Type: Trad, 350 ft, 2 pitches, Grade II
FA: unknown
Page Views: 7,186 total · 37/month
Shared By: Mike Babin on Mar 27, 2003
Admins: slim, Andrew Gram, Nathan Fisher, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq

You & This Route

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Access Issue: RAIN, WET ROCK and RAPTOR CLOSURES: The sandstone around Moab is fragile and is very easily damaged when it is wet. Also please ask and be aware of Raptor Closures in areas such as CAT WALL and RESERVOIR WALL in Indian Creek Details


Hoop Dancer is located on the Hummingbird Spire. It climbs the first pitch of Sacred Space, which is a corner system below the notch between King of Pain south summit and Hummingbird Spire. It then climbs the splitter on the north face of Hummingbird.

Pitch 1: Starts in the corner with the large loose looking blocks about 30-40 ft up. Carefully hand jam up over and past the 4-5 stacked blocks, with the last one looking ready to take the plunge. These are what give the pitch the X rating, but really its not as bad as it sounds. Next do some awkward moves that place you in a squeeze chimney, and then over some more broken ground to the notch. 5.9R/X

Pitch 2: When you see the splitter you will then realize the first pitch was worth it. Move the belay down to the start of splitter and get ready to jam the overhanging crack with amazing position and exposure. U pon finishing the crack you will have to again climb on some very loose rock so be careful. Reaching the top I found no anchors and placed some cams in some very suspect rock. Definitely adventure climbing. 5.11

Descent: Downclimb to the rap anchors on the south end of the tower, and then make 3 raps to the ground. We made the mistake of trying to to it in two raps, but the rope drag was too much and I had to prusikk back up 130 ft to free the ropes.


triples in #1-#3 friends supplemented with camalots, 1 #3.5 friend and 1 #3 camalot, doubles of .75 friends and blue tcu's, several long runners for the first pitch and maybe a bolt kit for new anchors on top.
I've done Hoop Dancer and I really enjoyed it, but I'll never do it again. I beleive that someone will get hurt on the 1st pitch sometime soon. It is too loose and unstable. I've done every spire on the Bridger Jack complex and Hoop Dancer is the worst! Be careful!! Aug 6, 2003
I respectfully disagree. The first pitch isn't that bad. Yes, it has loose blocks. Yes, they could be pulled down. But the pitch is pretty easy and is a good exercise in climbing around choss. If you can climb the second pitch, then you shouldn't have any trouble with the first. Dec 4, 2003
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
Is there any etic of which I am unaware preventing a party from doing the route and keeping their packs away from the base, then having the second clean the questionable stuff safely frow above? Is the problem that the blocks are part of the climb and removing them will change the climb? If not, why not dislodge them and improve the situation? Routes are cleaned all of the time. Dec 4, 2003
The blocks are VERY large and trundling them is easier said then done. I personally wouldn't care if someone trundled them, but simply pulling them down could do some damage to the ground/trail below or perhaps alter the first pitch so as to make it harder. Dec 10, 2003
Josh Janes    
The second pitch is one of the best I've done in the desert. Simply awesome. We brought a single set of cams from TCU to 3 Camalot, plus triple reds and golds - this was perfect. I give the third pitch 10 stars and the first pitch the bomb, which somehow averages out to 4 stars. Oct 4, 2004
Joseffa Meir  
Yes the 2nd pitch is one of the best hand cracks I've done in the desert. You can stem back and get some rests at the beginning. Take advantage of this as the crux is quite overhanging. After finishing, don't rap too far at once or it is quite difficult to pull your ropes. Oct 7, 2004
From SuperTaco:

A 70 meter rope will just reach from the top of Hummingbird Spire all the way to the ground. So you don't have to haul your second rap rope up with you. However, at the moment the rap biners on top don't quite reach over the lip of the tower making pulling the ropes hard. We didn't have enough webbing to change the anchors, but if I was doing it again, I'd take about twenty feet of an old rope, cut out all the old tat, and hang the biners over the edge. Apr 22, 2007
JoshuaTreeRunner David
Los Angeles
JoshuaTreeRunner David   Los Angeles
I really liked this climb.

P1: The blocks seem dangerous at times and protection is good in places but doubtful in others. My partner led both pitches and we climbed this pitch "lightly". The chiminey was the unnerving section to me. It was tight (and i am not fat) and some hand jams were a bit unnerving since these blocks seem to be loose or easily loosened. A lot of variety on this pitch. Hope no one "cleans" this route. Who knows... it might collapse the tower!

P2: Quite enjoyable but one blue Friend was stuck half way up. Had to hang there 20 mins to clean it. The crack goes from thin hands to better hands. Good edges for feet but hard to jam my feet in the crack thru the roof section of this pitch. Nov 11, 2007
Chris DuRoss
Salt Lake City, UT
Chris DuRoss   Salt Lake City, UT
Great route. We avoided death blocks by starting on Egg Drop Soup (highly recommended). Pitch 2 is one of the best tower pitches around (take an extra #2 camalot, or two).

The summit anchor is down to two drilled angles with biners extended almost to the lip. We made three raps to avoid rope pulling issues. The second rap was off of a spooky single drilled angle and non-equalized star-drive, which we backed up as best we could with a good chunk of our rope. I agree with Rob - someone needs to get those biners over the edge, then you could do a long rap from the summit down to two shiny new bolts and then one more short rap to the ground. Mar 30, 2008
Oakland, Ca
snowhazed   Oakland, Ca
Sick line- great finish to egg drop soup. The raps off Hummingbird are bad even by bridger jack standards. When I loaded the rap off the lower shelf one of the angles noticeably flexed. I don't mind laying it out while climbing but I would be pissed to bite it on rappel. Mar 23, 2009
Spencer Weiler
Salt Lake city
Spencer Weiler   Salt Lake city
I found pitch 1 to be quite fun. I tested every block by yarding quite hard before commiting to it and they all seemed secure. It adds some nice adventure climbing to what can sometimes become monontonous straight in splitters. However, the fridge sized block on the ledge before the notch proper could easily kill 5 people if it went, so don't pull on it because it is loose. Pitch 2 is accessed by downclimbing a #5 camalot sized crack to a sheltered belay on the opposite side of the tower that pitch 1 is on. Careful on the final 15 feet of the handcrack of pitch 2 as there are at least 3 #2 camalots deep in the crack that have walked inside. There is no good belay on the top of the tower, so I just used the top of the tower as the anchor and belayed off my harness while bracing my legs against the tower. Then downclimb some loose stuff to the rap anchors.
In regards to the rappels, as of 4/22/11 the first one is still off the drilled angles into the south notch(NOT the notch you climbed up), though they seemed secure to me. Its maybe only 75 feet. The pull isn't that bad though it is wearing rope lines in the rock. The 2nd rappel is much worse, utilizing equalized drilled angles/stardrives using someones old rope and thin cord, its about 110 feet. The 3rd rappel is off 2 bomber bolts, and only maybe 50 feet. A 70 meter works great for the 3 rappel system. Apr 25, 2011
Princess Mia
Princess Mia   Vail
Eggdrop to Hoop Dancer is a great linkup, and it avoids that first 5.9 pitch. The slightly overhanging #2 camalot crack at the crux is stunning but on the big side of #2 (cupped hands for me). Dont place a #2 at the corner or you will risk loosing it as the rope will push it inward. In fact, if you have two nut tools and skinny arms you can score yourself a brand new #2 that has walked in a bit.

The thin hands section at the beginning is glorious!!!

The raps are horrid. We cleaned up a bit at the summit but new bolts and rap chains would be useful everywhere. We skipped the second rap as it looked to nasty, but it made for almost impossible rope pulling going down to the third rap. Sep 7, 2011
Boulder, CO
GringoD   Boulder, CO
Hey all you hard climbers! I had the pleasure of climbing the first pitch of this route a few days ago. I didn't mean to climb it. We were looking for the route up Sunflower Tower instead. When we arrived at the notch, I realized our mistake. Since I didn't feel like climbing the stellar (I found out later.) second pitch, we built a rappel anchor out of small cams.

We left a blue TCU, a green alien, a 0.75 Camalot, four 'biners (three bent-D and one locking), and an orange Metolius equalizing sling. If anyone does this route or Sacred Space, I would appreciate it if you would grab our gear. I will pay for the postage and give you a reward of $50.

Just send me a PM. Thank you! Apr 15, 2013
Sam Feuerborn
  5.11- PG13
Sam Feuerborn   Carbondale
  5.11- PG13
All the raps are now bomb dot com with some hardware donated by the ASCA and some out of pocket it's all beefy 1/2" bolts so you can avoid rapping off flexing drilled angles! Nov 15, 2013
Kevin Kent
Flagstaff, AZ
Kevin Kent   Flagstaff, AZ
Just to clarify the above comment, the third rap has good bolts but still has equalized tat instead of chain. Mar 23, 2014
Josh Borof
Telluride Co
Josh Borof   Telluride Co
climbed it yesterday. extremely good route. with an excellent gander at the sacred space!! will do this route again. with regards to the anchors. one of the new bolts on the summit is loose. wiggles in its hole, perhaps just needs a tighten. bring a small crescent wrench. there are still two drilled angles that are way buried and bomber, although they have tat instead of chains. could be improved by a good sumaritan will to carry up some stuff. we rapped single line (70m although 60 would have done it) to the next anchor (which is new and bomber), then double to the ground which made the pull easy.

i give this route 4 stars Feb 16, 2015
Chris Dickson
Sometimes Lander and someti…
Chris Dickson   Sometimes Lander and someti…
Just to clarify the rap beta: the best way would be to do it in 3 raps using a single 70m rope (1 from the lower summit to the notch, one from the notch to the bottom of a huge corner (Wild West Show), and one from there to the ground). Someone wrote above that a 70m would get you from the summit to the ground, and that is absolutely not true. In fact, a 60m rope would make the second rappel very close and kind of sketchy (using our 70, we had only 10ft. of tail hanging below the rap station). Also, avoid placing a #2 at the headwall on pitch 2 because the rope will push it really far back into the crack. Otherwise, it's one of the best pitches I've done in the desert. May 28, 2015
Craig Gorder
Bend, OR
Craig Gorder   Bend, OR
As a guide, I'd like to downgrade the rating on this climb to X-. I've taken the whip, and it won't quite kill you, but it will get you close. Take a look at where you're going, it's a little confusing and have fun! Dec 24, 2016
Nowhere, OK
amarius   Nowhere, OK
Kevin Seibert   Moab
We did Egg Drop Soup to Hoop Dancer. Hoop dancer's overhanging hands and Egg Drop's soup 1st pitch were rad. This was offset however by the summit pitch and the traverse over to hoop dancer. Hoop dancer's summit pitch is a terribly chossy pitch deserving of the X rating. If I did it again, I'd bail at the top of the overhanging hands... just ask Criag, I doubt he'd do it again. Nov 28, 2017