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Whale Boulder

Colorado > Boulder > Eldorado Canyon SP > Eldorado Canyon… > Musical Boulders (aka…
Access Issue: Seasonal Closures Details

Description

This description has been orphaned and is up for adoption.

Location

I've only been there once, but I'll try my best. Go along the Eldorado trail past where you'd hike down to the East Egg Boulder, passing a rocky outcrop with a nice outlook on the left. About a couple hundred feet, head downhill through some easy off-trail hiking until reaching a few boulders that may have chalk. The obviously large one is The Whale.

Per Justin S: the approach takes 30 - 40 minutes. For reference, it took me 17 minutes after passing the Rincon Wall cutoff. The easiest way to find the boulder is to hike the cut off slightly on the Eldorado Trail. Follow the trail until you reach a habitat restoration sign (see the photo) near a cluster of boulders. Turn around, walk ~65 paces back towards a clearing, and head off-trail down sloping gully angling back towards the restoration area. You'll see The Whale in the trees after about 100 meters.

Additional reference points I scoured from the depths of the internet that helped: Nightmare Block approach (The Whale is cut off is located shortly past the Nightmare Block but before the wildlife closure): hike up the Eldorado Canyon Trail as if going to Rincon Wall. Take the main road to the parking next to the Gill Block ~ 1 mile past the entrance. Walk up the road to the west 50 yards, and take the well traveled Eldorado Canyon Trail. Hike uphill for a ways past several switchbacks past a turnoff for some boulders on the left. Keep going on the main trail, pass 5 more switchbacks, and take note of the steep turnoff for Rincon Wall. Keep walking as the trail levels off for a half mile. Pass 4 short switchbacks, the trail levels off again and passes a blunt ridge where the Musical Boulders can be seen downhill to the left. Keep going a quarter mile, pass over a culvert where a spring crosses the trail, and continue for a few minutes through some boulders in the pines. When the trail starts to leave the trees, look up to the right, and the Nightmare Block can just barely be seen uphill 50 yards from the trail.

Another opinion on Whale Block approach beta: when walking along the Eldorado Trail in the nightmare block vicinity, there is a huge block with the "Trailside, V7", and some Will Lemaire scoop problems. From here, if you drop downhill off the trail and follow a shallow wash, you'll encounter the cluster of blocks with Will's Blue Whale problem and others. Continue down further, trend a tad left when walking downwards, and you should run into the Elegant Block. It sits about 50 yards uphill from the bolted Eldo Block.

Routes from Left to Right

V5 6C
 1
Arnoux's
Boulder
V8 7B
 2
Blue Whale
Boulder
V9 7C
 1
Bryde's Whale
Boulder
V5 6C
 4
Sei
Boulder
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Arnoux's
 1
V5 6C Boulder
Blue Whale
 2
V8 7B Boulder
Bryde's Whale
 1
V9 7C Boulder
Sei
 4
V5 6C Boulder

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Approach beta:  this spot is 30 to 40 minutes from the trailhead. Turn around, walk 65 paces back in the direction you came from to a clearing, head downhill, angling back towards this sign, and you'll hit the Whale.
[Hide Photo] Approach beta: this spot is 30 to 40 minutes from the trailhead. Turn around, walk 65 paces back in the direction you came from to a clearing, head downhill, angling back towards this sign, and yo…
Approach beta: the boulder in the center of the picture has a cairn. Regardless, begin descending the slope to the right of the boulder pictured here, and you'll find the Whale, 30 - 40 minutes from the trailhead on Eldorado Trail.
[Hide Photo] Approach beta: the boulder in the center of the picture has a cairn. Regardless, begin descending the slope to the right of the boulder pictured here, and you'll find the Whale, 30 - 40 minutes fro…
The classic V7/8 arete....
[Hide Photo] The classic V7/8 arete....

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

Wayne Crill
an Altered State
[Hide Comment] I have to ask FG, what is your point of posting these problems? Your description is purposefully useless, presumably to keep these problems secret which I could completely understand and sympathize with. So why bother? I thought the point of this site was to "share information"? Just curious, since you don't want to share I wonder why you bother to submit?

w Dec 20, 2009
Chip Phillips
Broomfield, CO
[Hide Comment] I echo Wayne's comments. What exactly is the point? Except for a few Eldo regulars and those that have gotten tours of this secluded spot, nobody has any clue where this is.

FWIW, I was under the impression that the arete in the beta photo was put up a few years ago by Will LeMaire, Southpaw ~V4/5. In addition, I believe this is the southeast arete, but that could be easily confused in this disorienting place. Dec 20, 2009
[Hide Comment] Sorry my info was not good enough. This is my first entry on MP and I'm just getting the hang of it. Now I have to question if I want to continue... Two negative comments in under 24 hours? Why not just ask me to put in better directions? I have nothing against sharing (wherever that idea came from); give a person some slack.

RE: CP ~ no it is not the southeast arete, it is the northeast one as stated. Perhaps it is ~V4, but only if you start on the holds head high. It could have been done before, but the lack of any evidence makes me wonder. Besides, the photo could be old.

I do agree, however, that beyond the few Eldo regulars, most people will not have a clue where this is. I'll have to think of how to give better directions.

RE: WC ~ the point of posting these problems was to let people know about them. I've wandered around many a woods because of some obscure photo or problem on MP or elsewhere. Sometimes I find what I am looking for, other times I don't. But currently, Eldo looks like it has very little to offer in the way of bouldering (at least on MP), and that just is not true. There are hundreds of boulders and problems waiting to be entered/discovered/re-discovered. Dec 20, 2009
Hank Caylor
Glenwood Springs, CO
[Hide Comment] Not to dig further, BUTT. What's up with the username Flash Gordon. Not much facts to be taken seriously. IMO.

Edit, all your comments are confused and have no basis in personal reality. Please explain, man! Dec 20, 2009
Chip Phillips
Broomfield, CO
[Hide Comment] Flash - I agree about the lack of beta on mp.com for Eldo. There ARE hundreds of problems all over ECSP proper and just outside its boundaries. My intention was not to dissuade you from posting problems on mp.com. My feeling is this: if you are going to contribute something in an area many of us know and love, please take a couple extra minutes to do it right.

Will did do Southpaw from a sds on the flake quite few years ago when the Blue Whale area was developed and the grade is just one group of climbers' opinion ... nothing is set in stone. However, I did notice your description says surf the lip up and left for 15 feet. Maybe the grade difference is attributable to that difference. If it adds a lot to surf the arete 15 feet, maybe your grade is right. As for the direction the arete points, its confusing back there in a Blair Witch Project sense. My inner compass - which is normally pretty good - spins bigtime back there! Dec 20, 2009
Wayne Crill
an Altered State
[Hide Comment] FG,

I agree that it's a confusing and convoluted mass of many many boulders back there, in and just out of the park proper. Many people know of some of these boulders, some people know of many of these boulders.

When I asked what your purpose was for posting maybe I should have been a little more specific. Clearly you want people to know about these problems, all I was trying to say is it's not much use to most people if you don't at least attempt a useful description for finding them. Although ECSP is not very big compared to many other state parks, a description of "hike hike and more hiking will get you here" for directions is totally useless.

All that being said, it would be great if there were more boulder problem descriptions for this area of the park, and you are correct in that there are few descriptions on MP.com. The challenge now for you FG would be to describe how to find this and maybe other boulders in this area (I completely agree that is not trivial).

w Dec 21, 2009
[Hide Comment] RE: WC ~ Yes, I know the description "hike, hike, and more hiking will get you there" is no good. That is obvious. However, as I said above, and will say again, this is my first entry on MP. As such, I am unfamiliar with the "backend" database side. I don't want the boulder to show up under West Ridge, or some other section. Do I enter it as a route, a new area, etc. The site is not set up very well for individual boulders. Therefore, I put in "dummy" text to see how it would show up on the site. I hope this makes sense.... So of course the entry needs to be fixed.... The vagueness was not directed as much in how to get there, as I know exactly how to (and have since the mid-'90s) get there.

I'll work on the description.

RE: CP ~ I agree, taking a couple extra minutes to "do it right" is the proper thing to do. Please see above concerning the vagueness associated with the description.

I never said Will didn't do Southpaw. What I said was that this is not the southeast arete (which is a project and more in the V12 range), but the northeast one. There is no flake, nor has there ever been. The SDS begins on bad slopers, which is the crux.

Perhaps you are under the impression that I just found and did this problem/boulder. That is incorrect. I simply entered this into the database on Dec. 20.

RE: HC ~ What's wrong with my username? There are tons of random usernames all over MP. I'm kinda fond of it personally.... Dec 22, 2009
Chip Phillips
Broomfield, CO
[Hide Comment] Flash Gordon (Peter).... For some reason I remembered a starting flake, maybe it was slopers. I honestly don't remember. In any event, I can guarantee you we're talking about the same boulder, as I have pictures of it, too. Like I said, directions were confusing for me back there, so maybe it is the northeast arete. If you did it many many years ago, then I would not be surprised if it was FA. Nice one, Peter!

I hope you will continue contributing. Deciding how to add The Blue Whale Area (or whatever you call it) would appear to be the crux, based on what approach you take. It would be awesome if you or anyone chose to add everything from The Musicals, down into the gullies and all the way up to The Blue Whale Area. So many classics! I'm very much in favor of it.

The best thing about starting over is when you delete these entries ... ALL the crabby comments will disappear - ha! Please don't take anything personally, it's just the intardweb.

Peace. Dec 23, 2009
Andrew Mann
Boulder, CO
[Hide Comment] Peter,

Most (if not all) of these were done years ago.

"Southpaw" takes the little NE arete (you have labeled as Sei (V7-8) from as low as you can go, heel hook trickery, left hand slopers and a rad right hand crimp lead to a thrutch to the lip, move left and rock over for V4/5.

Blue Whale V7/8 is pictured here: dropkneeclimbing.blogspot.c…

The arete left of Blue Whale (sawed down tree) is "White Whale Project" and has not been completed to my knowledge since I ripped off a big flake midway up. It surely goes and maybe you did this one.

The arching undercling highball seam on the South Face is a project, and will probably remain so until fallen trees at the landing are removed.

All the little 'mini angry man' problems and variations on the back of the boulder (right of Southpaw) were done, and all the slabs on the South and North faces have been climbed as well. Maybe you found a new line though. I'd be stoked to check it out! Any pics?

Thanks for posting. Dec 28, 2009
[Hide Comment] RE: AM ~ I'm not sure if you read the comments; the routes and boulder have been "orphaned".

I agree, most of these were done years ago (at least as far back as the late '90s when I was introduced to them).

I'll have to go back and see if I can't figure out some new heel hook trickery to make Sei/Southpaw easier; heels are required further up, but I don't recall using a heel directly from the sit. Maybe it was a high gravity day. ;) Dec 30, 2009
Squish
Lakewood
[Hide Comment] How about instead of all you bitching about the post you update it with the correct location of the boulder. If you don't want it listed delete the location off of MP. I was in Eldo yesterday for about 7 or 8 hours around the Musical Boulders and this was a boulder that I really wanted to check out but alas no directions so I couldn't find it. May 17, 2010
half-pad-mini-jug
crauschville
[Hide Comment] Where the f*ck is this boulder? I just want to climb it. Nov 6, 2011
Jordan Moore
Berthoud, CO
[Hide Comment] I have tried to find this boulder on 3 different occasions now but left empty handed every time:( Does any one have any insight on how to find it?! I understand some of you might want to keep this area hidden from the public, and the exploration aspect of climbing is part of what draws us all, but how about a clue? A Mountain Project scavenger hunt if you will. :) Jun 6, 2012
[Hide Comment] I edited the page to add better approach beta and some reference photos after stumbling around on the Eldorado Trail for too long trying to find this thing. Assume a 30 to 40m approach from the trailhead. 5 days ago