Land of the Earth-born Spirit


1.) South West: The location of the Three Sisters Area, Ted’s Trot, Candlestick, Practice Slab, etc.

2.) South Central: Flying Buttress, Stinkzig, Handjacker and Progressive are found here.

3.) South East: You’ll find climbs like October Light, Crankenstein, B-G Crack , Ghost Dance, Flare Thee Well, Outrider and Pod Awful here.

4.) Friday the 13th: This is Friday the 13th territory, including War Zone, Hesitation Blues and Middle Parallel Space. Around the corner to the right (far N E tip) is the ‘Prow’ where the Torpedo Tubes can be found.


1.) Upper Slot Left 10b (see NautNW)

2.) Harder Than Your Husband 12c Short and very stiff finger crack on the “Harder Boulder”. (Piana, ’83)

3.) Par Four 8 About 25 feet right of #2, cracks shaped like a figure 4. (Brink and Kelman, early 80’s)

4.) Drunken Redneck Rappelers 12a (4 bolts) Exposed and reachy first clip. Sustained and balancy, but very memorable route. (Blunk, Leightner and Millard, ’88)

5.) Finally 9 An epitomy of off width that shrinks at the end. Absolutely recommended. (Stiller and Hollis, ’74)

DESCENT: Rap station on top.

NAUTILUS South West End

( 2 TOPOS )


1.) Location of the Three Sisters Alcove (*SEE PHOTO 2 and Descriptions BELOW)

2.) Slick and Superficial 12c A nearly vertical crack past the bolt and goes left.

3.) Petite Tarsalation 3 Is this really worth it?? How about ‘Tarsalation’ just to the right??

4.) TTL 8 An interesting off width.

5.) TTR 6 Climb the chimney and get smaller.

6.) The Practice Slab, Etude for the Left Hand 5 No bolts on this side.

7.) The Practice Slab, Etude for the Right Hand 4 3 bolts lead to rap chains.

8.) Candlestick 7 See Naut SC.

9.) Central Scrutinizer 11b Starts in the thin crack that ends halfway up. Found on the south side of Ted’s Trot Block. Scrutinize it before you climb it. Three bolts where they are needed. Super climb.

10.) Deep Throat 10a Climb this gaping slot just right of #9 and your identity is safe …… although you will experience Vedauwoo ‘friction’ at it’s best.

11.) Bombay 8 Another wide one just right around the corner of the same block as #10. There are some discontinuous cracks forming an alternate route just right of this route, sometimes called “Bombs Away” (9+).

12.) The location of Cornelius and Hairlip on the NW side of the Nautilus, just opposite Nautilus SW. DESCENTS: There is an obvious fixed anchor/chain set at the top of the Practice Slab. There is a downclimb through a tunnel that exits to the west of Cornelius, and one can downclimb the NW end of the formation approximately 30′ W of the Finally/Slot Area.

TOPO 2: The Three Sister’s Alcove

1.) Ejector-Rejector 10a Careful, if you’re rejected, you’re ejected. Scant pro found here bro!!

2.) Slut 7 Crack climb that overhangs and doesn’t protect too well.

3.) Folded, Spindled and Mutilated 10a Dyno to the pinch, get imaginary feet and find the first jam, all before the first pro. If you don’t, you will be mutilated.

4.) Slat 7 Slut’s skinny sister, and slightly more protectable. Veer left and up at the shelf, following the right-in jam crack.

5.) Tat Exit 10a Slat’s more complicated exit. (Kelman and Harper, ’92)

6.) Littlestone 11a Thin man, thin. A left-leaning crack line that splits the face. Actually takes several very small pieces. Load limiters suggested. (Littlestone and Harper, ’92)

7.) Slit 7 There is a 5.5 chimney that forms the right end of the Alcove, leading to a shelf. An off width continues from there to the top. DESCENTS: Same as above, usually the last.

NAUTILUS: South Central Area

1.) Flying Buttress 10b View 2 probably best angle…. A popular and widely regarded climb, especially the 2nd pitch. P1: is straight forward hands to the first belay (on gear) beneath the overhanging hand and off width crack at the back of a wide flaring maw. P2: Use both your back and your brain on this pitch (in fact use all your body parts to their best advantage) or your butt will definitely be flying.

2.) Stinkzig 7 Recommended. Highly varied at its grade. Done in one or two pitches. If in one pitch, use ‘educated rope engineering’ because it turns 90 degrees and up mid route. P1: Begin in a wide slot directly left of the start of #4. Chimney upward, avoiding the squeeze and stem across a drafty cleft before getting your first pro. Big pucker factor at this grade. find a great hand and finger crack on the left-hand wall, follow it to a ledge. Step across left and go up a steep hand/fist crack in a left facing dihedral to a belay stance (optional). P2: Turn right and head up the obvious hand crack to the top and belay on gear.

3.) Zig Zag 10a Variation of #2. Follow the ledge around left to a high-stepping fist crack.

4.) Handjacker 7+ Wide and could be ugly. Starts just behind a large shark’s tooth-shaped rock.

5.) Progressive 10a Sought after test piece. P1 (aka Lower Progressive) is 9+ solid jamming and stemming. P2 (aka Upper Progressive) is blocky start to a good jam crack.

6.) Escalator 10b Left-leaning hand crack, sustained jamfest. *NOTE: Rap anchors 25′ above the finish.

7.) Caesar (hard – unrated) Do it and let everyone know. You’ll become part of the legend.

8.) Bat Heaven 10c A favorite haunt of furry winged friends, climb the rightmost of two vertical cracks.

9.) Step Ladder 6 Interesting chimney practice with a challenging exit. 10.) Elevator 10a Great handjams..


11.) Candlestick 7 Light your candle with this primer in off width and chimney technique.

12.) Knee Grinder 10b Does the name suggest using additional padding on a body part? Descent via rap slings to the left.

13.) Blood Sport 11d Accept the fall potential if you lead it. Van Dame’s got nothing on this one. Same descent as #12.

14.) Hemoglobin 8 Named for the reddish material found on the feldspar crystals within. Same descent as #12.

15.) Flying Right 9+ Alternate first pitch for Flying buttress. Nice. 16.) Piton Perch 6 First recorded ascent was by John Lund and party, 4-11-54. “A chockstone near the top makes this a grunt”.

DESCENTS: For routes leading to the top, there are 1.) rap anchors placed at the lip of the Parabolic Slab above Hemoglobin and 2.) rap anchors about 25′ above Escalator (#6). Both are accessible from anywhere on top. If you must descend from the first pitch of Progressive, Handjacker, etc., downclimb a chimney found directly left of Route #8.

Two views of the same section of the Nautilus, the South Central Area.


Steve Bechtel nearly taking flight on Pitch 3 of Friday 13th.


An incredible place to spend the day. Challenges at all grades.

1.) Middle Parallel Space 9 2P A MUST DO ! The first pitch is a big crack that will accommodate hands, fists and armbars up to a big ledge about 25′ above. Go back and inside the hallway formed by the big detached pillar and find a really fine handcrack on the inside wall (*NOTE: this crack can be seen on the first photo on route #2 !!). Jam up this to the top of the pillar, find anchors on top of the pillar and belay. P2: continue up the worthy handcrack trending right, traverse a sloping ledge, find another crack that penetrates the next ledge and scramble up (5.6) to the bolted belay on top. Rap off using both sets of anchors, ie rap down to the top of the large detached pillar, then to the ground. Take at least 2 #4 Camalots for the first pitch. (FA controversy: McClure and Snively, ’73, and others)

2.) Hesitation Blues 11b 2P Killer route!! First pitch is rather dicy, sustained liebacking with difficult placement on very coarse rock. Pitch two is deceptively strenuous handjamming. Traverse left into the Fri 13th belay at the top (watch rope drag). Take at least 2 extra #3 Camalots. The first two photos shows climbers at the crux of the first pitch. The third shot shows the position of the belay for the second pitch and leader above. (P1 FFA: Cairnes and Matous, late 70’s. P2 FFA: Holtcamp and Yoho, late 70’s) 1st pitch…

3.) Friday The 13th 3 pitches; 10a, 11a, 11d One of the BIG TIME CLASSICS at Vedauwoo. P1: First pitch is 65′ of textbook hands following a rather sketchy, fingerjam start (protect it well). P2: Second pitch is a superb roof on hands (see shot just above roof) and liebacking with pinpoint feet (larger pro, several pieces from 2.5 to 4″). P3: (aka: Friday Blues) The third pitch?? Well … a picture is worth a thousand words (see third shot !!) – good luck (its a fingers and hands roof to a vertical handcrack – tape up and get ready to ride). (FFA: Skinner and Piana, early ’80’s. Other claimants for each pitch!!)

4.) Deception 9 2P (*Can easily be done as 1 pitch) Begins almost directly left of start of Fri 13th. A totally cool route with diverse climbing. P1: Begins up a set of discontinuous cracks just left across the gap and slightly back from the start of Fri 13th and ends at a rap station on slings. P2: A jamcrack starting out thin and gradually widening to offwidth – it is deceptive. Take at least one big cam, about a #4 Camalot. Use War Zone anchors for descent or downclimb the H&H Grunt chimney. (FFA: anybody’s guess) 5.) War Zone 11b It begins about 20′ left of Deception, thin face to an overhanging,bolted (3) finish. A rather devilish, thin start leads up and over a bulge on small edges and jams to a marked horizontal fissure – the transition from trad to sport. Above is an overhanging, bolted line that has a pucker factor of +5 to +7 depending upon your height and ape index. Bolted anchors at top. 60 M will get you down. (FFA: Bradley, ’89) 6.) H & H Grunt 6 A cave route, perhaps a spelunker’s delight. Climb up into the black void left of Fri 13th. Find a rather smooth wall on your right with twin cracks and go up. Enter a ‘chimney known for at least 40 years as the ‘Thin Man’. It will hug you, squeeze you, you will grunt remorsefully and you will finally see the light at the end of the semi-vertical tunnel. Belay on top …. after being ‘born again’. Descend off the Mid Par Space raps. (FA: Hoff and Horn, ’65) 7.) Fri 13th, Part 2 11a An interesting diversion from the standard. Go left from the anchors at the top of the first pitch using small pro. Turn the corner, get good jams above the airy void and cut loose. Go up the crack to its top and belay. Tape up! (FFA: take your pick from several claimants, unreal) 8.) new, bolted start in about 5-15-96 9.) Air Travel With Report 12c bolted face right of Mid. Par. Space. Overhanging, sustained, grueling and testy. Yes, there are 2-3 epoxy reinforced holds. There has definitely been some ‘air travel’ logged on this one. Craig Reason contributed this class act. (FA: Reason, ’87)



1.) Knothole 8 A left-leaning fat crack found in a declivity between two larger blocks. Chimney to off width after the platform. There is a more direct, harder start to the left of the main crack called ‘Pring Fever’ (11a), thin crack to hands which lead into the chimney above. Rap anchors on top to the right/east. (FA: Fowler and Sublett, ’70)

2.) Popcorn Farce 9+ Just right of Knothole is an easy, deep groove that steepens up to a ceiling. Reach across to the crack on the left and belay on the ledge above. It is also possible to continue up and slightly right in another crack up to the ledge. Finish up the right facing dihedral. Rap anchors on top. (FFA: Piana and Waterman, ’80)

*NOTE: There are claims that the dispersed and discontinuous cracks on the face between ‘Popcorn’ and ‘October’ have been linked up and climbed. Names associated with this are ‘Pocohontas’, rated A4 ….. and Easter Dumbey. Yet to be verified, but go for it if you think you can. Fun on a TOP ROPE!

3.) October Light 11b Highly varied line that goes from wide with hands to off width to hands at the top. Challenging and exciting. Take lots of gear, all sizes. (Scarpelli, ?’89)

4.) Hurley-Fowler 9+ Right leaning groove with chockstone about 22 feet up. The crack narrows down and then starts leaning left to the top. Don’t be fooled by the desperate look of this climb, it’s strenuous for the grade but worth the workout. (FA; Hurley and Fowler, early 70’s)

5.) B-G Crack 11a About 10 feet right of ‘Hurley-Fowler’ is another fine crack line with a gymnastic start. Start left of the line and traverse in until underneath the ceiling and crack. Crank out the ceiling and enter the slightly left leaning crack with a wide start and narrowing above. Challenging at its grade and watch out for the petrified BAT GUANO from which the climb derives its name. Descend from anchors at top. (FA: Issacs or Cairnes, who knows?? c. late seventies)

C.) Crankenstein: see next/below …..

Common DESCENT for all of these climbs is a walk down the gully to the north.


1.) Crankenstein 11d About 15 feet right of ‘B G Crack’ is another similar line. Gain the thin crack line that starts above the ledge. There is a bolt near the start, but start placing gear soon as you could ‘hit the deck’ if you don’t. Rather flared hands at the start to good hands above. (FA: Piana and Skinner, ’82). There has been historic use of stemming off the aspen tree in front of this climb to bypass the gnarly start. Done this way it’s called ‘Frankenstein’ and rated about 11b. Descend using bolts above B-G Crack.

2.) Black and Decker 11a Traverse in from the left of the finger sized crack that widens to hands. The crack comes to an end as it curls to the left. Continue climbing the face past a bolt and run it out on easier ground. (FFA: Brink, et al., ’89)

3.) Pod Awful 10a Novel near-vertical cranny. Traverse in from the right and enter the opening any way you can. Continue up to its termination and run it out on easier (5.7) ground.

4.) W. C. Fields 7 Large chimney behind huge block starting about 20 feet right of ‘POD’. Traverse in from the right and bring big pro, bro. There is a and crack beginning about half way up if you can find it. (FA: Garson, Sublett and Fowler, late sixties)

5.) Hamburger Crack 7 NOTE: found just right of #6. Yes, it’s wide with scant pro. Careful or you could become ground round!

6.) Outrider 10a An east facing ‘face’ with 3 bolts. Concensus has it the first bolt is too high. Nonetheless, a cool little climb. Bring some gear (a small to medium cam and some wires) for the belay. (FA: Brown, late eighties).

7.) New Mutant 12c Found about 30 feet to the right and across the obvious gully from ‘Outrider’. A harder version of Ghost Dance, tried by many who were mutated right off. Rap bolts at top. ( FFA: Piana, et al., approx. ’85)

8.) Ghost Dance 11b Superb left leaning line that starts above a large block against the wall. Fudge up behind this and find a long crack consisting of off-fingers to hands and fists to ‘off width’. Keep a large piece for the ending. Rap off anchors at top. (FA: Issacs, mid 70’s)

DESCENT: Walk down/downclimb gully in ‘back’ (to N.), same as location as routes #9-12.

The next 4 climbs are up the gully left of #’s 7 and 8.

9.) Jim Jam Junior 7 furthest up gully, this is a short off width.

10.) Joke 6 A nifty hand crack to the right of an obvious finger of rock.

11.) Jim Jam 9 A fine hand crack found about 20 feet up and left of ‘Flare Thee Well’. Go find it, it’s worth it.

12.) Flare Thee Well 11a *R Left-leaning flared fingers and hands … a real challenge at the grade found up the gully, left from New Mutant. Don’t pass up any good gear placement. Rap off Ghost Dance anchors….. or walk west and downclimb the descent gully. (FFA: Piana and Skinner, early eighties)

DESCENT: Walk down/downclimb gully


A minor crag called ‘Boat Rock’ is found to the northeast off the PROW of the NAUTILUS on top of which balances the ‘Exfoliation Boulder’. This rather remarkable hunk of rock is probably the single most photographed site in all of Vedauwoo and has become kind of a symbol for all of the area. Whatever the case, it marks the location of 4 rather infrequently climbed routes. These are indicated on the topo just below.

1.) Ha Tayvaw 8 This hand crack starts just left and across from a ledge. Negotiate the gap, get a good jam and place some pro – then go for it.

2.) La Goellete 10a Hands to wider near the top.

3.) Das Boot 11a Thin and difficult at the grade. Strenuous fingers and less. (Cowan, ’83)

4.) Paddle-Wheeler 8 Start at the ‘bottom’, climb hands to off width to wide.


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