Elevation: 6,033 ft
GPS: 31.94, -109.993 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 27,053 total · 137/month
Shared By: James DeRoussel on Oct 14, 2002 with updates from J.Kruse
Admins: Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick, Greg Opland
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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.

Getting There

From the parking area at the end of the road (Forest 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.

8 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Whale Dome

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b X
South Face
Trad 5 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Moby Dick
Trad 6 pitches
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a R
Dem Bones
Trad, Sport 5 pitches
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Blood Brother
Trad 5 pitches
5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c
Call Me Ishmael
Trad 2 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
South Face
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b X Trad 5 pitches
Moby Dick
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 6 pitches
Dem Bones
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a R Trad, Sport 5 pitches
Blood Brother
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Trad 5 pitches
Call Me Ishmael
5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c Trad 2 pitches
More Classic Climbs in Whale Dome »

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Jordan Ramey
Calgary, Alberta
Jordan Ramey   Calgary, Alberta
Rapping off Whale Dome.
youtube.com/watch?v=uH4DePu… Mar 25, 2008
Jerry Cagle
Tucson, AZ
Jerry Cagle   Tucson, AZ
Who left the snarl of ropes on the rap station? Apr 2, 2008
Sasquach Broom
Flagstaff, AZ
Sasquach Broom   Flagstaff, AZ
Is this big beautiful looking flake up the right side of Whale Dome "Blood Brother" from Bob Kerry's guide?
Anyone have any beta on this?

Oct 26, 2010
Charles Vernon
mind & body in Colorado, he…
Charles Vernon   mind & body in Colorado, he…
I'm almost positive that's Blood Brother-we tried to pick it out (using Kerry's guide) when doing Dem Bones and that's the only feature that makes sense. Looks really cool. Great photo by the way. Oct 26, 2010
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. Oct 27, 2010
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.

You can launch the page by clicking this link:


Dec 25, 2013
Littleton, CO
Hendrixson   Littleton, CO
Geir, you're totally nerding out and it is awesome. Dec 28, 2013
Andrew Megas-Russell   Tucson, AZ
Rumor has it, the newer rap anchor on the whale has been chopped! HA! Back to the old rusty, fun-fest. Mar 20, 2014
I heard that too. I am going to replace the rusty bolts this spring. Mar 21, 2014
Tucson, AZ
Syasorus   Tucson, AZ
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.

Apr 15, 2014
We had a great climb - although a bit of a culture shock from the limestone we are more used too! We rapped off much better bolts than the previous poster reported, they must have been replaced fairly recently I guess. A 70m rope wasn't quite long enough to rap all the way - you finish on top of a pinnacle about five meters from the ground and can get lowered by your partner/down climb from there. The only mishap was that after we rapped off, just at the base of the pinnacle where you finish, a nice yellow screw gate and sling somehow fell off one of our harnesses! We didn't realize at the time, but it must have gone down between the some of the small boulders you stand on there - so if you are there any time soon, have a look, finders keepers! Would rather they went to a good home than stay there getting lonely for a few hundred years ;-). Cheers! Mar 8, 2016
David Ellis
David Ellis   Tucson
FOUND A BACKPACK WITH CLIMBING GEAR: At the end of the road on 3/10/18, we found a pack with a bunch of climbing gear. Message me if you think it is yours. Mar 11, 2018