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West Ridge - part D - Xanadu to Pony Express
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YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 115'
Original:  YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a [details]
FA: Brad Gilbert, Jim Michael, Dan Hare, 1974
Fixed Hardware: 2 Belay Bolts [details]
Page Views: 10,171
Submitted By: Charles Vernon on Jan 1, 2001

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  • Description 

    A thin, one pitch corner which felt harder to me than other 5.10a pitches in the area because it is more sustained. Hike up the West Ridge trail to a point where it levels out, just past a prominent gully (and shortly before the route Chockstone). Identify 2 thin, opposing corners which start 40 ft. or so above the ground, lean to the right, and contain a couple of small trees. Xanadu takes the right of these two corners (the left facing one). Venture up nondescript rock to gain the dihedral, and climb the beautiful thin crack in the back to a broken ledge and a 2-bolt anchor. 60m rope required for the rappel.


    Standard rack with plenty of small gear.

    Photos of Xanadu Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: Xanadu, with Jonny at the upper crux section.
    Xanadu, with Jonny at the upper crux section.
    Rock Climbing Photo: CM on the lower half of the route.
    CM on the lower half of the route.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Jonny works up the lower section of Xanadu.
    Jonny works up the lower section of Xanadu.
    Rock Climbing Photo: justin dubois on the non descript but fun face cli...
    justin dubois on the non descript but fun face cli...

    Comments on Xanadu Add Comment
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    Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Nov 5, 2016
    By Charles Vernon
    From: Tucson, AZ
    Jan 1, 2001

    Well Matt, we obviously do not have similar experiences on climbs...I thought this was the hardest .10a in Eldo (possibly excepting P1 of Rosy)! Very sustained...nice lead!
    By Matt Bauman
    Jan 1, 2001

    It's interesting how different folks gravitate towards different styles of partner wanted to lead Whiplash (10c roof crack left and up from the top of Xanadu) but after scoping Xanadu he said he didn't want to lead it, so I volunteered to lead Xanadu so he could lead Whiplash.....I love those balancy dihedrals (this one reminded me of Green Spur's crux) with THIN cracks, my buddy doesn but he likes overhanging hand/fist/offwidth cracks......needless to say we compliment each others "style" well....after I led Xanadu, Erik led Whiplash and I followed only to get to the lip of the roof and a cam twisted in the crack and pinched the rope stuck, spent an hour getting this mess undone (cool pitch though). My next 5.10 lead? Probably Over the Hill (looks quite balancy).....variety is the spice of life :_)....thanks for the compliment, Charles......
    By Matt Bauman
    Jan 1, 2001

    Led this today as my first 5.10 trad climbing but didn't feel as hard as Emerald City...go figure...recommended.
    By Erik Corkran
    May 29, 2001

    Matt! Yeah whiplash would have been better without the rope getting stuck. We need to do it again (as long as you will lead Xanadu again). Definitely nice lead! I agree with Charles, this is probably the hardest 10a I have done in Eldo. Thought it was harder than the 10a on Over the Hill, and way harder than Emerald City.
    By Mark Morehouse
    Apr 23, 2002

    Great Route. To get in on the discussion, maybe this climbs fits me well, but I felt it was a solid 10a, but nothing more. Definitely easier, or at least less pumpy than Rosy. I would note that the start is pretty easy, but doesn't have a lot of pro and the belay is on a broken up ledge with lots of loose rock and hard to find gear. You can walk (scramble) off to the climbers right, or there are rappel slings around a tree a little down and to the right.
    By S. Kimball
    Jun 15, 2002

    I can not understand why the outstanding and popular Xanadu has not been fitted with a decent rap/anchor, considering the loose, rotten and potentially dangerous downclimb. Other routes have bolted anchors does'nt this classic deserve as much. Tech hint; belay right after the dihedral ends on a good foot ledge, otherwise just loose flakes or worse belay opportunities higher. P.S.Looking for the toughest 5.10a on the West Ridge? Friends In High Places, S.Kimball.
    By Tony B
    From: Around Boulder, CO
    Jan 17, 2003
    rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

    The most "natural" way to do Xanadu is to stay right until near the top, then stem left and walk up the stems, using the left side for a move or two. This "deviation" from the right crack, or lack thereof, may account for the difference in how people feel about the grade. The first time I did it, I did "pop left" because it was all within reach. I obviously can't comment on how the FA and grade were established, but I figure it was done that way.
    If you want more length and variety, finish by doing "Whiplash" up and left of the top- a fingers-to-hands crack through a roof.
    By Shane Zentner
    From: Colorado
    Jun 9, 2003

    Fun finger jams. I found Chockstone to be a bit harder than Xanadu. Rotten rock at the top. Rap down. Stoppers and small cams. Fixed cam about half way up.
    By Joe Collins
    Sep 22, 2003

    I've always climbed the crux section of Xanadu with my hands in the left corner, right leg stemmed in the right corner, left foot on the face. Feels like solid 10a this way. I'll have to try it staying in the right corner next time...
    By Anonymous Coward
    Sep 22, 2003

    An onsight lead of this, staying to the right is 10a for sure. The beginning of this dihedral only takes very thing gear - RP or ballnut type stuff, but it is easier than it looks. After that little tree, the rest of the gear is totally bomber and you have good stances to place it if you climb to them.
    By Ernie Port
    From: Boulder, Colorado
    Oct 20, 2003

    IMO the business in the last 10' is more like (10c) staying right, and (10a) working up over & left....
    By Pneumoped
    Mar 8, 2004

    Did this climb on 3/7/2004

    Although the dihedral at the top of this climb is certainly the most exciting part, I felt that the hardest move was about half way up the climb in a small left facing dihedral. There were three small thin finger ledges on the face with thin footing. A grunting pull on the two lower ledges gained a higher precarious footing, then a reach for the third finger ledge, stand up and jam your hand into a beauty of a crack that opens up in the dihedral. I liked that move so much that I fell the first time so I could do it again (of course that's what they all say).

    Appearently, at the top of the climb, the right facing, overhung, much larger dihedral that is left of the main route is supposed to be 5.9. It gave my climbing buddy such fits that he backed down and then cleaned the standard 5.10a. Goes to show that when faced with a fork in the road, choose the more difficult path.
    By willem
    Mar 27, 2004
    rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

    Have fun on the down climb. It's a little spicy.
    By Ernie Port
    From: Boulder, Colorado
    Apr 5, 2004

    Climbed this again yesterday and discovered a new rap station above and to the left of the finish that will put you on the ground with a 60 m rope.
    By Anonymous Coward
    Aug 18, 2004

    Classic!!!!!!! Combine it with [Whiplash] and you've got two great pitches.
    By Michael Kullman
    Oct 10, 2004

    Fun route! Much nicer than it looks from the ground. This definitely felt easier to me than Chockstone, but was a bit 'spicier' lead.
    By Michael Amato
    Oct 24, 2004
    rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

    Climbed Xanadu yesterday, stayed right through the top with only a palm smear on the left wall as it neared. The pro is solid, a good #1 Camalot about 10 ft. up, a bit scarce over some easy ground, then a number of good stopper placements to the tree and plentiful spots for TCUs the rest of the way. Beautiful, technical climb.
    By another estes drunk
    Feb 20, 2005
    rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

    I was wondering how most folks do this climb. I led it today and chose to keep my right foot pressed in the crack, stemming my left foot on the face features, and right hip up against the rock. My buddy seconded it and keep to the arete, working his left foot in the crack with his right hand and foot on the arete. Seemed easier, but my way was more fun I think.
    By Kirill Kireyev
    From: Boulder, CO
    Oct 8, 2006

    There ARE bolts at the top of this route now. 60m rope required.
    Awesome route!
    By Kermit
    From: Las Vegas, Nv
    Mar 25, 2007

    Great Climb. Good onsite for today. Left an Offset dmm nut#4 at the beginning of the crux.
    By Mike Epke
    From: Denver, CO
    Jun 18, 2007

    Great route, my first .10a lead in Eldo, it felt so good. Secure stems the whole way up w/ good gear every 6-8 feet once in the cruxy section of the climb, bottom is a bit less frequent for gear. Great climb that I'll repeat many times. Heavy on .4 and .5 camalots once into the upper section of the climb.
    By claytown
    From: Boulder, CO
    Jan 20, 2008

    Fun route. Really cool moves in the r-facing dihedral above the tree is the crux. Right side crack (l-facing, mini-dihedral) seemed a bit easier than the left side of that box. Either way a really fun route worth doing.
    By Stich
    From: Colorado Springs, Colorado
    Oct 4, 2008
    rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

    The first piece of pro is about 16 ft. up. Once you get it, move immediately right and up and out of the shallow dihedral. The holds are bigger. And I agree, Shane, Chockstone is harder.
    By Andy Laakmann
    Site Landlord
    From: Bend, OR
    Oct 21, 2008
    rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

    Excellent route. Definitely easier than Over The Hill. The pro for this first 30-40 feet isn't plentiful, but you can get something when you need it. I didn't place anything bigger than a #1 Camalot. Nuts (tiny to medium) and double cams from TCUs to #1 would be plenty.

    Our 70m rope just had a few feet left on the ground (it might be cut a bit short), so use caution when descending....
    By T-Bob
    Feb 22, 2009

    FUN, just damn fun. I'll admit though. We climbed the left of the two cracks at the top and it seemed like .10a to me. Machts Nichts on the grade though. If you've got the small pro for the route, DO THIS ROUTE!.
    Tony M
    By Cale Farnham
    Sep 7, 2009

    Phil and I finished the day off with this great line and loved it! Great first 10 lead in Eldo for Phil! Kudos man! But definitely thought it's a climb I'd do over and over! Pretty delicate after the stub 10ft from the start of the tiny dihedral! A must do!
    By Evan Deis
    Jul 7, 2010

    Very exciting lead, especially if you've never depended on your RPs before.
    By Andy Kowles
    From: Longtuckles
    Nov 18, 2011

    If you use the left side at the end, it's easier. Staying in the small dihedral and finishing in and above it is the "pure" Xanadu.
    By NickinCO
    From: colorado
    Feb 27, 2012
    rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

    Did it today, weather was perfect. My first 5.10a lead. We had the whole West Ridge to ourselves.
    By David Rivers
    Jul 2, 2012

    Climbed Chockstone and Xanadu today w/ my friend Patrick. I first led these climbs back in 2002 climbing w/ Thad Eggen and other Estes friends. Coming back 10 years later, I was forcefully reminded of how engaging and psychological climbing in Eldo is.
    By Andy Nelson
    From: Fort Collins, Colorado
    Nov 5, 2016
    rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

    A great route! It's handy to have doubles of 0.5 through 1 and some small wires, plus a blue Alien to protect the top.

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