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West Ridge - part C - Pony Express to Long John
Routes Sorted
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Barrel of Monkeys 
Bloke On The Side 
Bridget the Midget 
Chick on the Side 
Court Jester 
Crazy Stairs 
Curving Dihedral 
Dead Letter Department 
Drug Abuse 
Erickson's Finish 
False Prophet 
Fever, The 
Going Postal 
Good Ship Venus 
Handcracker Direct 
Hanging Chad 
Horse d'Oeuvre (aka Pony Express P1 to Zip Code) 
Human Factor, The 
Hyperspace Roundup 
Ignore Me 
Iron Horse 
Knife, The 
Lightning Bolt Crack 
Lost in the Netherlands 
Mail Ridge Tower Link-Up 
Mail Ridge, The 
Muscle and Hate 
Pony Express 
Pony Express, Briggs' Variation 
Practice Climb 101 
Practice Wall 
Prison Sex 
Pygmy Pony 
Quick Silver 
Quiet Desperation 
Seemingly Innocent 
Side Wall, The 
Sister Morphine 
Sooberb Lite 
Thin Ice 
Think Quickly 
Unbroken Chain 
variation to Mail Ridge 
Warp Drive Overload 
Who's Holding 
Wind Tunnel 
Zeros and Ones 

Thin Ice 

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

Type:  Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 50'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ British: E1 5a [details]
FA: [FA: Eric Goukas and Mark Sheppard, 1980]
Page Views: 348
Submitted By: Tony B on Nov 10, 2002
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Climbing reopened after flood MORE INFO >>>


"Walking on Thin Ice" - That about sums it up.

Find this route by locating Long John Wall. Look just to the left of the broken, right-facing corner at the base of LJW. The arete on the left of this is the route.

There is a clean arete with a few tiny seams in it, 15' up off the ground, a short finger lock section, and then flakes. Climb in from either side (5.9) to establish yourself on the left side of the arete on a reasonable set of footholds. Try in vain to get a RP placement you trust around the right hand side, which is a blind placement fromt the good stance. Give up and climb a few more feet up and left onto the left side, checking out the nasty 20' landing you'd get. Look at the seam at the left hand and decide again that nothing good goes in there. Quit fooling around and make a few 5.9 moves to a 10-inch section of "finger crack" where you can place a TCU or alien. Clip it and make a crux move (9+) and then run for the ledge on easy moves. Don't fall. Place a piece or two near the ledge for a directional. Climb up and left to a tree with slings that can be backed up by nuts up and right above. (no rap rings here) or go up and right to join Long John Wall.

In any case, when you come down, ask yourself if that was really S (given grade) or VS. At least the rock is nice solid stone!


A few VERY TINY nuts and a .4-.75" cam placement (TCU, Alien, or something narrow) are about all you can get. The nuts will be about as good as they are big. The cam will be OK, but not great.from the top of "the business" of the route, you will need a #3-4 BD or equiv. for a directional before finishing to the left or right. You might TR the route from an anchor on the face well above + a directional a the top of the arete (small nuts + long sling).

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By Brad Bond
Nov 14, 2002

A thread of 1/2" webbing can be slung around a small horn before cranking [left] around the arete to the fingerlock, as well as the RPs mentioned. A bomber green alien-sized piece will fit in the fingerlock. (I downclimbed to the ground where we bounce-tested the hell out of it!) This will be the only gear keeping you off the ground if you fall when doing the crux moves, so if you fall and it holds then the route is probably "s"; if it doesn't, then "vs." Once your feet are a few feet above the green alien, the climbing eases to about 5.6.

By Brad Bond
Nov 14, 2002

...The gear also takes up most of the fingerlock and I placed it somewhat blindly from a stance on the right side of the arete.