Ghost Dance is a Vedauwoo area classic, combining a striking line with difficult and sustained climbing. GD is located left of the Friday the 13th alcove, on the SE side of the Nautilus; look for the left of three prominent, L-diagonal cracks before the alcove (the middle one, New Mutants, has a visible chain anchor at 60 feet), behind some aspen trees. From a block get yourself established in the crack. Struggle with the gear (an RP can be helpful) just as the "jams" become flared, karate-chop insecurities. A couple of difficult moves leads to wider, more positive jams, which in turn lead to wider struggling above. The upper crack is sustained, and succumbs to the usual Vedauwooesque thrashing. A long pitch. Descend by heading west (climber's left), following the line of least resistance to easy down climbing. Tape can be helpful in the shallow, technical jams. A really fine route: do it!
A few wired nuts, including an RP or two, up to a #4 Camalot. You can gauge how many of each size you want by looking at the crack from below, but probably gear in the 2" to 4" range should be emphasized.
I also thought this really good pitch. It is a cool mix of technical and physical with a side of holy shit! I had the typical good luck of getting to lead the last 2/3 of the route in a light rain(not recommened). The pro at the bottom is better tahn you expect. Bon Voyage! TF
I just did this route yesterday (8-29) and must say that I thoroughly enjoyed it. I personally found it to be fairly difficult for its grade. I can name quite a few solid .11s at Vedauwoo and other places that are significantly easier. If you are good at offwidths, then don't worry about bringing big gear for the final offwidth section. You can get good gear right before it and it is a very secure section. Go get on it!
I need to flip-flop on my last comment. It is right on at Vedauwoo for .11b ish. Some recent spank sessions on some other ".11b" routes at the Voo have shown me the error of my ways. If you haven't done this route, you don't know what you've been missing.
When cleaning I found that all of my gear that I placed had walked to the back of the crack and sure enough, for almost the length of the climb, the crack flares to the inside......SO...Place gear carefully! I almost decked as a result of a "well placed" cam ripping as I fell from about the 50 foot mark. DO this climb though! It is amazing! The fixed stopper at the beginning can be backed up with a tiny maroon 0.2 Camalot but it in there SOLID and the wire looks ok.. Have fun!
This is one of those pitches that, after being spanked on it the first time, you say to yourself..."holy shit, 11b, really?" I'll feel hard as nails when I get that one, next time. Very strenuous pitch, by way of comparison Hesitation Blues is a warmup climb next to this.
By slim Administrator Sep 20, 2009 rating: 5.11b6c23VIII-E3 5c PG13
Yeah, this one makes Hesitation feel like 5.9. There is definitely a move on this one, and it comes while you are staring at gear that is just kind of ok.
Slim, my friend Jeff who is about 180 lbs. claims there is a bomber sideways nut placement that protects the crux quite well. Probably still wouldn't want to fall once you hit the good jams though. Also, that good old broad category of Vedauwoo "5.11". Gotta love it.
By slim Administrator Sep 22, 2009 rating: 5.11b6c23VIII-E3 5c PG13
Interesting, I will make a mental note. I seem to remember a tweaky black Alien, and you aren't too far above the nice foot ledge/flake. Helluva route, that Gary Isaacs picked some cherries!