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Routes in The Whale

Aborigine S 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Among the Stars S 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Aphrodite S 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Arapiles S 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Arnold's Demise S 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Big E S 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Blow Tube Envy S 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Bound in Blood S 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Captain, The S 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c
Dreamtime S 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
Esse Curve S 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Finnacle S 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
First Mate S 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Gomers in Blue Shirts S 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Good Stuff, The S 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
HMS S 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a PG13
Happy Ending (formerly Top-Rope) T,TR 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Honeymoon Down Under S 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13
Just Happens S 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c
Mister MIA S 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Never Ever Slab, The TR 5.0 2- 4 I 6 MM 1c
Plunge, The S 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
Red Venus S 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Route to the left of The Thin Line S 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Tempest Toast S 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Thin Line, The S 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Undulating Dingo S 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c
Virgin Bolters S 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c
Whale Rider S 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Elevation: 6,600 ft
GPS: 38.846, -104.882 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 29,746 total · 211/month
Shared By: Anna Moore on Jul 15, 2006
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac


The Whale is the long, humped fin on the west side of Red Rock Canyon between upper lake and the north side of the Quarry.

The trail from the south end (Quarry Wall) meets the crag just north of Big E.

This crag faces East, so it drops into the shade by 3pm or so.
Reopened after flood damage! Details

Getting There

Two trails access the wall. The first takes off from the west canyon trail and climbs to a notch with steps and a dirt bank and then up left and back right through scrub oak to the northern part of the face. The rail reaches the face just south of Aphrodite. The second ascends a bushy ramp system left (south) of Solar Slab to the right of Never Ever Slab, walk left along the top of the slab to reach the cliff-base trail. A path along the cliff base connects the two trails. Avoid bushwhacking and scrambling off the trails, so new social trails or not created. Also, watch for poison ivy. (All information is from Red Rock Canyon Open Space book by Stewart M. Green.)


Never Ever Slab (down and left of the bulk of The Whale)
A. Happy Ending (formerly Top-Rope), 9, 1p, 70', bolts.
B-C. The Never Ever Slab, 0-4, 1p, 90', TR.

The Whale
D. Dreamtime, 6, 1p, 50', bolts.
ED. Aborigine, 7, 1p, 55', bolts.

F. Honeymoon Down Under, 7+ PG-13, 1p, 85', bolts.
G. Undulating Dingo, 8, 1p, 80', bolts.
H. Arapiles, 9 or 10, 1p, 80', bolts.
I. Big E, 5 PG-13, 1p, 80', bolts.
JI. Bound in Blood, 8, 1p, 80', bolts.
K. The Good Stuff, 7, 1p, bolts.
L. Esse Curve, 7, 1p, bolts.

M. Route to the left of The Thin Line, 10-, 1p, 65', bolts.
N. The Thin Line, 9, 1p, 60', bolts.
O. The Plunge, 10-, 1p, 70', bolts.
P. Just Happens, 9-, 1p, 60', bolts.
Q. Virgin Bolters, 9-, 1p, 70', bolts.

R. Tempest Toast, 7, 1p, 110', bolts.
S. Whale Rider, 6, 1p, 110', bolts.
T. Finnacle, 8-, 1p, 80', bolts.
U. The Captain, 9-, 1p, 75', bolts.
V. First Mate, 9, 1p, 50', bolts.

W? Gomers in Blue Shirts, 10-, 1p, 85', bolts.

X. Aphrodite, 9, 1p, 100', bolts.
Y. Arnold's Demise, 10, 1p, 105', bolts.
Z. Among the Stars, 10-, 1p, 110', bolts.
AA. Mister MIA, 9+, 1p, 100', bolts.
BBAA. Blow Tube Envy, 7+ PG-13, 1p, 105', bolts & gear.
BB1. HMS, 9+, 1p, 100', bolts.
BB2. Red Venus, 6 PG-13, 1p, 100', bolts.

29 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at The Whale

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
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Climbing all the routes on The Whale is called a Whale Cap Day, since the vertical gain is about the same as climbing the Nose of El Cap in Yosemite or about 3,000 feet. Every route has to be led, and every pitch has to be seconded, so it's good to either swing leads or do them in blocks. We've always done it starting at the Whale's Tail at the north end and working south to Happy Ending. Brian Shelton and I did it in 3 hours and 45 minutes a few years back. Logan Berndt has also done it in sub-4 hours. Aug 1, 2015
Patrick Yarbrough
Colorado Springs, CO
Patrick Yarbrough   Colorado Springs, CO
Here's a nice challenge: lead all of the routes on The Whale in a day. I did all of them except three, which were occupied by other parties (I also don't really count the top rope on Never Ever Slab), but I made up for it by climbing the three routes on The Whale's Tail. Jul 31, 2015
Patrick Yarbrough
Colorado Springs, CO
Patrick Yarbrough   Colorado Springs, CO
Most of the climbs around here really benefit from using long slings or a long cordalette for an anchor to reduce rope drag at the top. Aug 25, 2014
Mark D
Lakewood, CO
Mark D   Lakewood, CO
We hiked around for 45 minutes looking for this place not realizing we were on the opposite side the climbs are on. Park in the far SE lot and hike up the Red Rock trail for about 10 minutes. The Whale will be on the right shortly after the pond. Dec 4, 2013
Dan Petty
Wheat Ridge, CO
Dan Petty   Wheat Ridge, CO
Lat/long: 38.846075, -104.88238. Nov 11, 2010
I think we might have climbed Outer Reach tonight. It was a touch loose down low, but had some cool moves up a double overlap toward the top. Seven bolts, I believe. Always fun to discover a new route where there wasn't one before. Jul 7, 2009
Great Post! Very informative and a great read. I saw this site during my browsing and think it may be relevant .Keep up the great posts! Jun 17, 2009
Ryan Sanders
C Springs
Ryan Sanders   C Springs
And we appreciate it, Stewart.

Our favorite so far is what Tom is calling Outer Reach (to keep the nautical theme). May 26, 2009
Yep. It's sort of a new route. We put that one up back in January. Unnamed and unrated. Look around for the other new ones. We've been keeping them off the radar for now because there will still be a few more to go up...trying to get a little more adventure at ole Red Rock Canyon. May 26, 2009
While exploring the Whale last night, we climbed a route between The Thin Line and Esse Curve. Four bolts and felt 5.9+ ish. It doesn't seem to be in the RRCOS climbing book (at least not my first edition).

Is this a new route or am I directionally challenged? FWIW, the route was fun. A challenge for me, though probably easy for most. May 21, 2009

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