If anyone is looking for a route to scrub/retrofit, this would be a great candidate as the climbing is very good. Many of the bolts are rusted spinners, including the one at the layback crux of p1. I'd also suggest that the bolt at the p1 overlap be lowered and (gasp) another one be added about 2' above the overlap. If you blow the 10- slab moves getting to the 1st bolt you wouldn't be walking back down the trail on two good legs.
I'm sure I'll get slammed for wanting to sanitize the adventure but in this case it might make the route more traveled (which it clearly needs)
This fact probably accounts for the profound lack of action required to keep the route in good shape. I climbed it once and thought it excellent but a quarter century later very much recall the potential for disaster in the first ten feet of climbing. Last time I was there I flat out refused to do the moves. A similar potential existed with Sticky fingers. Colin wisely ( I thought) placed a bolt in the first ten foot grease job so as to not unduely block access to 8 pitches of ultra classic 5.10 of Sunset Strip. I have no idea if Colin ever tracked down Jim brennan for the royal assent required to transgress the hallowed sanctity of first ascent permanence, but to be blunt, I hardly thought about it at the time. I'm just glad I wasn't risking busted ankles on some stupid 10 foot slab
Sticky Fingers was my creation and Colin did ask permission before he added that bolt. Back in the day when we pushed 5.11/12 on slabs 5.10 seemed trivial. Ivan and I rated that first move on Sticky Fingers 10A, I was surprised to see the new rating.
People just don't climb slabs any more, compared to other styles the gradings may seem harder,a visit to Joshua Tree should dispel that misconception.
Slab climbing is like good bourbon, an acquired taste.
Shakelton and Barley are still around if anyone wants to ask their permission to add a bolt on Ghost Dancing. I suspect it would be promptly chopped,if one was added to "sanitize the adventure"
To paraphrase Robin " some bold routes should be left as inspiration for future generations"
I've been following this discussion closely because I once climbed the first pitch (only!) of Ghostdancing and really enjoyed it - but agree with Bruce that the opening is very dangerous and is causing a lack of traffic - and I was seconding! I'm glad that you gave permission to Colin to add that bolt on Sticky Fingers (although having led that one frequently before the bolt was added, I never felt that the consequence of a fall was nearly as dire as one would be on Ghostdancing).
Perhaps, if asked, Barley and Shackleton would also grant permission - I certainly agree it is their call. It would encourage much needed traffic to a fun route.
I just don't fancy busted ankles, even if its stumbling drunk off the curb. Mark gandy smashed his talus calcaneous just stepping funny off a step ladder and has been sailing, not climbing, ever since. It's one of those seemingly inocuous but climbing career ending injuries best steered clear of. I remember once using a handy cheater log on sticky fingers!
BTW, I was being facetious when I said it would 'sanitize the adventure'. I enjoy (and respect) runout slab climbs as much as anyone and would never suggest re-bolting something like DitL, MCR, Teetering, or Dirty Little White Boys (which ironically was tamed substantially with the addition of Edgehog). As long as the bolts were placed on lead then I have no issues with runouts (was Ghostdancing bolted on lead?).
The issue with GhostDancing is that it's a climb that requires a bit of traffic to stay clean, and the bolting is definitely keeping away traffic. When I was on the climb a few weeks ago, another party came by intending to get on it but after sizing up the bolts, they decided to go climb Jingus and Seasoned.
The comparison to Sticky Fingers is good...except that those moves (10a, not 10c) are easier than those on GhostDancing with significantly less consequence. FWIW, I thought getting to the first bolt on Ghosdtdancing to be much more heady than on MCR.
At the end of the day I guess its up to Robin....and the possibility of using a stick-clip to get to the first bolt exists (it worked for me).
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