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Eagle Dance 

YDS: 5.10 French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b A1

Type:  Trad, Sport, Aid, 11 pitches, 900', Grade V
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10b/c French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII ZA: 20 British: E2 5b A0+ [details]
FA: Jorge and Joanne Urioste 3/80
Page Views: 13,495
Submitted By: phil broscovak on Feb 20, 2004

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (75)
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Mike Morley jugs the short A0 ladder on pitch 7.

Climbing in Red Rocks after heavy rain can permanently damage the rock! MORE INFO >>>


This route is really easy to follow as it takes all the obvious weaknesses and follows enough bolts to never get lost. From a shallow dihedral 50 feet east of a 150' pillar the climb goes up through the Eagles neck on the standard 5th pitch. The overhanging bolt ladder on the 8th pitch is a sandbag but the incredible positioning makes for a pleasant aid pitch. The route continues all the way to the top of the wall and that is worth doing. However most people rap 1 or 2 pitches after the bolt ladder as it is just so convenient to rap. This a fabulous must do Urioste classic.


many bolts supplemented with trad gear

Photos of Eagle Dance Slideshow Add Photo
Jimmy Newberry and Geoff "Madman" Conley...
Jimmy Newberry and Geoff "Madman" Conley...
We spotted this peregrine on 15 November 2005, in ...
We spotted this peregrine on 15 November 2005, in ...
Eagle Wall from the lower Painted Bowl with routes...
BETA PHOTO: Eagle Wall from the lower Painted Bowl with routes...
Andy Hansen higher up. Typical rounded Eagle Dance...
Andy Hansen higher up. Typical rounded Eagle Dance...
The Rougeux Brothers, Mike (belaying) and Brian hi...
The Rougeux Brothers, Mike (belaying) and Brian hi...
Andy Hansen on the bolt ladder. Fall 2011. Taken w...
Andy Hansen on the bolt ladder. Fall 2011. Taken w...
Looking down the long pitch 1, top of Black Tower ...
Looking down the long pitch 1, top of Black Tower ...
The Wall Crawler aka Jimmy Newberry "warmin' ...
The Wall Crawler aka Jimmy Newberry "warmin' ...
Jared Coburn of Fort Collins, CO, on the crux pitc...
Jared Coburn of Fort Collins, CO, on the crux pitc...
Bolt ladder on Eagle Dance
BETA PHOTO: Bolt ladder on Eagle Dance
Looking down from the p3 (or p2, depending...) bel...
Looking down from the p3 (or p2, depending...) bel...
Climbers on Eagle Dance from the approach.  The bo...
Climbers on Eagle Dance from the approach. The bo...
Dawn, day two. Jorge said it would be an awesome b...
Dawn, day two. Jorge said it would be an awesome b...
Looking up Pitch 5
Looking up Pitch 5
Pitch 2.
Pitch 2.
Geoff Conley at the false bivy below the Eagle's n...
Geoff Conley at the false bivy below the Eagle's n...
You can see the start of pitch one to the right of...
BETA PHOTO: You can see the start of pitch one to the right of...
Nate starting the first pitch
BETA PHOTO: Nate starting the first pitch
Looking down at P4, you can see the head of the ea...
Looking down at P4, you can see the head of the ea...
Dirt tiptoes up the first 10a pitch.
Dirt tiptoes up the first 10a pitch.
Looking up Pitch 4, photo by Jake Wyatt
Looking up Pitch 4, photo by Jake Wyatt
John Hegyes aids the bolt ladder
John Hegyes aids the bolt ladder
Looking up from the base
Looking up from the base
Bennett getting his aid on.
Bennett getting his aid on.

Show All 28 Photos

Only the first 24 are shown above.

Comments on Eagle Dance Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Mar 11, 2015
By M.Morley
From: Sacramento, CA
Feb 20, 2004
rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b C0

In total, seventy-two 22-year-old bolts were replaced in March 2002 by the ASCA. What a monumental effort!
By Jake Wyatt
From: Longmont, CO
Feb 21, 2004

Two ropes to rappel... With a single 60m rope, the penultimate rappel will leave you *close* to the last set of rap anchors. (If you weigh less than 175 pounds, even the rope stretch won't get you there.)
By George Bell
From: Boulder, CO
Feb 23, 2004

I have heard that the last two pitches are currently harder to free climb and/or more runout than any of the previous pitches, as they are sandier and holds have broken off. Also I believe the ASCA did not replace the bolts on these pitches, so they are still only protected with a few quarter inch bolts. Anyone with recent personal experience on these pitches care to comment?
By Matt Conrad
Feb 27, 2004

George, the second to last pitch has new bolts. The climbing is pretty sandy and sustained up strange v-groove. The last pitch is around 5.7 with gear and a few old bolts.
By david goldstein
Feb 27, 2004

An excellent climb that I thought offered better value than Levitation. Don't stress over the "aid" section -- it's quite short and the bolts are very close together. You might do well to skip the belay immediately after the aid and link the next pitch in order to avoid a hanging belay directly below hard moves. Rock and Ice published a SuperTopo of the climb which listed a 10c pitch somewhere below the aid, around P5; this pitch was considerably easier than the two 5.10 pitches immediately after the aid.
By George Bell
From: Boulder, CO
May 6, 2004

We found the second to the last pitch to be pretty freaky and weird. The first (brand new!) bolt wiggles visibly and does not give you great confidence. I think this poor bolt is due to the soft rock and not the bolting job. The rock on this pitch is sandy and slopey, I decided to back off after clipping the second bolt (this one at least looked bomber). This pitch looks easy, but may be the crux of the route!
By Warren Teissier
May 10, 2004

Couple of thoughts:

Even though the aid section can be done with slings it is not as simple as one might think. I found that moving into the crack/groove at the end of the bolt ladder was non trivial. I certainly did not feel comfortable going it "free" into the groove right after the last bolt. (traverse to the left)

The climbing to reach the hanging belay above the "Trash and Dangle" and the next short section looked awkward and hard. Possibly harder and certainly weirder than anything on the route up to that point.

I found that a pair of light aiders and a fifi hook made this whole section way more pleasant and secure.

Side note: Due to the overhang and traverse, it proved impossible to "throw" my aiders to my belayer once I made it to the top of the pitch. He in turn had to trash and dangle until he reached the crack where I could lower the aiders to him.
By Anthony Anagnostou
From: nyc
Apr 11, 2005

Gear Alert
as another poster mentioned, the first or second bolt on the last normal pitch (below the slabby gear pitch to the top) is way loose. ie: i figured i could probably pull it out if i wanted to. the hole looks broken out at a glance. may need a new hole. i remember being pretty unhappy about it, because it guards a hard move.

as for the aid section, i had really good luck with double length slings as my aiders. i knotted the tops, eight inches down or so, with uneven webbing, so the top had a nice grab handle.

clip a draw to the aid bolt. clip the rope to the draw. clip your 'aider' to the top biner of your draw. step into it. repeat. it was really pretty cruiser. if you're getting bored/tired, clip your daisy to the bolt and hang for a bit. above the traverse where the bolts run out i was pretty sketched out about switching to free climbing for the last 10 feet, so i popped a 3/4" or 1" cam in there and got at least one move out of it. the move i bypassed looked pretty stiff, but ill be the first to admit im a pansy.
By Anthony Anagnostou
From: nyc
Apr 11, 2005

more beta- a 70m line will rap the entire route on a single rope. be careful rapping the second pitch as there will only be a couple feet of rope left when you hit the rap anchor out left of the route.
By Doug Hemken
Nov 29, 2005
rating: 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b A1

We did this through pitch 8, a little beyond the aid section, on 15 November. We saw what we thought was a peregrine falcon at the cave at the top of pitch 3. It landed in the cave and screeched at me just as I was getting ready to second p4!

The aid pitch worked pretty easily with a bunch of shoulder length slings, but an etrier per climber would certainly speed things up. It was my partner's intro to aid climbing!

We both thought the crux was getting up the slot just beyond the aid.
By wayniak
Apr 13, 2006

NOTE: The left bolt at the belay above the cave was loose when we climbed it on 04/09/06. I finger tightened it as I did not have a wrench.Also, several loose plates exist on the route that will likely pull off with any substantial pressure.
This is a fantastic route that is worth the big approach.
By Jason D. Martin
Apr 15, 2006

Rumor is that the aid section went free the other day. Hopefully more beta will be on the way by the person who did it.

By Ian Wolfe
From: Fayetteville, NC
Sep 16, 2006

No way! That's nuts! I'm impressed.
By Stone Nude
Feb 22, 2007

After climbing this route yesterday with the talented Dona Jones, we both concurred that the "10b" pitch above the bolt ladder is a healthy sandbag and only going to get worse as the few remaining holds disappear. The moves approaching the belay underneath this pitch were rated as 5.8, which seemed science fictional. The 10c pitch above was certainly a letter grade harder than the "crux" 3rd pitch, and although I'm a johnny-come-lately crusty old summit chaser, I have to say that the chosstastic last pitch (5.9?) was well worth missing, and whet the appetite nicely for what Valley girl Dona called her longest decent ever. This route was a great adventure, but if it's getting late, head down before the last pitch and save yourself the blisters! * If planning to walk off, headlamps and stashing packs near the double pines is a must!*
By David Arthur Sampson
Nov 6, 2007

I may be alone in my stance (Geir may support me on this), but I found the third pitch to be more difficult than all the other pitches up to the top of seven. We bailed at the top of the bolt ladder due to time constraints, but after reading the previous comments, I am glad we did! Excellent route.
By Brad G
From: Yosemite and else where
Dec 27, 2007

Can the aid pitch go free at a reasonable grade?
By David Shiembob
From: slc, ut
Oct 15, 2008

I did this route on Sunday, a few comments. The first .10c crux is straightforward face climbing. The bolt ladder is no big deal imho, I've never aid climbed and got through it just fine with a daisy, a couple slings, and a belayer willing to take and give me slack. The pitch right past the bolt ladder has 10 feet of climbing that has become harder than .10b, but well bolted, so again, no big deal. The last .10c pitch was pretty bad though. The first bolt sucks, and protects hard moves. There is also a run from the 2nd to 3rd bolts. The only way I could do it was climbing on the face left of the corner, making for a spicy lead. However, the route is worth topping out, because the walk off is awesome.

Link pitches 1 and 2, 5 and 6, 7 and 8, and 10 and 11. The route is then only 7 pitches.
By steve edwards
From: SLC, UT
Dec 4, 2008

I've heard the bolt ladder goes free at 12c. Any comments about this? I suppose we can just go have a look but beta is always nice. Also, what size is the loose bolt? I'll bring a wrench.
By David Shiembob
From: slc, ut
Dec 30, 2008

The actual bolt hole seemed to be wearing out, due to the soft rock, so I'm not sure it can be tightened. I believe it was 3/8ths though. As far as the traverse going free, I can't give much beta, other than to say I think you'd have to put shoulder length draws on all the bolts as they are too high to clip from where the free stances would be.
By John Wilder
From: Las Vegas, NV
Mar 15, 2009
rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b C0

the left hand bolt on the anchor at the top of the .10c pitch is still loose- and will stay that way- the bolts are too far apart, and every time someone rappels, it pulls the left anchor counterclockwise, loosening the bolt. i finger tightened it- and would suggest everyone do the same. not sure a wrench would help.

only bring a rack to a #1 camalot, i think- never did need the #2 and never felt run-out. there's a bolt wherever its hard.

also, imho, the rock quality degrades enough after the 4th pitch to make the upper portion of the climb not really worth doing. instead, i'd get up really early, do the first 4 of eagle, then fire levitation-- then you'd get all the awesome pitches on that wall in a single outing!

finally, if you're strong and energetic, you dont need any slings for your feet on the bolt ladder- just take and reach- i only needed slings for one bolt (through the roof)- and it was mostly because i wasnt feeling super strong. the rest, though, were easy. (i'm 5'10" with 0 ape for reference)
From: Boise, ID
Apr 27, 2009
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b A0

Did this route the other day.....really fun! We found all bolts to be in good shape...no loose hangers, etc. I found both 'crux' pitches to be no harder than 10b. The upper/last crux pitch has a runout between the 2nd and 3rd bolt which protects with whatever gear you brought up to protect the lower sections. I didn't think the rock quality on this pitch was as bad as advertised. Yes, it was a bit sandy in spots and some of the holds are ready to snap but there are bolts/pro every 8ft so enjoy the choss factor. The climbing itself on this pitch was really fun groove-type climbing compared to the generic edge pulling you do for most of the lower route. I'd also recommend climbing past the hanging belay above the bolt/aid ladder. The moves are a bit tough to start wilst being smashed up against your partner in this awkward spot. Med nuts, TCU's, and cams up to a RED camalot was more than enough pro.
By Daniel Trugman
From: La Jolla, CA
Jan 1, 2010
rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b A0

Another beauty on the Eagle Wall. I lead the aid pitch (never done any aid before) with a PAS and draws and it was surprisingly straightforward. As others have mentioned, it is best to link the aid pitch with the next pitch to avoid a truly heinous hanging belay. I would say that the climbing is no harder than 5.10b if you don't go past the aid pitch, but the two pitches after the aid are surprisingly tricky. Rapping with a 70m rope worked well.

Since the route description seems to be missing this, here's my pitch by pitch beta.

P1: 5.8/5.9. Fun crack and face climbing.
P2: 5.8/5.9. Similar to the first pitch, also fun.
P3: 5.10a. A terrific, sustained pitched with a low crux.
P4: 5.10b. Another great pitch with a high crux.
P5: 5.9. Slabby climbing on softer rock but still good.
P6: 5.10a. Interesting movement on unnerving loose flakes.
P7: AO. Poorly protected but easy climbing lead to 8 close bolts. Tricky moves after the bolt ladder can be aided with cams or free climbed.
P8: 5.10c? This pitch felt hard, especially because I linked it with the bolt ladder (still a good idea). Awkward and soft rock.
P9: 5.10d? Similar to the previous pitch but more sustained. Soft rock with holds just waiting to break and make it even harder.

We rapped from P9 with a single 70m, but another pitch and some scrambling lead to the top.
By Eric D
From: Gnarnia
Nov 13, 2012

Giving this a grade V is a huge stretch. Considerint that all belays are bolted and the climbing is well bolted, this is a IV.

Competent climbers should bring no aid gear. The bolts are tight enough so that you can pull on draws and step on bolts to clip the next bolt, and repeat. For both leader and follower.
By Andy Hansen
From: Longmont, Colorado
Mar 16, 2013
rating: 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b A0

Definitely not a Grade V. Good route though.
By paulmadry
Apr 25, 2013
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b A0-1

bolt ladder takes literally 3 minutes for leader. need 2 slings.
Also pro is good in the upper pitches. its bolted.
By Likeasummerthursday
From: Las Vegas, Nevada
Oct 27, 2014
rating: 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b A1

Climbed this 3 weeks ago on a sunny weekday. This route is very sunny! We approached via the north fork of the canyon to the big pine trees then up and right on the slab/ramp. The approach is long but very straightforward. Stay right and out of the wash for as long as you can. Then it's all boulder-hopping till you get to the two tall pine trees that straddle the wash. Follow the well-cairned slab up toward the Eagle Wall starting at the pine tree on the right. Oh, if you are wondering if you've reached the pine trees yet, then you have not. They are unique and HUGE!

We carried a single 70, gear to a #1 with some extra small pieces and a set of nuts. We never wished for anything larger. We linked pitches as follows and would do the same again:1/2, 5/6 and 7/8. Pitch two eats a lot of small nuts and thin gear in the thin seam. There are, by the way, a lot of bolts on this route. We decided we would shoot for the summit and walk off, so we didn't leave anything at the base.

Pitch 8 changed our minds, though. The bolt ladder went smoothly enough with some long slings. The move out of the aid into the slot protects well but felt like a sandbag and a joke at 5.8. Following beta here, I linked the following pitch (p8) with the aid pitch. It was totally different than anything else on the route and felt WAY harder than the 4th 'crux' pitch I led. It is sandy, slopey, overhanging climbing in an awkward shallow groove. It is bolted, though, and the bolts are good. After grunting through this pitch, we looked at p9 and decided to rap. Pitch 8 may have felt harder than it otherwise would have on account of linking it with the aid pitch and the strenuous moves out of the ladder and into the slot, but it was hard nonetheless. I agree that stopping to belay after the bolt ladder would be awkward at best and would position the belayer for the next pitch directly below the leader working through the hardest moves on the route thus far.

We thought overall that the rock on this route was generally not as bad as advertised. It is indeed a phenomenal route in an incredible position. My partner and I couldn't stop talking about making another move to the next best "sloping crimper"... or was it..."crimpy sloper"? I would definitely recommend not stopping at pitch 4. The bolt-ladder goes smoothly and is in an incredible position, too.

CAUTION: The bolt above the small roof on the ladder is WAY OUT of the rock. The bolt looks fairly new, but it is more than an inch out of the rock. It appears that this bolt must get repeatedly torqued outward as it is used to aid out from underneath the roof. If this bolt pulled with a ladder on it, somebody could take the lip of the roof in the face. More challenging even would be trying to move past this roof without a bolt...or a hook?

I look forward to going back and sending this route to the top.
By Gary N
From: Durango, CO
Jan 3, 2015

I laughed when I saw that bolt sticking that far out of the rock. I wiggled it around and didn't feel very confident in it. There was a good BD .5 C4 placement I used instead.
By Richard Shore
Mar 11, 2015
rating: 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b A0

If you rap before P11, you haven't done the route - don't bail after P4 or before P9 as others have suggested above. The crux P9 is IMO the best pitch on the route - a technical flaring groove with funky body English. One of the most scenic walk-offs I've done in RR, down cascading pools and slabs in the upper reaches of the canyon. 2.5 hours from the summit to the car, including a swim. Probably no longer than the time it would take you to rappel and reverse the approach slabs.
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