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West Ridge - part D - Xanadu to Pony Express
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Zip Code T 

Zip Code 

YDS: 5.11- French: 6c Ewbanks: 22 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 22 British: E3 5c

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 130'
Original:  YDS: 5.11- French: 6c Ewbanks: 22 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 22 British: E3 5c [details]
FA: Erikson, Woodruff, Hare, 1978
Page Views: 3,495
Submitted By: Tony B on Dec 2, 2001

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (67)
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Tony leads Zipcode (5.11-) on Eldo's West Ridge Th...

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  • Description 

    This route is in the popular Pony Express area of the West Ridge of Eldo. Just to the left of the famous routes, Iron Horse and Iron Pony, is a crack through an overhang that continues on and up for about 130' total. The crux is about 40 feet up where a right-facing corner comes into a bulge. The crux is short and sweet stemming and a bit of body English... a 1-move wonder. I don't find the crux move particularly hard, but it can be tricky to figure out and may be harder for shorter folks. I think it is one of Eldo's easier 5.11s for average and tall folks.
    Mellow if you get the move right, damn hard if you don't.


    The protection is reasonable at all times, but not necessarily great. at the crux. It will do and is fairly safe. Take some small gear.

    There is a bolt near the bush/tree for an anchor.

    Photos of Zip Code Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: Tony high up in 5.9 territory on Zipcode (5.11-) o...
    Tony high up in 5.9 territory on Zipcode (5.11-) o...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Above the crux. What's with the dark blue skies ab...
    Above the crux. What's with the dark blue skies ab...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Nearing the top of the difficulties. There's one t...
    Nearing the top of the difficulties. There's one t...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Cruising above the crux.
    Cruising above the crux.
    Rock Climbing Photo: No hands knee lock just above the crux.
    No hands knee lock just above the crux.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Got the jugs just above the crux.
    Got the jugs just above the crux.
    Rock Climbing Photo: The crux--this didn't work either.
    The crux--this didn't work either.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Pondering the crux from the top of the big  flake....
    Pondering the crux from the top of the big flake....

    Comments on Zip Code Add Comment
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    Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Dec 19, 2010
    By Joe Keyser
    From: Scottsdale, AZ
    Aug 13, 2001

    I thought the route was pretty damn hard! I [don't], however, get on too many 11s in Eldo... IMO, its [definitely] not as hard as Practice Climb 101, but, still, pulling the dihedral move is tricky...
    By Tom Fyffe
    Nov 7, 2001

    I actually think the grade is pretty close to right. Being consistent with my comments, I really like this route, technical and interesting down low with a cool distinct crux followed by some run-out jugging up easier terrain ah...
    By Bob Rotert
    Feb 4, 2002

    After my experience on this route I can see why some would think it is hard and some would think it is easy. My partner gave me the wrong beta and told me to go up high with your right hand for a hold to do the crux. The discrepancy around the ratings I think depends on how you do the crux. I found this approach very difficult and eventually found a good, very positive, intermediate hidden edge lower in the crack/seam. If you miss the good hidden edge in the crack/seam and reach past it and up high to the sloping lay away with your right hand and smear your left foot up high on the diheadral it is very difficult. If you find the hidden intermediate edge and don't reach past it, it is not a hard 5.11.
    By Ivan Rezucha
    From: Fort Collins, CO
    Sep 23, 2004
    rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

    Zip Code is technically quite difficult yet it's an easy 11 lead. It's technically difficult for me since my feet don't work well unless I have decent hand holds. Stem onto microdots. Left foot higher onto nothing. Reach through with right hand for jug. Cut loose with both feet, accidentally. It's an easy lead, though. The moderate approach is maybe 5.9, but be careful of thumper flakes and at least one loose hold. Place several or more good small cams at the crux from a big stance. The crux sequence is essentially top roped. Get the jug and hook a good sling over it or (less fun) place a big nut next to it and enjoy the extremely fun upper wall, for which this route deserves 2 stars. From the ground the upper all looked blank with thin gear, but there are big holds and excellent gear all over. As you climb it, keep saying to yourself, "I'm cruising a 5.11" and ignore the fact that the moves are 5.8 tops. You'll feel like a god.

    I didn't like the rap/belay anchor at the top of this route in the red band. It's a small bush/tree. And only part of a bush/tree at that. Instead, I belayed maybe 25' lower at a good stance on a slab. Used a #2/gold Camalot in a short vertical slot and a couple of small cams. We then traversed left and up to the usual descent from Handcracker Direct, etc.
    By Kirk Woerner
    Oct 25, 2004

    Hard crux to onsight at least for me. I tried to do it as described by Bob Rotert above (sort of layback on the good chalked hold in the crack and then right hand to slopey crap) but it just didn't work. Is the beta to just stem the whole way up or layback?
    By Joe Collins
    Nov 18, 2004

    I would guess the rating on this would be somewhere between 11- to 11+, depending on your reach. If you are tall you will be able to reach all the way from the fingerlock to the jug while still on the good foothold.
    By Tony B
    From: Around Boulder, CO
    Feb 6, 2006

    Went back for this again after 6 years and liked it even more than the first time. Cool climbing, good gear, though provoking (but not difficult) crux. Stem or lieback.
    The upper braids of cracks are superb as well, though easy.
    Best to have a good handful of gear 0.25-1"

    The anchor above the whole thing is a little high and difficult to clip, un-clip, etc... Single bolt + small tree with the end point out of reach to clip for shorter folks.
    By Guy H.
    From: Fort Collins CO
    Oct 13, 2006

    It is possible to rap the line with a single 70m. There is a low fifth class downclimb, so don't rap off the ends of your rope.
    By Ivan Rezucha
    From: Fort Collins, CO
    Nov 20, 2006
    rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

    Seems like there are at least several ways to do the crux. My new way differs from the way I posted above. Stem low or high, layback, finger lock and reach, etc. All can work, but all are hard unless you're really tall. I didn't know there was a bolt at the anchor tree. I've always just seen that small tree and thought, "No way", and traversed off left and scrambled down.
    By Wayne Crill
    From: an Altered State
    Feb 12, 2008
    rating: 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b

    This is a nice route, very enjoyable climbing for the entire route. I always find grading routes a bit difficult, but I think the best way to assess is to compare to standard routes with generally accepted grades at the same crag/area. My opinion is that this route is absolutely no more difficult or challenging than Air Mail (next crack left), in fact I think they are very similar overall. Now, Air Mail is one of the most challenging 5.9+'s I've done and I think most people agree that it's quite stiff at the grade. I wonder if Steve L will change the grade in his upcoming book? Regardless, I would call Zip Code, the softest 5.11 in the park, hence I really think it's most appropriately 5.10+.
    By Aaron Lucas
    May 12, 2008

    I agree with Wayne. I thought this was easy for Eldo 11s. The crux was over fast and not really tricky. On the other hand, if I was shorter, I may not think it was easy for 5.11.
    The route was lots of fun, with the exception of some potential loose rock.
    By Brian Adzima
    From: San Francisco
    May 21, 2008

    TR'd Iron Horse afterwards and this felt significantly more difficult. The fall is much cleaner than it looks.
    By lenore sparks
    From: Denver, Colorado
    Sep 22, 2008
    rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

    This climb isn't "hard", but I think its short crux is challenging and hard to redpoint.
    By Tony B
    From: Around Boulder, CO
    Dec 19, 2010

    The anchor up top has been changed. Some time this year the single bolt was backed up by a second bolt and 3-foot chains were installed. The gear and bush sling was removed.

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