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The Whale's Tail
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Amputee Love T 
C'est What? S 
Clementine T 
Dihedral One T 
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East Slabs T 
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Free Speech S 
Gumbo T 
Gut Feeling T 
Horangutan T 
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M T,S 
Martindale T 
Monument, The S 
NED (Nothing Except Dynamics) T 
New Cambria T,TR 
No Problem T 
Northeast Arete T 
Second Coming S,TR 
Spoof T 
Spoof Roof T 
West Crack T,TR 
West Dihedral T,TR 
West Face [Whale's Tail] T,TR 
Yorkshire Ripper, The T 

West Face [Whale's Tail] 

YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b X

Type:  Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 80'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b [details]
FA: unknown
Page Views: 2,470
Submitted By: Tony B on Jun 1, 2003

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Whale's Tail. The rock is not as step as the photo...
Climbing reopened after flood MORE INFO >>>


[Attain] the ledge [on the] West side of the Whale's Tail as for West Crack or West Dihedral. Put in a belay anchor there and if desired, go a few meters up West Crack and sink in a good cam or stopper before starting off on this climb. Step to the right side of the large ledge and climb upwards on the clean face on good edges and ledges to mid-face, where a few small-to-medium stoppers can be placed behind a left-facing 2' crack/flake. This is the crux (5.6?). Pull this move and continue upward toward the top, getting just a few more [pieces] along the way.

Belay from gear on top or from the side of the anchor above West Crack. To descend, rap from that anchor to the ledge, or to the ground with a 70M rope.


A few stoppers & small cams. [This] route can be TR'd from the anchor above West Crack, but in all [likelihood], you'd be 'in the way' of another party if you did. The route rating VS designates a potential for a severe ledge fall, although the crux move could be protected, and more gear can be had if one chooses to wander.

Photos of West Face [Whale's Tail] Slideshow Add Photo
Sally high-steps her way up the West Face. Good feet, bad hands...
Sally high-steps her way up the West Face. Good fe...
Ian pulls down hard at the top of the West Face. Funky mantle-style move involved.
Ian pulls down hard at the top of the West Face. F...
Bob is figuring out the sequence on the lower West Face on this beautiful clear afternoon.
Bob is figuring out the sequence on the lower West...
Comments on West Face [Whale's Tail] Add Comment
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By DanMoore
Apr 15, 2004

I did this yesterday, and we toproped from the anchors above the West Dihedral, rather than the West Crack. Better all around--less swing, not in the way of the classic West Crack. I wasn't looking for pro, but I can see this being a very scary lead because it's a lot of slab with not a whole lot of crack.

By Kevin Coopman
Jun 3, 2004
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

OK climb for a starter. My 5 year old got bored on this one and looked for any variations he could find. the crack is good to learn how to place gear.

By Larry Shaw
Jul 5, 2004
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

Good fun face climb with sparse pro.

By Matt Ting
Oct 4, 2008
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b X

Just a quick note for current condition - route is in good shape, can be toproped with a 50M rope from the new anchor on the West Crack to the belay ledge. Nice follow up to the West Crack to add a little difficulty and diversity. Few wasps there to greet us on top; take a peek before you sink into any of those big pockets :) Very little pro on the face; lead the Crack, TR the face.

By adrenalated
From: Thornton, CO
Jun 15, 2010
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b X

I enjoyed this as a lead. Got more pro in than I expected to, but some of it was definitely marginal and there are definitely committing moves with ledge fall potential. Small gear only, I didn't use anything bigger than a 0.5 Friend. Master Cams work well.