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Dead Can Dance 

YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: E1 5a

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch, 60'
Original:  YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a [details]
FA: Richard Rossiter and Glennis Walters, 2000
Page Views: 5,351
Submitted By: Jake Wyatt on Jul 15, 2002

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BETA PHOTO: Dead Can Dance. The crux is turning the roof to th...

Seasonal Closure MORE INFO >>>


Start just right of a pine tree at the right side of The Wall of the Dead. Climb a corner just left of the arete to a ledge. Continue up another corner and move right to an airy stance on the arete. Work up to a roof, and turn it on the left. Step left and climb an awkward corner to the anchor.


7 bolts to a 2-bolt anchor. A few longer runners to use by the roof can help with rope drag.

[Eds. Note that the 2 bolts from Dead Zone aka Sarcophagus just to the left can confuse the unwary, onsight climber. If you clip these, you need 9 QDs.]

Photos of Dead Can Dance Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Jonas D'Andrea making the final moves to the ancho...
Jonas D'Andrea making the final moves to the ancho...
Rock Climbing Photo: B cleaning up!
B cleaning up!
Rock Climbing Photo: My First Outdoor Lead Onsight
My First Outdoor Lead Onsight
Rock Climbing Photo: The route steps left underneath the ceiling above ...
The route steps left underneath the ceiling above ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Christa working past the second bolt.
Christa working past the second bolt.

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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Sep 15, 2015
By Ron Olsen
From: Boulder, CO
Aug 6, 2002
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

This is one of my favorite routes at Avalon. Fun, airy moves with excellent position. Also, it seems a bit easier than 10a. The move stepping left under the roof is more committing than difficult. Many of my friends who are not 5.10 climbers have cruised this pitch on a top rope. I'd give it two stars and rate it 5.9.
By Ray Snead
Sep 27, 2002

RR calls this Dead Can Dance, 10a; see Tomb of Sorrows comment.

A two star route on a one star crag. Parse that!
By Ron Olsen
From: Boulder, CO
Sep 7, 2003
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

The move left under the roof is 5.9, not 5.10a; many of my climbing partners concur.

This is a good pitch for climbers breaking into 5.9 sport leading.
By Anonymous Coward
Sep 8, 2003

Two things I've noticed about you, Ron: You feel the need to post on every single climb you do (in this case, TWICE), and you seem to be climbing with (and posting photos of) a different woman every week. I guess I'm jealous.
By Scott Conner
From: Lyons, CO
Sep 8, 2003

AC: How do you know how much Ron is climbing? Perhaps he's posting on only 10% of the routes he climbs. That's what makes me jealous!
By Joe Leiper
Jun 16, 2004
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

Unique pitch; sustained and varied. The last several feet can mix you up. Pro is fine but there are a few spooky moves right before clips. I wouldn't recommend this to someone just breaking into 5.10 leading.
By Peter Beal
From: Boulder Colorado
Sep 26, 2004
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

5.9,5.9+ whatever the grade, a lot of fun with good features, interesting climbing. Well worth two stars.
By Richard Rossiter
Aug 2, 2005

Regarding Dogs at the Crags:

I am not opposed to people bringing their dogs to the crags, however, if you do, you must be responsible for your dog at ALL times.


It is not OK for your dog to bark at, or approach in an aggressive manner, other climbers coming up to the crag. If your dog is [territorial] and aggressive, leave it at home.

It is not OK for your dog to leave a pile of shit at the bottom of a crag. As of this Sunday, there is a big pile of dog shit at the bottom of the route Dead Can Dance at Avalon. This is unconscionable and should never happen. It is not the dog's fault, but the owner's. CLEAN UP AFTER YOUR DOG or don't bring your dog.

This stuff is just common sense and common courtesy.

Come on people. We need to work together here.

Richard Rossiter
By Jason Haas
Aug 21, 2008
rating: 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c

It is easily and safely led on gear.
By Meredith DB
From: Boulder, CO
Jul 12, 2009
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

This climb currently has a spinner bolt.
By Joe Henry
Jul 25, 2010
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

Our group consensus was this was 9+. Fun route with big holds. I've recently been leading on 5.8 and 5.9 but not sure if I was ready to lead this one.
By Benten
From: Denver
Oct 9, 2010

One of my favs in the canyon so far, great exposure, variable climbing, and nice bolts. Good job.
By Fiona Dunne
From: Boulder, CO
Jun 4, 2011

Has one bolt that spins somewhat - maybe the same one Dr. Evil mentioned?
By Canon
Jul 23, 2011
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

Loved it. 9+ seems about right. The last moves before the anchor were indeed committing. One longer draw on the bolt under the roof should cut out the rope drag.
By Hiro Kurotsuchi
From: Colorado
Apr 29, 2012
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

A fun route of the "why does it have a plus" variety. Awkward/unexpected positions and being over vertical for some moves make it a plus for me. A great route because they holds are indeed big 5.9 holds, but you need to move smartly. If you're struggling with a move, consider that you're probably doing it wrong and need to look around for somewhere else to grab or put your foot to make it a 5.9 move.

The 5th bolt needs the extended draw to avoid some ugly dragging - a shoulder length sling would be a good length.
By JonnyGreenlee Greenlee
From: Evergreen, CO
Aug 30, 2012
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

I got a bail biner off this today. PM me if it's yours and you want it back.
By Andres Fernandez
From: Boulder, Colorado
May 31, 2015
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

The best sport route we did today. I'd definitely do it again. 5.9+ seems appropriate, and if you're out of shape, it'd be fair to maybe call it 5.10a. Great problems going up, and all the bolts seemed solid. Distance between the 2 and 3rd bolt might be a touch long for some beginning sport leaders. Kinda reminded me of the Yellow Spur in Eldorado Canyon.
By Andrew Locke
From: Louisville, CO
Sep 15, 2015
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Certainly not 10a - "the move" is simply one of commitment, not difficulty.

Get on it though! It climbs a lot better than it looks, and in contrast to a lot of bolted routes in the canyon, this one is pretty much on for its entirety. There are lots of good rests but very few gimme moves.

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