toprope Right of Formula TR 
Trip Itch T 
Tryptich T 
Whatever T 
Willow World T 
Working Class Hero T 
X T 
Xanadu T 
Zap Snack T 
Zip Code T 

Pool of Blood 

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

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 80'
Original:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: Pat Ament and Carl Diehl, 1975
Page Views: 3,023
Submitted By: Tyler Jones on May 7, 2001  with updates from Carl Schaefer

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (101)
Your todo list:
Your stars:
Your rating: -none- [change]
Your ticklist: [add new tick]
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [0 people like this page.]
Mark stemming the difficulties.

  • Seasonal Closures MORE INFO >>>
  • Seasonal Raptor Closures MORE INFO >>>

  • Description 

    The route is located in an area called Cirque of Cracks. If you follow the West Ridge trail past Positively Fourth Street, it will reach a crest and drop down a little... from here it's only about another 200 feet further. Look for an obvious off-width (Duh Dihedral) and some beautiful cracks on the right (Hand Crack, Terminal Velocity). Pool of Blood follows the large flake about 15 feet left of the off-width. I believe the name should be changed to Rope Drag, but otherwise a great climb.

    Start at the obvious large flake. The crack is just about fist jam size, but it's leaning at an awkward angle that can keep you from lying back. Continue to the top of the flake (horn) and traverse right to Duh Dihedral. Finish up Duh Dihedral ending at a two-bolt anchor.

    This is a great climb, because it is challenging to figure out and not as easy as it looks, even with the nasty rope drag (remember long runners!)


    Bring #3 Camalots!! The easiest way to do this would be with at least a couple #3s and a #2 cam (use a #3.5 if you don't have two #3s). Mid sized cams from 0.3 to 1 for the finish. Plenty of single length runners.

    Photos of Pool of Blood Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: Tonya at the lower crux.
    Tonya at the lower crux.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Tonya at the upper crux.
    Tonya at the upper crux.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Fist crack? No sweat!
    Fist crack? No sweat!
    Rock Climbing Photo: Pulling the first crux
    Pulling the first crux
    Rock Climbing Photo: Starting to traverse to the corner
    Starting to traverse to the corner
    Rock Climbing Photo: Just past the first wide hands section
    Just past the first wide hands section
    Rock Climbing Photo: Guess you can lieback!!
    Guess you can lieback!!
    Rock Climbing Photo: Paul Giglio at the first flake ledge.  Photo by Er...
    Paul Giglio at the first flake ledge. Photo by Er...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Dave on the route.
    Dave on the route.

    Comments on Pool of Blood Add Comment
    Show which comments
    Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Aug 6, 2016
    By Erik Corkran
    Jun 28, 2001

    Just did this last night. Great climb! Definitely long runners, and more than one #3 Camalot. The Pool of Blood crack is beautiful, but watch for loose junk in Duh Dihedral.
    By Tony B
    From: Around Boulder, CO
    Nov 5, 2001
    rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

    This route can be finished directly from the top of the flake to the tree on some small holds and seams. This is probably 5.11- and there really is no gear (as I learned on lead), so a TR is advisable. (Bubb, Donson, Bushey Winter Y2K)
    By Old Fart aka Dave Bohn
    Feb 12, 2002

    In Ament's guide "Eldorado" (published "75) there's a picture of Ament on the first ascent leading it with totally natural pro a la the Brits. He carried up chockstones, slung them with webbing and climbed on. Not having the right size at one point, he sent down the rope for a few more rocks and there's a picture of him hauling them up. When Mark Willford (maybe 15 at the time) and I saw the picture, it was his idea to try the same thing; no nuts only chockstones and we did it! He led, (one of his first leads) and I just kept tossing stones up to him! At the time we all had a little pool going as to how long he was going to live. I guess we all lost :)!
    By Ernie Port
    From: Boulder, Colorado
    Jul 4, 2002

    This is fun route up two beautiful flakes. The first one more offwidth and much wider and the second one about 2" wide all the way. Both slope up and out. I felt the second flake is the harder of the two, because the adjacent wall to the left is basically blank and the other side of the flake is featureless as well. Its inverted crack climbing to the ledge. Jamarouski! A fun TR after Du Dihedral, well worth the effort.
    By SirVato
    From: Boulder
    Oct 16, 2003

    Fun route- although short it was actually quite challenging!! I'm still new to leading 5.9, so when I followed this I had to imagine what the lead was like, and personally I'm glad he did it and not me!! Both sections of the flake are awkward and hard to lay back- but were easy to protect. It is definitely harder than it appears to be from the ground!
    By Shane Zentner
    From: Colorado
    Dec 20, 2004
    rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

    #3 Camalots. The anchor at the top of 'Duh Dihedral' needs to be looked at. The left bolt needs to be tightened, as I recently discovered while hanging from the anchor.
    By Danny
    Apr 18, 2005
    rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

    This is an exciting 5.9 lead. The gear is bomber, but it is pumpy (at least to me) so you really can't place too much. The 2 crux sections are followed by good rests. Even though this route is fairly short it is well worth doing despite the rope drag. Enjoy!
    By Jason Shatek
    May 8, 2005
    rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

    I followed this route yesterday. Pretty beefy for a 9, I'd say. This route is all about brute force, there is no delicate foot work to be done. For me, it was more about the upper body pulling you over each of the flakes than anything. I tried to use good foot work, but that didn't seem to work very well :).
    By Brian Weinstein
    Jun 26, 2005
    rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

    I couldn't place anything larger then 3 inches. There was no real offwidth, just hands to wide hands. Pretty unique line to the area. Well worth doing, if in passing.
    By pfwein
    From: Boulder, CO
    May 14, 2006

    A #4 Camalot (old size) fits nicely at the first bulge.
    By Rob Kepley
    From: Westminster,CO
    Sep 16, 2006

    By Chris White
    From: Boulder
    Sep 14, 2008

    By Lance Lewallen
    Feb 8, 2009

    This climb is short, but can be deceptively awkward for a beginner leader. The crack behind the flake is slippery, and slightly flaring, Indian Creekish, 5.9 off-hands, so be solid at the grade. Use slings on your 3" Camalots on the wide flake section, or they will walk when you traverse over to the Duh Dihedral.
    By Juan Lopez
    Jul 5, 2011

    Dear community,

    I am beginner climber and I left a #3 Cam 20 feet up on the route Pool of Blood. It was impossible for me to remove.

    I am new to the community and would like to offer a beer to any friendly climber who can retrieve it.

    thank you so much,
    Juan Lopez
    By Canon
    Jul 24, 2011

    Hey Juan,

    I tried getting your #3 out of there. I even rappelled in to try and unstick it as well. I got nice and bloody in the process. I would think you need a nut tool taped to a nice stout stick, another nut tool, and a third hand. Good luck!
    By Timothy
    From: Fort Collins, Colorado
    May 28, 2012

    I thought this climb was great. It would get 4 stars from Wolverine pub. in the Red or New.
    By Ben Cassedy
    From: Denver, CO
    Aug 19, 2013
    rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

    Definitely harder than it looks. I thought it was harder - at least much more strenuous - than White Lightning.

    Up to the first ledge I would call thuggish 5.8, then the crux is getting up onto the second ledge. First part was bomber hands, second part was offwidth between hands and fist with a weird-ass move onto the ledge. Both parts took #3 just fine, albeit second part a little wider than the first. Either way, splitter gear.

    I put runners on the following pieces: last move of the 5.9 part; once in the traverse to protect your second; another for the first piece in Duh Dihedral. Did that and had zero drag. I hadn't considered runners on the #3s to keep them from walking, but good call on that. That crack is deep.

    Disagree with whoever called this pumpy. Three moves to a ledge; another three moves to another ledge. Thuggish is the word you're looking for. Pretty fun route, worth doing.
    By The Blueprint Part Dank
    From: FEMA Region VIII
    May 29, 2016
    rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

    Felt a little bit easy for a 5.9, though I have big hands, so the jams were much less strenuous for me than for most folks. Regardless of grade, if you're up at Cirque of the Cracks, do yourself a favor and climb this unexpected gem.
    By The Blueprint Part Dank
    From: FEMA Region VIII
    May 29, 2016
    rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

    The route presents a bit of a rope-drag quandary. If you place long enough runners to avoid rope drag at the initial (crux) handcrack, you're probably going to deck in the event of a fall, but if you don't place long runners, the rope drag when you transition to the Duh Dihedral will be horrific. The solution we came up with was to have the leader tie into both ends of the rope, clipping one side to the gear in the fist crack, then transitioning to Duh Dihedral, clipping the other end of the rope to a couple pieces, going on belay on that end, then untying the first strand of rope. Made things much smoother.
    By Matt Rhodin
    From: Denver, CO
    Aug 6, 2016

    No need to worry about rope drag on this one. It wasn't bad, and even when you do get it, you're already on the 5.6 finish.

    Mountain Project

    The Definitive Climbing Resource

    MTB Project

    Next Generation MTB Trail Maps

    Powder Project

    Backcountry Ski Maps & Secret Stashes
    FREE Stickers · Gyms · RSS · School of Rock · Contact · About