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West Ridge - part C - Pony Express to Long John

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Barrel of Monkeys S 
Bloke On The Side T 
Bridget the Midget T 
Byway T 
Chick on the Side T 
Conversions T,TR 
Court Jester T 
Crazy Stairs T 
Curving Dihedral T 
Dandi-Line T,TR 
Dead Letter Department T 
Drug Abuse T 
Erickson's Finish T 
False Prophet T 
Fever, The T 
Going Postal T 
Good Ship Venus T 
Handcracker Direct T 
Hanging Chad T 
Heat Wave T 
Horse d'Oeuvre (aka Pony Express P1 to Zip Code) T 
Human Factor, The T 
Hyperspace Roundup T,S 
Ignominity T 
Ignore Me T 
Iron Horse T 
Knife, The T 
Lightning Bolt Crack T 
Lost in the Netherlands T 
Mail Ridge Tower Link-Up T 
Mail Ridge, The T 
Mesca-Line T 
Muscle and Hate T 
Pluto T 
Pony Express T 
Pony Express, Briggs' Variation T 
Practice Climb 101 T 
Practice Wall T 
Prison Sex T 
Pygmy Pony T 
Quick Silver T 
Quicksand T 
Quiet Desperation T 
Reckoning T,S 
Rhombohedral T 
Rope to Ruin T 
Seemingly Innocent T 
Side Wall, The T 
Sister Morphine T,TR 
Sooberb T 
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 

West Ridge - part C - Pony Express to Long John Rock Climbing 

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Location: 39.93203, -105.28849 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Leo Paik on Mar 20, 2006
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This section is the middle of the West Ridge and may be considered by some to be the heart. In some ways, it does feel meatier than other sections. It is arbitrarily defined by the well-known Pony Express and Long John Wall. The name for this section is abbreviated to help fit screens.

This section has some of the best rock along the ridge, but still it has significant loose sections, especially up and right from Pony Express/Mescaline.

Interestingly, this section of the ridge seems to have some seen of the earlier forays in 1965 by P. Ament on Rhombohedral, The Mail Ridge, & Sooberb.

Some of the entrees here include: the beefy Mesca-Line, 5.7; Ignominity, 5.9; the filling P1 of Pony Express, 5.9; the hearty Variation to Mail Ridge, 5.10; Sooberb, 5.10c; the robust Muscle and Hate, 5.11a; the classic Practice Climb 101 to Sidewall (i.e. Practice Wall, 5.11a s); the hungrier-sized Pony Express, 5.11c; the demanding Iron Horse, 5.11c s; the test-piece The Reckoning, 5.12d; among others. There are plenty of other, more-obscure moderate lines here if the popular classics are occupied, so a open mind is helpful on busy weekends here.

It can get quite warm in this section on hot days. Shade will be hard to find when the sun shines here. Don't forget sunscreen for the melanin-challenged!

Best to bring your rack here, for without it, there are slim pickings, maybe one? sport route Barrel of Monkeys, 5.11++.

It's probably wiser to figure out your descent options before heading up above the first pitches here. Most will involve rappelling.

Approach is best via stream crossing at the Milton Boulder or the standard approach from the east end of the park, hiking along the trail parallel to the creek below Redgarden Wall, over the slick, 3rd-class ramp, and then up the west side of the West Ridge.

This section tends to be some of the more popular along the West Ridge.

Getting There 

Approach is dependent upon the depth of the creek, the parking available, and your desires for the day. You can approach this section of the ridge by parking at the Milton Boulder, wade the stream or boulder hop (Aug-ish to May-ish) to the base of the ridge and ascend. Or, you can approach by parking at the E end of the park, cross the bridge, hike on the trail paralleling the creek, and traverse the slippery 3rd class ramp around to the base of the West Ridge. Note, this last traverse is intimidating for small kids and particularly green partners. Then, you hike along the trail at the base of the W face of the West Ridge to your desired route.


Climbing Season

Weather station 0.3 miles from here

61 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',4],['3 Stars',19],['2 Stars',25],['1 Star',11],['Bomb',2]

Classic Climbing Routes in West Ridge - part C - Pony Express to Long John

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for West Ridge - part C - Pony Express to Long John:
Mesca-Line   5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 1 pitch   
Sooberb Lite   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 3 pitches, 250'   
Lightning Bolt Crack   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   
Sister Morphine   5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c     Trad, TR, 1 pitch   
Horse d'Oeuvre (aka Pony Express P1 to Zip Code)   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 140'   
Ignominity   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 3 pitches   
Handcracker Direct   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 5 pitches   
Mail Ridge Tower Link-Up   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, 4 pitches, 400'   
variation to Mail Ridge   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, TR, 1 pitch   
Sooberb   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, 3 pitches   
Practice Wall   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, 2 pitches   
The Side Wall   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c R     Trad, 2 pitches, 120'   
Iron Horse   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c     Trad, 2 pitches   
Pony Express   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Trad, 2 pitches   
Unbroken Chain   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a R     Trad, 1 pitch   
Barrel of Monkeys   5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch   
False Prophet   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Trad, 1 pitch, 130'   
The Human Factor   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a R     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   
Practice Climb 101   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b R     Trad, 2 pitches, 175'   
Reckoning   5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b     Trad, Sport, 2 pitches   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in West Ridge - part C - Pony Express to Long John

Featured Route For West Ridge - part C - Pony Express to Long John
Rock Climbing Photo: The Handcracker/Sooberb area.

Reckoning 5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b  Colorado : Eldorado Canyon SP : ... : West Ridge - part C - Pony ...
The Reckoning, I've waited a long time to log this route in at Mark had scoped this route several years before we went up to put it in. For now, I'll avoid a lot of commentary on the personal significance of The Reckoning to Mark except to say that The Reckoning hit Mark in much the same way that Battle's End hit me, and for a similar reason. It's a bit strange, perhaps, but when you have enough love of climbing it becomes hard to separate climbing from all of the other things that compo...[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

Comments on West Ridge - part C - Pony Express to Long John Add Comment
Show which comments
By Dwight Jugornot
From: Arvada, Co.
Nov 6, 2016
The area above Pony Express to Sister Morphine is loaded with loose rock.
I know of more than one teetering 200 pounder. Freeze/thaw cycles or climbers walking off higher routes can and do send death blocks down periodically. This is a popular place to hang out. Wear helmets, and keep kids and dogs well away from the base.

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