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Routes in Stronghold Dome

Abril Bypass T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Apache Tears T 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c R
Bee Line T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R
Big Time T 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Bounty, The S 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
End Chimney, Left T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
End Chimneys, Right T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Greasy Gizzards T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b R
Rheen's Arete T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R
Shake N Bake T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a PG13
Stand, The S 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
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Type: Trad, 280 ft, 3 pitches
FA: Merle Wheeler, Mark and Gary Axen, 1972.
Page Views: 9,258 total · 46/month
Shared By: Tony B on Dec 23, 2001
Admins: Greg Opland, Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick

You & This Route

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Description [Suggest Change]

We did this route in 3 pitches, not 2. This worked well for us.

Another great route. The first pitch is best and is what justifies the classic rating, but the rest is also good.

Approach Stronghold dome via the standard trail. You will see a striking roof on the south end of the East face, perhaps 70 feet off of the gound. A fingercrack ascends to the roof from the ground.

P1: 5.9, 70'. Climb a fingercrack from the ground up to the roof above on the south end of the East face of the Stronghold Dome. This is the finestand hardest pitch of this route. Belay below the roof (optional).

P2: 5.8, 70'. Climb out and right from the previous pitch to traverse the roof and reach a flake system with some questionable rock. The gear here is as good as the rock you put it in, which is questionable in places. Keep on your toes and keep climbing out the flake. Eventually this will goes up over a mild bulge and cross the blunt corner to the right... whereupon it will become a solid crack leading to a good bolted belay out on the South face.

P3: 5.7 or 5.9+, 140'. This pitch is moderate, but more than moderately runout. We "missed" the easy part and ended up on a bolted variation to the top. For the 5.7 climb up and left toward the East Edge Edge of the South Face, past a bolt and then past a horizontal and up left to the summit. Otherwise you will encounter a bolted line (5.9+?) which we rode up and zig-zagged to the summit.

Protection [Suggest Change]

Standard rack of nuts and cams. Heavy on the finger-sized gear for the crux on P1.The crux is well protected, but thes second and third pitches are not.
This was a two pitch route, and the person who put anchors right in the middle of pitch one should be tar and feathered! Dec 10, 2003
Steve Pulver
Williston, ND
  5.9+ R
Steve Pulver   Williston, ND
  5.9+ R
The chains underneath the roof are useful if you want to set up a top rope on the first pitch of the route. Dec 12, 2003
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
They're good for a TR? All the more reason for a tar-and-feathering. Feb 11, 2004
Wes Turner
Wes Turner   az
excellent line just a blast.chains shouldn't be added in the middle of classic routes...... it just breaks up a classic line!--2 pitches only! follow crack (solid .9) all the way up and around right of roof to easy laybacking(.7ish) belay at 2 bolts 165' if you clip the chains you didn't do Beelinep2 is very runout .7....but funI loved it!! May 15, 2004
The anchors in the middle of the first pitch have been removed. Dec 15, 2005
kBobby Hanson
Spokane, WA
kBobby Hanson   Spokane, WA
The first pitch has some loose blocks on it. The route has been climbed repeatedly over the decades without anyone pulling them off, but care should still be given.

The second pitch is runout, but mostly easy. There are a couple of 5.7 moves, right at the bolt; and one 5.6 move just above the horizontal crack (which protects with large cams). The rest is considerably easier. Dec 31, 2005
M. Morley
Sacramento, CA
M. Morley   Sacramento, CA  
Tony: The 5.9 "X" must be a typo, yes? Jan 30, 2006
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
Well, the consequence of a fall on the 2nd pitch or in spots of the 3rd pitch could be career-ending. 5.3X. So does that mean 5.9R?
I guess so, so I changed it with that disclaimor. Jan 31, 2006
I'd say it's more R than X. Plus I doubt anyone capable of doing the first pitch would get even moderately gripped on the runout. I'm a big chicken at heart but never was bothered even slightly by the runout on this. Not that I tried, but you never know what sort of sneaky pro might lurk in the chickenheads on the upper pitches anyway. The rating should be 5.9 (5.3 x) or something like that if you want to get picky. Feb 1, 2006
jbak .
jbak .   tucson,az
There is no way this route deserves an X. That will just keep people away. Yes it's runout in places, but very easy. At most a PG13. Feb 17, 2006
I find this "discussion" rater silly (R versus X). There is a fairly clear definition on what makes a route deserve an R rating versus an X rating (assuming, of course, that the Mountaineering Club is a valid citation) see below;

""Since the standard usage of the Yosemite Decimal System defines only the hardest move on a pitch, or the hardest pitch on a multipitch route, a seriousness factor was introduced to give an indication of the relative danger of the climb. This system was developed in 1980 by James Erickson.

· PG-13; Protection is adequate; if properly placed a fall would not be too serious.

· R: Protection is considered inadequate; there is a potential for a long fall, and a falling leader would take a hard wipper, possibly suffering injuries.

· X: Inadequate or no protection; a fall would be very serious and perhaps fatal. ""

close Quote:

DAS Mar 5, 2007
jbak .
jbak .   tucson,az
Thank you oh master of the unsubtle. We already knew the definitions.

The real discussion is: what is "inadequate" relative to the overall difficulty of the route. Mar 5, 2007
susan peplow
Joshua Tree
susan peplow   Joshua Tree
Terrific line and a great location for winter climbing whereas it gets a good deal of sun all day.

Opening moves a bit cruxy of which I protected using a few equalized brassies then wiggled up through the grass until I got a good finger lock just above (maybe 20' from the deck). Great tips to finger to hand climbing to the roof where I (for the first time in my life) got STUNG by a BEE!! (Yes, on Beeline).

Plugged in a 1.5" cam at the roof to pick out the stinger before moving right around the roof. After the initial moves and grungy flake that takes basically no pro you are lead through easy climbing that could easily be protected or just run to the bolted bomber 1988 anchors.

Using the beta from the Kerry guide and recommendations from friends we rapped from this point using a single 70m rope which brought us within' 10' from the base of which you could easily down-climb.

Extremely fun, great rock, neat line.


Oh yeah, bring small gear. TCU's, nuts and nothing bigger than maybe a 2" cam unless you plan to protect the large crack just before the bolted anchor.

Enjoy :) Jan 4, 2009
Russ Walling
Russ Walling
Seemed pretty darn thin and hard at the top of the finger crack for me. For the men among us, with large fingers, you will be glad this fracture resides on a slab. Jan 5, 2009
Chris Wenker
Santa Fe
Chris Wenker   Santa Fe
There's a bolted line just to climber's right of Rheen's 'Rete. From the shared P1 anchor of Beeline/Rheen's, you can see a 2 bolt anchor about 40 feet below. There's a second rap anchor somewhere below that (visible from the ground). I talked w/ two ABQ guys who said they'd done that bolted route (~5.10), and rapped it with one rope. So it seems likely that you could also get down to that rap line from the Beeline/Rheen's P1 anchor with one rope (?).
But, topping out is more fun.... Nov 30, 2009
Daryl Allan
Sierra Vista, AZ
Daryl Allan   Sierra Vista, AZ
Simply amazing route.. a real must-do. We did the direct line which proved to be quite grassy with a thin start but still quite fun. Some small robots, aliens or tcu's are helpful for the top of the crack. The crux for me was where my fingers didn't fit in a section about 6' or so long just under the roof. I sort of lied back and stretched up to the base of where it opened back up.

If you look at the pictures and think "big roof"/"little roof".. after the little roof veer up and left up the face about 20' to a 'ledge' where you will see a pair of bolts with webbing (tagged Aug88). From here you can head up and left to the summit and rap chains(5.7ish?). We went right up to the big ledge and climbed the face left of the manzanita tree to the summit (pass the first anchor you see and continue up to the rap chains). This kept the route more sustained imho.

From the chains, we rapped down keeping right on the face, then jumped/swung across the massive chasm to the next chains (fun!!!). Three more from here down and climber's right get you back to the base. Nov 15, 2010
Phoenix & Prescott, AZ
arjunmh   Phoenix & Prescott, AZ
A fun climb indeed and thank goodness the anchors in the middle of P1 are gone! Protected fine with a couple C3s through the thin part and the lay back flake was more solid than the AZ climbing guide made it out to be. Would highly recommend rapping the line from the top -- i.e. from the top to the P1 anchors (which would do well to be replaced with quick links and rap rings over the cords) and then a great double rope rap down to the base of the dome to the right of the arête. Pulling the ropes off the western side resulted in way more hastles (Hanna and I did both Beeline and Rheen's Arête, slightly different top pitches, and so rapped twice). Oct 24, 2012
Nick Henscheid
Tucson, AZ
  5.9 PG13
Nick Henscheid   Tucson, AZ
  5.9 PG13
Great line. First pitch is classic and protects perfectly, and the second makes up for less interesting climbing with spice. I found several halfway decent placements on the second, but expect 6/6+ moves in no-fall territory. Our rap beta: double 60m rap down the neat chimney to anchors at (near?) top of P1 of Big Time, then double rope rap to the base. You can't see the mid anchors when you leave the top, but you'll get there with 60's (they're just beyond the base of the chimney). On the first pull we got our rope stuck at the base of the chimney and had to lead back up to get it back, but you might get luckier. Rapping Bee Line is probably easier but less interesting. Mar 25, 2016

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