Whale Dome is a singular, towering formation in the West Stronghold. It lies just northwest across the drainage from Westworld Dome. The south and east face of Whale Dome are home to a handful of high quality routes. The most well-known route, Moby Dick, may be one of the most climbed routes in the Stronghold.
The rock quality on Whale Dome is very good on established routes. The climbing is extremely fun, with varying terrain and awesome views of the surrounding area. Relatively speaking, routefinding here is not too difficult. There are fixed rap anchors off the west side of the dome.
From the parking area at the end of the road (Fores Road 687), find the trailhead that leads to the East Stronghold. Do not take the trail, instead take the left of two drainages heading northward.
Hike for about 40 minutes, following this drainage upstream. There is good trail much of the way and the route is marked with cairns. Whale Dome will eventually be visible to your left. When you are almost under the dome, approach up a steep vague drainiage to its base.
Fun route. I think the line we climbed is Dem Bones.Approach: Take a side trail marked by a cairn heading directly north from the end of the approach road. Follow the drainage. At the first fork, go left and then out of the wash. Drop back in and follow the drainage to Moby Dick. When you are almost at Moby Dick, take a steep drainage left that takes you to the base of Moby Dick. Go left for Moby Dick. Go right for Dem Bones. You will recognize Dem Bones by two bolts side by side.Pitch ...[more]Browse More Classics in AZ
That is Blood Brother Flake. Great route, but spicy by today's standards. Their is a two pitch 5.11 that climbs the face close to the right sky line called Call Me Ishmael. A 5.9 approach pitch climbs the slabby face up to the blood brother ledge. Then you drop down behind the ledge, walk right to it's end to a large flat ledge. Look for a bolt that leads to some crack features.
Here is an approach map I've been working on. You can rotate/tilt/zoom the map using your arrow keys and the [Ctrl] key. When you are done looking at it simply close the page or click the back button to return to this page.
We climbed Moby Dick this weekend, the rap anchors that are there are in seriously bad condition. One bolt is bent pretty badly and backed up with a new bolt and cordelette. Both old bolts have about a quarter to a third of an inch of play along the bolt, along with significant rust on them. It made for a spicy rapel. We talked to someone during Beanfest and he said he had rapped off a new set of bolts but they were no longer there.
Photo of the rap anchors. Should have gotten closer for a better pic.