West Ridge - part D - Xanadu to Pony Express
Mark raps down Fine Line at the end of a long day ...
This is the second highest section of the West Ridge. It arbitrarily extends from Xanadu
to Pony Express, since these are well-known, easily identified routes. This section is the most crack-rich section of the ridge. As a result, it has a different feel than most of the rest of The West Ridge. Count on at least a 25 minutes approach.
Note, this section includes some of the loosest sections of the ridge in a section referred to as "The (sic) Construction Zone" by some.
Most routes in this section are single pitch in length. However, recent development have pushed routes into the upper stretches of a section referred to as "The Rotten Wall" by R. Rossiter in his well-received guidebooks. Some of the better lines here include: the intimidating Duh Dihedral
, 5.6; the delightful Positively Fourth Street
, 5.9+; Xanadu
, 5.10a; the fun Hand Crack
, 5.10b; the hidden gem Variation to Mail Ridge
, 5.10; Sooberb
, 5.10c; the fun Zip Code
, 5.11b; the demanding Parallels
, 5.11b s; the delicious Terminal Velocity
, 5.11b/c s; the amazing Bit by Bit
, 5.11c/d; the technical Foxtrot
, 5.11d s; among others.
To approach this area, you park at the W end of Eldorado Canyon State Park, hike the Eldorado Canyon Trail to the Rincon Trail, boulder hop across the talus and drop down and right to this section of the ridge. It may be more enjoyable to hike up the base of the West Ridge via stream crossing at Milton Boulder or hiking from the East end of the park. Time-wise, it's probably close either way.
Most of these routes is use descents of rappelling. Walkoffs will generally be time-consuming in this section of the ridge.
Note, there is some loose rock in the area.
Approach is dependent upon the depth of the creek, the section of wall you wish to climb, the parking available, and your desires for the day. You can approach the top of the ridge by parking at the W end of the park, hiking up the Eldorado Canyon Trail, take the turn off for the Rincon access, then boulder hop the talus, and cross to the Rincon. Then angle down a short way to the top of the ridge. You can approach the lower part 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. Finally, you can approach the lower part of the ridge 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.
Weather station 0.3 miles from here
61 Total Routes
['4 Stars',3],['3 Stars',12],['2 Stars',21],['1 Star',18],['Bomb',7]
Browse More Classics in West Ridge - part D - Xanadu to Pony Express
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for West Ridge - part D - Xanadu to Pony Express:
Fine Line 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 80'
X 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
PG13 Trad, 1 pitch, 60'
Xanadu 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad, 1 pitch, 115'
Air Mail 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
PG13 Trad, 1 pitch
Zap Snack 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Trad, 1 pitch
Zip Code 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c Trad, 1 pitch, 130'
Parallels 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Trad, 1 pitch
Tango 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Trad, 1 pitch, 110'
Bit by Bit 5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII 25 E4 6a Trad, Sport, 2 pitches, 160'
Foxtrot 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
PG13 Trad, 1 pitch
Iron Pony 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 150'
Crazy Fingers 5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a
PG13 Trad, 1 pitch, 40'
Featured Route For West Ridge - part D - Xanadu to Pony Express
Hand Crack (aka White Lightning) 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b CO
: Eldorado Canyon SP
: ... : West Ridge - part D - Xanad...
Imaginative name, but a fine pitch with clean, varied jamming and plentiful protection. The crux, in fact, is fingers - but the steep hand jamming above is quite good.The Hand Crack is located in an enclave of the upper West Ridge called the Cirque of the Cracks (a fittingly vague name since the West Ridge comprises 2000 feet of cirques and cracks). Fifty meters uphill from the Quartzite Ridge, locate an alcove with several obvious, chalked crack lines. Look for a steep hand crack (the Hand C...[more] Browse More Classics in CO
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