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On the left side of the West face of the Whale's Tail, start up route #1, West Crack. As soon as the face to the left becomes broad, head up left and out on the face, near or on the arete which caps the Jack The Ripper roof. The climb is [edging] and smearing on good holds and good, but sometimes distant gear. A good leader will probably not get hurt on a fall, so I call it "S-"
There are fixed anchors at the top of Jack... so one can rap off.
This route IS worth going to do, but the novice crowd which frequents the area routes West Crack and West Dihedral may be in the way.
Small-medium nuts and cams + tricams. [The] route is rated S in the books, but is not terribly runout. I consider it a reasonable lead.
By Anonymous Coward
Sep 20, 2005
Climbed this route last weekend and found the 'S' rating a bit inappropriate. There was certainly gear every now and then but unfortunately it was VERY small nuts and cams behind flakes that I really did not trust (rotting or just way too thin.) I was also freaked out that it seemed like I was the first one to do the route in a year, [considering] how lichen covered and chalkless it was. Almost all of my feet I opted for smears because I did not trust any of the 'real' footholds. On the other hand my girlfriend seconded it and said she absolutely loved the climbing and the exposure is definitely cool. Unfortunately I was too scared whether that last crappy little nut and rotting flake were going to hold to enjoy the route.
By Chris Zeller
From: Boulder, CO
May 19, 2009
This is a fun route and a good alternative to the easier routes on the face.
It's a bit of a "one-move-wonder" though. The only move that I felt was 5.8 was moving around the large block/flake that puts you out on the arete. Then it's 5.6 to the top. There was good pro under the flake but its definitely exposed and spooky.