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.
It's interesting how different folks gravitate towards different styles of climbing....my 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......
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.
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.
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: 5.10a6a18VI+18E1 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.
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...
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....
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: 5.10a6a18VI+18E1 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.
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.
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.
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: 5.10a6a18VI+18E1 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: 5.10a6a18VI+18E1 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....
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
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!
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.