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West Ridge - part C - Pony Express to Long John
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Pygmy Pony 

YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: E1 5a PG13

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 80'
Original:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a PG13 [details]
FA: Dougald MacDonald, Dave Goldstein
New Route: Yes
Page Views: 1,184
Submitted By: Dougald MacDonald on Oct 15, 2002

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Near the top. Photo: Roth.

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  • Description 

    This is a bit contrived and the best section is short, but very fun climbing and surprisingly good pro make this a worthy addition to the Pony Express area. This route follows the arete immediately to the right of Dandi-Line and about 8 feet left of Sister Morphine. Start on Dandi-Line and step right onto the large block at the base of the arete, about 40 feet above the ground. The next 20 feet is the crux, with balancey arete-palming and face moves. Place pro in an intermittent vertical crack to the right and horizontals higher up. Make sure you have a #1.5 Friend or equivalent to protect a short slot at mid-crux. Stay on or right of the arete all the way to the top -- this feels contrived in the second half, where it would be easy to step left into Dandi-Line, but the crux section (and best climbing) is totally independent.


    Standard Eldo rack with RPs, up to hand-size cams.

    Photos of Pygmy Pony Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: Riding the Pony. Photo: Roth.
    Riding the Pony. Photo: Roth.

    Comments on Pygmy Pony Add Comment
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    By Wayne Crill
    From: an Altered State
    Nov 24, 2008
    rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

    I did this line yesterday not previously knowing anything about it. I think it's better than Dougald and Dave imply. Yeah, I guess it's a bit contrived, but it is big fun for when you're in the area, easily toproped off the SM anchors and a safe lead at the grade (though not for breaking into it). For maximum contrived fun, I recommend the unprotected 20' direct slab approach off the ground (between DL and SM), nice quality, some kinda .10.
    By Tony B
    From: Around Boulder, CO
    Nov 22, 2009
    rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

    Gear and difficulty are both a bit height-dependent. I'd give it 5.9+....
    By Jay Eggleston
    From: Denver
    Feb 18, 2011
    rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

    The gear is tricky to place onsight, but it protects well. 9+ lead and maybe 9 on toprope.
    By AOSR
    From: Wherever we park!
    Mar 26, 2011
    rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a PG13

    Not so sure about this one. Contrived and awkward climbing.
    By Eric Klammer
    From: Boulder, CO
    Apr 7, 2015
    rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a PG13

    I thought this was a fun line with good moves and somewhat adequate protection. How often do you get to toe hook and bear hug your way up an arete on a 5.9? While the pro was decent, there are a few places where a fall could smash you back on the big pillar below. Probably not a great lead for those breaking into 5.9.

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