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West Ridge - part D - Xanadu to Pony Express
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Inverted Vee 

YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- British: HVS 4c R

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 160'
FA: Harrison Stuberg & Brooks?
Page Views: 267
Submitted By: Tony B on Jan 22, 2005
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Climbing reopened after flood MORE INFO >>>


This route is on the aptly named "Rotten Wall" of the West Ridge. This is above the popular "Doctor Micheal Solar" area and just below the Cirque of the Cracks. After crossing over the "pass" of the West ridge, where the trail flattens out and comes back the the wall, a short distance before reaching Foxtrot and Pins & Needles, you will see a HUGE acute dihedral, hanging 10+ meters off of the ground. It grows larger/deeper as one climbs up. At the top of this dihedral, a 60 degree roof caps the climb, forcing the climber out and left under the roof and into the crack & face system above. This roof, like the dihedral system itself is shaped like a "V".

OK, now that you've hiked up here and seen it; go away... Adios!. That was the high point of the climb. Forget you ever sought this out. Leave. Don't come back. Warning! Danger! Attention! Perhatian! Awas! Bahaya! Dada!

OK, fine. Don't listen to me. Climb it if you must. But make sure your belayer can duck or hide under something. Because even if you don't tear off any rock, when your rope goes up above the lip, it probably will. The rock will drop down into the dihedral and funnel down to the base as repeatably as a pin-ball return... No, more like a bowling-ball return. For god's sake at least let them on the ground where they can run or duck behind a tree for a sporting chance.

As well, consider finishing by traversing left out of the roof across a face 20' to a rap or adding an anchor at the first tree, to avoid more lethal potential.

One of the nicest things I can think of to say about this route is that the swallows are at least shitting this thing up under the roof instead of ruining a climb that could get worse.

To descend, walk away before climbing it. If it's too late for that, make a series of raps down and sharply left from tree to tree to bolts to ground.


A standard rack with a few extra hand-sized pieces and lots of long slings. The leader should wear a helmet and a biohazard suit. It would be the best for the belayer to be in full body armor.

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